Apple iPad Split View and Slide Over Hero

When multitasking on the iPad, you’ll mainly use two screen modes called Split View and Slide Over. Both modes allow you to use two apps side-by-side, but each works in a slightly different way. Let’s talk about their similarities and differences.

What Is Split View?

The main difference between Split View and Slide Over is how much screen real estate each app takes up while using multiple apps. They also differ in functionality, each being suited to different types of tasks.

Split View displays two windows side by side with a black partition in the middle. It is designed for using two apps at the same time in a situation where you may need to continuously reference each one or move information from one to the other.

Using your finger, you can drag the partition left or right and resize both windows proportionally.

An example of Split View on the iPad

To use Split View, open an app. Then swipe up from the bottom of the screen slowly to open the Dock. Place your finger on the icon for the second app you’d like to open, then slowly drag it to the left or right edge of the screen until it snaps into place.

To get rid of Split View, place your finger on the black partition line and drag it at a steady medium speed toward the edge of the screen until one of the windows disappears.

Dismissing Split View on iPad Step 1

RELATED: How to Use Multiple Apps at Once on an iPad

What Is Slide Over?

Slide Over displays a primary app in full-screen mode and secondary app in a small floating window on the left or right side of the screen.

The Slide Over window can be quickly dismissed and called back when needed, making it ideal for checking information from an app quickly while working on something else.

An example of Slide Over on the iPad

To use Slide Over, open an app. Slowly swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open the Dock. Place your finger on the icon for the second app you’d like to open, then slowly drag it to the left or right half of the screen until it appears as a floating window.

To hide the Slide Over window, place your finger on the control bar at the top and quickly swipe it toward the right or left edge of the screen. It can be recalled by swiping inward from the left or right edge of the screen, depending on which side you hid it on.

Slide side view window to dimiss on iPad

To fully close a Slide Over window, hold your finger on the control bar at the top and slide it slowly toward the edge of the screen until it becomes part of Split View. You can then close the unwanted window by sliding the black partition between the two windows all the way to the edge of the screen until one window disappears.

Split View and Slide Over at the Same Time

It is possible to use Split View and Slide Over at the same time. That means you will have three app windows on the screen at once.

Using Slide Over and Split View at the Same Time on iPad

To do this, start in Split View mode, then open the dock by slowly swiping upward from the bottom edge of the screen. Slowly drag the app icon (for the third app that will be in Slide Over) on top of the black partition in the middle of the screen.

To get rid of the Slide Over window, use its control bar at the top of the window to drag it to the side of the screen until it replaces one of the Split View apps. Then you can close the window by sliding the black center partition all the way to the edge of the screen until one window disappears.

Learn More About Multitasking—or Disable It Completely

Multitasking features on the iPad can be quite handy and powerful. The gestures do take some patience and practice to get just right.

On the other hand, if you prefer to use the iPad as a single-task device or you keep opening extra app windows by accident, you can turn off Split View and Slide Over in the Settings app.

RELATED: How to Use Multiple Apps at Once on an iPad

Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a Staff Writer for How-To Geek. For over 14 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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