You can finally watch YouTube while scrolling through your iPhone. Here's how

YouTube Premium subscribers can try out a picture-in-picture feature on iOS. We'll walk you through how to do it.

Alison DeNisco Rayome Managing Editor
Managing Editor Alison DeNisco Rayome joined CNET in 2019, and is a member of the Home team. She is a co-lead of the CNET Tips and We Do the Math series, and manages the Home Tips series, testing out new hacks for cooking, cleaning and tinkering with all of the gadgets and appliances in your house. Alison was previously an editor at TechRepublic.
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Alison DeNisco Rayome
2 min read

Try out YouTube's experimental picture-in-picture feature on your iPhone now.


If you have a YouTube Premium subscription and an iPhone, you're in luck: You can finally watch a YouTube video while also scrolling through other apps on your phone, with a new picture-in-picture feature. 

Apple added picture-in-picture to the iPhone with the release of iOS 14 last year, allowing you to keep watching Netflix or talking to a friend over FaceTime while simultaneously checking your email or using other apps on your phone. And Google started rolling out picture-in-picture support for YouTube for some Premium subscribers back in June, and more widely this week, as 9to5Google first reported. The feature is currently labeled as "experimental," but Premium subscribers can test it out now in iOS. 

YouTube's site says picture-in-picture will be available until Oct. 31, but we aren't sure what'll happen to it after that. The company has said it would roll out the feature to all free US users too, so it's possible that could happen then.

Here's how to get YouTube picture-in-picture on your iPhone if you're a YouTube Premium subscriber. (Some people reported to 9to5Google that it works on their iPad too, but you may need to delete the app first.) 

How to get YouTube picture-in-picture on iOS


1. Sign in to your Google account, and go to YouTube.com/new

2. Scroll down to Picture-in-picture on iOS, and click Try it out

3. Open the YouTube app on your iPhone, and start playing a video. 

4. While the video is playing, swipe up or tap the home button to close the YouTube app. This should make the video start in a mini-player on your screen while you open other apps. 

If you lock your phone's screen while a video is playing in picture-in-picture mode, the video will pause, according to YouTube. But you can keep playing it using the lock screen media controls. 

Happy viewing!

For more, check out our review of YouTube TV, and what to know about YouTube's Premium Lite subscription tier

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