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I occasionally need to side-watch a Youtube video on my laptop, meaning that I want the video to "float" over all other windows while I switch to other tabs/programs.

Is there a way of doing so? I've found some Chrome extensions which claim to do so, but they seem to be buggy and haven't been updated for a long time.

3 Answers 3

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I use floating for youtube, you'll need both the chrome app and chrome extension. It works well for youtube but not much else

If you don't mind changing to another chrome-based browser, you can use Opera, I know the Dev version has this feature available on all videos

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Method that does not need an extension:

Create a bookmark in the bookmarks bar with the following url:

javascript:window.open("https://www.youtube.com/embed/"%20+%20window.location.toString().match(/\?v\=.*$/)[0].match(/[^\=]*$/)[0],%20"_blank",%20"left=0,top=0");%20window.history.back();

Firefox popup

Then go to the youtube video.

Click on your bookmark button.

You'll get a popup containing the video like this:

Popup

Caveats

  • Does not work on videos restricted to playing on youtube.com only (i.e. embedding disabled)
  • In order for it to float above all other windows, you'll have to find some way to make it "always on top", like in Linux. ;)
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You can create a bookmark containing JavaScript code which opens a popup. The steps to do this are detailed in Nonny Moose's answer. However, in order to make the bookmark work in all cases, including videos you are watching as part of a playlist or which were linked to at a specific timestamp, the following code is more robust:

javascript:window.open("https://www.youtube.com/embed/"+window.location.toString().match(/\?v=.{11}/)[0].substring(3), "_blank", "left=0,top=0");

Optionally, add window.history.back(); to the end in order to make the original page stop playing and go to the previous page. This solution still does not work with videos set to disable embedding.

In order to set the popup to always be on top, you can use the following AutoHotKey script (assuming your laptop's operating system is Windows):

#NoEnv  ; Recommended for performance and compatibility with future AutoHotkey releases.
; #Warn  ; Enable warnings to assist with detecting common errors.
SendMode Input  ; Recommended for new scripts due to its superior speed and reliability.
SetWorkingDir %A_ScriptDir%  ; Ensures a consistent starting directory.
!^+A::  Winset, Alwaysontop, , A

This allows you to toggle whether the current window is set to be always on top by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Shift+A. For information on how to use AutoHotKey, use the Online Documentation. In particular, replace !^+A with another code as detailed here to change the hotkey.

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