About Multitasking on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

With Multitasking, you can use more than one app at a time on your iOS device. You can also use features like Slide Over, Split View, and Picture in Picture on certain iPad models.


Switch between apps

You can quickly switch from one app to another on your iOS device. When you switch back, you can pick up right where you left off. Follow these steps:

  1. Double-click the Home button to see recently used apps.
  2. Swipe left or right to find the app that you want to use.
  3. Tap the app. 

If you have an iPhone 6s or later, you can use 3D Touch to switch to a previous app. Just press the left side of your screen, then swipe right. You can also view your recently used apps by pressing the left side of your screen.

On your iPad, you can see recently used apps by swiping up from the bottom of your screen with four fingers. If you have a keyboard paired to your iPad Pro, you can switch between apps by pressing Command-Tab.

Use Multitasking on your iPad

On your iPad, you can use multitasking to switch between apps using gestures, use two apps at once, answer emails while watching a video, and more. To turn Multitasking features on or off, go to Settings > General > Multitasking.

Use Slide Over

Slide Over lets you interact with a second app without leaving the app you’re currently using. You can quickly check your text messages, respond to emails, or create a note. Just swipe to the left from the middle-right edge of the screen to see your previously used app.

To switch the side app that you’re using, swipe down from the top-right side of the screen. You’ll see a list of your apps. Tap one to use it. When you’re done, slide from left to right on the app to return to the previous app.

You can use Slide Over with iPad Pro, iPad Air and later, and iPad mini 2 and later.

Use Split View

With Split View, you can open and use two apps at the same time. Open an app, then tap or drag the app divider to start using both apps. Slide down from the top of the screen to change the app on the right. If you want to close one of the apps, slide the divider over the app that you want to close.

With iOS 10, you can use Split View in Safari to see two tabs at the same time when your iPad is in landscape mode. Just touch and hold   and tap Open Split View. If you have an external keyboard connected, press Command-N to open Split View.

Tap the search bar and search or enter a website name. If you already have a tab open, you can drag the tab left or right in the Split View.

To leave Split View, touch and hold  and tap Merge All Tabs. You can also tap  to close tabs individually and leave Split View.

You can use Split View with multiple apps, like Safari, Notes, Photos, Calendar, and more. Split View isn't available with all apps.

You can use Split View with iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, or iPad mini 4.

Use Picture in Picture

With Picture in Picture, you can do things like respond to an email while watching a TV show. If you’re using FaceTime or watching a movie, tap  and the video screen scales down to a corner of your display. Then you can open a second app and the video will continue to play. 

To move the video, drag it to another corner. To return the video to full screen, tap  on the left corner of the video.

You can use Picture in Picture with iPad Pro, iPad Air and later, and iPad mini 2 and later.



Use Background App Refresh

After you switch to a different app, some apps run for a short period of time before they're set to a suspended state. Apps that are in a suspended state aren’t actively in use, open, or taking up system resources. With Background App Refresh, suspended apps can check for updates and new content. 

If you want suspended apps to check for new content, go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and turn on Background App Refresh. If you quit an app from the app switcher, it might not be able to run or check for new content before you open it again.

Learn more

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