How to disable multitasking on an ipad

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

Multitasking on iPad has evolved over the years, and with iPadOS 13, we saw another round of changes and new capabilities. But if you find yourself accidentally invoking features like Split View, follow along for how to turn off multitasking on your iPad.

Depending on how you use your iPad, you might prefer to have all or some of the iPadOS 13 multitasking features turned off.

On the other hand, if you’re finding you accidentally activate Split View or Slide Over on iPad every so often and want to become more confident with them, check out our in-depth video looking at all the ways to activate and use multitasking on iPad.

While multitasking is somewhat complex and not as user-friendly as it could be, MacStories recently created a neat concept for how it might be improved.

How to turn off multitasking on your iPad

  1. Head to Settings
  2. Swipe down a bit on the left-hand side and tap Home Screen & Dock
  3. Tap Multitasking
  4. Hit the toggle next to Allow Multiple Apps to turn off Split View and Slipe Over multitasking (no individual control for now)
  5. You can also opt to turn off Picture in Picture support as well as Gesture support that allows you to switch between apps with a four-finger gesture or 4/5-finger expand to open the app switcher

Another way to simplify your iPad experience is by turning off the “Suggested and Recent Apps in Dock.” That toggle is under the Home Screen & Dock settings shown in the first screenshot below.

Here’s how this looks:

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

Now you can choose which multitasking features you’d like to disable.

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

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How to disable multitasking on an ipad

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By Charlie Sorrel • 11:00 am, January 29, 2020

How to disable multitasking on an ipadSplit View is great, but it’s way too hard to use.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apparently, some people really hate multitasking on the iPad. It’s easy to see why. All you have to do is accidentally drag a link in Safari, instead of just tapping on it, and you end up with a split-screen view, with that link in its own window. And getting rid of that window is a huge pain, even if you know how to do it.

Fortunately for people who hate iPad multitasking — which isn’t really multitasking, but is Apple’s term for the confusion of multiple-window views on iPadOS — Apple lets you turn off the feature. Here’s how to disable iPad multitasking (and why you might not want to).

How to disable iPad multitasking

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

Open up the Settings app, and go to Home Screen & Dock. Then tap on Multitasking, and you’ll see this screen: The iPad’s multitasking settings.
Photo: Cult of Mac

As mentioned above, “multitasking” on the iPad covers several features. This includes Split View and Slide Over, which let you see two or three apps on screen at the same time. It also includes the various gestures for switching between apps — the four-fingers swipe to switch between apps, and the whole-hand pinch that returns you to the Home screen.

There are three toggles in this section of the iPad’s settings. Here’s exactly what they control:

Allow Multiple Apps

The Allow Multiple Apps setting toggles the ability to have more than one app on screen at a time. That’s Split View and Slide Over. Switching this off temporarily will not remove any apps that you already have “stored” in the Slide Over stack. It simply disables the ability to swipe that stack out from the side of the screen. This is handy if you’re letting someone use your iPad, so they don’t end up getting confused when they accidentally trigger it. You can safely lock Slide Over, and enable it again later.

Disabling “multiple apps” doesn’t disable multiple windows of the same app. You can still drag links and documents to create new app windows, but not in Split View or Slide Over. Confused? I am.

Picture in Picture

The iPad’s Picture in Picture feature lets you watch a video play back in a floating window. It’s pretty neat, but it’s sometimes tricky to force sites like YouTube to obey it. It’s also very hard to trigger accidentally, so you may as well leave this switched on.

Gestures

Switching off Gestures will disable the following features:

  • Four- or five-finger swipe left or right to switch between apps.
  • The same four/five-finger swipe left or right, followed by a swipe up (without removing the fingers first) to enter the app switcher view.
  • Five-finger grab/pinch to return to the Home screen.
  • One-finger swipe up from the bottom of the screen to show the Dock.
  • Longer, one-finger swipe up from the bottom of the screen to show the app switcher.
  • Swipes from the top of the screen to show Control Center and Spotlight.

iPad multitasking is absurdly complex

Multitasking on the iPad is powerful, but also absurdly complicated — and hard to discover. Even when you’re used to it, and can perform these gestures without thinking, you’ll still get caught up by glitchy behavior. You can almost see why somebody might feel tempted to disable iPad multitasking entirely.

For instance, just this morning, I accidentally swiped a Safari link into a new Split View panel. It took me quite a few moments to recover from it, starting with a long pause to consider how I would achieve my goal. That “goal” being “close that Split View tab, without leaving an invisible orphan window hidden somewhere.”

