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How To Do Split Screen On The iPad: A Step-by-Step Guide

split screen on ipad

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Welcome to our step-by-step guide on how to use split screen on your iPad! 

Split screen mode is a powerful feature that allows you to multitask by running two apps side by side. 

Whether you’re working, studying, or just browsing, mastering this feature can significantly boost your productivity. 

In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through the process of setting up a split iPad screen, making multitasking easier and more efficient.

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split screen on ipad

Understanding Split Screen on iPad

Here are key things you need to know before learning how to split your iPad screen.

What is Split Screen?

Split screen, also known as Split View, is a multitasking feature available on iPads that allows users to run two applications simultaneously, side by side on the same screen. 

This feature maximizes the utility of the iPad’s larger display, enabling users to interact with multiple apps without the need to constantly switch back and forth between them. 

In Split View, each app runs independently, maintaining its functionality and interactivity. 

This capability transforms the iPad from a single-task device into a versatile tool that can handle complex workflows, enhancing productivity and user experience.

Devices and iOS Versions that Support Split Screen

Split view functionality is supported on a range of iPad models, though it is not universally available across all devices. 

This feature was introduced with iOS 9, and since then, it has been supported on the following models:

  • iPad Pro (all models)
  • iPad Air 2 and later
  • iPad mini 4 and later
  • iPad (5th generation) and later

To use split view, your iPad must be running iOS 9 or later, but it is always recommended to update to the latest iOS version to ensure optimal performance and access to the latest features and security updates. 

Users can check their iOS version and update their device by navigating to Settings > General > Software Update. 

Ensuring your device is compatible and up-to-date is crucial for a seamless multitasking experience.

Use Cases for Split Screen on iPad

The split view feature on the iPad can be incredibly useful in a variety of scenarios, enhancing both productivity and convenience. 

For students, it allows for efficient study sessions by enabling them to take notes while watching lectures or referencing textbooks. 

For professionals, it facilitates multitasking by allowing them to handle emails while referencing documents, participate in video conferences while taking notes, or manage calendars while planning tasks.

Artists and designers can benefit by using drawing apps alongside reference images or tutorials, making the creative process smoother. 

Additionally, casual users can enhance their entertainment experience by watching videos while browsing the web or chatting with friends. 

The ability to use two apps concurrently without disrupting the workflow or closing one to open the other is a significant advantage, making the iPad a more powerful and flexible tool.

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apple ipad split screen

Preparing Your iPad for Split Screen

Before diving into using split view on your iPad, it’s essential to ensure your device is ready for this feature. 

This involves updating your iPad to the latest iOS version and checking and adjusting necessary settings. 

Here’s how to prepare your iPad for a seamless split view experience.

Ensuring Your iPad is Updated to the Latest iOS Version

The first step in preparing your iPad for split view is to make sure it’s running the latest iOS version. 

Apple regularly updates iOS to enhance performance, introduce new features, and fix bugs. 

To check for updates, open the Settings app on your iPad, then tap General and select Software Update. 

Your iPad will check for available updates. If an update is available, tap Download and Install. 

Ensure your iPad is connected to a stable Wi-Fi network and has sufficient battery life or is plugged in during the update process. 

Running the latest iOS version ensures that you have the most current features and improvements, including the latest multitasking capabilities.

Checking and Adjusting Multitasking Settings

Once your iPad is up to date, you need to ensure that the multitasking settings are properly configured to use split view. 

Go to the Settings app, tap Home Screen & Dock, then select Multitasking Menu. 

Ensure that the following options are enabled:

  • Allow Multiple Apps: This setting allows you to use multiple apps or the same app at the same time, enabling split view functionality.
  • Picture in Picture: While not directly related to split view, this setting allows videos to continue playing in a small window while using other apps.
  • Gestures: Enabling this setting allows you to use gestures to switch between apps and invoke split view mode.

These settings ensure that your iPad is capable of handling multiple apps simultaneously and that you can easily navigate between them.

Verifying App Compatibility

Not all apps support split view mode, so it’s crucial to verify that the apps you intend to use are compatible. 

Most Apple native apps and a growing number of third-party apps support split view. 

To check if an app supports split view, open the app, then swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access the Dock. 

Try drag and drop another app from the Dock to the left or right edge of the screen. 

If the app you are trying to open supports split view, it will snap into place next to the current app. 

If not, it will hover in the Slide Over view or simply not open in split view. Ensuring app compatibility beforehand can save you time and frustration.

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split screen on ipad

Activating Split Screen Mode

Activating split view mode on your iPad is a straightforward process that allows you to multitask efficiently by displaying two apps side by side. 

Follow these steps to get started.

