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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to open and use the app switcher on an iPad

How to open and use the app switcher on an iPad



  Apple Logo Hero

The iPad's app switcher is an essential multitasking feature that allows you to view, switch to and manage your open apps as a grid of thumbnails. It is similar to Alt + Tab or Command + Tab for an iPad. Here's how to use it:

Open the app switcher on iPad

To launch the app switcher on iPads running iOS 1

2 or later, slowly swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen and pause then in the center of the screen and lift your finger.

  Launching app switcher on iPad

Quickly press the Home button twice to launch the app switcher on iPads using the Home buttons.

  Home button on the iPad
Apple, Inc.

If you use a mouse with your iPad and have updated to iPadOS 13 or higher, it is also possible to start the app switcher with one of your additional mouse buttons. To do this, you 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 with a trackpad gesture: swipe up and hold three fingers. The app switcher appears.

RELATED: Using Trackpad Gestures on Your iPad

Selecting an App Using the App Switcher

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

If you have recently used more than six apps, you can swipe left or right to see them all.

 App Swithcer on iPad

To use any of the apps or Split View sessions shown in the app switcher, simply swipe left or right through the grid until you click the thumbnail the screen and tap it.

 Select an app via the app switcher on iPad

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

 ] Full screen split view preview

You can repeat this process as many times as you want, call the app switcher from any app and tap the app you want to switch to.

Closing an app with the app switcher on iPad

Sometimes an app becomes unresponsive or no longer behaves as expected. In that case you can close it with the App Switcher. To do this, swipe through the app thumbnails until you find the app you want to close and make sure it is visible on the screen.

 App Switcher on iPad

Swipe your finger up on the thumbnail of the app quickly until it disappears from the screen. If you want, you can use more than one finger to close more than one app at a time.

 Closing an app via App Switcher on iPad

After you wipe the thumbnail of the app, it will no longer be present on the App Switcher screen. The app is now closed.

 App switcher on iPad after closing the app

To restart the app, find the icon on your home screen and tap it. Whenever you need the app switcher again, just launch it from anywhere and you are good to go.

Learn more about iPad multitasking (or turning it off)

Multitasking features on the iPad can be useful and powerful if you master them. Because of the subtle gestures involved, they need patience and practice to get just right.

On the other hand, if you prefer to use the iPad as a one-task device, or you accidentally keep opening additional app windows, you can easily disable multitasking features in Settings, including the one-finger gesture that controls the app switcher is started.

RELATED: Using Multiple Apps Simultaneously on an iPad


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