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How to open and use the app switcher on an ipad

On the iPad, iOS 11 and iOS 12 merge the Control Center with the App Switcher as part of an overhauled interface that’s meant to put more of a focus on multitasking. The update also adds new ways to access the App Switcher and it brings new, enhanced app switching functionality.

Accessing the App Switcher

  1. On the Home screen, simply swipe up and hold to bring up the App Switcher.
  2. Within an app, swipe up to bring up the dock and continue the swipe further to access the App Switcher.
  3. Alternatively, the App Switcher can still be accessed by a double press on the Home button on iPads with a Home button.

The new App Switcher displays the Control Center options on the right side of the screen, the dock at the bottom of the screen, and your most recently used apps in a tiled view with large icons so you can see exactly what’s open. Swipe left and right to see all of the apps you have open and tap to choose one.

When you open two apps at once using multitasking functionality, the app arrangements are preserved in the App Switcher, so you can quickly switch between multiple multitasking windows with a simple swipe and tap.

Closing Apps

There’s normally no need to close apps on iOS because Apple manages the device’s power needs and keeps apps from using resources when not in use, but if you need to close an app, here’s how:

  1. Bring up the App Switcher.
  2. Swipe upwards on any app to close it.

As mentioned earlier, the App Switcher is linked to the Control Center. You can change what’s displayed in the Control Center portion of the App Switcher by going to Settings –> Control Center –> Customize Controls.

What is the App Switcher on your iPhone? This handy feature allows you to view, close, and scroll between your open apps.

* This post is part of iPhone Life‘s Tip of the Day newsletter. Sign Up. *

Want to know how to close apps running in the background? We’ll show you how to access and use the App Switcher on your iPhone X or later model, so you can quickly view and close your open apps.

Why You’ll Love This Tip

  • Easily scroll between your open iPhone apps and switch to a different app.
  • Close apps running in the background.

How to Open App Switcher on iPhone

For older iPhones with a Home button, you can open the App Switcher by double-clicking the Home button. But for those with newer iPhones, let’s cover how to access the App Switcher on an iPhone X or later. Here’s how to access the iPhone App Switcher to open, close, and scroll between apps.

  1. To open the App Switcher on an iPhone without a Home button, swipe up from the bottom of the screen, stopping about halfway up.

Swipe left or right to scroll between your open apps.

Tap anywhere on an app to open it.

Swipe up to close the app.

To exit the App Switcher and return to your Home screen, tap above or below the displayed apps.

You can also exit the App Switcher by closing all open apps. This will automatically return you to your Home screen. If you’re interested in learning more about your iPhone features, consider signing up for our free Tip of the Day Newsletter.

Now you can easily use the App Switcher to view, open, and close apps on your iPhone (even without a Home button).

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Conner Carey

Conner Carey’s writing can be found at conpoet.com. She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.

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The iPad’s App Switcher is an essential multitasking feature that lets you view, switch to, and manage your open apps as a grid of thumbnails. It’s like Alt+Tab or Command+Tab for an iPad. Here’s how to use it.

How to Open the App Switcher on iPad

To launch the App Switcher on iPads running iOS 12 or later, slowly swipe upward from the bottom edge of the screen, then pause near the middle of the screen and lift your finger.

To launch the App Switcher on iPads with Home buttons, quickly push Home button twice.

If you use a mouse with your iPad and have updated to iPadOS 13 or later, it is also possible to launch the App Switcher using one of your extra mouse buttons. To do so, you’ll need to enable AssistiveTouch in Settings and customize your mouse buttons in the Touch device options.

You can also launch the iPad’s App Switcher using a trackpad gesture: just swipe three fingers upward and hold. The App Switcher will appear.

How to Select an App with the App Switcher

After launching the App Switcher on your iPad, you will see a screen with a grid of thumbnails representing all of the Apps you recently opened.

If you’ve used more than six apps recently, you can swipe through the thumbnail grid left or right with your finger to see them all.

If you’d like to use any one of the apps or Split View sessions shown in the App Switcher, simply swipe left or right through the grid until you see its thumbnail on the screen, and then tap on it.

After tapping on the thumbnail, the app (or Split View workspace) will become full screen and you can use it as usual.

You can repeat this process as much as you like, calling up the App Switcher from any app and tapping on the app you’d like to switch to.

Closing an App with the App Switcher on iPad

Sometimes, an app becomes unresponsive or doesn’t behave as expected. In that case, you can close it using the App Switcher. To do so, swipe through the app thumbnails until you find the app you want to close and make sure it is visible on the screen.

