Guide to iPad Multitasking in iPadOS 15: Slide Over, Picture in Picture & Split Screen

Learn how to use the main iPad Pro and iPad multitasking functions, including: Split View (Split Screen), Slide Over, and Picture-in-Picture.

Mastering iPad multitasking will improve your iPad productivity levels as you use apps in tandem and switch from one task to another. We'll go over how to use iPad and iPad Pro multitasking features and functions including Split View (Split Screen), Slide Over, and Picture-in-Picture, Drag and Drop, and iPad multitasking gestures. We’ll also go over which iPads have the iPadOS multitasking functions. Here’s everything you need to know about iPad multitasking and how to multitask on the iPad. 

For more great tutorials about how to use your iPad, check out our free Tip of the Day. Now, let's learn how to use iPad and iPad Pro multitasking features to get the most out of your tablet.

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How to Use Slide Over on Your iPad

Slide Over on the iPad allows you to open a second app on top of the app you're already using. The second app will cover about a third of your iPad’s screen. To open Slide Over:

  1. Open an app on your iPad and tap the Multitasking icon at the top of the window.

  2. Tap the Slide Over icon and the window will shift to the side revealing the Home screen. 

  3. Now tap the app you'd like to open behind your Slide Over window. 

  4. Another way to open Slide Over is to open your main app, then drag a second app from the Dock onto the screen. 

  5. You can move the second app around your screen by placing your finger on the Multitasking icon at the top and dragging it to the left or right.

  6. To dismiss the Slide Over window, swipe to the edge of your iPad screen.  

  7. Swipe from the gray arrow across the screen to show the Slide Over window again.

  8. To exit Slide Over view, tap the Multitasking icon and select the full screen mode. 

How to Use Split View on an iPad (AKA Split Screen) 

iPad and iPad Pro split screen (Split View) allow you to work in two different apps simultaneously. 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. You can even open two windows from the same app in Split View; this way you can work on two notes simultaneously, organize two different photo albums, and much more. Also, not every app works with Split View (particularly third-party apps), but it will work with native Apple apps. The new Multitasking menu in iPadOS 15 has made opening and closing Split View easier than ever. Follow the steps below to learn how to use split screen on iPad:

  1. Open an app and tap the Multitasking icon at the top of the window. 

  2. Tap the Split View icon and the window will shift to the side revealing the Home screen. 

  3. Tap your second app to open it in Split View mode. 

  4. You can tap the Multitasking icon and drag a tab to switch positions on your screen display. 

  5. You can also resize your app windows by dragging the app divider to the left or right.

  6. To exit Split View, tap the Multitasking icon in the window you wish to keep open. 

  7. Tap the full screen icon

If you're learning how to get rid of split screen on iPad, another method is to simply drag the app divider to the edge of your iPad screen. 

Related: iPad Pro Apps for Creative Professionals: 8 Ways to Accomplish More & Have Fun

How to Use Picture in Picture on Your iPad

We've already shown you how to use Picture in Picture on your iPhone. Picture in Picture allows you to watch videos and movies or chat on FaceTime while working in other apps. To use Picture in Picture on an iPad:

  1. While watching a video in a compatible video player or during a FaceTime call, swipe up from the bottom of your screen to open Picture in Picture.

  2. From here, you can touch the Picture in Picture screen and drag it to a new position. 

  3. To hide the video, drag it to the edge of the screen. 

  4. Tap the arrow icon to make the video reappear. 

  5. Pinch your thumb and index finger together to make the Picture in Picture screen smaller. Pull them apart to make the screen larger. 
  6. To return to the full screen, tap the Picture in Picture icon.  

How to Drag & Drop on iPad

Another basic Multitasking iPad tool is Drag & Drop. This allows you to skip the process of sharing a piece of content to another app. Instead, you can drag files, photos, apps, text selections, and reminders from one app and drop them into another. It's easiest to use Drag & Drop in iPad Split View, but you can also use it in Slide Over. To use the iPad Drag and Drop function:

  1. Place and hold your finger on a piece of content (such as an image or a text selection) until it pops out slightly. 
  2. Drag your selection into the other app and drop it where you want it to go.

How to Drag & Drop Multiple Items in Split View or Slide Over

Let’s say you want to move some images to a note.

  1. Tap and hold one image to pop it out and drag it slightly to the side. Keep holding the image.

  2. With your other hand, tap the other images you want to add to the first. A badge will appear in the top corner of the bundle, letting you know how many pieces of content you’ve selected.

  3. If you’re using Split View or Split Screen, you can drag the content from one app to the other open app.​

iPad Multitasking Gestures & Shortcuts

With the debut of iPad Pros with no Home button, Apple introduced new gestures to the iPad—including a new way to open the iPad App Switcher. (The old iPad gestures using four fingers to pinch apps closed and swipe between apps also still work).

How to Use the iPad App Switcher

  1. To open the App Switcher, simply swipe up from the bottom to the center of the screen and hold your finger there until the app switcher appears (iPads with a Home button can still also open the App Switcher by pressing the Home button twice). 

  2. You can tap on an app window to open it. 


     
  3. You can also swipe up on an app window to close it and stop it from running in the background. 

  4. Swipe left or right to find the app you're looking for. 

If you want to close the App Switcher without opening a new app, tap anywhere on the screen that's not an app window and you will return to the Home screen. It's also important to note that the Control Center is no longer available in the iPad App Switcher. Instead, it can be opened by swiping down from the top right corner of the iPad screen.

Swipe Between Apps & Return to the Home Screen

  1. Return to the Home screen while using apps by swiping up from the bottom of any screen that is not the Home screen.
  2. Use four or five fingers to swipe along the bottom of the screen from left to right or right to left to switch between apps.

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 4 and later.

Split View:

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

Picture-in-Picture:

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

As a final note, I also recommend checking out this list of the best iPad Pro cases, accessories, and gear. You can also learn some fun tips, such as how to take a height measurement on the iPad.

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Author Details

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Author Details

Conner Carey

Conner Carey's writing can be found at conpoet.com. She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.