How to View Open Apps on the iPad

To view open apps on the iPad, you need to open the App Switcher. If you have a modern iPad model, it probably doesn’t have the apps listed on the home screen. You need to swipe up to open the Dock and view the apps you want to open. These swiping gestures are all you need to open the App Switcher and view the apps that are currently running. They can help you save time and work more productively when you can see the apps that are currently open on your iPad.

How to View Open Apps on the iPad

This article reveals these gestures and explains how to use them to view open apps on the iPad.

Viewing Open Apps on the iPad

Being able to see the apps currently open on your iPad lets you quickly and easily switch between them, improving productivity. To efficiently perform this, you need to access the App Switcher tool. Here’s how to locate it:

  1. Go to the bottom of the iPad screen, swipe upward, and pause your finger in the middle of the screen. If you have an older iPad model, press the home button twice to view the open apps.
  2. The most recently used apps will appear on the screen first. To see apps you’ve previously opened, slide your finger along the screen to the right. Thumbnails of the previously opened apps will appear.
  3. When you find the app you want to access, tap on it once.

Opening Running Apps on Newer iPads

To open running applications on your device, you need to view the Dock. If you have the latest model iPad, including iPad Air or iPad Pro, you won’t have a home screen button to press to do this. Thus, you can open the Dock like this:

  1. Wake up your device by tapping any spot on the screen.
  2. Alternatively, press the power button to bring the device out of sleep mode.
  3. Unlock your iPad with Face ID.

Modern iPad models keep the most commonly used apps on the left side of the Dock. The most recently opened apps are on the right side. Farthest on the right will be a button that opens the App Library, which displays the location and category of all the apps on the iPad. Open the apps you need to view from the Dock.

How to Use Shelf to Locate Opened Windows for an App

When working on iPad, you will mostly likely open more than one app at a time. Opening new windows is straightforward. However, finding windows for an open app you are working with on your device can be difficult. Luckily, an iPadOS 15 or later comes with a new feature called Shelf. It works like the Dock but for only one app at a time. For instance, if you’re working in Notes, the Shelf can show you other Notes pages you may want to access. You can simply tap on one and go right to it. Be aware that Shelf only works with certain such as Notes, Reminders, or News, or a browser like Safari or Chrome. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open an app. If you see three dots at the top, the app supports the Shelf feature.
  2. Tap the three dots. A series of small windows will appear at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Tap the window to which you want to switch. Additionally, you can select “New Window” to open other pages within the same app.
  4. To close a window, swipe up on it.

Another option is to touch and hold the app’s icon and select “Show All Windows.”

If you don’t achieve what you want with the Shelf, try the App Switcher tool again – swipe up from the bottom and pause in the idle of the screen. It shows open apps and their windows. And if you’ve opened many windows for one app, the App Switcher will place a tiny Windows icon near it. If you touch it, all the windows for that particular app will become visible. This includes full-screen, Slide Over, and Split View windows.

How to Disable Recently Used Apps on the Dock

If you use a modern or an older iPad version, disable recently used apps in this manner:

  1. Open the “Settings” menu on your iPad.
  2. Navigate to “Home Screen and Multitasking” and select it.
  3. Locate “Show Suggested and Recent Apps in Dock” and toggle the switch to “Off.”

You can also toggle off the App Library by switching “Show App Library in Dock” to “Off.”

What to Do if Dock Refuses to Open

Throughout these instructions, you’ve realized how vital the Dock is. If it refuses to open or freezes when you tap it once, you can’t view open apps and other things. So, here’s what to do when the Dock freezes up:

  • Press the Sleep/Wake Power button and stop when you see the slider to power off the screen.
  • If the screen freezes, press the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons. Stop when you see the Apple logo on your screen.
  • You can reset your iPad if the Dock gets stuck or freezes. Go to “Settings,” “General,” “Reset,” and “Reset all Settings.” However, backup your data first as this may clear some apps and settings from your device.
  • Update your iPads by tapping “Settings,” “General,” and “Software Update.”

Other Swiping Gestures To Know About

Closing an Open App

If your iPad has no home button, swipe up and stop halfway through the display to close the current app and view the home screen.

View the Control Center

The Control Center contains Airplane Mode, Bluetooth, Mobile Data, Wi-Fi, Flashlight, etc. Therefore, the Control Center is the most frequently-used menu on an iOS device. To view it, swipe down from the upper right corner.

Review Notifications

Swipe down from the top of your screen when you get a notification and want to view it. A list with various notifications will emerge. Choose the one you wish to read.

Search for a Hidden App

If you can’t find an app, yet you need to open it, swipe down from the center of the iPad’s display. A search box will open up, and you can use it to locate the missing app. Swipe to the left to return to the home screen.


How can I find open apps on Android?

If you own one of the latest Android phones, swipe upward from the lower corner of its screen. Turn on the App Switcher tool by touching the three vertical lines icon or the physical navigation buttons on your phone. Then, swipe right or left to view open apps. Swipe a recently used app’s window up to close it.

How can you enable the Apple Pay app if your iPad is new?

Tap the power button twice to enable Apple Pay. An Apple Pay screen will appear so you can purchase things online from your iPad.

Can I view recent activity on iPad?

One can see recent activity on iPad by tapping the “Settings” app. Then, choose “Screen Time.” After that, touch “Day” to view the daily usage summary or “Week” to check how you use your iPad every week.

View Open Apps on iPad

Modern iPads are easy to navigate via swiping and tapping gestures. If you want to view all the apps you’ve opened on your iPad, swipe up to the center of your screen and hold slightly to open the App Switcher. Then swipe left or right to view open apps, Split Views, and Slide Windows. You can also view all windows you’ve opened for a given app using the App Switcher or Shelf.

Did you recently try to view open apps on your iPad in vain? Do you understand how to do it after reading this article? Let us know in the comments section below.

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