The Complete Guide: How to Use Split Screen, Slide Over & Other Multitasking Features on iPad

Multitasking on iPad was introduced with iOS 9. The iOS 11 update brought a lot of new multitasking features to iPad that you’re going to want to learn before iOS 12 releases with updated Gestures. From how to use Split View (aka Split Screen) on iPad to navigating your expandable edge-to-edge Dock, we've got you covered. In this article we'll teach you the three main multitasking functions on iPad: Split View, Slide Over, and Picture-in-Picture. We’ll go over which iPads have iOS multitasking functions and how to use them. Here’s everything you need to know about iPad Multitasking.

Related: Ready to Learn iOS 11? Become an Expert with Our Complete Guide

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

Before I jump into how to use iPad Split View in iOS 11, I’ll cover all of the new iPad Multitasking features for iPad and how to use them. The new changes make a huge difference in your productivity flow and ability. If you’re used to using iPad Multitasking with iOS 10, this article will bring you up to speed on how to use Slide Over and Split Screen (View) in iOS 11. But if you don’t skip the What’s New information below, you’ll also learn some brand new tricks for multitasking on iPad.

iPad Multitasking Basics

Expanded Dock

Your expanded dock can hold up to 13 apps at a time. The three apps on the very right of your dock are the most recent apps you’ve visited. You can turn this feature off by opening Settings, tapping General, selecting Multitasking, and toggling off Show Recents.

You can also drag and drop apps to and from the Dock. Here's how to drag an app to and from the Dock:

  • Simply tap and hold the app for a couple seconds until it pops out a little.
  • Then it drag it where you want it to go and drop it by lifting your finger off the screen.

Your dock is also accessible in other apps. When you open an app, the Dock will disappear. A quick swipe up from the bottom of your screen will bring the Dock back. This makes switching between quick and seamless.

Drag & Drop

Another basic Multitasking iPad tool is the Drag & Drop. This allows you to drag and drop files, photos, apps, text selections, and reminders. To use Drag & Drop:

  • Tap a piece of content until it pops out slightly.
  • If you’re moving one piece of content, hold the popped out file with one finger and use another finger to swipe up and open Dock.
  • Then click on the app you want to move the content to.
  • Once it opens, drop the content where it needs to go.

For example, let’s say you have an image in Notes that you want to move to the Files app. You could pop it out, open the Files app, and drop the image in. This allows you to skip the process of sharing a piece of content to another app.

How to Drag & Drop Multiple Pieces of Content

  • Let’s say you want to move some images to a Note.
  • Tap and hold one image to pop it out and begin the dragging process.
  • Then, with your other hand, tap the other images you want to add to the first.
  • A blue number will appear in the top corner of the bundle, letting you know how many pieces of content you’ve selected.
  • If you’re using Split View or Split Screen, you can drag the content from one app to the other app that’s open.​

How to Use Slide Over 

Slide Over on iPad allows you to open a second app on the right third of your iPad’s screen. To open Slide Over:

  • Open an app on iPad.
  • Swipe up for the Dock.
  • Drag the second app you want to open onto the middle of the screen.

You also move Slide Over around your screen by tapping the gray bar at the top and dragging it to the left or right.

To Close Slide Over 

  • When you have the Slide Over window on the right side of your screen, you can swipe right to dismiss it and swipe in to bring it back.

     

App Switcher

Open the App Switcher by pressing the Home button twice. This shows you a grid with all of the apps that are open on your device in the background, whether active or inactive. Any apps that you’ve used together in Split View mode will show up together, which makes it easy to return to what you were working on previously. Control Center is also available in the App Switcher.

How to Use Split View (aka Split Screen) 

Split View on iPad allows you to work in two different apps simaltaneously. You can split the screen and have one app on either side, or have one app that's taking up a third of the screen. To open Split View on iPad:

  • Open an app on iPad.
  • Swipe up for Dock.
  • Drag the second app you want to open to the left or right side of the screen.
  • Alternatively, you can open Split Screen from Slide Over by gently swiping down on the gray bar at the top of Slide Over.
  • That will open Slide View. You can swipe down again on the gray bar to return to Slide Over.
  • Once you’re in Split View, you can resize your app windows by dragging the app divider to the center of your screen.

To Close Split View 

  • Drag the app divider over the app you want to close.

How to Open Three Apps at Once on iPad 

If you have an iPad compatible with Split View then you can open three apps at once. Here's how:

  • Open Split View and swipe up to open the Dock, then drag a third app onto the screen in Slide Over.
  • When you do this, make sure to drag the third app to the center of your screen; otherwise, you’ll just replace one of the Split View apps.
  • From here, you can easily swipe right to dismiss the Slide Over while you use other apps and swipe in to bring it back.

This is ideal for use with an app like Music, which you don’t need constant access to but may want to easily skip a song or change a playlist now and again.

How to Use Picture-in-Picture

Picture-in-Picture allows you to watch a video or chat on FaceTime while working in other apps. To use Picture-in-Picture:

  • Locate a video and look for an icon that looks like two overlapping squares.
  • Tap this icon to scale the video down and place it in the corner of the app.
  • You can drag the video to another corner and make it larger or smaller by pinching two fingers.
  • To return to the page where the video was playing, tap the same icon you tapped to begin Picture-in-Picture.

iPad Multitasking in Different iPad Models

Which iPad models can Multitask?

Slide Over:

iPad Pro, iPad (5th generation and later), iPad Air and later, or iPad mini 2 and later.

Split View:

iPad Pro, iPad (5th generation and later), iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 4.

Picture-in-Picture:

iPad Pro, iPad (5th generation and later), iPad Air and later, or iPad mini 2 and later.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.

Conner Carey is a writer & joyous creator; she works with online businesses to develop their brand and as a creative consultant to help artists of all kinds get unblocked. You can reach her at connercarey.com (coming soon) or @connerleecarey on Instagram. She’s currently garage-selling all of her stuff to hit the road in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi. Follow their adventures on instagram @georgiatheRV.