YouTube Picture-in-Picture Not Working (It’s Likely This)

YouTube’s picture-in-picture (PiP) mode has been around for Android devices since 2017.

It was made available for all iOS users in July 2022, irrespective of whether you have a Premium subscription or not.

I have been enjoying this feature for quite some time to watch YouTube videos while simultaneously doing something else on my iPad.

However, a few days ago, the PiP mode was not working for me while I was streaming ‘The Game Awards’ and chatting with my friends.

I relaunched the YouTube app and resumed the video, but nothing changed.

Not wanting to miss out on the live stream and constant back-and-forth texts, I Googled for help and came across several troubleshooting guides for the problem.

After dozens of hits and trials, I found the reason for the YouTube picture-in-picture not working and fixed it for good. 

If YouTube ‘Picture-in-Picture’ (PiP) is not working for you, make sure the feature is turned on in your device settings and YouTube app (under Profile > Settings > General) and update the app. 

Why is YouTube’s ‘Picture-in-Picture’ Feature Not Working For Me?

YouTube’s picture-in-picture mode is a great multitasking feature for smartphones and tablets, provided it works correctly.

That being said, there are some instances when the PiP mode won’t work on your device for one or more reasons.

Here are the most common ones: 

  • The PiP mode is off.
  • Device malfunction.
  • Outdated YouTube app.
  • Corrupt cache files.
  • Outdated Device OS.
  • Playing music videos if you are a non-Premium YouTube user. 

Make Sure ‘Picture-in-Picture’ is enabled in Your Device Settings and YouTube App

The first step to get YouTube’s PiP feature working again is to ensure that it’s enabled in your device settings and YouTube app.

Sometimes, this feature is turned off inadvertently or due to an app/device glitch causing the problem in the first place, but it can be easily fixed. 

YouTube App

  1. Open the ‘YouTube’ app on your smartphone or tablet.
  2. Click on your ‘Profile picture’ in the upper-right corner.
  3. Select ‘Settings’.
  4. Choose ‘General’.
  5. Make sure ‘Picture-in-picture’ is enabled. 

iOS Devices

The picture-in-picture feature is enabled by default for Apple devices running on iOS 15 and above.

You can check this feature’s status on your iOS device by following these steps: 

  1. Launch ‘Settings’.
  2. Click on ‘General’.
  3. Select ‘Picture-in-picture’ to check its status.
  4. If it’s disabled, tap on ‘Start PiP Automatically’ to turn it on. 

Android Devices

  1. Go to ‘Settings’.
  2. Select ‘Apps’ or ‘Application Manager’.
  3. Find ‘YouTube’ and click on it.
  4. Scroll down and choose ‘Picture-in-picture’ under ‘Advanced’.
  5. Make sure ‘Allow Picture-in-picture’ is enabled. 

Restart Your Device

Another reason for YouTube’s picture-in-picture mode not working is related to a device malfunction.

Your smartphone or tablet may work erratically due to performance-hindering bugs or its memory being filled with cache and other temporary files.

You can get rid of these bugs and cache files by restarting your device. 

iPhone

  1. For iPhone X and later, press and hold the ‘Power’ button and one of the ‘Volume’ buttons to bring up the ‘Power-off’ slider.
  2. For earlier iPhones, long-press the ‘Power’ button until the ‘Power-off’ slider appears.
  3. Drag the slider and wait for 60 seconds.
  4. To turn your iPhone back on, press and hold the ‘Power’ button until the Apple logo shows up. 

iPad

  1. For an iPad without the ‘Home’ button, long-press the ‘Top’ button and one of the ‘Volume’ until the ‘Power-off’ slider shows up.
  2. For an iPad with the ‘Home’ button, press and hold the ‘Top’ button to bring up the ‘Power-off slider’.
  3. Swipe the slider and wait for 60 seconds.
  4. To switch on your iPad, long-press the ‘Power’ button until the Apple logo appears. 

Android Devices

  1. Press and hold the ‘Power’ button on your device.
  2. Click on the ‘Restart’ option.
  3. Confirm your choice and wait for the device to boot up. 

Update the YouTube App

YouTube’s picture-in-picture feature may also not work for you if the YouTube app is outdated.

The app could be missing an important update or file directory to work smoothly.

Updating the app to the latest version will fix this problem. 

