How to Use Split Screen on a Mac

If your work or play requires access to more than one app simultaneously, you’ll benefit greatly from using Apple’s Split View feature. Entering Split View mode means you can have two apps open side by side. This can be useful for dragging and dropping text and images between apps and help to reduce distraction.

How to Use Split Screen on a Mac

In this article, we’ll show you how to use Split View on macOS and iPad OS. Then, our FAQs section will include things to try if Split View isn’t working.

How to Use Split Screen on a Mac

To enter the Split View via macOS Catalina or later, follow these steps:

  1. Hover your mouse above the green icon in the top left of an app window. Or long-press it.
  2. In the menu choose “Tile Window to Left of Screen” or” Tile Window to Right of Screen.” The window will then fill that half of your display.
  3. Choose another app to fill the other half of your display by clicking on it.

To enter Split View using macOS Mojave, Sierra, High Sierra, or El Capitan, the steps are slightly different. Here they are:

  1. Long press the full-screen green button in the top left of an app’s window. The window will shrink as you continue to hold the button.
  2. Continue to hold and drag the app to any side of your screen.
  3. Release the button to fill that half of your monitor.
  4. Click on another app window to fill the second half.

Working in Split View

Here are some pointers for using Split View effectively:

  • Select which app you wish to use by clicking in that window.
  • Move your mouse pointer to the top of your monitor to display the menu.
  • Change app positions by dragging an app to the opposite side.
  • Drag the thick black line between the app windows to change either window’s size.
  • Use “Mission Control” or a “Multi-Touch” gesture to switch to your desktop or other apps.

Exit Split View

Do the following once you’re ready to go back to the regular view:

  1. Hover your pointer above the top of your display to show the window options.
  2. To exit Split View, in any window, click the full-screen green button.
  3. The other app window will switch to a full-screen view.

Additional FAQs

How Do I Fix Split View on a Mac?

Here are things to consider to get Split View to work on your macOS or iPadOS.

Is Your Version of macOS or iPadOS Compatible?

Split View was introduced with the release of OS X El Capitan (version 10.11) in 2015. Since then, all versions of macOS support the feature. It’s likely that you are running a compatible version, however, to check:

1. At the top left of your screen, click the Apple logo.

2. Choose “About This Mac.”

3. Check if the version is 10.11 or above.

On your iPad, you need to be running iOS 11 or later. Follow these steps to check:

1. Open “Settings.”

2. Go to “General” then “About.”

3. The version will be displayed at the “Software Version” line.

Enable “Displays Have Separate Spaces” Setting

Ensure the “Displays have separate spaces” setting on your Mac is enabled. To do this:

1. At the top left of your screen, click the Apple logo.

2. Select “System Preferences.”

3. Click “Mission Control.”

4. Ensure the “Displays Have Separate Spaces” checkbox is checked.

5. Now restart your Mac and try again.

On your iPad, the “Multitasking” options are enabled by default. Try resetting them by doing the following:

1. Open “Settings.”

2. Choose “General” then “Multitasking.”

3. Toggle the “Multitasking” switches off then on again.

And to remove any possible conflict settings use “Reset All Settings.” Follow the steps below to do this:

1. Open “Settings.”

2. Click “General,” “Reset,” then “Reset All Settings.”

3. Now restart your iPad and try again.

Try Updating the App

Is the app you’re trying to use in Split View up to date? If not, this could be the reason why it’s failing. To update an app from the Mac App Store, go to the App Store then the “Updates” section to update an app.

If you’re using a third-party app, follow these steps to update it:

1. Open the app you wish to update.

2. In the menu at the top, click on the app’s name.

3. Select “Check for Updates” then “Install Update.”

4. Restart your Mac and try again.

To update an app on your iPad:

1. Launch the App Store.

2. At the top of your display, tap your profile icon.

3. Scroll through the pending updates and release notes. To update an app, tap “Update” beside it. Or tap “Update All.”

4. Restart your iPad and try again.

Two Views for the Price of One

Apple’s Split View feature is a great alternative to connecting a separate display when you don’t require lots of screen space. This mode can help with productivity and focus, as you’ll only have the apps you require in view and no other distractions.

Entering Split View mode is easy on both Mac computers and iPads. You essentially choose which half of your screen you want either app to fill. And to exit, tap on one of the apps to fill the whole screen.

How do you think you’ll benefit from Split View? Let us know in the comments section below.

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