Using your finger, swipe upward quickly on the app’s thumbnail until it disappears from the screen. If you prefer, you can use more than one finger to dismiss more than one app at a time.

After swiping the app’s thumbnail away, it will no longer be present on the App Switcher screen. The app has now been closed.

To restart the app, find its icon on your Home screen and tap on it. Any time you need the App Switcher again, just launch it from any location, and you’re good to go.

Learn More About iPad Multitasking (or Disable it)

Multitasking features on the iPad can be handy and powerful if you get the hang of them. Because of the subtle gestures involved, they do take 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 bringing up extra app windows by accident, you can easily turn off multitasking features in Settings, including the single-finger gesture that launches the App Switcher.

If you’re new to the iPhone or iPad ecosystem, you might want to learn how to switch between apps, which is a significant part of a multitasking experience. There are actually more than one way to switch between apps on your iOS or ipadOS device, so let’s review how app switching works.

Regardless of whether you’re using an iOS or iPadOS, many people try to work with multiple apps concurrently, wanting to move data from one to another to look at information from one and use that data to take action in another app. For example, let’s say you’re watching a video on YouTube while you’re texting a friend, or you’re looking at a bank balance in one app while paying a bill in another. These are common tasks for iPhone and iPad users, but they wouldn’t be nearly as convenient if multitasking wasn’t a thing.

If you’re unfamiliar, you might appreciate learning how to seamlessly use multiple apps on your iPhone or iPad, and switch between those apps at ease. And from the multitasking screen, aside from switching apps you can also force quit apps in iOS and iPadOS too.

How to Switch Between Apps on iPhone & iPad

Depending on the iPhone or iPad model you own, the procedure to switch between your apps may slightly vary. Regardless, you can follow the steps below to learn the different methods.

    First, you can switch between your most recently opened apps using the iOS or ipadOS app switcher. In order to access the iOS / iPadOS App Switcher on an iPhone or iPad with Face ID, simply swipe up from the bottom to the middle of your screen. On the other hand, if you’re using an iPhone or iPad with a physical home button, double-click on the home button to access the App Switcher.

When your finger is close to the center of the screen, you’ll see the app switcher as shown below. Let go of your finger. It’s important to note that you can access the App Switcher from the home screen or any app that you’re currently using.

Once you’re in the App Switcher, just swipe left and right to scroll through your recently used apps and tap on the app you want to open and switch to.

That’s it, you’ve accessed the multitasking app switcher, and you’re able to move between apps with ease on either iPhone or iPad.

The interface looks slightly different on iPhone and iPad, as the iPhone overlaps the apps, and the iPad shows cards of open apps, but the functionality is basically identical regardless.

Accessing App Switcher with a Swipe from the Bottom Edge

Another way to access the App Switcher is available too:

    Alternatively, there’s a potentially quicker way to switch between apps on iOS devices with Face ID support. Simply swipe right from the bottom left edge of your screen to switch between your most recently used apps, as shown in the screenshot below. There’s no need to access the App Switcher with this method. On an iPhone with a home button, you can use the 3D Touch multitasking gesture to access the App Switcher faster.

That’s pretty much all there is to it.

Now you know how easy it is to switch between apps on iOS and iPadOS devices, using either of the two methods covered.

Although we were focusing primarily on the iPhone and iPad, you can follow the steps above to switch between apps on an iPod Touch too, if you still have one of those lying around.

Switching between apps using the App Switcher may take some time getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find yourself taking advantage of it frequently.

While the App Switcher is primarily used to switch between your most recently used apps, you can use it to force quit apps on your iPhone and iPad as well. This could prove to be quite handy when one of your apps isn’t responding properly, or if your device is slowing down because of a particular app open in the background.

If you own an iPad, you might also be interested in taking advantage of split-screen multitasking on iPadOS to run two apps side by side. With this feature, you can watch your favorite shows on Netflix while staying updated on your emails at the same time.

And now you know how to seamlessly switch between apps on your iPhone and iPad. Do you prefer the up-swipe to access App Switcher method, or do you just swipe left and right from the bottom of your screen for switching between apps? Let us know your thoughts, or any other helpful tips or relevant experiences in the comments.

Before 3D Touch the only way to access the multitasking window was to double click the Home button. Then came the back button in iOS 9 for quickly returning to the previous app. But, if you have an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, you can now also switch between apps using 3D Touch.

Firmly press the left side of the screen and swipe to the right.