  1. Grab the little handle at the top of the rogue window, and drag it from the 50:50 split screen until it becomes a Slide Over panel.
  2. Swipe up on that panel’s bottom handle to enter the Split View multitasking stack.
  3. Flick the unwanted panel up off the screen to dismiss it.
  4. Tap the original window, now in the background, to return to where you started.

You can also just swipe the split-screen divider until the rogue window disappears, but it will be stored in a hidden, multi-window limbo.

I kid you not. I don’t like to invoke the Ghost of Steve Jobs, but can you imagine demoing this to him and getting out of the room unscathed?

I make heavy use of Slide Over and Split View, so realistically I cannot turn off these features. But they drive me nuts every day. I completely understand how they work, but I still have to stop for a moment before I use them, every single time. It’s just badly designed. Really badly designed.

Benj Edwards
How to disable multitasking on an ipadBenj Edwards
Associate Editor

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.

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

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.

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

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

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

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

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

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.

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

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

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

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.

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How to disable multitasking on an ipad Benj Edwards
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 Full Bio »

Thank you for using Apple Support Communities. Based on your post, you'd like to disable multitasking on your iPad.

For multitasking we'd recommend reviewing: Use multitasking on your iPad

Does it help to tap on the Multitasking button at the top of your screen?

Hoping these helps out, take care!

Sep 22, 2021 5:45 AM

But how to remove the button from screen and turn the feature off completely?

Oct 8, 2021 12:33 AM

You are quite correct. Unlike iPadOS13/14, multi-tasking features of iPadOS15 cannot be disabled.

Whilst it is not possible to disable multitasking features in iPadOS15, Apple do invite constructive feedback and feature requests via their product feedback pages:

If you have particularly strong feelings about changes made within the new OS-release, or have suggestions for improvements, the feedback page is perhaps the most appropriate channel through which to express your views. Whilst you are unlikely to receive a reply, it is understood that all comments are logged and forwarded to the most appropriate team.

Oct 8, 2021 4:20 AM

IMHO this multi-tasking button significantly reduces usability as it's located nearby the address bar and on URL copy/paste it opens its menu instead of normal address bar behavior.

Also the feature itself is unusable on iPad 10" due to its small screen size.

Oct 8, 2021 5:47 AM

The button gets in the way of writing with the apple pen

Oct 15, 2021 6:39 AM

Where can I complain to apple about this? This was the dumbest idea ever. I hate split screen. It is the most annoying feature ever. Every time apple comes out with an update it makes iPad/iPhone worse.

Oct 25, 2021 12:07 PM

Question: Q: iPadOS 15: How to disable multitasking (split view)? More Less

When Apple added Split View and Slide Over multitasking to iOS, both features were appreciated by many iPad Pro users. But it turns out that not everybody needs or wants to multitask on their iPad Pro tablets.

For some users multitasking can actually be annoying since tapping and swiping from the right side of the iPad Pro’s screen can inadvertently activate iOS’ multitasking feature.

If you’re one of those users, don’t worry. It’s very easy to disable multitasking on the iPad Pro.

How to disable Split View and Slide Over multitasking on the iPad Pro

Here’s how you can quickly disable multitasking on your iPad Pro:

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Tap on General.

3. Tap on Multitasking.

4. Tap the “Allow Multiple Apps” switch to the off position.

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

Now when you swipe from the right side of your iPad Pro’s screen, Slide Over and Split View multitasking won’t be activated.

Why disable multitasking on the iPad Pro?

Some folks might think it’s crazy to disable multitasking on the iPad Pro. But as I noted above, the feature isn’t necessary for all users and for some of us it’s a good idea to turn it off.

Personally, I’ve found that that the multitasking feature on my 12.9-inch iPad Pro just annoys me. For example, when I read in the iOS Kindle app I’ve found that having multitasking on is a headache. I tend to swipe from the right to turn a page in my Kindle books, so I don’t want to inadvertently activate Slide Over while I’m reading.

I also read comic books on my iPad Pro, and I’ve encountered the same problem if multitasking is on. Each time I go to move to a new page or panel, multitasking will start to activate. So, unless I actually need multitasking for something, I keep it off on my iPad Pro.

Bear in mind that I don’t work on my iPad Pro. For work I have a 27-inch, 5K iMac. So multitasking on the iPad Pro just doesn’t do much for me, I prefer macOS on my iMac when I need to get work done. Your mileage may vary, of course, and the iPad Pro can be a great productivity tool for work for some users.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the iPad Pro’s Slide Over and Split View multitasking are very useful features. But they just aren’t necessary for all of us, at all times. So it’s great that they can be disabled for folks who don’t need them.

