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Robot User Guide
Last updated Sep 20, 2023

Picture In Picture

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_TIMEOUT environment 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_TIMEOUT variable 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.

See the command line parameters section below for details on how to do this programmatically.


The following controls are available for the PiP window:

  • docs image- Enable this to take control of the PiP session, if this is disabled, your mouse and keyboard only work in the main session.
  • docs image - Enable this to keep the PiP window on top of other applications even when it's out of focus.
  • docs image Minimize - Minimizes the PiP window to the main session taskbar without interrupting the process.
  • docs image 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.

Marking a process as PiP ready

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.

Using PiP for Invoke activities

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.

Note: The Target Session property 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

Enable PiP via Command Line

The Command Line Arguments provide an option to enable or disable the Picture in Picture functionality on the machine using the command line interface.

The settings are applied on the local machine and affects all users and is used for modifying existing installations.




Note: This command is available for Robot v2020.10.4 and above, for previous versions, please use childsession instead of PiP.
The PiP command is used to enable the Picture in Picture functionality of the machine when the UiPath Products are already installed.

It can have the following parameters:

  • PiP --enable

Enables the Picture in Picture functionality of the machine.

  • PiP --disable

Disables the Picture in Picture functionality of the machine.

Example: UiRobot.exe PiP --Enable

Administrator rights are required to execute these commands.


The ENABLE_PIP command is used to enable the Picture in Picture functionality of the machine during the UiPath command-line installation.

To enable it, use the following parameter:


UiPathStudio.msi ADDLOCAL=DesktopFeature,Studio,Robot,RegisterService,Packages ENABLE_PIP=1

Known Issues and Limitations

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.
  • 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.
  • The clipboard is shared between the PiP session and the main session.
  • Run as administrator cannot be used in the PiP session.
  • Only one Picture-in-Picture session can be started at a time.

Microsoft Office automation

  • 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.
    • Use an InvokeIsolatedWorkflow activity to invoke the part of the automation using Microsoft Office and set its Target Session to Picture in Picture from 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.

Using web browser in PIP sessions

The browser data from a Picture-in-Picture session is saved on the main session by default. As such, only a single browser type can be active in a PiP session, because the same user data folder is used for all types.

However, the mode and location of the browser data can be configured from the Open Browser activity properties.

Setting the 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 UserDataFolderMode to DefaultFolder the 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.
Target Session and UserDataFolderMode are 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.

PIP and Windows servers

In a 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 only one PiP session can be opened on a single machine, regardless of which user or session type was used to open the PiP session.

PIP and other virtualized environments

On other virtualized environments such as AppV or Citrix XenApps, the PIP functionality is not available.

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