Splitting the screen on your iPad can really amp up your productivity. The feature is officially called Split View and it’s available on all Apple tablets running iPadOS 13 and newer. When you activate it, you’ll have two open windows on your screen, whether that’s two completely different apps or a pair of windows for the same one.
You probably have your own reasons for wanting to split up your screen, but it’s worth noting that Split View can be extremely helpful if you’re working in one app while getting inspiration from another, or if you’re messaging with two people at the same time.
How to split your iPad screen
Figuring out how to get a split-screen iPad is really easy, and you’ll be able to customize how you use the feature to make it fit your needs.
1. Unlock your iPad and open one of the apps you want to use.
2. Tap the three white dots at the top of your screen and choose Split View.
3. The open app will automatically move to the left to reveal your home screen. From here, select a second app to open.
- Pro tip: You can open two iterations of one app if you want—just pick the same app when the iPad home screen appears. This will be especially easy to do with Apple apps, but not all tools support this feature. For example, you can use Procreate in Split View, but you can’t open two Procreate projects at the same time.
4. Your apps or windows will now be side by side in a split-screen view.
- Pro tip: Tap the three white dots at the top of any of the open apps or windows and choose Split View again to make them switch sides—pick Left split or Right split.
[Related: You should use your iPad as a second screen]
How to adjust the size of your split-screen apps on an iPad
You can only split your iPad screen evenly if you’re using your tablet in a landscape orientation.
The size adjustment will happen automatically, as Split View will give each app or window the same amount of screen real estate by default.
You can easily change this if, for example, one of the apps you’re using requires more space. On the black line splitting your screen in half, press the short gray line in the middle and move it to the right or left depending on which app you want to give more screen space to.
Unfortunately, you don’t have total freedom to determine the split proportions of your screen. If you’re holding your iPad in a portrait orientation, the slider will only snap in place in increments of thirds, so your apps will be distributed in a 30-60 split (or 60-30, depending on if you want the bigger app on the top or bottom). With your iPad in a landscape orientation, the slider will stick to quarters, meaning your apps can only be distributed 50-50, 25-75, or 75-25.
If you try giving an app less than one third (portrait) or one fourth (landscape) of the screen, the slider will automatically move to the edge of the screen, closing the app and turning your split-screen view into a full-screen view.
How to have multiple split screens on your iPad
Each split screen acts like one open app. So just like you can have as many open apps as you want, you can have as many split screens as your heart desires.
1. Follow the steps above to split your iPad screen.
2. Swipe up from the bottom of your screen to go to the home screen.
3. Open an app and split your screen again.
When you swipe and hold to see all your open apps, you’ll be able to see all your split screens in one place. Keep in mind that all of the open apps, whether they’re in Split View or full-screen mode, are indeed open and working—if you have too many of them, your iPad’s performance and battery life might suffer.
How to turn off split screen view on the iPad
You can turn off Split View by closing one of the apps or windows. There are two ways to go about it.
Use the three-dot menu
When Split View is active, you’ll see three white dots at the top of each open app or window. Choose the app you want to close, tap its three dots, and choose Close from the emerging menu. The remaining app will go into full-screen mode and you’ll be out of split screen.
Slide the screen separator all the way to the edge of the screen
In Split View, press the gray line in the middle and slide it all the way to the left to close the app taking up the left side of the screen, or all the way to the right to close the app to the right. The remaining app will go into full-screen mode.
Q. Can I split my iPad screen horizontally?
At the moment, Split View is limited to a vertical split, meaning you can only have two apps or windows side by side, not on top of each other. This makes a split-screen iPad more effective when it’s in a landscape orientation.
Q. How many apps can you multitask on an iPad?
Split View only works with two apps or windows, but you can open up a third one using Slide Over. This feature, also available from the three-dot menu, can turn an app into a floating window that sits on top of a split screen, either to the left or right.
Be warned, though—if you use Slide Over to put an app on top of a split screen, you won’t be able to move it, as it’ll replace the app under it the moment you let go. This makes Slide Over somewhat impractical to use with Split View, especially because you cannot resize an app you’ve slid over, and its default size will cover a good portion of an evenly split screen.
[Related: iPad Pro review: Pretty and powerful]
But if this still works for you and you want to push the limits of your multitasking abilities, here’s how to do it:
1. Follow the steps above to split your iPad screen, making sure one of the apps you open is the one you want to slide over.
2. Tap the three dots at the top of the app you want to float above your split screen and choose Slide Over from the emerging menu. This will turn the app into a floating window, while the one underneath will go into full-screen mode.
3. Tap the three dots at the top of the app in full-screen mode, choose Split View, and pick a third app to open. This will result in a normal split-screen view, and will hide the window you just slid over.
4. Bring back the slid-over window or app by swiping and holding from the bottom of the screen. This will show you everything that’s currently open on your iPad, and to the far left, you’ll see the window or app you slid over. Tap it to open it on top of the split-screen view.