Windows 11 is an operating system that’s designed for multitasking. Microsoft added a dedicated ‘Snap Layout’ feature to make it easier to use apps side-by-side, but Windows 10 already had plenty of ways to work on several things at once.
Watching full-screen videos is great, but it’s not always the best option if you want to work on other things at the same time. That’s where Picture in Picture comes in – it shrinks the video player down to a small window that you can move anywhere.
Windows 11 natively supports Picture in Picture via a system app, but only for offline videos. However, there are various solutions for web-based content. Without further ado, here’s how to use Picture in Picture on Windows 11.
How to use Picture in Picture for offline video
If you’ve already downloaded the video you’d like to watch and it’s waiting in File Explorer, it’s a simple process. The pre-installed ‘Films & TV’ app natively supports the feature:
- Open File Explorer and locate the file you’d like to play
- If Films & TV is your default video playing app, double click to open it. If not, right-click the file and choose Open with > Films & TV
- The video will automatically begin playing. Pause it, then click the icon third from the right – it looks like a small rectangle inside a larger one
- It will now be shrunk down to a small window on your desktop. Click and drag to move this anywhere, although it can’t be resized
From picture-in-picture mode, you can only rewind 10 seconds, fast forward 30 seconds and toggle play/pause. For more options, click the same icon as in Step 3 above to return to a full-size window.
How to use Picture in Picture on the web
Provided you have a stable internet connection, there are several methods for watching web-based videos using picture in picture.
Many video sites, including Dailymotion and YouTube, have the feature built into their website – that means it works across all desktop browsers. Just look for a similar icon, showing a small rectangle within another larger one.
But if you’re not seeing that option on the video you’re playing, there are some other things you can try. Chrome users can add Google’s official browser extension, which activates picture in picture after you click on the relevant icon next to the address bar.
The feature is available within Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox without the need for extensions. Just right-click the video window and choose 'Picture-in-picture' or similar.
However, the feature might not be enabled in Firefox by default. To check, head to Settings, then scroll down under General until you see the 'Browsing' section. Make sure there's a tick next to 'Enable picture-in-picture video controls'.