How to multitask on Android: use multiwindow mode on Samsung Galaxy devices like the Note 3 and S4

How to multitask on Android: use multiwindow mode on Samsung Galaxy devices like the Note 3 and S4
Samsung’s TouchWiz skin is often said to be the root of all evil when it comes to Android custom skins: heavy, slow, and too cartoony. On the flipside of things, it comes absolutely packed with features, and one that we’ve come to love - especially on the big screen of a device like the Galaxy Note 3 - is multiwindow mode.

What is multiwindow mode? Simple - it’s a way to multitask on Android, stacking windows alongside just like you’d do on a desktop operating system like… Windows. It’s a feature that you can only find on Samsung’s TouchWiz Galaxy devices, and not even on all, but only on the fastest ones. Interestingly, such multitasking with two simultaneously opened windows is not possible even on stock Android!

Enabling the multi-window feature is extremely simple. Just swipe down from the top to bring the notification shade on your device. In the long horizontal list of toggles, scroll down to the last one and tap on it to enable it.

It’s easy to tell if you’ve turned the multitasking feature on - when it’s on, a little white arrow appears on the left side of the device (if it's off the arrow is not there). To start using multiple windows at the same time you just tap on it and then tap on or drag apps onto the screen. You can then adjust the size of each window freely - you can have, say, a YouTube video playing in a small window, and a larger one with your browser open for reading for example. You can even save your favorite pairs of apps for quick access, which we find handy.

Have you tried this feature on your Samsung Galaxy device? Do you like it? Let us know in the comments below.

Related phones

Galaxy Note 3
  • Display 5.7" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 3200 mAh(21h 3G talk time)
Galaxy S4
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, Quad-core, 1900 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2600 mAh(17h 3G talk time)

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38 Comments

1. tedkord

Posts: 17076; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Just as s side note, some recent Kitkat CM based ROMs for the Galaxy S3 do have multi window.

3. darkkjedii

Posts: 30778; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

It didn't natively get that feature thru 4.2.2?

5. SleepingOz unregistered

We're talking about 4.4 CM based ROMs here.

21. darkkjedii

Posts: 30778; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Don't really care what you're talking about. I was talking to Tedkord

26. SleepingOz unregistered

You didn't get it, did you? Anyway, go back to your puny iphone, it suits you better. :)

9. Finalflash

Posts: 4062; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

All S3+ devices with jelly bean have the feature and CM and Paranoid have their own version of it.

14. g2a5b0e unregistered

It actually got it with 4.1.2, I believe. The S3 & Note 2 skipped 4.2.

24. Topcat488

Posts: 1411; Member since: Sep 29, 2012

This is even on my OG-Note N7000... Which makes an old Samsung device more capable of doing more things than a New iphone 5S. It came with 4.1.2 on the international Note 1.

30. darkkjedii

Posts: 30778; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Thanx bro +1

17. tedkord

Posts: 17076; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Not Android. TouchWiz in the flagships.

22. darkkjedii

Posts: 30778; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Thanx for the response bro. +1

28. nasznjoka

Posts: 418; Member since: Oct 05, 2012

SleepingOz you need to grow up man! Those days are over these days some of core android got themselves iphone and the other way around.

31. darkkjedii

Posts: 30778; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Exactly man. All this pointless bashing crap is sooo tired. I use and love both a note 3, and 5s. +1 man

35. box14380

Posts: 43; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

No. I disagree with you. My old shattered screen Samsung Galaxy S3 has a multitasking mode/capability starting Jellybean 4.0. But now it's replaced with my new Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-900.

36. g2a5b0e unregistered

There is no Jellybean 4.0. 4.0 is Ice Cream Sandwich. You got it with 4.1, just like I said.

2. darkkjedii

Posts: 30778; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Other than scrapbook, this and pop up video are my fav features on my note 3. Wish so much that Sammy would include auto compression/editing of vids though :(

4. tenho1982

Posts: 68; Member since: Dec 29, 2013

I use this all the time for my foreign language class. On one Window, I open SNote (which contains the imported content from my PDF textbook) and on the other Window, the ColorDict application which I can look up words.

6. Ninetysix

Posts: 2933; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Android users are smart. We don't know a freaking how-to. Thank you very much.

10. Finalflash

Posts: 4062; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Need*... We know a freaking how-to

13. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Looks like grammar how-to is what you need.

16. Ninetysix

Posts: 2933; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Relax broski. Just trying to make fun of fandroids. You can see their comments on iOS related how-tos. http://www.phonearena.com/news/How-to-disable-the-iOS-7-parallax-effect_id47798

7. Avenger827

Posts: 46; Member since: Jan 19, 2014

Lol, Do they think we are stupid?

8. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Look like a paid advertisement by Samsung. Hope they pay PA well.

11. surethom

Posts: 1574; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

I hope Android adds multi window to the next version on Android.

12. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Is that supposed to be a UI or a cartoon?

15. poikilo

Posts: 49; Member since: Jun 07, 2012

Can't tell there is too much color in the way.

18. Mxyzptlk unregistered

And bloat.

38. poikilo

Posts: 49; Member since: Jun 07, 2012

And a very small screen

19. tedkord

Posts: 17076; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

That's an ironic comment from an iOS 7 user.

20. WHoyton1

Posts: 1635; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

LOL +1

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