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How to Watch Picture-in-PIcture Video on macOS Sierra

Tired of keeping that tab open just to watch a video? In macOS sierra, you can pop out a video for picture-in-picture (PiP) viewing, floating them in any corner of your desktop while you continue to work on stuff.

Picture-in-picture only works with Safari, and it may not work with all video streaming sites. Let’s dig right in and show you how it’s done.

Here is a video we want to play picture-in-picture on the popular site Vimeo.com. Vimeo supports PiP by default, so it’s a good example to start with. When we start playing the video, the PiP icon appears in the control bar.


Here is what the button looks like up close.

When you click the picture-in-picture button, the video will fly out to a corner.

You can only scrub video backwards and forwards from the source window. The flyout will only let you play, pause, and close the picture-in-picture video, which snaps it back to the browser window.

Opening videos picture-in-picture is easy on sites like Vimeo, which explicitly support the PiP feature, but what about other sites, like ESPN or YouTube, that don’t?

While we can’t speak for every video streaming site on the Internet, you may be able to access picture-in-picture via a hidden sub-menu. To do this, start any YouTube video and right-click on it.

Once the YouTube context menu appears, right-click again to access the following controls. Choose “Enter Picture-in-Picture” from the selections.

Once your video is in PiP mode, you can move it to any screen corner and resize it to your heart’s content. The video will remain on top of all your other windows and persistent from virtual desktop (Space) to virtual desktop.

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Again, this may not work for every video site, but it’s worth a shot if the site in question doesn’t show the picture-in-picture button by default.

This works equally well in iTunes videos, such as movies and videos. The picture-in-picture button will appear on the control bar. It’s really very simple, and remember, if you don’t see the PiP button, try the right-click-right-click trick and see if that reveals the option.

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