It’s been possible to multitask on the iPad for a while now. However, when Apple released iPadOS 15, it introduced the all-new Multitasking menu to make it easier than ever to use two apps side-by-side in a split-screen configuration.

multitasking on iPad
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As a result, you can now work with more than one app at once on your iPad, granted the apps support multitasking. In essence, what this means is that you can split your iPad’s screen into resizable views and open two different apps or two different app windows (of the same app) at once inside them.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to split screen on iPad and multitask with two apps at once.

Multitasking on the iPad

Before we jump into the steps, let’s first understand take a look at the functionality offered by the new multitasking menu.

In iPadOS 15, when you open an app that supports multitasking features, you’ll see three dots at the top of the screen. This is the new Multitasking menu. Clicking on this menu reveals three multitasking options: Full Screen, Split View, and Slide Over, where:

  • Full Screen is the default mode when an app is open.
  • Split View is when the iPad’s screen is split into two views to hold two apps side-by-side. You can resize these views by dragging the slider between the two apps.
  • Slide Over is the mode where one app appears over another in a small floating window. In this mode, you can drag the floating window to the left or right of the screen to work with both apps accordingly.

How to Open Two Apps in Split View

Split View is the second option in the Multitasking menu, and the following are the steps to use Split View on the iPad and multitask with two items (two apps or two instances of an app) at once.

  1. Open one of the two apps you want to use in the Split View configuration.
  2. Hit the Multitasking menu at the top of the app and tap the Split View (second) option. This will move the current app aside and reveal the Home screen and the Dock.
    using split screen on iPad
  3. Open the second app you want to use in the split-screen mode, and it will appear side-by-side, next to your current app.
    using split screen on iPad

Alternatively, Apple also lets you put apps into Split View using the Dock, as shown in the steps below.

  1. Open the first app you wish to use in Split View.
  2. Slide up from the edge of the screen until you see the Dock and release it.
    using split screen on iPad
  3. Click-drag the app from the Dock that you want to put into the Split View to the left or right edge of the screen. Then, as soon as the first app slides aside, let go of the app to bring up Split View.
    using split screen on iPad

Much like opening two different apps in Split View, you can also open two different instances of the same app in the side-by-side configuration. For this, simply select the same app you’ve already opened—instead of picking another app—to put it into Split View. You can do this using both the methods listed above.

How to Adjust Split View

Once you’ve put two apps into Split View, you can adjust how much screen estate they use. This can come in handy when say, one of the two apps in Split View requires more screen area than the other to display its content.

For example, if you’re using a note-taking app and a to-do app side-by-side, you may want to have a larger screen area for the notes app compared to the to-do app to use it effectively.

To adjust Split View on the iPad, drag the app divider between the two apps in Split View to the left or right of the screen. Apple currently has preset values for how much screen estate you can split between two apps in the Split View mode.

using split screen on iPad

Moreover, if you want, you can also change the position of the apps in Split View. To do this, with both apps open in Split View, click-drag one of the apps down from the top edge and move it to the other side until it snaps into the Split View configuration.

How to Replace an App in Split View

At any point, while you’re multitasking with two apps, if you want to replace an app in Split View with another, you can do so using the following steps.

  1. Click-drag the Multitasking button on the top of the app you want to replace in Split View to the bottom of the screen. This will put the other app aside and reveal the Home screen and the Dock.
  2. Find the other app you want to use in Split View and click on it.

Split View should now have both apps running side-by-side, with the new app replacing the one you removed from the Split View.

How to Return to Full Screen

After you’ve finished multitasking, you can return to Full-Screen view using any one of the following steps:

  • Drag the center divider (or app divider) to the left or right edge of the screen.
  • Hit the Multitasking button and select the Full Screen (second) option.
  • Click-drag the app you want to open in Full Screen to the center of the screen until its name and app icon appear—while keeping it aligned to the top edge of the screen—and then lift your finger.

How to Turn Split View into Slide Over

Similar to the Split View mode, iPadOS 15 also offers the Slide Over multitasking mode, which puts an app in a small floating window so you can use it on top of other apps. Depending on what iPad model you’re using, there are two ways to use Slide Over:

  1. Use an app in Slide Over with the other app in the Full Screen mode.
  2. Use an app in Slide Over with two other apps in Split View mode. It works with only a few iPad models:
    • iPad mini (5th generation and later)
    • iPad (6th generation and later)
    • iPad Air (3rd generation and later)
    • iPad Pro (10.5-inch)
    • iPad Pro 11-inch (all generations)
    • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation and later)

If you want to use one app in Full Screen and the other in Slide Over mode, be sure both apps are open in Split View. Then, tap on the Multitasking button on top of the app you want in Slide Over mode and hit the Slide Over (third) option. Once the app is in Slide Over mode, you can click-drag it using the Multitasking button to move it anywhere on the screen.

using split screen on iPad

Alternatively, if you own one of the iPad models that support both Split View and Slide Over simultaneously, you can use two apps in Split View and the third app in Slide Over mode. For this, have the two apps you want to use in Split View and then slide up from the edge of the screen until you see the Dock. Click-drag the third app onto the center of the Split View screen to put it into Slide Over mode.

using split screen on iPad

Once the app is in Slide Over mode, you can then drag it using the Multitasking button to move it anywhere on the screen. Moreover, you can also dock it to one of the edges to view the contents of the screen and bring it back using the swipe-in gesture when required.

Besides, if you wish to put get the app out of Slide Over view and put in the Full Screen mode or Split View with any of the other two apps, click on the Multitasking button on top of this app and select:

  • Full Screen (first) option to put the app into the Full Screen view.
  • Split Screen (second) option to put it into Split View with one of the other two apps already in the Split View configuration. When you hit this button, you’ll see two more options. One of these lets you put the app on the left position in the Split View, while the other puts it on the right. Choose one of these based on which app, presently in the Split View configuration, you want to replace.

    using split screen on iPad

Make the Most of iPad Multitasking With Split Screen

Split Screen is by far the best feature of iPadOS 15 that allows you to run multiple apps on your iPad simultaneously to make the most of its limited screen estate and maximize productivity.

If you use your iPad for more than just entertainment, this feature can come in really handy. Since now, you can do multiple tasks simultaneously without ever needing to jump back and forth between multiple apps.

FAQs About Using Split Screen on iPad

No, unfortunately, Apple doesn't offer multitasking capabilities on certain apps, and iMovie happens to be one of them. So you can't split screen in the iMovie app.

As of writing this, the Zoom app for iPad supports only the Full Screen view, so you can't have it in split screen configuration with any other app on your iPad.

Yes, the YouTube app for iPad supports all three Multitasking options: Full Screen, Split View, and Slide Over. So, using the steps for these options listed above, you can easily put the YouTube app on your iPad in the split-screen configuration without any trouble.

If you're unable to split screen on your iPad, it's likely because the app you're trying to get into the split-screen configuration doesn't support multitasking functionality. Hence, no Full Screen, Split View, or Slide Over functionality is present on it.

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