Swiping all the way across the screen opens the previous app, swiping to the middle opens the app switcher.

Top image credit: ymgerman / Shutterstock.com

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Sarah Kingsbury

Sarah Kingsbury is the Editorial Directer at iPhone Life. She manages the web editorial team and oversees all web and newsletter content. A long-time iPhone and Mac enthusiast, Sarah loves teaching people how to use their Apple devices.

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Looking for that lost Safari window? The ‘Shelf’ in iPadOS 15 has your back.

When you’re using an app like Safari on the iPad, a single window is rarely enough. While it’s easier than ever to create new windows and window pairings on the iPad, finding windows is a different question altogether. But it’s all good— there’s a new feature in iPadOS 15 that wants to make this easier for you. It’s called the Shelf.

How to find all open windows for an iPad app using the Shelf

You can think of the Shelf as a version of the Dock, but one that’s limited to a particular app. When you have multiple windows open for an app, the Shelf shows up automatically at the bottom of the screen. It lingers there for a couple of seconds, and then it disappears—but you can bring it back: Tap the new multitasking menu button (three dots) at the top of the screen. ( This only works if you’re currently viewing a fullscreen window.)

However, a more reliable way to see all open windows is by using the Dock. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to reveal the Dock, and tap on the icon of the app that’s already open on the screen. Alternatively, you can tap and hold the app icon, and choose the “Show All Windows” option.

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Benj Edwards is an Associate Editor for How-To Geek. For over 15 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. Read more.

Apple first introduced multitasking features called Split View and Slide Over in iOS 9. These multitasking features are powerful if you know how to use them, but they can be confusing. If you’d rather have that classic iPad single-tasking experience, Apple lets you disable multitasking.

How to Disable Multitasking on iPadOS 13 or Newer

First, launch the “Settings” app. Its icon looks like a set of gears and is located on the first page of your homescreen by default.

Once in Settings, locate “Home Screen & Dock” in the left column and then tap it.

Locate “Multitasking” on the right side of the screen and select it.

You’ll see a list of multitasking options with switches beside them. This is what they do:

  • Allow Multiple Apps: This option enables or disables Split View and Slide Over that allows two apps on the screen at the same time.
  • Picture in Picture: This option enables or disables the ability to play a video in the corner of the screen while you use other apps.
  • Gestures: This option enables or disables multitasking gestures, such as launching the app switcher with a single-finger swipe upward from the bottom of the screen, switching apps with four-finger swipes, and returning to the home screen from an app by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.

To totally disable multitasking, tap all three switches to turn them off.

Some people keep the Gestures toggle enabled (which eases switching between apps) and disable the other two options. That comes down to personal preference.

And now you’re set. No more accidentally launching multitasking on your iPad!

How to Disable Multitasking on Earlier Versions of iOS

If you’re running iOS 9 through iOS 12, you can disable multitasking by following these steps. The settings that control multitasking are located in a different location than the example shown above.

First, Launch the “Settings” app. Navigate to General > Multitasking (this is called “Multitasking & Dock” on iOS 11 and 12). Find the Allow Multiple Apps, Persistent Video Overlay, and Gestures switches and tap each one to turn the features off.

Prior to iOS 9, the iPad operating system did not ship with Split View and Slide Over features.

That’s it! Sit back, relax, and enjoy your single-screen iPad experience.

Apple’s upcoming iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 software updates bring an exciting new feature that lets you instantly lift the subject out of a photo, separating it from the background. Once extracted, you can paste, save, or drop the cutout wherever you want as a new image, and you can even make it a sticker in messaging apps.

Before, you would have to use a third-party app like Erase.bg or Photoshop Express on your iPhone or iPad to cut out the subject in the photo automatically. Now, you can easily lift and cut out objects in pictures without needing an extra app. Apple has built the feature into iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS 13, and it works inside Photos, Files, Messages, Safari, and apps that utilize Quick Look, as well as in screenshots.

Apple’s demonstration, seen below, shows how a dog can be isolated from the background in a photo and then dragged and dropped into the Messages app.

How the Cutout Tool Works

If you were to print a picture of your pet and perfectly cut around it with scissors, you could put the cutout anywhere. That’s the same concept in iOS and iPadOS 16. When you cut out a subject using Apple’s new feature, you are erasing the photo’s background, making everything around the cutout transparent, and saving the result as a new image in PNG format, a file type that supports transparent backgrounds.

It feels like magic. It’s actually the product of an advanced machine learning model, which is accelerated by CoreML and the Neural Engine to perform 40 billion operations in just milliseconds.

