iPad: Managing Multiple Launch Images aka Default.png Files

When loading an application on an iPhone or iPad, a launch image can be shown to provide feedback to the user that the application is loading. On the iPhone one Default.png file was adequate, with the iPad one needs to anticipate the device being started in any orientation, including upside down.

iPad Launch Image Orientations

To deal with various orientation options, a new naming convention has been created for iPad launch images. The screen size of the iPad is 768×1024, notice in the dimensions that follow the height takes into account a 20 pixel status bar.

Filename Dimensions
Default-Portrait.png * 768w x 1004h
Default-PortraitUpsideDown.png 768w x 1004h
Default-Landscape.png ** 1024w x 748h
Default-LandscapeLeft.png 1024w x 748h
Default-LandscapeRight.png 1024w x 748h
Default.png Not recommended

* If you have not specified a Default-PortraitUpsideDown.png file, this file will take precedence.

** If you have not specified a Default-LandscapeLeft.png or Default-LandscapeRight.png image file, this file will take precedence.

Although you can include a Default.png file, and it will be used if no others are specified, I would consider it a best-practice to include all the relevant images needed by your application.

iPad Startup Orientation

Even though an iPad app may be started in any orientation, Apple recommends that you configure your application views upon startup in the preferred orientation inside the application:didFinishLaunchingWithOptions: method. Then, once the system notifies your application of the current orientation, you can arrange your views as needed.


  1. Hi again.

    I googled this “ipad default launch image size” and this site was the first up again.

    thanks, i got it working by the way.


  2. Default image is showing reverse in iPad

    can you please help me what would be the reason

    • wild guess: i’ve seen that happening in some browsers when the image is in cmyk
      make sure image is an rgb png

  3. Thanks for the info.
    But, how do I set up the timer for the launch image, since Xcode takes care of the rest.

    • iOS will manage displaying the launch image. If you want to display an image longer or otherwise create a custom splash, you will have to manage a timer, for example in the delegate upon launch.

  4. So… you can provide dozens of images for every combination of screen size, orientation, device, etc.

    Is there a way to determine after the app launches which one was actually chosen?

    When my app launches, Default.png (or one of its many variations) is displayed.

    Then, I have a screen that does some additional set up, has a progress bar to give the user hope that the app isn’t just hung, and then the app really starts.

    Historically I’ve just provided a Default.png and my own Loading.png for the first screen. Then I added Default@2.png and Loading@2.png. Now I’ve got all the iPad, orientation, etc variations.

    BUT… I don’t want my code on the loading screen simply repeating the work done by apple to choose from the many variations. For starters I might not implement it exactly the same. And, as they change their functionality I’d have to keep changing mine to match.

    What I’d LIKE to do in the loading screen is ask the phone WHICH Default.png file was JUST shown to the user… so I can use that same image myself.

    Is there a way, after launching the app, to determine which Default.png file was actually used?


  5. I just wanted to put the splash screens for the universal app. So can you suggest me the sizes and the naming convention that i should follow for this


    • I would recommend looking into the Apple documentation, they provide details about screens sizes, recommendations, etc

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