10 iPad Tips and Tricks You Need to Know

iPads are full of untapped potential. All sorts of tools and shortcuts can transform your iPad experience. Whether you use iPads for notetaking, drawing, or just entertainment, these iPad tips and tricks will come in handy.  

Let’s look at our 10 favorite tips and tricks for iPad. 

Edit Your iPad’s Dock

This is one of our favorite iPad tips and tricks because it allows iPad users to personalize their experience. 

Have you ever wanted to edit the toolbar of apps at the bottom of your screen? You can! Access the dock by slowly swiping up from the bottom of your iPad, then press and hold one of the apps until they all start to move. From there, just drag your 13 favorite apps into place.  

screenshot of ipad home screen, dragging app into dock
Image from PC Mag

Split the Keyboard

If you’re looking for super-comfy tips and tricks for iPads, you’re in the right place. You can split the keyboard into two to make typing as comfortable and as intuitive as possible. 

Just go to Settings > General > Keyboard then turn Split Keyboard on. 

Unfortunately, this trick is only available on iPads that have a home button. In other words, you can only do this trick on older iPad models. 

Try your new, more comfortable keyboard on the 5 Best Free To-Do List Apps for iPads in 2024

person holding an ipad with a split keyboard

Install Widgets 

Widgets offer easy access to apps. The small, square tools give you a quick glance into important information. 

To install your own widgets, press and hold any app on your home screen. Now that you’re in edit mode, just tap the plus symbol at the top left corner of the screen to open the widgets menu. 

You can browse through an entire library of widgets, including recently played albums and the weather forecast for your area. This is one of the best iPad tips and tricks for people who want to personalize their iPads. 

screenshot of ipad home screen with widgets for weather, maps, clock, photos, and calendar
Image from iDownloadBlog

Limit Screen Time 

Films, revision apps, note-taking opportunities, the sky is the limit with iPads. It’s no surprise that so many people find themselves spending upwards of five hours a day on their Apple tablets. 

If you want to reduce your screen time and take a break from your iPad, go to Settings > Screen Time. From there, you can monitor your screen time, set daily limits on specific apps, and peel your eyes away from the screen. 

screenshot of screen time settings on ipad
Image from Apple

Secure Your Data 

The creative brains behind Apple have thought of everything. To protect your data, they have loaded iPads with a mechanism that erases all data after ten failed password attempts.

To safeguard yourself in the event of theft, go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode, and scroll down until you find the Erase Data button.

You can still get your data back, but only via a backup. 

screenshot of erase data button on ipad

Wireless Printing 

AirPrint allows you to wirelessly print straight from your iPad. The catch is that you need an AirPrint-enabled printer. 

Luckily, AirPrint is built into most modern printers. That being said, you should double-check your printer before you rely on AirPrint. 

Once that’s all sorted, just follow these steps. 

  1. Go to the app you want to print from 
  2. Tap the Share icon and select Print
  3. Tap Select Printer and choose an AirPrint-enabled printer
screenshot of ipad share options with the print button circled in red
Image from MacWorld

2-Finger Gestures

Finger gestures might seem self-explanatory, but they are one of the most important iPad tips and tricks. To do 2 and 3-finger gestures, you need to place that number of fingers on the screen. 

Here are the things you can do with 2-finger gestures. 

  • Place two fingers on the screen and separate them to zoom in
  • Place two fingers on the screen and bring them closer together to zoom out 
  • Double-tap a photo or webpage to zoom in, and double-tap again to zoom out

Of course, individual apps have taken advantage of Apple’s 2-finger functionality to create their very own gestures. For example, in Procreate, if you quickly pinch the screen with two fingers, your canvas will fit the screen. 

Read Procreate Basics and Video Tutorials for Beginners to discover more need-to-know information on this popular art app for iPad. 

3 Finger Gestures

3-finger gestures are a little lesser known but ultimately very useful. 

  • Tap with three fingers and a five-button display will pop up including Undo, Cut, Copy, Paste, and Redo 
  • Swipe left with three fingers to undo your last action
  • Swipe right with three fingers to redo your last action 
  • Converge three fingers together to copy a section
  • Spread three fingers out from a section to paste

You can research which apps support 3-finger gestures to discover more shortcuts and streamline your workflow. 

Discover Which Apps Use the Most Energy 

Electricity comes at a price, so it’s worth checking out which apps use the most energy. 

Go to Settings > Battery and browse through a list of apps, from most energy usage to least. Apps with lots of graphics and animations (such as games) tend to be higher on the list. Once you’ve seen the list, you can decide whether it’s worth draining your iPad for your favorite apps. 

On the same page, you can also discover apps that are running in the background, which can be a massive drain on your iPad’s energy. 

screenshot of battery settings on ipad
Image from Lifewire

Stream Movies, Shows, and YouTube With AirPlay 

AirPlay is Apple’s answer to streaming. It allows you to watch Netflix, YouTube, and other video content on the big screen. 

  1. Connect your iPad to the same Wi-Fi network as your device
  2. Go to the video you want to stream 
  3. Swipe down from the upper-right corner of the Home screen and select Screen Mirroring
  4. Choose your preferred device from the list 

All iPads are AirPlay-enabled, but not all TVs are compatible. To use AirPlay, you need an AirPlay-compatible smart TV or Mac. Go to Settings > General on your device, and if you see an option for Apple AirPlay Settings, your device is compatible. 

screenshot of ipad dropdown menu with line pointing to screen mirroring button
Image from Lifewire

Rock Paper Pencil: A Pen-On-Paper Experience for iPad

Whether you’re using your iPad for art, notetaking, or planning, the slippery feeling of Apple Pencil on glass just isn’t cutting it. Rock Paper Pencil is the best iPad drawing accessory for those who are looking to get a realistic pen-on-paper feel for their iPad. 

Rock Paper Pencil packaging with ballpoint pencil tips, and nanocling screen protector hovering over ipad
Rock Paper Pencil – Draw and write on iPad like ballpoint pen on paper

This product includes a reusable, paper-feel iPad screen protector and two ballpoint Apple Pencil tips. Built with nano-texture technology, Rock Paper Pencil adds subtle friction between your screen and Pencil, giving you more control while drawing or writing.

  • NanoCling Screen Protector: Securely bond your screen protector to your iPad using static cling. Easy application, non-adhesive, removable and reusable.
  • Matte Texture: Subtle friction mimics the feel of paper (no more slippery glass!)
  • Precision Apple Pencil Tips: Smoother, more controlled strokes