— Robby Walker, Senior Director, Siri and Language Technologies at Apple

You can cut out an object or object from all types of image files, including screenshots, JPEGs, portraits, Live Photos, RAW files, videos, and more. There should be an obvious separation between objects and the background or it might not work no matter the file type.

The Caveats

Apple’s iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 are in beta right now and aren’t expected to come out to everyone until this fall. You can always install the beta on your iPhone or iPad to try the new cutout tool and other features out right now if you can’t wait.

The tool uses a lot of background processing power to cut out subjects from photos, so don’t expect it to work perfectly during the beta period. I’ve had issues cutting out subjects from animated images with busy backdrops, and it only seems to sometimes work in Live Photos. However, things will improve as Apple pushes through the beta.

The feature only works on devices with an A12 Bionic chip or newer, as seen in the lists below. This means the feature won’t work on the iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and several iPad models.

iPhone Models That Support Cutouts

  • iPhone SE (3rd gen.) — 2022
  • iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max — 2021
  • iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max — 2020
  • iPhone SE (2nd gen.) — 2020
  • iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max — 2019
  • iPhone X S , X S Max, X R — 2018

iPad Models That Support Cutouts

  • iPad Air (5th gen.) — 2022
  • iPad (9th gen.), iPad mini (6th gen.) — 2021
  • iPad Pro 12.9 (5th gen.), iPad Pro 11 (3rd gen.) — 2021
  • iPad (8th gen.), iPad Air (4th gen.) — 2020
  • iPad Pro 12.9 (4th gen.), iPad Pro 11 (2nd gen.) — 2020
  • iPad mini (5th gen.), iPad Air (3rd gen.) — 2019
  • iPad Pro 12.9 (3rd gen.), iPad Pro 11 (1st gen.) — 2018

How to Actually Cut Out Subjects in Photos

Not to make things confusing, but there are a few ways you can cut an object out of a photo in iOS and iPadOS 16. The method you’ll use depends on your app and how you view the photo or video.

For portraits and any non-moving picture formats, use whichever method below is most appropriate. The same goes for Live Photos, but it may take a few tries before it works. You could also turn off “Live” for the Live Photo to try the cutout function on a still version of the image. For videos, you need to pause the video and make sure the object is clean.

The more prominent the separation is between objects and the background, the easier it will be to cut things out. If the image or video is blurry, you may be unable to isolate anything.

Method 1: Open the Copy/Share Menu

Open your image in Photos, Messages, or another supported app. Then, touch and hold the object or objects you want to cut out. Release when you see a glowing line around the subject or subjects. The Copy/Share menu will appear when you let go, and then you can:

  • Tap “Copy” to add the new image file to your clipboard. You can then paste it somewhere in another app.
  • Tap “Share” to open the Share Sheet, where you can copy the new image file to your clipboard, save it to Photos or Files, make it the profile picture for one of your contacts, send it in Messages, share it with a social media app you have installed, and more.

Method 2: Drag and Drop

Open your image in Photos, Messages, or another supported app. Then, touch and hold the object or objects you want to cut out. You’ll see a glowing line around the subject or subjects, but don’t let go yet. Instead, drag the object or objects away from the original position until the cutout shrinks.

While holding the image cutout, use another finger to switch to another app and locate the spot where you want to place the image file. Finally, let go of the new image file to drop it where needed.

Method 3: Long-Press on Files

Open your image in Files or another supported app. In Files, head to the directory where the photo lives, but don’t open the picture. Instead, long-press the file to open up its quick actions menu. In the menu, you should see an option for “Quick Actions” — tap that to see more options. Then, select “Remove Background.”

As soon as you tap “Remove Background,” the extracted subject from the image will save as a PNG file in the same directory.

Method 4: Long-Press on Images

Open your image in Safari or another supported app. In Safari, you can be on an article with multiple photos, on a search results page with numerous photographs, viewing a version of the picture on a website, viewing the actual image file, etc. — you can pretty much cut the subject out of a photo wherever the image appears.

Long-press the picture you want to extract an image from to open up its quick actions menu. In the menu, tap “Copy Subject” to copy the new PNG file for the isolated object to your clipboard. Then, go to whatever app you need and paste it where needed.

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Pretty much everyone is familiar with the iOS app switcher, Apple’s multitasking view on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch traditionally invoked by double-pressing the Home button.

On devices with 3D Touch, Apple provides an easier method for accessing the app switcher.

