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It just got easier to watch YouTube videos while you're browsing in Chrome

Google Chrome
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The arrival of global media controls for Chrome meant that users were given an easy way to play, pause and navigate audio and video playing on a website. Now Google has added a new option to the Canary build of the web browser that makes it possible to pop out a video into picture-in-picture mode, so you can keep watching a video while you browse other sites.

The new option is quicker than double right-clicking a video and selecting the PiP option, and – as TechDows notes – it can also be enabled in the new Chromium-based version of Microsoft Edge.

Global media controls (which Google calls the 'media hub') eliminate the need to trawl through a site to stop an auto-playing video disturbing you, and the new feature makes it even more useful.

For now, the new picture-in-picture controls are only available in the Canary preview build of the browser, but it shouldn't be long until the feature makes its way to the main release.

If you have Chrome Canary and want to give it a try, there area few steps you'll have to take to enable the new option.

Enable picture-in-picture

First visit chrome://flags to access the hidden settings necessary to switch on the picture-in-picture option.

Search for 'global media controls picture-in-picture' and use the drop-down menu to select 'Enable'. Repeat for global media controls and then restart Chrome.

When you next click the global media control/media hub button in Chrome, in addition to the backwards, forwards and play/pause buttons, you will also see a picture-in-picture button.

Sofia Wyciślik-Wilson

Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 20 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, her life moved online and remains fuelled by technology, music and nature.


Having written for websites and magazine since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, she continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, she loves sharing new discoveries with others.


Sofia lives and breathes Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and just about anything with a power button, but her particular areas of interest include security, tweaking and privacy.