Use Multitasking on your iPad

On your iPad with iOS 11, you can use Multitasking to work with two apps at the same time, answer emails while watching a video, switch apps using gestures, and more.

Switch apps using gestures

Use Multitasking gestures on your iPad to quickly see the app switcher, switch to another app, or return to the Home screen. Here's how:

  • See the app switcher: From the bottom edge of the screen, swipe up with one finger or double-click the Home button to see all of your open apps. Swipe right with one finger to find and open a different app.
  • Switch apps: While using an app, swipe left or right with four or five fingers to switch to a previously used app.
  • Return to the Home screen: While using an app, pinch four or five fingers together on the screen.

Use the Dock to work with more apps simultaneously

The Dock lets you instantly open and switch apps from any app you're in. You can even customize the left side of the Dock with your favorite apps. And on the right side, you can see apps that you recently used and apps open on your iPhone and Mac.

You can find the Dock at the bottom of the Home screen. To see the Dock while you're using an app, swipe up with one finger from the bottom edge of the screen.

To customize the Dock with your favorite apps, touch and hold an app on the Home screen, then immediately drag it to the left side of the Dock.

To remove an app from the Dock, touch and hold an app on the left side of the Dock, then immediately drag it off.

Use two apps at the same time

The Dock makes it easy to work with multiple apps at the same time. Drag an app out of the Dock to make a Slide Over or drag it to the right or left edge of the screen to make a Split View. You can even work on one app in Slide Over, view two apps in Split View, and watch a movie or use FaceTime in Picture in Picture, all on the same screen.

Open a second app with Slide Over

Use Slide Over to work on an app that slides in front of any open app, even over two open apps in Split View. Here's how:

  1. Open an app.
  2. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open the Dock.
  3. On the Dock, touch and hold the second app that you want to open, then drag it to the screen.

If you're working with two apps in Split View and want to open a third app in Slide Over, just swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open the Dock. Then drag the app on top of the app divider.

To move the app that's open in Slide Over, touch and hold , then drag it to the left or right side of the screen.

You can also move the app that's open in Slide Over off the screen and slide it back when you want to use it. Just place your finger on  and drag the app to the right and off the screen. When you want to use the app again, swipe left from the right side of the screen.

You can use Slide Over with iPad Pro, iPad (5th generation), iPad Air and later, or iPad mini 2 and later.

Use two apps at the same time with Split View

With Split View, you can use two apps at the same time. For example, you can view photos while you compose an email. Or look at a location in Maps while you search for vacation ideas in Safari.

To use Split View:

  1. Open an app.
  2. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open the Dock.
  3. On the Dock, touch and hold the second app that you want to open, then drag it to the right or left edge of the screen.
  4. If the app opens in Slide Over, drag  up.

Here’s how to adjust Split View:

  • To give the apps equal space on the screen, drag the app divider to the center of the screen.
  • To turn a Split View into a Slide Over, swipe down from the top of the app.
  • To close Split View, drag the app divider over the app that you want to close.

Learn how to use Split View in Safari to see two websites at the same time on your iPad.

You can use Split View with iPad Pro, iPad (5th generation), iPad Air 2, or iPad mini 4.

Use apps while you watch a video with 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 (5th generation), iPad Air and later, or iPad mini 2 and later.

Drag and drop between apps

With drag and drop, you can move text, photos, and files from one app to another. For example, you can drag text from Safari into a note, an image from Photos into a an email or a calendar event into a text message. Here's how:

  1. Open the two apps in Split View or Slide Over.
  2. Touch and hold the item until it lifts up. To select multiple items, touch and hold an item, drag it slightly, then continue to hold it while you tap additional items with another finger. A badge indicates the number of selected items. To drag and drop text, select the text first, then touch and hold the text until it lifts up.
  3. Drag the item to the other app and drop it.

Turn Multitasking features on or off

To turn Multitasking features on or off, go to Settings > General > Multitasking & Dock, then you can do the following:

  • Allow Multiple Apps: Turn off if you don't want to use Slide Over or Split View.
  • Persistent Video Overlay: Turn off if you don't want to use Picture in Picture.
  • Gestures: Turn off if you don't want to use Multitasking gestures to see the app switcher, return to the Home screen, and more.
  • Show Suggested and Recent Apps: Turn on to see recently used apps on the right side of the Dock.

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.

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