A better way to multitask

Following its debut on iPhone 6s, Apple’s first phone with 3D Touch, this handy shortcut was temporarily removed from the initial iOS 11.0 release due to a technical constraint.

Once Apple had removed the feature, it didn’t take long for people to realize how essential it was. Suddenly, many who have never used the 3D Touch app switcher wished they had.

Thankfully, iOS 11.1 has brought the beloved app switching gesture back.

How-to video: 3D Touch app switcher

To see it for yourself, check out the video below.

How to use iOS app switcher with 3D Touch

There are two different uses for a very similar gesture:

  • Invoking the iOS app switcher itself
  • Jumping to a previously used app

Keep in mind that this feature requires iOS 11.1 or later and an iPhone 6s or newer.

How to jump to the last-used app with 3D Touch

In order to quickly go back to the last-used app, press lightly the far-left edge of your iPhone’s screen with 3D Touch, then drag all the way to the right side.

You will notice the previous app sliding across the screen before becoming the active one.

To go back to the previous app, you just swipe again from left to right.

How to invoke iOS app switcher with 3D Touch

The gesture to invoke the iOS app switcher is nearly identical.

Begin by firmly pressing the left edge of the display with 3D Touch. Then, instead of going all the way across the screen, simply drag your finger approximately 50 percent of the way.

When you get to the halfway mark, let go and all your recently used apps will be available to you inside iOS’s familiar app switcher.

And that’s it, boys and girls!

Now you know how to multitask on your 3D Touch-equipped iPhone like a pro.

Your thoughts

Have you known about this gesture yet? If so, have you been using it on a regular basis or do you tend to invoke the app switcher by double-pressing the Home button.

Speaking of which, are you excited that the 3D Touch app switcher gesture is back?

Did you know you can navigate around the iPad using only a keyboard, without touching the screen at all? It’s part of iOS Accessibility options called VoiceOver, and using keyboard navigation makes the iPad feel a lot more like a traditional computer, even sharing some of the keyboard shortcuts that Macs have to do things like the ever useful Command+Tab app switcher.

This is a very underused and little-known feature of iOS, and it can really improve and speed up workflow on the iPad for those who use external keyboards with the device.

First, Enable VoiceOver Keyboard Navigation on iPad

To use keyboard navigation, you’ll need a keyboard connected to the iPad either through Bluetooth or another external keyboard attached through the power port. Next, you’ll need to turn VoiceOver on by doing the following:

  • Open “Settings”, tap “General”, go to “Accessibility”, and flip “VoiceOver” to ON

With VoiceOver enabled you will gain access to the keyboard navigation feature, but because the VoiceOver feature is intended as an accessibility function there’s also a speaking aspect that comes with VoiceOver being turned on.

If you want to silence the speaking of screen items on iPad when VoiceOver is enabled, just hit Control+Option+S to silence the speech aspect of VoiceOver. Now for the commands.

iPad Navigation Keyboard Commands with VoiceOver

Basic keyboard navigation shortcuts on iPad with VoiceOver enabled are as follows:

  • Control+Option+H – Home button
  • Control+Option+H+H – Show multitask bar
  • Control+Option+i – Item chooser
  • Escape – Back button
  • Right Arrow – next item
  • Left Arrow – previous item
  • Up + Down Arrows simultaneously – tap selected item
  • Option + Down Arrow – scroll down
  • Option + Up Arrow – scroll up
  • Option + Left or Right Arrow – scroll left or right
  • Control+Option+S – turn VoiceOver speech on or off

These keyboard shortcuts can be used from anywhere. You’ll notice many of them are shared between Mac OS X and iOS, making them familiar and quite easy to use for Mac users who are using the iPad.

iPad App Switcher Keyboard Commands

Arguably the most useful set of commands are related to app switching:

  • Command+Shift+Tab – switch to the previous app
  • Command+Tab – switch back to the original app
  • Left+Right Arrow, then Option + Left or Option+Right – navigate through Dock

These shortcuts speed up multitasking in iOS so much that they should be considered mandatory knowledge for anyone trying to do serious work on the iPad with an external keyboard. Memorize and master these and you’re sure to be more productive.

Whether you have a keyboard dock, case, or just a bluetooth keyboard, check these out, they can completely change the way you use an iPad.

Thanks to Eric for pointing us to the great basis of these tips at TaoOfMac. Topmost iPad image from Flickr.

