How to use the multitasking features on iPad

If you want to multitask, the iPad might be your tablet of choice. Starting with iPadOS 15, which is due to appear in the fall of 2021, Apple is taking its multitasking functions to a new level with a multitasking menu, a shelf for open windows, a medium app view and more.

table of contents

Use the multitasking menu
Access apps in split view
Create a split view in the app switcher
Display the shelf of Open App Windows
Center an app window

Use the multitasking menu

If you didn’t like the way you entered split view or slide over before iPadOS 15, you’ll be happy with the improved method.

What is the difference between Split View and Slide Over on an iPad?

At the top of your app window you will see three dots. Just tap to display the multitasking menu.

Tap left to right to move the app to full screen view, split view, or slide over.

Multitasking menu on the iPad

If you enter Split View or Slide Over via the menu, every app also has the three dots in these views. So you can easily switch from Split View to Slide Over to full screen with one tap of the menu.

Multitasking menu in split view


You can call up a multitasking view with little effort via the multitasking menu.

Access apps in split view

Using the multitasking menu to bring up Split View also gives you a convenient way to open this second app.

After tapping the split view icon, that app will move to the side of the screen, just slightly visible. You will then see your start screen in the larger area and can swipe to another screen if necessary.

Select an app for split view

Tap the app you want to open along with the other in split view.

Split view on the iPad

That way, you can find the app you need on another screen, in a folder, or even in your dock.

Create a split view in the app switcher

Another great way to get into Split View besides the multitasking menu is through the App Switcher.


Open the App Switcher, select and hold the app you want to split view with, then drag it onto the second app you want to use. Let go when the first app is on the left or right side of the second app, depending on your preference. Then tap that combination to open it in Split View.

Drag an app into the app switcher to create a split view

You can also replace an app with another in the App Switcher, remove an app from Split View or switch apps from left to right. In the screenshot below, we have Notes and Email in split view and we are dragging Google up to replace Notes.

Change the split view in the app switcher

If you know in advance that you want to use Split View with two apps open, the App Switcher makes it easy!

Display the shelf of Open App Windows

As you probably already know, you can open multiple windows from a single app on iPad at the same time. Good examples are mail and notes. Since the iPadOS 15 upgrade, you can use the shelf to switch between open windows of the same app.

The shelf will appear at the bottom of the app and will contain the additional windows that you have opened for it. In this example, we have opened several notes in addition to the main notes window. Just tap to switch to the window you want to use.

App shelf in notes

If you want close one of the windows on the shelf, select it and slide it up off the screen.

Close a window on the shelf


To quickly switch between open windows of the same app, the shelf is great!

Center an app window

Another multitasking feature introduced with iPadOS 15 is the ability to open an app window in the front and center. This middle view lets you quickly see or do what you need to do without navigating from what you originally did.

Press and hold something like a note in Notes or an email in Mail. Select “Open in new window” in the context menu.

Select Open in New Window

You have opened your new window in the middle, with the original app right behind it (as shown in the screenshot below).

Center the app window

Using the shelf with this central app window feature is a great way to get a link, text or picture from one place that you need quickly in another. And it’s a nice alternative to Split View and Slide Over.

How to use floating apps (slide over) on an iPad

Check out each of these multitasking features for easier ways to get things done on your iPad!

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