How to stop automatic Picture-in-Picture for videos on iPhone

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Picture in Picture (PiP) is handy and lets you continue watching a video even when you go out of the app. But there can be some inconveniences, and you might want to stop videos from playing automatically in PiP.

How to stop videos from automatically playing in Picture in Picture

  1. Open iPhone or iPad Settings app.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap Picture in Picture.
  4. Turn off Start PiP Automatically.
Turn off Start PiP Automatically on iPhone

From now on, whenever you swipe up from the bottom of the screen or press the Home button to exit a video app, the video won’t continue playing in a small floating PiP window. Depending on the app or website, the video will stop playing or play in audio mode.

The Picture in Picture problem in iOS

After you turn off “Start PiP Automatically,” when you play a video inside Apple apps like Apple TV or Safari, you will see the Picture in Picture button. Simply tap it, and the video starts playing in a small floating window. You can leave the app, and the video will keep playing.

Picture in Picture button on video playing screen iPhone
Picture in Picture button on the video playing screen inside Safari.

If you don’t want the video to play in Picture in Picture, don’t tap the PiP button. Simple as that. You have the desired choice. The problem starts with third-party apps.

YouTube

Been a YouTube Premium member, you also get the (experimental) Picture in Picture privilege. Now, unlike Safari or the Apple TV app, there is no PiP button on the video playing screen of the YouTube app to enable Picture in Picture. So, the only way to use Picture in Picture in the YouTube app is by enabling the option to start PiP automatically on the system level. However, enabling that option also means that from now on, whenever I swipe up (or press the Home button) and go out of the app, that video will continue to play in the Picture in Picture window. I don’t have the choice to not use PiP when desired.

Jio TV

Jio TV is an extremely popular app in my country that lets me watch hundreds of TV channels, sports, movies, etc. Now, even in this app, there is no PiP button on the video playing screen. The only way to enter Picture in Picture in this app is to enable the system-wide setting to start PiP automatically. After that, when I exit the Jio TV app, the video continues to play in PiP mode.

After turning off Start PiP Automatically, some apps like YouTube keep the audio on when you exit the app. But many, like Jio TV, even stop the audio. So, it’s messed up. I have had the same experience with several other video apps.

In short, you have two options:

  • Enable “Start PiP Automatically”: After this, every playing video in almost all apps will start playing in a floating PiP window when you swipe up or press the Home button to exit that app.
  • Turn off “Start PiP Automatically”: After this, in some apps like Apple TV and Safari, you can still use the PiP button on the video screen to enter Picture in Picture when desired. But in many other third-party apps like YouTube, you can’t use Picture in Picture at all (unless they have a PiP button on the video player).

You can decide which of the two settings is more comfortable for you.

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