How to use Stage Manager to multitask on iPad

Stage Manager is one of the exciting features to be added to Apple’s line of iPads in recent years. Introduced in iOS 16.1, Stage Manager is a new multitasking feature – or rather, a multitasking mode – that allows multiple apps to be open and easily accessible at all times.

When Stage Manager is on, the apps you use no longer take up the entire screen of your iPad. Instead, each of your apps turns into a resizable window that you can resize and even overlap. It essentially allows your iPad to have a more Mac-like experience, allowing you to display more apps on your screen.

Which iPads support Stage Manager?

Of course, not every iPad can use the Stage Manager. It’s exclusive to Apple’s high-end tablets. If you’ve bought a new iPad Pro in the past few years, there’s a good chance it supports Stage Manager. The same applies to the iPad Air.

  • iPad Pro 12.9 inch (3rd generation and above)
  • iPad Pro 11 inch (1st generation and higher)
  • iPad Air (5th generation)

    How to activate the stage manager

    iPad stage manager function

    Tucker Bowe

    If you have a supported iPad running iPadOS 16.1 (or later), Stage Manager is disabled by default. However, you can easily turn on Stage Manager from Control Center or the Settings app. Here’s how:

    1. Unlock your iPad.
    2. Open Control Center (swipe down from the top-right corner of your screen).
    3. Select the Stage Manager button at the bottom of the Control Center.
      1. You can also enable Stage Manager from the Settings apps.

        1. Unlock your iPad.
        2. Open the Settings app.
        3. Select “Home Screen & Multitasking”.
        4. Select the Stage Manager option and then turn it on.
          1. How to use the stage manager

            iPad stage manager function

            Tucker Bowe

            When turned on, Stage Manager essentially divides your apps into three parts — the main area (screen), the Dock (bottom), and a new sidebar (on the left side of the display) — and none of them takes up your iPad’s entire display.

            The main area is filled by the app you have open and are currently using. The dock is filled with your favorite apps (like iMessage, Mail, Safari and more). And the sidebar is populated with the recent apps you’ve used.

            You can replace the app in the main area (which takes up most of your screen) by choosing an app that’s either in the Dock or in the sidebar. This is a little different than opening another app on a Mac, as the new app would overlap or appear next to the app you already have open, rather than replacing it.

            However, you can drag apps from either the dock or the sidebar into the main area and they will overlap. You can have a maximum of four apps open in the main area at the same time while Stage Manager is on.

            How to turn off the sidebar and dock

            iPad stage manager function

            Tucker Bowe

            While using Stage Manager, you can drag multiple apps into the main area, which will make the sidebar disappear, giving you more screen real estate. You can manually disable the sidebar and dock if you want even more space.

            1. Open Control Center (swipe down from the top-right corner of your screen).
            2. Press and hold the Stage Manager button.
            3. Uncheck the boxes where the sidebar and dock appear.
              1. When powered off, you can easily access the dock and sidebar by swiping up from the bottom and up from the side respectively.

                How to create an app in full screen mode

                iPad stage manager function

                Tucker Bowe

                You can resize any app in the main area by pressing and dragging the bottom right corner of the window (the little black curved line). And move, minimize or make any app full screen. Here’s how:

                1. Select the app you want to view in full screen while Stage Manager is activated.
                2. Choose three points at the top center of the app window.
                3. Select full screen.
                  1. One of the coolest and most helpful things about Stage Manager is that you can have a three-way split where three apps take up the entire screen. All you have to do is have the three apps and resize them (by dragging) so that each one takes up the entire screen.

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