How to Use iPad Gestures (iPadOS 15 Update)

Learn how to more easily multitask with iPad, iPad Air, and iPad Pro gestures.

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Most of us are familiar with using the one-finger swipe and the two-finger pinch on our iPhone; but if you have an iPad, you may want to consider using all five fingers. We'll walk you through how to use the gestures on iPadOS 15 that make multitasking and navigating between apps more seamless than ever before. These iPad multitasking gestures make it easy to see which apps are active, swipe between them, and quickly return to the Home screen.

Related: What iPad Do I Have? How to Identify Apple's Different iPad Models & Generations (2021)

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Go to the Home Screen on iPad

If you’re using an app and want to go to the Home screen, try the five-finger pinch. Start by spreading your hand out and touching all five fingers to the screen, then quickly narrow them together to a point. You’ll be taken straight to your Home screen. If it doesn't work the first time, try pinching your fingers together more quickly. You can also swipe up from the bottom of your screen to close an app.

Open the App Switcher

Using the App Switcher is a useful shortcut to navigate between apps and close unneeded apps that are running in the background. Below, I’ll cover how to access and use the App Switcher with the iPadOS gestures.

  1. Press and hold a finger at the bottom of the screen and swipe up to display the multitasking bar.

  2. If you’ve recently opened more than six apps, you can swipe left and right to view currently active or recent applications.

  3. Tap on an app window to open it. 

  4. To quit an app completely, swipe up on the app window to close it.

To exit the App Switcher view, tap on the screen around the app windows.

Swipe to Switch between Apps

If you want to switch between applications without bothering with the app switcher, try the four-finger swipe left/right. This allows you to slide between active applications without opening the multitasking bar. Place four fingers on the screen and "turn the page." This iPad swipe gesture is great for shuffling between messages, documents, browsers, and more.

Next, learn these shortcuts for an even smoother iPad navigation experience!

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Author Details

Conner Carey's picture

Author Details

Conner Carey

Conner Carey's writing can be found at 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.