How to use and get rid of the split screen feature on your iPad

AppleThe iPad’s split screen feature is useful, but can be confusing.
  • If you’re an iPad owner, you’ll likely want to know how to use and get rid of the split screen feature on your iPad.
  • Multitasking by opening two apps on your iPad screen is sometimes convenient, but also confusing, and works inconsistently depending on the apps you are trying to arrange.
  • When displaying two apps side-by-side on the iPad, simply drag the divider to the left or right to completely close one of the apps.
  • If one of the apps is floating rather than docked to the side of the screen, dock it to the side first by dragging it downward, then drag the divider.
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The iPad is so versatile that it might feel at times like a complete replacement for your laptop or desktop computer. When Apple implemented split-screen multitasking, that was a huge step forward in using the iPad like a laptop.

Unfortunately, the split screen is so confusing – and depending on the app you’re using, so inconsistent – that it’s hard to use.

Case in point: suppose you have two apps open, side-by-side. How do you get back to a single-app view?

We’ll cover that, but first, a quick primer on how to use the iPad’s split screen capability.

How to open two apps in split screen view on the iPad

1. When using apps side-by-side on your iPad, you’ll need to “grab” the second app from the Dock bar that appears at the bottom of the Home page. That means if that app isn’t normally found there, you need to open it, so it shows up temporarily in one of the “recently used” slots on the right side of the Dock.

2. After making sure that the second app will appear in the Dock, start the other app that you want to use.

3. Swipe up gently from the bottom of the screen to see the Dock. Don’t swipe up too hard, or you’ll just return to the Home screen. Only swipe up enough that the Dock floats over your app.

Dave Johnson/Business InsiderTap and hold the app, then drag it towards the right edge of the screen.
  1. 4. Drag it all the way to the right and let go. If you release it without going all the way to the edge, it will float on top of the first app in a small pane. If you drag it all the way to the right, it will appear side-by-side, and you can drag the divider bar between them to make them relatively wider or narrower.
Dock 2Dave Johnson/Business InsiderYou can multitask by positioning two apps side-by-side on your iPad.

Not all apps can run in split screen mode. If you dry to drag an app out of the Dock and it will only run full screen, this is why.

How to get rid of a split screen on the iPad

If you already have two apps on the screen and want to close one of them, it’s easy to get back to the standard one-app view, once you know the trick.

  • If the two apps are side-by-side with a divider between them, drag the bar all the way to the right or left. If you drag it to the right, you’ll close the app on the right. If you drag it all the way to the left, you’ll close the app on the left. In both cases, the app that’s left open will go full screen..
  • If the second app is floating on top of the main app, tap and hold the top of the floating app, and drag it downward. It will then snap to the right side of the screen. Now you can close it by dragging the divider.
Dock 3Dave Johnson/Business InsiderAs you drag the second app downward, it will automatically dock to the right side of the screen.

How to turn off split screens on the iPad

If you dislike this feature and don’t want to accidentally open apps side-by-side, you can disable it entirely.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap General, and then tap Multitasking & Dock.
  3. Turn off “Allow Multiple Apps” by sliding the switch to the left.
Dock 4Dave Johnson/Business InsiderIf you dislike the split screen mode, you can turn it off entirely.

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