How to Enable Picture-in-Picture Mode on the Desktop Version of Google Chrome

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May 10, 2018

One of the most sought-after features for Android was picture-in-picture mode, which finally came to Android Oreo. Google Chrome on Android 8.0+ allows full-screen videos to work in a smaller, reduced window which can be placed anywhere on the screen and is drawn over other applications, allowing you to watch your favourite video while doing something else. YouTube locked the feature behind a paywall by making it available only to YouTube Red subscribers, but they seem to be rethinking that move now, as several non-Red subscribers are able to access it.

The story is different on the desktop version of Chrome where this feature was promised to us last year in the form of a Picture-in-Picture Web API specification. It allowed websites to initiate and control PiP behaviour, but nothing became of it, until now, when XDA Developers found evidence that the feature was on its way to desktop Google Chrome soon. The feature is available to users, albeit not natively, and requires the use of an extension.

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You’ll need an extension for now

image courtesy Reddit

The extension was developed by Reddit user kasik96 who shared how he got PiP working on desktop Google Chrome. You need Chrome 68 and the accompanying extension for it to work. The user has shared some easy-to-follow instructions for getting the extension working on a Reddit thread. You’ll need to head over to his Github page and follow the instructions on the thread to get PiP mode working.

Now we know for a fact that PiP mode is supported by Chrome, but it hasn’t been rolled out en-masse probably due to some bugs that need to be addressed. For now, you have to make do with the extension to enjoy PiP mode in Chrome. The only foreseeable use case I can see for it is for websites that don’t offer a video player that pops out. Otherwise, the feature seems mostly redundant as you can simply resize the video in a browser and shove it in a corner somewhere. When does the feature go live for all users? Only time and/or the Google will tell.

Source: XDA developers