Chrome recently added a new picture-in-picture mode feature that, in theory, allows you to watch any media player in a floating frame on your desktop. The frame can detach itself from a Chrome window and be positioned anywhere on your screen. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work on all websites as Google intended it to. This may have to do with how the media player is implemented on a web page. If you like to watch Netflix in Chrome, and you’d like to use the picture-in-picture mode for it, you’ll find that it simply doesn’t work. Luckily, there’s a simple enough work around to watch Netflix in Picture-in-picture mode in Chrome.
Netflix in Picture-in-picture mode
If you want to watch Netflix in picture-in-picture mode in Chrome, you need to install an extension called Picture-in-Picture Extension (by Google) which, as its name implies, has been developed by Google for stubborn pages and media players like Netflix.
Install the extension and then play something on Netflix. Click the extension’s icon next to the URL bar, and the Netflix player will switch to picture-in-picture mode.
You can drag the player to any part of the screen and it will always be pinned to the top of all other windows.
Chrome isn’t the only browser that supports a Picture-in-picture mode. Safari added it before Chrome did so if you’re on macOS, check if Safari is able to show the player in picture-in-picture mode. Likewise, if you’re on Windows 10, a much easier way to watch Netflix in Picture-in-picture mode is to use the official Netflix app which supports the mini player.
If you do not want to use the official Netflix app, and you don’t want to use Chrome either, you might want to look at an app called PiP tool. If you use a VPN to watch Netflix and the service forces you to use an obscure browser or one that offers better privacy than Chrome, the PiP tool is a reasonably good alternative.
Picture-in-picture mode has always been popular, especially for users who tend to multi-task. With the popularity of services like Netflix, and the average screen size for desktops clearly getting bigger and better, this mode is going to be of more interest to people as a means to binge on a show while doing something else.
Chrome’s inability to support this mode for Netflix out of the box may have to do with the fact that content on Netflix is protected or it might just be how the player is implemented. Regardless, there’s a perfectly practical solution to it.