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6 only-for-iPad gestures you need to know

Ben Patterson | Aug. 31, 2015
Nope, you can't pinch your iPhone's display to get to the home screen, nor can you swipe directly through your open apps—but you can if you're an iPad user.

While every iPhone gesture will work on an iPad, not every iPad gesture will work on an iPhone—and some of the lesser-known but most interesting iOS gestures happen to be iPad-only.

Read on for six handy gestures for iPad—and only for iPad—starting with...

Swipe up with four (or five) fingers

Any iPhone or iPad user knows the shortcut to the iOS multitasking screen—that is, the screen that lets you swipe back and forth between all your running apps. Double-tap the Home button, and you’ll see all your background apps displayed as a series of swipeable cards.

Swipe up with four (or five) fingers

Here’s an easy way to get to the iPad’s multitasking screen: swipe up with four or five fingers.

All well and good, but there’s another (and arguably easier) way to the multitasking screen for iPad users: just swipe up with four or five fingers.

When you do so, you’ll zip directly to iOS’s multitasking view; tap a card to switch apps, or swipe down again with four (or five) fingers to return to the app you were just using.

Note: Is the four-finger swipe not working for you? If not, make sure you have the iPad’s Multitasking Gestures setting enabled. Launch Settings, then toggle on the Multitasking Gestures switch.

Swipe one way or another with four or five fingers

If you want to switch apps without dealing with iOS’s multitasking screen, try this: Using four or five fingers, swipe from left to right or right to left.

Swipe one way or another with four or five fingers

Swipe with four or five fingers to switch directly between apps, no multitasking screen required.

When you do, you’ll start cycling through all your open apps, one after another—no need to tap the Home button.

Pinch the screen with five fingers

Here’s yet another inventive way for iPad users to avoid touching the Home key. To get back to the home screen at any time, just “pinch” with all five fingers. (If you can’t quite picture how a five-finger pinch works, try this: open your hand about halfway, touch all five fingers on the screen, then slowly pull your fingertips together.)

Pinch the screen with five fingers

With the iPad’s five-finger pinch gesture, you can get to the home screen without pressing the Home button.

When you do, the app you’re using will shrink and disappear, revealing the home screen.

Swipe from left to right within an open Mail message


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