Google Chrome now offers automatic picture-in-picture (PiP) mode for streaming platforms, video conferencing sites, and other web apps. This functionality is extremely simple and straightforward—videos and remote meetings will automatically enter PiP view when you navigate to a new tab. It’s a great multitasking feature and a serious time saver.
Automatic PiP mode is included in the Chrome 120 desktop release (which is set to roll out on November 29th). The feature is enabled by default, but it can be toggled from the site information pane on the left-hand side of your address bar (seen below). Note that this preference is website-specific, and it requires the website to allow it in the first place. If you disable automatic PiP on one website, it may still be enabled on another. This may annoy some people, but if you only want automatic PiP in video meetings, it makes sense.
Some web apps may include unique buttons or controls in PiP view. You may see a microphone mute button in a video meeting’s PiP view, for example. This is due to the Document Picture-in-Picture API that Google debuted in February 2023. Also, websites that support automatic PiP mode are compatible with Chrome’s built-in media controller (the music icon that appears next to your profile picture in Chrome). If you don’t want to use automatic PiP mode on a website, you can manually trigger PiP mode from the media controller panel.
Automatic picture-in-picture mode is included in the Chrome 120 desktop release. It works on Windows, macOS, and ChromeOS. Your computer should automatically install Chrome 120 after it arrives on November 29th—if not, you can manually update from Chrome’s settings. For better or worse, Google will also begin blocking third-party cookies in Chrome 120 desktop. The company hopes to replace cookies and tracking with its new privacy sandbox data collection method.
Note that web developers are responsible for implementing automatic PiP functionality. If automatic picture-in-picture mode doesn’t work on your favorite website, it’s the website’s fault. Developers can find detailed implementation instructions on the Chrome for Developers blog. This blog also provides information related to the Document Picture-in-Picture API and Media Session API, which provide additional functionality for PiP view.