Opening the First App

  • Choose the App: Begin by selecting the first app you want to use. Tap on its icon to open it in full-screen mode.
  • Full-Screen Mode: Ensure the app is in full-screen mode, as this will make it easier to initiate split view.
  • Interact with the App: Spend a moment interacting with the app to familiarize yourself with its interface in full-screen.

Accessing the Dock to Choose the Second App

  • Swipe Up to Access the Dock: While the first app is open, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to reveal the Dock. The Dock contains your most frequently used apps and recently opened apps.
  • Select the Second App: Locate the second app you want to use in split view. If it’s not in the Dock, swipe left or right in the Dock to find it, or use the App Library to locate it.
  • Prepare to Drag and Drop: Touch and hold the second app’s icon until it slightly enlarges, indicating it’s ready to be dragged.

Dragging the Second App to the Screen to Initiate Split Screen

  • Drag the App: Drag the second app’s icon towards the edge of the screen. As you drag, the screen will split, showing a space where you can drop the app.
  • Drop the App: Release the app’s icon when it reaches the edge of the screen. This will place the other app alongside the first or third app app in split view mode.
  • Adjust the Divider: A divider will appear between the two apps. Drag this divider left or right to adjust the size of each app, giving more space to the app you need to focus on.

Adjusting and Customizing Split Screen

You can also adjust and customize to your preference and here is how.

Resizing the Split Screen View

When using split screen on your iPad, you have the flexibility to adjust the size of each app’s window to suit your needs. 

Here’s how you can resize the split screen view:

  • Initiate the Split Screen Mode: Ensure that you are already in split screen mode with two apps open side by side.
  • Locate the Divider: In between the two app windows, there is a vertical divider that separates them. This divider is draggable and allows you to adjust the size of each app’s window.
  • Drag the Divider: Place your finger on the divider and drag it left or right to resize the windows. As you drag, you’ll notice one app’s window getting larger while the other gets smaller.
  • Release to Set: Once you’ve achieved the desired size for each window, release your finger to set the new configuration.

By resizing the split screen view, you can prioritize one app over the other based on your current task or preference. 

For example, you may want to allocate more screen space to a document editor while referencing information from a web browser.

Switching Apps in Split Screen Mode

Switching between apps while in split screen mode is simple and seamless. Here’s how you can switch apps without exiting split screen:

  • Access the App Switcher: Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and pause to reveal the app switcher.
  • Select the App to Switch: Browse through the list of open multiple windows and tap on the one you want to replace either the left or right split screen window.
  • Confirm the Switch: The selected app will replace the current app in the split screen view, maintaining the split screen configuration.

This allows you to quickly swap out one app for another without disrupting your multitasking workflow. 

Whether you need to reference different documents or switch between communication and productivity apps, switching more than one app in split screen mode enhances efficiency.

Closing Split Screen and Returning to Single App View

When you’re done with split screen multitasking menu and want to return to a single app view, you can easily exit split screen mode. 

Here’s how:

  • Locate the Split Screen Divider: Identify the vertical divider between the two app windows.
  • Drag the Divider to the Edge: Place your finger on the divider and drag it all the way to the edge of the screen either to the left or right.
  • Release to Exit Split Screen: Once the divider reaches the edge, release your finger. The split screen view will collapse, and the app you dragged the divider towards will become full screen.

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split screen on ipad


Mastering split screen on your iPad opens up a world of possibilities for multitasking and productivity. 

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can seamlessly run two apps side by side, resize windows to suit your needs, and switch between tasks effortlessly. 

Embrace the power of split screen and elevate your iPad experience to new heights.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How to do split screen?

To activate split screen on your iPad, follow these steps:

  • Open the first app you want to use.
  • Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access the Dock.
  • Tap and hold the icon of the second app you want to use until it slightly enlarges.
  • Drag and drop the second app’s icon to the left or right edge of the screen until a split screen view appears.
  • Release your finger to drop the app into place.

How to view 2 PDF pages side by side on iPad?

To view two PDF pages side by side on your iPad, you can open both PDFs in compatible apps that support split screen. Follow the steps outlined above to activate split screen mode, then open one PDF in each app window.

How do I use a second screen on my iPad?

You can use a second screen on your iPad by connecting it to an external monitor or display using a compatible adapter or cable. Once connected, your iPad can mirror its display on the second screen, allowing you to extend your workspace or share content with others.

How do you split the screen on an iPad keyboard?

To split the iPad keyboard for easier typing, follow these steps:

  • Open an app where you can input text, such as Messages or Notes.
  • Tap and hold the keyboard icon at the bottom right corner of the keyboard.
  • Select “Split” from the menu that appears.
  • The keyboard will split into two halves, making it easier to type with your thumbs.
Trajche Madzoski

Trajche Madzoski

Trajche Madzoski is an experienced full stack developer comfortable working with most cloud hosting solutions. His skill set includes working with the frontend and backend on various content management systems, building and maintaining both e-commerce and informational websites.

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