By Killian Bell • 12:53 pm, July 16, 2020

  • How-To
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Cmd+Q really does work on iPad.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

If you’ve ever spent any amount of time in macOS, you will have likely tried to use its familiar Command+Q keyboard shortcut to quit apps on iPad — only to find it does nothing. But you’re not using it properly.

There is a trick that allows you to use this shortcut to quickly close iPadOS apps, and in this pro tip, we’ll show you how.

Keyboard shortcuts were designed to make our lives a little easier. They can help you navigate your way around apps, trigger common functions, and lots more. But they can also be confusing.

If you frequently use multiple Apple devices, like a Mac and an iPad, you will have discovered that not every keyboard shortcut you’re used to using on your desktop works as intended inside iPadOS.

One of these is Command+Q, which, unlike in macOS, cannot be used to quit an app and return to the Home screen on iPad. There is another way to use it to close iPadOS apps, however.

How to use the Command+Q shortcut in iPadOS

First, you need to open the Command+Tab app switcher, then close your apps from there. Follow these steps:

  1. Hold down the Command (Cmd) key, then press the Tab key to open the app switcher.
  2. Keep holding down Command while tapping Tab until you highlight the app you wish to close.
  3. While still holding Command, press Q to close the app.

Closing apps in this way has the same affect as swiping up on an app in the iPadOS multitasking view. It means any data saved in memory is dumped, and the app will refresh when it is reopened.

* This post is part of iPhone Life‘s Tip of the Day newsletter. Sign Up. *

We’ve had Split View and Slide Over for a while now, allowing us to work in more than one app at a time. Now, users can also work in more instances of the same app in different windows. This is great if you’re organizing the folders in your Files app working on a large project in Pages, but how does it work, exactly? This tip explains what it means to run multiple windows of the same app. Read on to learn how to open the same app in a new window on the iPad.

Running Multiple Windows of an App on the iPad

You probably already know that you can use Split View and Slide Over to multitask in an active app. Now, with a new feature called App Exposé, you can also open multiple windows of an app at the same time. Here’s how:

  1. Open a compatible app. For this example, I’m using Messages.
  2. Gently swipe up from the bottom of the screen until the Dock appears.

Tap the icon of the app you’re already working in.

  • This opens up a grid view that’s similar to App Switcher called the App Exposé.
  • To add a new window, tap the plus icon on the top right.

  • To view your multiple windows, pull up the Dock, and tap the app icon.
  • Now, you’ll see a grid view of the multiple windows open in App Exposé.

    To remove a window, swipe up.

    To open an existing window, tap it.

    To add another window, tap the plus icon.

    To open previously closed windows, tap Reopen Closed Windows.

    While third-party apps could use this feature, I haven’t come across any that do. If you have a favorite app that you’d like to implement this feature, you can contact the developer and make a request. In the meantime, you can use the windows in App Exposé to improve your productivity in apps such as Notes, Messages, Safari, Files, and even Maps!

    Topics

    Author Details

    Author Details

    Tamlin Day

    Tamlin Day is a feature web writer for iPhone Life and a regular contributor to iPhone Life magazine. A prolific writer of tips, reviews, and in-depth guides, Tamlin has written hundreds of articles for iPhone Life. From iPhone settings to recommendations for the best iPhone-compatible gear to the latest Apple news, Tamlin’s expertise covers a broad spectrum.

    Before joining iPhone Life, Tamlin received his BFA in Media & Communications as well as a BA in Graphic Design from Maharishi International University (MIU), where he edited MIU’s literary journal, Meta-fore. With a passion for teaching, Tamlin has instructed young adults, college students, and adult learners on topics ranging from spoken word poetry to taking the perfect group selfie. Tamlin’s first computer, a Radioshack Color Computer III, was given to him by his father. At 13, Tamlin built his first PC from spare parts. He is proud to put his passion for teaching and tech into practice as a writer and educator at iPhone Life.

    By Charlie Sorrel • 11:00 am, October 10, 2017

    • How-To
    • Top stories

    The iPad is insanely flexible in iOS 11.
    Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

    In iOS 11, there are four ways to switch apps on the iPad. Five, if you count the old-school way: hitting the home button to return to the home screen, and tapping an icon to launch a different app. Some of these methods have been around a while, and have changed drastically in iOS 11. Others are brand new, and exclusive to the iPad. Today, we’re going to look at them all.

    Switch apps in iOS 11 using gestures

    This one has been around for a while, and is still super-useful. On the iPad, you can switch to the previous app by swiping right on the screen with four or five fingers. This drags the current app off to the right, while the previous app you used will slide in from the left. Think of it as grabbing the screen with a fist and dragging it. This works for both single apps, and for app “spaces,” when you’re using two apps in Split View.

