The Picture in Picture feature allows you to run attended processes in collaboration with the Robot. A process started in the Picture-in-Picture mode runs in an isolated Windows session, thus allowing you to use the machine while the process is running.
You can start a process in Picture-in-Picture mode either from the Debug tab in Studio, from StudioX, or directly from the UiPath Assistant from the Contextual Menu of a process.
The default timeout to start a process in PiP session is 60 seconds. If the login in the picture in picture session takes more than that, a timeout error is thrown. This default timeout can be changed using
UIPATH_SESSION_TIMEOUTenvironment variable on the machine. The maximum value of the
UIPATH_SESSION_TIMEOUTenvironment variable is 180 seconds.
When using the Robot in Service-Mode, make sure to set the
UIPATH_SESSION_TIMEOUTvariable as a system environment variable and restart the Robot Service.
Once a process is started in Picture-in-Picture mode, a preview window shows up on your desktop, providing real-time feedback from the process execution. The display window can be resized, moved around, placed in full screen, or put on top of other windows. You can exit the Picture-in-Picture mode at any moment by right-clicking the Picture-in-Picture Windows Taskbar entry, and selecting Close Window or simply closing the window. A confirmation dialog appears and choosing to close the PiP window stops the running process.
Admin rights are needed to enable the Picture-in-Picture functionality on the machine. This is needed only the first time Picture-in-Picture is used, afterwards, the actual process can be started in Picture-in-Picture without elevated privileges.
The following controls are available for the PiP window:
- - Enable this to take control of the PiP session, if this is disabled, your mouse and keyboard only work in the main session.
- - Enable this to keep the PiP window on top of other applications even when it's out of focus.
- Minimize - Minimizes the PiP window to the main session taskbar without interrupting the process.
- Maximize - Maximizes the PiP window.
- Close - Closes the PiP window, stops any running process and logs off the PiP session.
When you first start a Picture-in-Picture session, a prompt asks for your Windows credentials. Please note that if you restart the machine you are not asked to provide the credentials again.
In the Project Settings section in Studio, a process can be marked as PiP Ready, meaning that it has been tested and can be safely run in a PiP Session. You can also set a process to start by default in a Picture in Picture session.
Invoke Activities such as Invoke Process, Invoke Workflow and Run Parallel Process have the option to choose where to start the new process.
This can be set from the Properties tab of the activity in the Misc > Target Session inside Studio.
Target Sessionproperty can only be modified from Studio. Projects developed in StudioX need to opened in Studio to alter this property.
The options are:
- Current - The child process opens in the same session as the parent one
- Process Default - The child process uses the Process Settings
- Main - The child process starts in the main session regardless to where the parent process runs
- Picture in Picture - The child process starts in the Picture in Picture session regardless to where the parent process runs
Allows you to enable or disable the Picture in Picture functionality on the machine. This setting is applied on the local machine and affects all users and is used for modifying existing installations.
It can have the following parameters:
Allows you to enable the Picture in Picture functionality of the machine during the UiPath command-line installation.
To enable it, use the following parameter:
There are a few things to consider when using the Picture-in-Picture feature:
- If you are using a PIN to log into the main Windows session, you are asked for your credentials every time you start a Picture-in-Picture session.
The above only applies to using a PIN. When a password is used, it is automatically saved for authenticating future Picture-in-Picture sessions.
- When the Picture-in-Picture session is opened, start-up programs open in the PiP session as well. Because of this, it is possible that some settings for peripheral devices to be reset to their default values (such as lighting settings for keyboard and mouse).
- If you enable the Remote Desktop Session when the prompt appears while running a PiP Process, you need to log out and log back in the main Windows Session for the changes to take effect.
- The machine cannot be restarted or shut down while the PiP session is opened as the PiP session needs to be closed beforehand.
- Due to Operating System limitations for running Picture-in-Picture, Home Editions of Windows 8 and 10 are not supported.
- Run as administrator cannot be used in the PiP session.
- Only one Picture-in-Picture session can be started at a time.
Automations that use Microsoft Office resources do not run successfully in Picture-in-Picture if the resources are already open in the main session. In order to make sure that automations run smoothly in PiP, you can do the following:
Close the resource used by Microsoft Office applications from the main session so they can be opened in the PiP session.
InvokeIsolatedWorkflowactivity to invoke the part of the automation using Microsoft Office and set its Target Session to
Picture in Picturefrom Studio..
Automations that depend on Microsoft Outlook do not run successfully in PiP if the application is already opened in the main session. To make sure that the automation can run smoothly, quit Microsoft Outlook in the main session before running the automation in PiP.
The browser data from a Picture-in-Picture session is saved on the main session by default. If there is an open Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge instance on the main session, it will have to use another user profile in the PiP. This is done automatically by the Open Browser activity. We cannot have a specific browser (let's say Chrome) be open with the same user profile both in the PiP session and the Main session at the same time.
However, the mode and location of the browser data can be configured from the Open Browser activity properties.
UserDataFolderMode property to
Automatic allows the browser to use separate user data folders in the main and PiP sessions.
Please note that if you clear the user data from the
%LocalAppData%\UiPath\PIP Browser Profiles folder in this mode, the corresponding browser extension needs to be enabled again.
In case you need to use data from the main session (such as cookies or saved passwords), consider setting the
UserDataFolderMode property to
DefaultFolder. This means that both the main and PiP session use the same folder for the browser user data.
When setting the
DefaultFolderthe browser only works in one session at a time. If the browser is opened in the main session, it does not work in the PiP session. This is because the same browser profile cannot be used in two simultaneously sessions.
UserDataFolderModeare properties that can only be modified in Studio. Projects developed in StudioX need to opened in Studio to alter these properties.
Setting the UserDataFolderMode property to
CustomFolder allows you to specify different user data folders for the main and PiP sessions.
When connected to remote windows machines (virtualized or physical) and using a remote desktop session, starting a process in PIP mode opens the PIP session inside the active remote session.
In the scenario where multiple users are connected at the same time to a Windows Server, only one PIP session can be launched on the machine. This means that attended users are not able to simultaneously start multiple processes in PIP on the same machine.
On other virtualized environments such as AppV or Citrix XenApps, the PIP functionality is not available.
Updated about a month ago