Installing and Managing Apps

Get tips and tricks for downloading and using the iPad apps available on your tablet in this free lesson.


You may be used to using several programs at the same time on your computer, which is also known as multi-tasking. On the iPad, multi-tasking works a bit differently. Although you can't use several apps at the same time, you can easily switch between apps without going to the Home screen.

To make multi-tasking as seamless as possible, your iPad will keep recent apps paused in the background. When you switch to a recent app, you won't have to wait for it to load. You can simply pick up where you left off.

To switch between apps:

Sometimes you may want to quickly switch between apps without returning to the Home screen. For example, you might be browsing online in Safari and decide to send a message through the Mail app.

To close apps:

When you switch to the Home screen, the app you're using doesn't actually close; it just remains paused in the background. However, if an app stops working correctly, it sometimes helps to force the app to close. This is similar to force-quitting an unresponsive program on a computer.

Keep in mind that you don't need to close apps this way unless there is a problem. Because the apps are paused, they won't slow down your iPad or drain the battery.

Background App Refresh

The iPad also uses a feature called Background App Refresh to update certain apps in the background, which can have a small effect on your battery life. If you prefer, you can turn off Background App Refresh for some or all of your apps. To modify these options, open Settings, tap General, then select Background App Refresh.

To learn more about multi-tasking, review this support page from Apple on Understanding Multitasking.