How to use split screen mode on your iPad

The iPad is now so feature-rich that some people are using it as a replacement for their computer for work, content creation, and entertainment. The iPad’s major benefit is its larger screen and extreme portability. Just like your laptop or desk computer, you can split your screen into discrete windows for different tasks.

Not sure how to do this, or need a refresher? Here’s a guide to split-screen mode on iPadOS 15.

How to split an iPad screen into two windows

With iPadOS 15, Apple has greatly simplified its multitasking interface to make using the split-screen function more intuitive. Step 1: Start with the home screen and launch the app of your choice.

iPad Home Screen.

Step 2: Tap the Three dots at the top-center of the screen to open the multitasking menu.

If you don’t see the three dots at the top, that means the app you’re using does not support the multitasking feature.

iPad split screen three-dot icon.

Step 3: Observe the three icons: The icon on the right is for the Slide Over feature. The icon in the middle is for Split View. The icon on the left is the default full page.

iPad screen split buttons.

Step 4: Tap the middle Split view icon.

The app on the screen moves to the left side of the screen and a message appears in the multitasking area to choose another app.

iPad split view seeks second app.

Step 5: With the second app, the two apps appear side by side on the screen, spaced so that each app takes up half the screen.

iPad splits view between two apps.

Step 6: You can change how much space each app occupies by dragging the bar between them to the left or right.

iPad split screen adjustment slider.

Step 7: To exit split view, tap the Three dots at the top of the screen and tap the Left icon.

iPad split screen removed button.

How to use the Slide Over feature

Slide Over is another feature of the iPad’s multitasking mode. It is similar to Split View but displays one app in full-screen and the second one as a small floating window at the side of the screen. The iPad tracks the apps you open in Slide Over so that you can easily switch between them.

With this feature, you can have several apps open and available at the same time. Step 1: Launch the first app and tap on the Slide over icon.

iPad Slide Over button.

Step 2: Choose a second app, following the on-screen instruction.

iPad Slide Over second app pick.

Step 3: Tap the second app, and the first one appears as a small window over the second app.

iPad two apps in Slide Over mode.

Step 4: You can dim the background app by grabbing the black bottom bar of the slide-over app’s window.

Slide Over dimmed background app.

Step 5: To open a third app in Slide Over, swipe up slightly from the bottom edge to reveal the Dock, then drag the third app up from the Dock.

iPad Slide Over third app.

Step 6: Tap on the bottom app bar to alternate between active apps in Slide Over mode.

iPad bottom app bar.

Step 7: You can view all your open apps by gently swiping across the screen or switch between them via the black bottom bar.

All Slide Over apps on the iPad.

How to move content between apps

If you have two or more apps open, you can use drag and drop to share content, like text or photos, between them. For example, you can pull text or images from an email, web page, or photo app straight to your Notes app.

Step 1: Open two apps with the Split view or Slide over feature.

iPad app sharing screen.

Step 2: Tap and hold down the item you wish to move from one app to the other. 

iPad content selection.

Step 3: When the item detaches, carefully drag it over without removing your finger from the display. You will see a green plus sign (+), which means you have successfully moved the content.

iPad content sharing with image.

How to set up picture-in-picture mode

You can play videos in a different window while tackling other tasks on your iPad, like scrolling through your emails, thanks to picture-in-picture mode. Step 1: For PiP to work, you first need to set it up in the preferences.

Go to Settings > General > Picture in picture.

iPad Picture in Picture setup.

Step 2: Toggle on the Start PiP automatically setting.

iPad Picture in Picture toggled on.

Step 3: Netflix and Amazon Prime Video (but not YouTube) will then automatically play in a separate window even if you are running multiple apps.

PiP video running over split view apps.

Editors’ Recommendations