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How to Use the Picture in Picture (PiP) Feature on Your Mac

macOS (Sierra and higher) offers a convenient — and fun — Picture in Picture (PiP) feature. You can “float” a video window from Safari or iTunes over your desktop or a full-screen app. 

You can play the video in any corner of the desktop and resize it to see more or less of what’s behind it. The video even stays put when you switch Spaces. (Spaces is a feature that allows you to spread your programs across up to 16 separate desktop areas. They can help you organize your work since they provide more “space” to work with than is available on your Mac’s display.

There are some catches, however, regarding PiP. When it comes to Safari, Web developers have to use the PiP application programming interface (API) that Apple provides to make Picture in Picture available. If a site doesn’t support PiP, you won’t be able to use it. 

To use PiP in Safari, launch the web browser and cruise on over to any site that supports the feature, such as iTunes Movie Trailers ( Begin playing a video. Click on the PiP icon (pictured below) on the video control bar at the lower righthand side of the screen. A small window will appear in a corner of your screen playing the video.

Screenshot of Picture in Picture icon on play bar.

If you don’t see a Picture-in-Picture button, hold down the Control key and double-click inside the video to open a shortcut menu. Then choose “Enter Picture-in-Picture” if it’s available.

To use PiP in iTunes, launch the app and begin playing a video. Click on the PiP icon on the video control bar at the lower right hand side of the screen. Again, a small window will appear in a corner of your screen playing the video.

Screenshot showing a video playing picture in picture on a mac.

Picture in Picture is also easy to implement on a MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. Here’s how:

  1. Open Safari on your Mac.
  2. Go to the website and video you want to play and start playing it
  3. Click the PiP button on the Touch Bar.
  4. To adjust the PiP window, drag it at any of the four corners of the screen.
  5. To disengage PiP click on the PiP icon on the Touch Bar or the PiP button in the window.
Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Contributing Author
Dennis has over 40 years of journalism experience and has written hundreds of articles. For the past 20-plus years, he's been an online journalist, covering mainly Apple Inc. He's written for MacCentral, MacWorld, MacMinute, Macsimum News, Apple Daily Report, and is now contributing editor at Apple World Today.
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  • Annoying that I can’t position the PIP window where I want it, I don’t see why it has to be in a corner where the pop-up dock is going to be coming in front of it. Just a dumb implementation. And there can be only one PIP window, which is another irritation.

  • Is there a way to “fox” Safari so that YouTube videos don’t fill up the whole darn screen when you click play? It’s highly annoying – especially when I am trying to take a screen grab – I just want them to play in the browser, and not take over the entire screen.