How to Split Screen on iPad to Run Two Apps Side-by-Side

Mar 10, 2020 - 1 Comment

How to Split Screen apps on iPad

All modern iPad models have the ability to use Split Screen mode, allowing you to have two apps open at once, side-by-side. Using Split Screen on iPad is fairly easy once you learn how it works, but it’s also not necessarily discoverable or intuitive, so if you haven’t learned how to use the multitasking feature on iPad yet to split screen two apps then don’t feel left out.

This article will explain how to use Split Screen on any iPad with iPadOS 13, iOS 12, or later.

How to Use Split Screen to Have Two Apps Open at Once on iPad

Split View allows you to split the iPad screen for two apps, here’s how it works in new iPadOS versions:

  1. Rotate the iPad into Horizontal orientation if you haven’t done so already
  2. Open an app on iPad as usual, for example open Safari, Notes, Pages, Files, etc
  3. Swipe up slightly from the bottom of the screen to access the Dock on iPad
  4. Show the Dock first

  5. Tap and hold on the other app you want to open into Split View and drag it off the dock onto the currently open app
  6. Tap and drag the second app to split screen onto the open app on iPad screen

  7. This opens the second app into Slide Over view, now drag down the little tab dash button thing at the top of that second app to open that app into Split View
  8. How to switch Slide Over to Split Screen app on iPad

  9. Once the two apps are in Split View you can adjust the size each app takes up on screen by dragging the slider tab button in between the two app panels
  10. Adjusting the size of split screen apps on iPad

Note that while basically all modern Apple apps support Split View mode on iPad, not all third party apps will support Split View, including some popular apps like Spotify which continue to lack split screen app support.

How to Close a Split View App on iPad

Closing an app from Split Screen View is similar to resizing the size of the app on the screen, except you pull the slider tab all the way across the screen:

  • From within Split View of two apps, drag the app dividing slider tab bar all the way over to the app that you want to close (leaving the other app open)

You can also close both apps at the same time (but they’ll remain linked in Split View) by returning to the Home screen of iPad as usual.

How to Resize Split Screen Apps on iPad

Resizing the screen space of an app in Split View is easy:

  • From within Split View, drag the app divider slider tab bar in either in either direction to shrink or expand the size of that split screened app

If you drag the app all the way over, it will close out of split view.

How to Return a Split Screen App to Slide Over View on iPad

You can also return a Split Screen app into the Slide Over view:

  • From within Split View, swipe down from the top of the app you want to send back into Slide Over view

Using Split Screen View mode on the iPad takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it you’ll find it’s a nice feature, particularly on the larger screen iPad Pro models.

If you find that Split Screen mode is not working, it may be because the app you are trying to enter into split screen doesn’t support the feature, or perhaps you had previously disabled iPad split screen apps and multitasking features.

Another handy multitasking feature for iPad is Picture in Picture mode, which lets you watch a video on the iPad screen hovering over another app.

Also, Safari on iPad supports split web browsing views so you can have two web pages open side-by-side, which is another excellent multitasking tool for iPad users.

The iPad multitasking features are the type of capabilities that are best to explore on your own to understand how they work, so try launching two apps into split screen view yourself. As mentioned earlier, most iPad apps support Split View but not all do.

If the whole split view and multitasking iPad thing seems confusing to you, then you might find the below video tutorial created by Apple to be helpful as it offers a visual video walkthrough of how the Split View multitasking features work on iPad:

This article obviously details using Split Screen view on any iPad with iPadOS 13, iOS 12, or later (and it’s mostly the same on iOS 11 if you’re still running an older version) but it remains to be seen if this approach will persist with future iOS versions, because Apple has changed how this works in the past. If your iPad runs an older version of iOS, then you might be interested in learning about accessing Split Screen on iOS 10 and iOS 9, which was completely different than the approach described here with iPadOS 13, iOS 12, and iOS 11, and presumably going forward with future ipadOS releases.

Of course this is covering split screen apps on iPad, but Split Screen features exist for the Mac too, and not just by having multiple app windows open at the same time. You can learn how to use Split View apps on Mac OS here if that interests you, it’s fairly similar to how it looks and behaves on iPad. The ability to split apps does not currently exist on iPhone, however.

Do you have any thoughts, tips, or tricks about using Split View apps on iPad? Share with us in the comments.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, Tips & Tricks

One Comment

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  1. Marc says:

    f.y.i. Step 5 is not necessary if in step 4, you drag the app icon to the left or right side of the current app.

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