    Once you’ve done this initial switch, you can go back to the initial app by swiping your fingers to the left. In this manner, you can easily switch between two or more apps, swiping left and right to quickly move between them. And amazingly, this gesture works in the middle of a drag-and-drop operation, so you can grab something using drag-and-drop, then switch apps with this gesture before dropping the item. How’s that for multitouch mastery? Not enough? Here’s another tip, then: The swipe gesture even works when you have an app floating above the screen in Slide Over view. In this case, the app underneath will switch, leaving the Slide Over app where it is.

    To use this trick, you’ll need to switch it on. Go to Settings>General>Multitasking & Dock, and switch on Gestures. That’s it.

    Bonus tip. You can do something similar on the iPhone, by using 3D touch to drag the current screen across. This only requires one finger, but you have to press to get it to work. Once you’re done, though, it’s hard to give it up. The iPhone version has been disabled in iOS 11, but will return in iOS 11.1.

    Switch apps with iOS 11’s Control Center

    This is kind of a gesture-based switcher, in that you have to use a one-finger drag to enter the Control Center. To do this, you swipe up from the bottom of the screen until the Dock appears. Then you keep going. You will now be in the new hybrid Control Center, which now incorporates the old multitasking view. You can also double-tap the home button to arrive in the same view. Here you will see a grid of all the apps you have used. The most recent ones are right there, and swiping right will let you browse back in time to apps you last launched days ago. To launch one, just tap it.

    It’s important to remember that all those thumbnails of old apps are just that: pictures. They are not running versions of those apps, and are not consuming any resources. You often see people idly entering the multitasking view and clearing these old thumbnails (with a swipe up — this is also the way to force-quit a running app in iOS 11), in order to improve their battery life or some other voodoo.

    Homeopathic nonsense

    This is pointless. Only the most recent apps are kept running in any way, ready to be quickly resumed. If iOS is getting short on resources, then it automatically kills background processes. Doing so yourself is a placebo, a waste of time, and means you can’t find older apps in this view. Some Apple Store employees even recommend it, which is a little like going to the doctor and being recommended homeopathic “medicine.”

    Another thing to know about this new Control Center multitasking view is that apps which are paired together in Split Screen stay that way. You can see this for yourself just by looking at the thumbnails. This is a great feature, because you can keep some apps permanently paired in split view. Two weather apps, for example, or your Mail app and a notes app.

    The Dock: iOS 11’s brand-new app switcher

    This is brand new in iOS 11, and once you get used to it, one of the iPad’s best new features. To access the iPad’s Dock, just swipe up from the bottom of the screen. On iOS 10 and prior, the Dock was only available from the home screen, and only held a fixed number of apps (or folders). Now, you can use it anywhere. The new Dock does a lot, but for app-switching, you need to know just two things. One, that you can invoke it and then hit an app icon to switch. And second, the rightmost section is automatic, and Siri will decide what shows up there.

    This could be a recent app, or an app suggestion based on something else. If you plug in headphones, your favorite podcast app may appear, for instance. And if you have a compatible app open on another device, you iPhone or Mac, for example, it will show up here, in Handoff mode.

    You can switch this last feature off if you’d like more space for your own apps. Try it out for a while, though, because it really is almost psychic in its suggestions. To switch it off, head back to Settings>General>Multitasking & Dock, and toggle Show Suggested and Recent Apps to off.

    Switch apps using the keyboard

    The iPad uses the same Command-Tab app switcher as the Mac. That is, hitting the tab key together with the Command key on a connected keyboard will bring up the app-switcher strip across the center of the screen. It look a lot like the Dock, but it is in fact an icon-based list of your most recently-used apps, in order of most recent use. Keep the Command key held down while you tap Tab, and you will cycle through the list. Let go to launch the app. You can also hit the tilde key to reverse the switcher’s direction, or even use the left and right arrow keys once the app switcher is up on screen (you still need to keep the Command key held down). You can even touch one of the icons to launch the app.

    Those are the four app switchers on iOS 11. There are other ways to launch apps (Spotlight, for instance, or Siri), but those aren’t really switchers. Now, between the Dock, the new Command Center, and the old gesture and keyboard shortcuts, you can switch between apps any way you like, depending on what suits you at that moment. If you never really tried any of these, then pick one and use it for a few days until it becomes automatic, and then try another one. The neat thing is that they are interactive, but never get in each other’s way, so you can experiment to see what you like best.

