How to Use Picture in Picture in Windows 10

More than ever, modern PCs are expected to be capable of multitasking. Windows 10 has many features that support it, including Snap Assist to display side-by-side windows and Task View to quickly switch between open apps.

Both can be useful for easily accessing video content, but filling almost half of your screen with a small video window doesn’t sound like an efficient use of space. Unless you’ve connected your laptop to an external monitor, using Picture in Picture is a way to keep video playing in a floating window while you focus on the main task.

Picture-in-Picture mode is built directly into Windows 10’s Films & TV app, while many modern browsers have similar features available for viewing content on the web. Here’s everything you need to know.

How to use Picture in Picture with the Movies & TV app

The Films & TV app is the default way many video files currently open in Windows 10, and luckily it has Picture-in-Picture functionality built right into the app. If you don’t have the app yet, it’s a free download from the Microsoft Store. Once that’s done, here’s how to get started:

  1. First, make sure that the file you’re trying to open has been downloaded to your device and is available in File Explorer. If that’s not possible, check out our guide below to use Picture-in-Picture in a web browser
  2. Locate the video file in File Explorer and double-click to open it. It will start playing in the Movies & TV app, but right click and select ‘Open with’ if that’s not the case
  3. Hover over the video and you’ll see a row of controls appear at the bottom of the window. Click on the icon that looks like a smaller rectangle within a larger one – it’s labeled ‘Play in small view’
    Picture in Windows 10 Image
  4. The video will now move to a small window at the top right of your screen. You can click and drag it anywhere you like, while clicking the same icon again will return you to the regular window.
    Picture in Windows 10 Image
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Here, functionality is more limited than in the main view – for example, you can only rewind 10 seconds or fast forward 30 seconds – but it works well in Picture-in-Picture mode. Despite its name, the Movies & TV app can open .mp4, .mov, .wav. and many other file types – basically any video downloaded to local storage will work fine here.

How to use Picture in Picture in Microsoft Edge

If you’re looking to use Picture-in-Picture with web-based content (specifically YouTube), there’s another option built into Windows 10. Microsoft’s Edge browser added the feature in March of this year. 2020 and it’s relatively simple to use.

  1. Go to a video sharing site of your choice – we’ll be using YouTube for the purposes of this tutorial
  2. Select the video you want to play in Picture-in-Picture mode
  3. When it starts playing, right click twice on the video and select ‘Picture in Picture’
    Picture in Windows 10 Image
  4. You should now see a small window in the bottom right corner of the screen with your video and a message on the home screen that says ‘Playing in picture-in-picture’
    Image in Windows 10 Image
  5. This window can be resized and moved anywhere on the screen and will display on any active window or desktop. However, there are only controls to play/pause, return to tabs and close the window completely

How to use Picture in Picture with other browsers

Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox can be easily installed on your Windows 10 PC, and both have methods that allow you to play videos using Picture in Picture. The Firefox feature uses the same right-click method as Microsoft Edge, while there are a number of Chrome browser extensions that offer Picture-in-Picture functionality – our top pick is official Google. Chances are that whatever modern desktop browser you’re using will offer PiP in some capacity.

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Do you have an Apple device? You may also be interested in how to use Picture-in-Picture on iPhone or iPad. We have a separate guide on how to watch YouTube in PiP, with this functionality still not natively supported on iOS.

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