The split-screen function is an incredibly useful feature on the iPad, especially for those who need to multitask and/or conveniently keep a secondary screen up for comparisons. It’s much better than constantly minimizing and expanding new windows.
However, how do you get rid of it when you’re done?
Getting the iPad out of split-screen mode is more simple than getting it up. Simply place your finger on the center dividing line and slide it to the right or the left, letting go when it’s most of the way across the screen. This “gesture” will remove the split-screen feature from the display.
If you swipe from the middle of the screen to the left, the right side of the split-screen will become your new, whole screen. If you swipe from the center to the right, the left side of the screen will become your entire screen.
Once upon a time, you could simply go into the settings and turn the split-screen option off, but Apple did away with that option with iOS 15. The alleged but unofficial reason for the change was that Apple was aiming for a sharp increase in multitasking functionality.
Safari Split Screen
The split-screen in the Safari browser is a little separate from the standard split-screen function or, at the very least, it’s a little bit different in terms of both initiating it and getting rid of it.
The original idea for the Safari Browser split-screen owes its inception to iOS 10 and since it’s still a major theme in iOS 15, that means it’s been around for a while. Fortunately, they went with the same method for getting rid of the split-screen in Safari as the one for the split-screen period.
Simply touch the center and drag it to the left or the right. The one reason we even mentioned the Safari split-screen is because it is kind of separate from the standard split-screen, though the functionality remains the same.
How to Get Rid of the Small, Floating Window on iPad
The small floating window is a part of the split-screen feature and the multitasking goals of the iOS 15 update. It’s easy to go from split-screen to floating window, to full-screen, and then full circle back to split-screen.
The “floating window” is more like a column on the left or on the right of the screen and it takes up almost a third of the total screen real estate.
- Look at the column (floating window)
- At the top of the column is a single, horizontal bar
- Place your fingertip on that horizontal bar
- Quickly swipe it to the right (if the column is on the right) or to the left
- This gesture will reduce it to nothing (but it’s still there, summoned back at a gesture)
To get rid of the floating window in a more permanent fashion, it takes a little more finesse with your gestures.
- Swipe quickly from the right side of the screen towards the center to bring the floating window back
- Touch the centered, horizontal bar at the top
- Slide it to the edge of the screen slowly
- You’ll reach a point where this triggers a multi-window display of split-screen windows
- Exit out of all but the window you want to use.
This will permanently rid you of both the split-screen and the floating window column unless you accidentally trigger one, the other, or both again.
Which iPads Support the Split Screen Function?
No iPads prior to the fifth-generation iPads support split-screen view. That’s mostly because Apple didn’t decide to jump on the full-out, multitasking features until much later in the iPad game.
The iPads that support the split-screen and floating window are the following:
- iPad (5th generation)
- iPad Pro from 5th generation lineup
- iPad Mini 4
- iPad Air 2
These iPads not only support the split-screen feature but also have it turned on by default. When you power on your iPad for the first time, the split-screen feature is ready to go. Despite the fact that Apple ditched the option to turn off the split-screen mode, they did combine everything under a multitasking setting.
This means that you can go in and turn off multitasking if you don’t want to accidentally pull up the split-screen or floating window again.
- Open the Settings app
- Select Homescreen ; Dock
- Select Multitasking
- On Allow Multiple Apps, toggle the option to Off
That should make things so that you can’t accidentally fumble the split-screen on or pull up the floating window anymore.
Getting rid of the split-screen isn’t too difficult in practice, even though it can seem complex and frustrating when you’re trying to get rid of it for the first time. Unfortunately, people who don’t like a new feature get caught up in a wave of updates and company focus.
In this case, Apple focused hard on multitasking features. On the positive side, you now know how to get rid of it temporarily and permanently, until such time as you find a use for it.