Safari for iPad offers a nice Split Screen View feature that allows you to view and read two websites side-by-side in the Safari browser, visible when the iPad is oriented in horizontal landscape mode. While entering into Safari Split Screen view on iPad is pretty easy, many users find that exiting and closing Split Screen View in Safari on iPad is less than obvious. This leads some iPad users to be thoroughly confused by Safari split screen mode on their tablet and think it’s either stuck enabled or can’t be escaped from, but rest assured you can close Safari Split View and leave the split web browsing mode fairly easily.
This tutorial will show you how to exit out of Safari split screen view on the iPad, which effectively turns it off. We’ll also show you how to close out of tabs that are in Safari Split View, and also discuss how to stop the iPad screen from splitting into two screens in Safari when it the device is rotated from portrait to landscape orientation.
How to Exit Safari Split View on iPad by Merging Safari Split Screen
Assuming you’re currently in Safari Split Screen View mode with two Safari panels open side by side on the iPad, here is how you can merge the two Safari split screens into a single Safari screen again. This effectively leaves Safari Split View and turns it back into a single browsing panel:
- From Safari Split Screen view on iPad, tap near the top of Safari or pull down to reveal the URL bar and Safari navigation buttons *
- Tap and hold on the Safari Tabs button, it looks like two overlapping squares and will be in the corner of the Safari window (in Safari Split View you will see two of these, you can tap and hold on either)
- From the pop-up menu, choose “Merge All Tabs” to merge the Split Screen View windows in Safari into a single screen
Once you merge the tabs, the Safari Split Screen window will be closed and you’ll be back to a regular single Safari browsing view on iPad.
You can also choose “Close All Tabs” if you don’t want to keep the tabs open in Safari split screen, which will also exit out of Safari Split View on iPad by closing the tabs in the split panel you chose.
This is the simplest way to exit Safari Split Screen mode, which is also about as close as iOS gets to turning off Safari Split Screen and disabling the feature (until it’s used again anyway).
Nonetheless there are other way stop escape out of Safari Split Screen by closing the tabbed windows in a Safari split screen panel.
* Note all approaches to exiting Safari Split Screen mode on iPad rely on showing the Safari back and forward navigation buttons first, as they must be visible on screen to access the other options.
How to Close Safari Split Screen View on iPad by Closing Tabs
If you want to close the tabs that open in Safari Split View as well, you can also exit and leave Safari Split View by specifically closing all the tabs that are open in the Split View panel of Safari.
- From Safari Split View on iPad, tap the URL / address bar at the top of the screen to reveal Safari navigation buttons and the tab bar
- Tap on the tiny faint grey “(X)” button in Safari to close that Safari tab
- If multiple tabs are open in the Safari split screen view, repeat and tap on the other tiny light grey “(X)” buttons until all tabs are closed on the split panel you want to close
The close tab button in Safari Split View can be difficult to find, not only because it’s quite small and being a light faint grey color, but also because it’s not visible unless the broader Safari navigation options are visible as well.
How to Stop Safari Screen Splitting in Two on iPad When Rotated
The only way to stop Safari from splitting into two screens when the iPad is rotated is to exit and leave Safari Split View mode on the iPad.
To accomplish that, you can use either set of instructions detailed here on this page, either by merging the tabs and closing Safari Split Screen View on iPad, or by manually closing the Safari Tabs that are open in one of the split view panels.
After you have closed and exited out of Safari Split Screen, if you rotate the iPad from vertical portrait to horizontal landscape orientation when in Safari, Safari will no longer split the screen on iPad.
How to Turn Off Split Screen Safari on iPad?
You might be asking yourself how to turn off and disable the Safari split screen feature in iOS for iPad. There is currently no way to disable Safari Split View feature on iPad.
Because you can not turn off Safari Split Screen on iPad, you’ll instead find that the only way to disable Safari Split View on iPad is to close out of it as outlined on this page, and then not use or enter into the Safari Split Screen feature again.
The inability to disable Safari Split Screen View mode differs from the broader ability to disable multitasking on iPad in general, but note that if you disable iPad Multitasking you will find that turning that feature off has no impact on Safari Split View mode, and the Safari Split Screen feature persists. So again, if you don’t like Safari Split Screen mode, exit out of it and don’t use it again.
Undoubtedly some of the confusion about exiting and leaving Safari Split Screen View could be alleviated by at least making the exit process similar to when using Split Screen View multi-tasking on iPad in general where you can simply grab the vertical separating line and drag it to the edge of the screen to close out. But for now, that’s not the case, perhaps down the road iOS Safari will have a more obvious approach to using split screen web browsing, but until then (if ever) just use the tips outlined above to close out of split browsing mode on Safari for iPad, or to avoid it in the first place. And maybe down the road Safari Settings will have an option to disable and turn off Safari Split Screen on iPad as well, time will tell!
Did the steps above help you to close and exit out of Safari Split View on the iPad? Do you have any helpful tips or tricks for exiting Safari Split Screen on iPad? Do you know of any secret trick to disable and turn off Safari Split Screen View on iPad? Share with us in the comments below!