  1. Launch the ‘App Store’ or ‘Play Store’.
  2. Look for ‘YouTube’ using the search bar.
  3. Click on the ‘YouTube’ app from the search results.
  4. Update it to the latest build, if available. 

Clear the YouTube App Cache (Only For Android Devices)

YouTube stores cache and cookies in your device’s storage so that the next time you open the app, it will launch quickly.

However, these files can eat up a lot of space on your smartphone or tablet and create various bugs if corrupted.

This can be a major hurdle for YouTube’s picture-in-picture feature not working as expected.

Clearing the YouTube app cache regularly can help you keep these problems at bay. 

  1. Go to ‘Settings’.
  2. Open ‘Apps’ or ‘Application Manager’.
  3. Find ‘YouTube’ and click on it.
  4. Tap on ‘Force Stop’ and confirm.
  5. Choose ‘Storage’.
  6. Click on ‘Clear Cache’. 

Delete and Reinstall the YouTube App (Only For iOS Devices)

If YouTube app data is corrupt, most of its features won’t work as intended.

A fresh installation can resolve almost all of its errors and malfunctions.

Here’s how to delete the YouTube app from your phone or tablet and install it back: 

  1. Open ‘Settings’.
  2. Go to ‘General’.
  3. Choose ‘Storage.
  4. Look for ‘YouTube’ and click on it.
  5. Select ‘Delete App’ and confirm.
  6. Restart your device.
  7. Launch ‘App Store’.
  8. Search for ‘YouTube’ and tap on ‘Install’.
  9. Once done, open ‘YouTube’ and log into your account. 

Update Your Device

If none of the solutions covered so far get YouTube’s picture-in-picture mode working again, you should update your smartphone or tablet.

An outdated OS on your device can cause various problems for installed apps; YouTube PiP not working is one of them.

iOS Devices

  1. Go to ‘Settings’.
  2. Open ‘General’.
  3. Select ‘Software Update’.
  4. Click on ‘Install’ if an update is pending. 

Android Devices

  1. Launch ‘Settings’.
  2. Go to ‘System’.
  3. Click on ‘System Update’.
  4. Tap on ‘Install’ if an update is available. 

For some Android devices, you need to follow these steps: Settings > Software Update > Download Updates. 

Nothing Works! What Should I Do?

If you have gone through all solutions presented in this article and still cannot get YouTube picture-in-picture working as intended, you should check a few things mentioned below.

If you are a YouTube Premium user, ensure your subscription is active by following these steps: 

  1. Launch ‘YouTube’.
  2. Click on your ‘Profile Picture’.
  3. Select ‘Purchases and Memberships’. 

If you are a non-Premium YouTube user, you should check your ‘Location’ setting in the YouTube app.

  1. Open ‘YouTube’.
  2. Tap on your ‘Display Picture’.
  3. Select ‘Settings’.
  4. Choose ‘General’.
  5. Make sure the ‘Location’ is set to ‘United States’. This is because YouTube PiP is unavailable for non-Premium users outside the USA. 

Also, keep in mind that YouTube does not allow the picture-in-picture mode for music videos for non-Premium users. 

Enjoy Multitasking

YouTube’s picture-in-picture feature is quite helpful if you like to do more than one thing on your phone simultaneously, but only if it works as intended.

I got YouTube PiP working properly on my iPad by ensuring the feature was enabled and updating the YouTube app.

If this does not work for your iOS device, deleting and reinstalling the YouTube app should do the trick.

If you are using an Android and my solution does not fix your YouTube PiP problem, clear the YouTube app cache and try again. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I fix an unresponsive YouTube app?

You can fix an unresponsive YouTube app by force-closing it or restarting your device. 

Can I delete the YouTube app from my Android device?

The YouTube app comes pre-installed on Android devices, and you cannot delete it.

However, you can disable it by long-pressing its icon and clicking on ‘Disable’. 

How much does YouTube Premium cost?

The YouTube Premium plan costs $11.99 per month, but it’s priced at $6.99 monthly for full-time students. 

About the author

Maria Chan, or MC, as we call her, is the genius girl-boss who gave up on her cushy silicon-valley job to grind it out with us. Her undying pursuit of wanting Zeebox to the best makes it very clear that she has no interest in running a generic tech-site.