How to switch between open Apps on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch

One of the most requested features (and biggest complaints) about the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch was the ability to run more than one program (App) at a time. With the latest release of iOS, now you can. This brief tutorial will show you how to do just that.

In a nutshell, multitasking (as it relates to computers) is the ability to run more than one program at the same time. These instructions will show you how to switch between open programs (without closing them) on the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.

  1. Start out by “double-clicking” the iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch Home button (the large circular “button” at the bottom of your iDevice – see the image below).
  2. the ipad, iphone and ipod touch home button

  3. Your Home screen will ‘dim’ and a list of your currently running / open Apps will be displayed in a bar across the bottom of the screen. Tap the App you want to switch to, and it will be displayed.

  4. click to enlarge

  5. If you’re running too many programs to be displayed on the bottom bar at once, just ‘swipe’ your finger across that bar…

  6. click to enlarge

  7. … and the rest of your currently running programs will be displayed.

  8. click to enlarge

  9. That’s it! Now you can easily switch between open programs on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch – any time.
{ 23 comments… add one }
  • josh December 2, 2010, 2:54 am

    does it works?

  • Patrick December 24, 2010, 8:37 am

    I have the correct OS installed but double click on my IPOD does not bring me to the app switch.

  • John doe February 4, 2011, 12:59 am

    Live messenger never stay connected when I switch to another application. Each time I go back to msn I need to sign in again.

    Is there way to get the msn live stay connected when switching to another application?

    Thank you

  • Jenna June 16, 2011, 8:28 am

    This works great! Thanks for the info!!! :)

  • albert hammond October 12, 2011, 6:10 pm

    very useful. thanks!

  • Corie January 1, 2012, 8:18 am

    Wow, thanks a lot, been wondering how to do this.

  • Soumen Koley May 1, 2012, 5:39 am

    Thanks for your kind help………:)

  • Bob July 8, 2012, 1:28 pm

    Thanks much! Why did it take me so long to Google this?

  • Bortiz August 9, 2012, 11:41 pm

    Wow! Thanks. Was getting frustrated. :)

  • Sas August 18, 2012, 12:52 am

    You are super! Thanks for your presentations.

  • Senthil August 19, 2012, 2:26 pm

    Thanks! It solution was really hard to find. But how to close i.e. exit these open windows?

  • Candy August 22, 2012, 1:57 pm

    Hold one of the icons down for a couple seconds. They start wobbling, and there will be a small x at the corner. Touch the x, and the app will close. You can go down the line and close each one, if you want.

  • Roade Runner January 27, 2013, 9:02 pm

    instead of the home button you can use 4 fingers at the same time and swipe up

  • Violet June 20, 2013, 3:25 pm

    Using four fingers and swipe to the left will bring the most recent application up.

  • Aunt Allie 2 January 9, 2014, 1:34 pm

    I’ve upgraded to the new one and the icons won’t wobble. so in playing around I found that if you throw the picutre of the app (not the icon) up off the screen it closes it. Yeah!!!

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