1.  Swipe Up/Down to Scroll

The most basic iPad gesture is swiping your finger to scroll through pages or lists. You can scroll down a list by placing the tip of your finger at the bottom of the screen and moving it towards the top of the display to swipe up. At first, it may seem counterintuitive to scroll down by swiping up, but if you think of it as your finger moving the screen, it makes sense. You can scroll up a list by swiping down, which is accomplished by placing your finger at the top of the screen and moving it toward the bottom of the screen.

2.  Pinch to Zoom

This is another basic gesture that you will use all the time once you master it. On webpages, most photos and many other screens on the iPad, you can zoom in by pinching out. This is accomplished by touching your thumb and index finger together, putting them in the center of the screen and then moving your fingers apart. Think of it like you are using your fingers to stretch the screen out. You can zoom back out by placing the same two fingers on the screen while they are apart and pinching them together.

3.  Swipe Side-to-Side to Move Next / Move Previous

If objects are displayed horizontally, you can sometimes swipe from one side of the screen to the other side to navigate. A perfect example of this is the Photos app, which displays all of the photos on your iPad. When you are viewing a photo full screen, you can swipe from the right side of the iPad display to the left side to move to the next photo. Similarly, you can swipe from the left to the right to move to a previous photo.

4.  Tap the Top Menu to Move To Top

If you’ve scrolled down a web page and want to get back to the top, you don’t need to scroll back up. Instead, you can tap the very top menu, which is the one with the Wi-Fi signal on the left and the battery gauge on the right. Tapping this top menu will take you back to the top of the web page. This will also work in other apps such as moving back to the top of a note in Notes or moving to the top of your Contacts list.

5.  Swipe Down for Spotlight Search

While you are on any home page — which is the page that displays your apps — you can swipe down on the screen to reveal the Spotlight Search. Remember, just tap anywhere on the screen and move your finger down.

Spotlight Search is a great way to search for just about anything on your iPad. You can search for apps, music, contacts or even search the web.

6.  Swipe From Top Edge for Notifications

Swiping down from almost any part of the display while on the home screen will bring up Spotlight Search, but if you swipe from the very top edge of the display, the iPad will show your notifications. This is where you can see any text messages, reminders, events on your calender or notifications from specific apps.

7.  Swipe From Bottom Edge for the Control Panel

The Control Panel is probably one of the most useful ‘hidden’ features of the iPad. I refer to it as hidden because many people don’t even realize it exists, and yet, it can be extremely useful. The control panel will let you control your music, including adjusting the volume or skipping a song, or turn on features like Bluetooth or AirDrop. You can even adjust the brightness of your screen from the Control Panel.

You can get to the Control Panel by swiping up from the very bottom edge of the screen. This is the exact opposite of how you activate the notifications center. Once you begin swiping up from the bottom edge, you will see the control panel start to appear.

8.  Multitasking Gestures:

The following are advanced gestures that only work if you have Multitasking Gestures turned on in your iPad’s settings. They are designed to help navigate between apps, such as switching from one app to another in order to use them together. These gestures can really help save time if you find yourself jumping from one app to the next.

The multitasking gestures require the use of four fingers, which differentiate them from the other gestures on the iPad.


10.  Four Finger Side Swipe to Navigate Apps

Placing four fingers on the iPad display and them left or right will navigate through the active apps. Moving your fingers left will take you to a previous app and moving them right will take you to the next app.

Moving to the previous app only works after you use the gesture to move from one app to the next. If the app you have open was launched from the home screen and you haven’t used a multitasking gesture or the multitasking app bar to move to another app, there won’t be a previous app to move to using the gesture. But you can move to the next (last opened or activated) app.

11.  Four Finger Swipe Up for Multitasking Bar

This one isn’t too much of a time saver considering you can do the same thing by double clicking the home button, but if you fingers are already on the screen, it is a nice short cut. You can bring up the multitasking bar, which shows a list of recently opened apps, by placing four fingers on the iPad screen and moving them up toward the top of the display. This will reveal a list of your apps. (You can also close apps using this screen by flipping them toward the top of the screen with a quick swipe up.)

12.  Pinch In for the Home Screen

Another shortcut that can be accomplished using the home button (this time with a single click), but still nice when you have your fingers on the display. This one works like zooming into a page, only you’ll use four fingers instead of two. Just put your fingers on the display with the tips of your fingers spread apart, and then move all your fingers together like you were grasping an object. This will close out of the app and take you back to the iPad’s home screen.