Tip: Here’s how to fix the horrible new Opera Picture in Picture video player

by Surur
February 16, 2020

We recently noted that one of the best features of the Opera browser, besides the free VPN, was its sophisticated Picture in Picture video pop-up, which worked on all video, was intuitive and easy to activate, and offered a large number of user controls.

Not long after, it appears Opera disabled this feature, and reverted to the Chromium default PiP video player. This video player has a large number of issues including:

  1. Having a fixed maximum size
  2. Not featuring any transport or volume controls.
  3. Darkening with mouse-over.
  4. The video is no longer labelled.

We understand the reason the Chromium-default PiP player is being used is that the latest versions of Chromium did not work well with Opera’s PiP implementation, with the potential for freezes.

Google’s version is however so far behind Opera’s that users may wish to risk it and switch back. Fortunately, this is simple with some Opera flags:

  • In the address bar, type Opera://flags
  • Search for surface.
  • Disable Use surface layers in Video Pop-out
  • Disable Enable the use of SurfaceLayer objects for videos
  • Restart your browser.

You should be back to the nirvana of the Opera PiP player, but note that this may be temporary, as Opera’s latest dev versions appear to lack the ability to disable the new player.

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