iOS 14 Picture in Picture No Longer Working With YouTube's Mobile Website in Safari [Without Premium]

Apple in iOS 14 added Picture in Picture to the iPhone, a feature designed to let you watch a video in a small screen on your device while you continue to do other things on the phone.

When Picture in Picture was working with YouTube

The YouTube app doesn't support Picture in Picture, but up until yesterday there was a functional workaround that allowed videos from YouTube.com to be watched in Safari in Picture in Picture mode.

As of today, that workaround is gone, and it's not clear if it's a bug or a deliberate removal. Attempting to use Picture in Picture on a video on the mobile YouTube website simply doesn't work. Tapping the Picture in Picture button when in full screen mode pops the video out for a second, but it immediately pops back into the website, so it can't be used as a Picture in Picture window.


Picture in Picture works with YouTube.com on the iPad, and YouTube videos embedded on third-party sites such as MacRumors.com appear to be able to play in Picture in Picture mode, but Picture in Picture is not functioning on the YouTube website.

We tested Picture in Picture with YouTube just yesterday for a Picture in Picture tutorial video and as you can see below, it was working fine. Since then there have been no updates to iOS or Safari, so it's not clear what's going on.


For now, Picture in Picture is no longer working with the mobile YouTube website, but there is another workaround. If you request desktop site on YouTube.com in Safari, you can get Picture in Picture to work as intended.

Update: Picture in Picture appears to work on the mobile YouTube website in Safari for those who are YouTube Premium subscribers, which suggests that the restriction is intentional and not a bug.

Related Roundups: iOS 14, iPadOS 14

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
5 weeks ago
Because YouTube is... pick your derogatory term.

Remember when they took away the ability to play audio of videos with the screen off?
Score: 71 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
5 weeks ago
These guys are fast when it comes to make you want to pay for Premium.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
5 weeks ago
Fair enough. I started paying for Premium. Got fed up with the ads and I DO watch a lot of YouTube. Worth the price.

EDIT: I think YouTube removed this feature to get more people to sign up to Premium.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
5 weeks ago


What’s so hard about adding it on YouTube. I don’t understand.

It’s not that it’s hard, it’s that they want you to pay for a premium membership, in which they’ll bundle expected features like PiP and audio playback while the screen is off.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
5 weeks ago
This and no 4K content on the tvOS 14 YouTube app yet sounds like Google actively working against these new features Apple is trying to roll out.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
5 weeks ago
Might be some magic on Google's end to reinforce that you should upgrade to YT Premium to view anything outside the app/page.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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