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I have a large app that I will need some time to optimize for iOS9.

Edit: What I am worried about is all the UI getting squeezed together when the app window size is reduced. So my question is, is there any way to force full screen for the app?

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

4 Answers 4

To opt-out (disable) multi-tasking for your application:

Select your TargetGeneral Section → Scroll Down and check Requires full screen

It gets applied to the plist’s UIRequiresFullScreen key value.

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

Note: Apps are required to support all screen orientations if it supports multitasking. Otherwise, apps will get the following error on publishing:

Invalid Bundle. iPad Multitasking support requires these orientations: .

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

You have to modify your project to support multitasking. According to WWDC 2015 video, to adopt your app for multitasking, satisfy these requirements:

  1. Build your app with iOS 9 SDK
  2. Support all orientations
  3. Use Launch Storyboards

So, if any of this is not done yet, your app will not be able to support multitasking.

Of course, if you don’t use size classes, put it at the top of the list.

Edit: according to you question edit. There is a UIRequiresFullScreen key in Info.plist. See more at Apple docs

To opt out of Slide Over and Split View, do so explicitly by adding the UIRequiresFullScreen key to your Xcode project’s Info.plist file and apply the Boolean value YES .

You can set above thing using General tab of Targets, Select Requires Full Screen check. Refer below image for the sameHow to disable multitasking on an ipad

Note :

A user can disable Slide Over and Split View in Settings > General > Multitasking. If you think you’ve set up everything correctly and find that these features still don’t work, check this setting.

Apple first introduced multitasking features called Split View and Slide Over in iOS 9. These multitasking features are powerful 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 home-screen by default.

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

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

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

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

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

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.

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

Some people keep the Gestures toggle enabled and disable the other two options. That comes down to personal preference.

How to disable multitasking on an 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.

To opt-out (disable) multi-tasking for your application:

Select your TargetGeneral Section → Scroll Down and check Requires full screen

It gets applied to the plist’s UIRequiresFullScreen key value.

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

Note: Apps are required to support all screen orientations if it supports multitasking. Otherwise, apps will get the following error on publishing:

Invalid Bundle. iPad Multitasking support requires these orientations: .

You have to modify your project to support multitasking. According to WWDC 2015 video, to adopt your app for multitasking, satisfy these requirements:

  1. Build your app with iOS 9 SDK
  2. Support all orientations
  3. Use Launch Storyboards

So, if any of this is not done yet, your app will not be able to support multitasking.

Of course, if you don’t use size classes, put it at the top of the list.

Edit: according to you question edit. There is a UIRequiresFullScreen key in Info.plist. See more at Apple docs

To opt out of Slide Over and Split View, do so explicitly by adding the UIRequiresFullScreen key to your Xcode project’s Info.plist file and apply the Boolean value YES .

You can set above thing using General tab of Targets, Select Requires Full Screen check. Refer below image for the sameHow to disable multitasking on an ipad

Note :

A user can disable Slide Over and Split View in Settings > General > Multitasking. If you think you’ve set up everything correctly and find that these features still don’t work, check this setting.

See Adopting Multitasking Enhancements on iPad – Slide Over and Split View Quick Start.

Benj Edwards
How to disable multitasking on an ipadBenj Edwards
Associate Editor

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.

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

While using your iPad, you may end up with two app windows on the screen by accident due to multitasking features called Slide Over and Split View. The extra app window can be frustrating to remove if you don’t know the right gestures. Here’s how to do it.

How to Get Rid of a Small Floating Window on iPad (Slide Over)

While using your iPad, you may end up with a smaller window off to the side hovering over a full-screen app. This is called Slide Over, and it looks like this.

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

To dismiss the small Slide Over window, place your finger on the control bar at the top of the Slide Over window, and quickly swipe it toward the right edge of the screen if the window is on the right side, or swipe toward the left edge of the screen if the window is on the left.

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

For most people, this does the trick, but you are technically only hiding the Slide Over window, not closing it. It can still be recalled by swiping it back from the edge of the screen corresponding to the side you hid it on.

To fully close a Slide Over window, hold your finger on the control bar at the top, and slide it slowly toward the edge of the screen until it becomes part of a split-screen view (called Split View). Then you can close the unwanted window by sliding the black partition between the two windows all the way to the edge of the screen until one window disappears (See “How to Get Rid of Split Screen on iPad” below).

If you’d like to disable Slide Over in Settings so it never shows up again, you can disable multitasking on your iPad.

How to Get Rid of Split Screen on iPad (Split View)

Sometimes, you might end up with two app windows side by side on your iPad’s screen. This is called Split View, and it looks like this.