    On iPadOS users have the ability to open multiple windows of the same app. You can use App Expose feature to close windows on iPad, switch between these multiple windows and open new windows for an app.

    iPadOS has become much more powerful than ever before. Now the iPad operating system offers Mac like multitasking capabilities that make it a viable replacement for desktop computers for a large number of users.

    One multitasking feature found on iPadOS enables users to have multiple Windows opened for the same app and control it with App Expose. Using App Expose users can close windows on iPad, switch between app windows and open windows.

    Similar to how you can have multiple instances of an app opened on your Mac, iPadOS also lets you have multiple windows of an app opened.

    Users can access these app windows or app workplaces in normal views, instances of app running in Split-View and in Slideover features.

    Being able to have multiple app workplaces can be very beneficial in apps like Safari. In this app you can open certain websites in one window and other types of websites in another window and switch between them as you like. This way you can separate these two workplaces without filling up your main window with tens of tabs.

    You can manage and add new windows of an app through a screen called ‘App Expose’. There are two ways to access this particular screen. Both of these are explained in the next section.

    Using App Expose To Show All Windows, Close Windows and Open New App Windows

    You can access App Expose screen in the following two ways. Once you are on the App Expose screen you can switch between multiple opened windows, close windows and open new windows.

    Access App Expose when inside the app: When you are using the app you can access its App Expose screen and view all opened windows by accessing the icon dock (swipe up until you see the icon dock) and tapping on the app’s icon. On Home Button less iPad make sure you swipe up on either side of the home bar instead of on it.

    Similarly if you’re using your iPad with a mouse of trackpad, then you can click on the app’s icon from the dock to access the App Expose screen.

    Access App Expose from Home Screen: App Expose screen can also be accessed from the home screen. To do so tap and hold on the app’s icon and then tap on ‘Show All Windows’ option from the action menu.

    Use App Expose screen to close, open and switch between app windows

    Once you are one the App Expose screen you can tap on the Window card to access various opened app windows.

    You can also close app windows on iPad from the App Expose screen. To do so, simply swipe up on the window card to close it, similar to how you swipe up on App Switcher screen to close an app.

    Users can also add new windows or workplaces for an app. This can be done by tapping in the ‘+ New Window’ button that appears when they swipe app to access App Expose menu.

    If you happen to close a windows accidentally, then you can also restore closed windows by tapping on the ‘Reopen Closed Windows’ button. This button shows up next to the ‘+’ button once you have closed any window.

    There you go folks, this is how you can use iPad’s Show All Windows feature to access multiple instances of an app and do desktop like multitasking on your tablet.

    If you have any questions related to this guide, then let us know in the comments.

    At times certain instances occur where an app stops responding or freezes and this calls for force closing the app on your device to fix any such issues. The method works the same on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch and closes an app completely so that when you open it again, it starts afresh. Doing so automatically resolves any temporary issues you might have encountered. So let’s see the process to follow on different models of iPhones and iPad.

    How to close app on iPhone 13 or any Face ID iPhone

    1. Swipe up from the gesture area at the bottom of the screen and keep your finger in place until you see the multitasking interface.

  • Swipe right or left to find the app that you want to force quit.
  • To force close the app, flick upwards on the app.

    How to close apps on iPhone SE 2020, iPhone 8, or earlier

    1. Double-tap on the Home button to display the fast app switcher.
    2. Now, go to the app screen that you want to force quit and flick up to push it off the screen.

    How to force quit app on iPad with Face ID

    If your iPad Pro has Face ID (running iOS 12, iPadOS 13, or higher), you can force quit apps as follows:

    1. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to the middle area. Hold your finger in place for a second and then let go.
    2. You will see all the previously opened apps displayed in a grid. Simply swipe up on the ones you want to force close.

    How to force close app on iPad with Home button

    If you have an iPad with a physical Home button, just double-tap it to open the App Switcher. Then, you can flick upwards on the apps that you want to force quit.

    Alternatively, if your iPad with a home button is running iOS 12 (or iPadOS 14/13), you can also swipe up from the bottom of the screen to display the App Switcher and flick off the apps you want to force close.

    Summing Up

    It’s pretty simple to force quit apps on iPhone and iPad. But you should only do it when you really need to. That is when an app freezes or doesn’t respond. There is no need to force close apps on a habitual basis as iOS is built to handle them in the background. Let us know in the comments below if you’re looking for any other iOS tips.

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