How To Multitask Picture-In-Picture Mode in VLC Media Player

VLC media player is one of the most popular and versatile video players available. It is renowned for its ability to play virtually any video and audio format. One handy VLC feature that aids multitasking is Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode.

What is Picture-in-Picture Mode?

Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode allows you to watch videos in a small resizable overlay window while simultaneously working on other tasks. The video window stays on top of all your open applications so you can keep watching while typing documents, browsing the web, etc.

PiP is perfect for times when you want to monitor a video but also need to focus on something else. Some examples include:

  • Watching a tutorial video while working on a project
  • Monitoring a security camera feed while working
  • Listening to music while writing articles
  • Keeping an eye on a sports game while chatting with friends

Enabling Picture-in-Picture Mode in VLC

On Windows:

Enabling PiP mode in VLC on Windows is straightforward:

  1. Play a video in VLC player
  2. Click Tools > Preferences
  3. Go to Video settings
  4. Check the Always on top option
  5. Uncheck Window decorations
  6. Click Save to apply changes

You can now resize the VLC window and move it anywhere. It will stay on top of other windows.

Press Ctrl+H to hide controls and Ctrl+H again to show them.

On Android:

  1. Open VLC app settings
  2. Enable Play videos in background
  3. Play a video
  4. Tap the 3-dot menu > Pop-up player

The video will now play in a floating window.

On Mac:

  1. Play a video in VLC
  2. Click Window > Float on Top
  3. Resize window as needed

The video will now float above all other app windows.

On iPhone/iPad:

Unfortunately VLC does not support native PiP mode on iOS. Consider using a different video player app like Infuse or nPlayer which have PiP support.

Customizing the Picture-in-Picture Window

Once enabled, you can customize the PiP window to suit your needs:

Resizing – Drag the corners/edges to resize smaller or larger

Position – Click and drag the window to any corner or edge of the screen

Hide Controls – Press Ctrl+H (Windows) or Cmd+H (Mac) to toggle control visibility

Close – Click the X icon to close just the PiP window or quit VLC entirely

Pause/Play – Interact with the controls to pause, play, rewind, fast forward, etc.

Fullscreen – Click the fullscreen icon to jump back to regular VLC player

Volume – Use your keyboard volume keys or system volume slider to adjust audio

Tips for Using Picture-in-Picture Mode

  • Enable PiP mode in VLC before starting your secondary task
  • Position video near where your eyes naturally rest for easy monitoring
  • Make the window smaller if it is too distracting
  • Close the video window if you need to focus 100% on other work
  • Use keyboard shortcuts to control VLC from another app
  • Switch audio output to headphones to avoid disrupting others

Troubleshooting Issues

Video lags – Try reducing the PiP size, closing other apps, or adjusting graphics settings

Audio issues – Change the audio output device if sound is coming from the wrong speakers

Window not staying topmost – Double check that the “Always on top” setting is enabled

Can’t resize/move – Uncheck the “Window decorations” box to remove borders

Controls not showing – Press Ctrl+H / Cmd+H to toggle their visibility


The Picture-in-Picture capability of VLC media player makes it easy to multitask while keeping an eye or ear on videos. Just enable PiP mode, position the floating window wherever convenient, customize as needed, and you have the perfect setup for staying productive.

Give it a try next time you want to monitor a security feed, listen to music, watch tutorials, and more while working on other tasks!