Why Is the iPad Keyboard Split?

iPads are wonderful when they’re working well. 

But if your keyboard suddenly splits in two or changes location, I know firsthand how frustrating and worrying it can be. 

So, you’re undoubtedly wondering—why is my iPad keyboard suddenly split? 

Why Is the iPad Keyboard Split?

Your iPad keyboard split in half because you accidentally used your two thumbs to move the keyboard towards the right and left sides of your screen. As a result, the keyboard broke apart. The advantage of this is easier typing when the user wants it.

Of course, you clearly didn’t want this to happen since you’re here. 

So, I’ll teach you how to get your keyboard back to normal. 

And if you’re on the market for a new iPad, you’ll love the insider info I’ll share with you at the end so that you never have to deal with a split keyboard again.

Why the iPad Keyboard Splits

Here’s some reassuring news—your iPad likely isn’t broken if the keyboard splits in two or changes shape.

Instead, it’s because of how you accidentally touched it.

iPad keyboards split when you touch the keyboard with both thumbs and drag them to the right and left sides of your iPad, respectively.

The Advantage of Keyboard Splits

Understandably, you’re not thrilled about your keyboard splitting if you didn’t intend to do so. 

However, Apple didn’t add this feature for kicks and giggles. 

Instead, they did so to make typing easier. 

Unless you purchase a wireless keyboard for your iPad, it’s challenging to use the touch keyboard to type well. 

Therefore, they offer the keyboard split so that you can type much like you would on your phone. 

The keyboard split might not seem as much of an inconvenience now, does it?

Should you wish to keep the keyboard split on your phone—or change it back to this setting in the future—it’s best to use this feature with the iPad facing you vertically. 

Otherwise, you’ll have to reach your fingers far to type if you hold your iPad horizontally.

How Do I Get Rid of the Split Keyboard on My iPad?

Why Is the iPad Keyboard Split 1 Why Is the iPad Keyboard Split?

A split keyboard can make your iPad appear broken, but in almost all cases, it’s a setting provided by Apple.

If you’re wondering, “How do I set my iPad keyboard back to normal?” I’ll walk you through two options.

Fixing a Split Keyboard

A split keyboard shows half the keyboard on the left side of your iPad and the other half to the right. 

As a result, there’s space in the middle where you have a full screen.

If your keyboard isn’t currently on your screen, go to any place on your iPad where you can type to pull it up.

Tapping the search box in Google is a sure-fire way to pull up your keyboard if you’re unsure where else to turn.

Then, head down to the right half of your keyboard.

The very last button at the bottom right-hand side will show a keyboard image with a downward pointing arrow.

Tap that button once, and you’ll see three options appear:

  • Merge
  • Dock and Merge
  • Floating

Select “Merge” or “Dock and Merge.” 


Your keyboard will go back to a single, full bar when you release your finger. 

Fixing a Floating Keyboard

A floating keyboard is a single but smaller keyboard that moves about your iPad screen. 

Although it’s a whole keyboard, it can be frustrating watching it bounce around, not to mention that it’s more difficult to tap your fingers on the correct buttons.

Luckily, it’s even easier to fix a floating keyboard than a split one.

To do so, gently set your index and middle fingers on the keyboard.

Then, begin spreading your fingers apart. 

The keyboard will respond accordingly, enlarging to the size you’d like.

Continue expanding your fingers until the keyboard fills the entire lower section of your iPad.

It’s okay if you take your fingers off and resituate them as you work on enlarging the keyboard.

How to Prevent a Split Keyboard on an iPad

The trick to preventing a split keyboard on your iPad is to watch your thumbs.

If you—or perhaps more accurately, a child—start haphazardly poking around the keyboard, a split or floating keyboard is practically inevitable.

The key is to keep it out of the reach of children. 

Furthermore, you should use gentle movements with the keyboard when typing. 

Another way to prevent a split keyboard is to purchase a wireless keyboard for your iPad.

That way, you’ll have a full keyboard that you can type on, and you won’t have to worry about accidentally hitting a setting on your iPad screen that you don’t want.

Do Split Keyboards Happen to All iPads?

No, split keyboards don’t happen to all iPads. 

Instead, they only occur in iPads that have a physical home button on the side of the screen.

So, if you’re tired of accidentally hitting the split or floating keyboard functions as you’re listening to music or doing another activity, consider purchasing your next iPad without a home button.

How to Move to a Full Keyboard

If you love your full iPad keyboard, despite giving the split keyboard an accidental shot, I get it.

However, you might realize that it would be helpful for the full keyboard on your screen to sit elsewhere aside from the bottom of your iPad. 

So, head to the nifty keyboard icon to the far right of the space bar and tap it once. 

The choices of “Undock” and “Split” will appear.

Click “Undock” and drag the keyboard elsewhere on your screen. 

When you let go, your keyboard will remain where you place it. 

You can also split the keyboard from its new position if you choose to do so.

Wrap Up

There’s no need to run out to an Apple store to buy a new iPad if you encounter a split keyboard (unless you want one without the home button, of course). 

If you follow the steps above, you’ll find that it’s an easy issue to fix.

Split keyboards are not only normal on iPads, but they can actually be beneficial if you’re willing to give them a try.

In either case, you now know how to quickly move between a split and full keyboard screen so that you can get back to enjoying your iPad.

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