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

If you’d like to dismiss the split-screen view (by getting rid of one of the windows), place your finger on the center of the black partition line, and drag it at a steady medium speed toward the right edge of the screen.

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

As you slide closer to the edge of the screen, the apps will blur out, and you will see two windows with the apps’ icons in them instead. Keep sliding your finger to the right.

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

Toward the very edge of the screen, the black partition between the two windows will begin to grow wider (this visually signifies that you are about to “break up” Split View). Keep sliding your finger until you reach the edge of the screen.

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

Once at the edge of the screen, release your finger, and the Split View should be gone.

How to disable multitasking on an ipad

If you’d like to disable Split Screen in Settings so it never shows up again, you can disable multitasking on your iPad.

Learn More About Split Screen/Multitasking—or Disable it Completely

Multitasking features on the iPad can be quite handy and powerful if you get the hang of them. Because of the nuances of the 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 Split View and Slide Over in the Settings.

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How to disable multitasking on an ipad Benj Edwards
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 Full Bio »

There is no way to disable multitasking. Also multitasking is not enabled for every app by default. Every app needs to implement multitasking in order to enable it for that app. Otherwise the app just runs like it used to run in 3.2.2 and shuts down once you hit the home button.

The list you see by double tapping the home button is simply a list of the recently used apps. Some of them could be running a service in the background. Usually you will have a visual indicator for apps running in the background in the status bar on top.

Nov 23, 2010 10:45 AM

That’s the problem, I can’t not use it, it’s on by default, and soon I’ll have filled my ipad memory with applications slowing it down more than the 4.2 update already has. What’s the point of this type of multitasking? I gain nothing by it. When I want to run an app, I can either click the big icon on the main screen, or double click the home button, then scroll through all the running apps and see if it’s listed there? How is that helpful? It’s annoying because now if I want to close down my apps, I have to first hit the home button once, then double click the home button, THEN, hold one of the program icons and finally click all the – buttons in order to close my apps, rather than just clicking the home buttons once as I did before the update. If you don’t find that annoying then heaven help you.

People need to face it, apple didn’t want multitasking in ios but they caved and put in this failed attempt at it which makes their product feel awkward, I would have rather they caved on flash.

Nov 23, 2010 11:45 AM

Having apps in memory doesn’t slow the iPad down. They are frozen. If the iPad needs to release some RAM it will do so itself, by quitting the least recently used App.

You don’t have to close your Apps. That’s the whole point.

You need to educate yourself on how multitasking works in iOS 4 rather than whining like a child. Most apps don’t actually run in the background.

Nov 23, 2010 11:50 AM

Nov 23, 2010 11:52 AM

@slickpig:
as already said by others, doubletapping the homebutton shows recently used apps, NOT currently running apps. so its now faster to switch between apps which are located on different pages.
multitasking apps will just run in the background without any need to change some settings.
For example, I can now have a countdowntimer running in the background and practice with a metronome in the foreground, after a certain time I get a message that says 1min is over.
This was not possible with 3.2.2

hope this helps
greetings wolfger

Nov 23, 2010 12:03 PM

If I understand the way it works, idle apps will close out themselves.

Multitasking is one of the things I (and lots of other people) were waiting for. I can now listen to Pandora and still check my mail, just as one example. It’s not about switching apps quickly, it’s about allowing non-Apple apps to continue to do what you want them to do even while doing something else. It makes the device significantly more flexible.

I haven’t noticed that my iPad runs any more slowly since I upgraded. I’ve been playing with it pretty much non-stop.

Nov 23, 2010 12:21 PM

Nov 23, 2010 12:22 PM

iOS 4.2.1 actually improved the performance of my iPad, not degraded it.

Multi-tasking in iOS 4 is already a known entity. It is limited to some core services to conserve battery power and preserve overall performance.

Most apps are not multi-tasking capable under iOS 4 and thus actually do CLOSE when you leave them. They do however leave their icon in the task switcher to make it a lot easier to switch back to them if you need to.

With your flash comment, I have to consider the possibility that I have been trolled here.

But, if you want a system where they use traditional multi-tasking and flash, try an Android based device. I can tell you my partner has one and he never passes an AC outlet. And that is no joke. Whereas, both my iPhone and iPad work all day long with heavy use and still have juice to go most of the evening before I put them on the charger, at my choosing, not because the device is battery dead.

If iOS does not meet your needs, PLEASE sell your device and get something that will make you happy. However, if you have a real issue and require assistance with it, I am sure we, fellow users, would be more then happy to assist you.