How to Use Safari's Split Screen

Use Split View Mode to open two Safari windows side by side on iPad

The Split View feature on certain iPad models can display two Safari browser windows side by side. Use this feature for multitasking or comparing web page content without switching between windows or tabs. There are multiple ways to initiate a Safari split-screen session on your iPad, depending on your needs.

Split View is only available on the following models with the latest version of iOS: iPad Pro, iPad (5th generation and later), iPad Air 2 and later, and iPad mini 4 and later.

How to Open a Link in Safari Split Screen

When you want to open a specific web page so that it appears beside an open web page, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Safari browser on your iPad to one of the web pages you want to show in split-screen view.

    Split View works best when the iPad is positioned in landscape mode. If you follow these steps while your device is vertically oriented, the pages won't be evenly sized (the first website you open appears larger).

  2. Locate the link you want to open in Split View. Tap and hold it until a pop-up menu appears.

  3. Tap Open in New Window.

    Open in New Window Split View option in Safari for iPad
  4. Two Safari windows appear side by side, one containing the original page and the other a second Safari window open to your desired destination.

    Two Safari browser windows in Split View on an iPad

How to Open a Blank Page in Safari Split Screen

When you want to open a blank page in a new window beside a web page you already have open, follow these steps:

  1. Open Safari and tap and hold the Tab icon in the upper-right corner. Select Open New Window from the menu options.

    Open New Window highlighted from Tab menu on Safari for iPad
  2. Two Safari windows now appear beside each other, one containing the original page and the other a blank page, which may contain shortcuts to your saved Favorites.

    a screenshot of Safari Split View mode on iPad

How to Exit Safari Split Screen Mode

To exit Split View, use the Tabs menu to combine windows into one.

  1. Tap and hold the Tab icon in the upper-right corner of either Safari window.

  2. Select Merge All Windows to combine both open browser windows and exit Split View.

    Merge All Windows highlighted from Safari Tab menu on iPad

If you opened multiple tabs within each Safari window, use the Close This Tab option from the Tab menu to close each tab individually or all at once. This doesn't turn off Split View.

How to Add a Third App Window to Safari Split Screen

If side-by-side Safari windows aren't enough, you can add a third app to the mix with the iPad Slide Over feature. This additional window can be from any app available from the Dock.

Slide Over functionality is available in iOS 11 and above. Only certain iPad models support Split View and Slide Over simultaneously, including iPad Pro 10.5- to 12-inch models, third-generation and later iPad Air models, sixth-generation and newer iPads, and the fifth-generation iPad mini.

  1. Open two Safari windows in Split View using the instructions above.

    screenshot of Safari Split Screen on iPad
  2. Slowly swipe up from the bottom of the screen so that the Dock appears, overlaying the bottom portion of the Safari windows.

    Swipe up to open the Dock
  3. Tap and drag the icon for the app you want to open. Release the icon when it's in the middle of the screen.

    Dragging an app from the Dock
  4. A third app window appears, partially overlaying one of the Safari windows. 

    screenshot of Safari Split Screen with iTunes in Slide Over mode
  5. To reposition this window on the left or right side of the screen, tap and hold the horizontal gray bar at the top of it and slide the window to the desired location. 

If you want the app you chose to open in Slide Over to take the place of one of the Safari windows, drag the horizontal gray bar at the top of the app and place it over the target browser window. The browser window you replaced with the app is still active, but it is on a separate screen.

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