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On iPhone and iPad, the Control Center provides quick access to a host of useful features in iOS, regardless of whether you have an app open or not, or even whether your device is locked or not. The Control Center is also highly customizable, so you can choose what gets to live there and what doesn't.



How to Access Control Center on iPhone and iPad

Accessing Control Center in iOS is designed to be easy. On an ?iPad? with a Home button, simply double-tap the Home button; on iPhone 8 or earlier, swipe up from the bottom of the screen; and on a 2018 iPad Pro or ?iPhone? X and later, swipe down from the upper right corner of the screen.

how-to-access-control-center.jpg


Connectivity Controls

The Control Center is made up of several panels containing associated functions. The first pane on the left allows you to quickly enable or disable the wireless connectivity functions of your device, including Airplane mode, cellular data, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Simply tap any of the buttons to enable or disable the related feature.

how-to-use-control-center-1.jpg

If instead you press and hold on this panel, it will take over the screen and expand to reveal two more buttons: AirDrop and Personal Hotspot. From here, if you press and hold the AirDrop button you can opt to turn off AirDrop or set it to receive files either from Everyone or Contacts Only. Likewise, if you press and hold the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth buttons, you can access a list of available wireless networks and Bluetooth devices, respectively, any of which you can connect to with a tap.

Audio Playback

The second large panel at the top-right corner of the Control Center contains your media playback options, including the name of the currently selected track, album name, and buttons to play/pause and skip forward/go backward a track. There's also an AirPlay button in the top-right corner of the panel which can you can press and hold to expand.

how-to-use-control-center-3.jpg

In this expanded view you'll see a track scrubber that you can drag with your finger to advance the current track or return to an earlier point in it. If you press the larger AirPlay button, you can access a list of available AirPlay-compatible devices and top on one to connect to it.

Orientation Lock, Do Not Disturb, and Screen Mirroring

Below the two big panels in the Control Center are three options that always appear in the Control Center. The padlock button lets you enable/disable the Screen Orientation Lock, while the crescent moon turns Do Not Disturb on and off. You can also press and hold the Do Not Disturb button to schedule the mode for 1 hour, Until this evening, or Until I leave this location.

how-to-use-control-center-4.jpg

The oblong Screen Mirroring button provides quick access to a list of devices on the same Wi-Fi network that support AirPlay video. Using this button, you can mirror the entire screen of your iOS device on an Apple TV or AirPlay 2-compatible smart TV, just by tapping it in the list.

Brightness and Volume Sliders

The Brightness and Volume sliders are more useful than they first appear. Aside from letting you set the screen brightness by dragging the level up and down, you can press and hold the Brightness slider to reveal more buttons that let you enable or disable Dark Mode, Night Shift, and True Tone.

how-to-use-control-center-5.jpg

If you're listening to audio on your iOS device using Apple AirPods Pro, you can also press and hold the Volume slider to control Transparency and Noise Cancelation functions independently.

Customizing the Control Center

The buttons that appear in Control Center (below the ones we've already described) can vary, because you can add, remove, and organize them in the way you want through the Settings app. Simply follow these steps.

How to Add Controls to Control Center on iPhone and iPad
  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap Control Center.
  3. Tap Customize Controls.
  4. Scroll down to More Controls.
  5. Tap on the "+" sign to the left of a control to add it to Control Center.
    how-to-add-to-control-center.jpg
How to Remove Controls From Control Center on iPhone and iPad
  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap Control Center.
    Tap Customize Controls.
  3. Scroll down to the Include section.
  4. Tap the minus ("-") sign to the left of a control to remove it from Control Center.
    how-to-remove-from-control-center.jpg
How to Organize Controls in Control Center on iPhone and iPad
  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap Control Center.
  3. Tap Customize Controls.
  4. Tap the three lines to the right of a control and drag its position up or down.
    how-to-organize-control-center.jpg
Note that the default controls in the upper portion of Control Center, such as the brightness and volume sliders, cannot be removed or reorganized.

List of Default Controls
  • AirDrop
  • Airplane Mode
  • Bluetooth
  • Cellular Data
  • Personal Hotspot
  • Wi-Fi
  • Music
  • Orientation Lock
  • Do Not Disturb
  • Brightness
  • Night Shift
  • Volume
  • AirPlay Mirroring
List of Customizable Controls
  • Accessibility Shortcuts
  • Alarm
  • Apple TV Remote
  • Calculator
  • Camera
  • Do Not Disturb While Driving
  • Flashlight
  • Guided Access
  • Home
  • Low Power Mode
  • Magnifier
  • Notes
  • Screen Recording
  • Stopwatch
  • Text Size
  • Timer
  • Voice Memos
  • Wallet
Once you've organized the buttons in the lower portion of the Control Center, try the same press-and-hold gesture on them and you'll typically be able to access more granular controls.

Press and hold the Camera button, for example, and you'll see options to Take Selfie, Record Video, Take Portrait, and Take Portrait Selfie. Similarly, press and hold the Wallet button to view a list of transactions for a particular Apple Pay card, or view your Last Transaction. And if you add the Notes button, you can even scan documents with your iPhone in three quick steps.

Article Link: How to Use and Customize Control Center in iOS
 
Last edited:
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44267547

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Jul 12, 2016
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I'm Not entirely sure how I feel about the new control center. It just looks very convoluted and clustered. I know you can customize it, which I like. But I just don't know if I prefer this or not for the iPhone.
 
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soupcan

macrumors 6502a
Nov 21, 2014
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Logic would dictate that I'd now be able to move icons around the control centre like I move apps around my home pages putting things exactly where I want them. But apparently that thought didn't cross Apple's mind and now I have to guesstimate where my icons will end up because the thought of a live preview also didn't cross Apple's mind.

It's a step in the right direction with 3D touch and some form of customisability but it still needs some work.
 

ck2875

macrumors 65816
Mar 25, 2009
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Brighton
The downside of adding more of the optional ones to control centre is that the music controls get progressively harder to reach with one hand.
 
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roland.g

macrumors demi-god
Apr 11, 2005
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Nice to see that I finally can add the alarm instead of the timer. Never understood the choice.
Yes!! I use this everyday to get to my alarms. Which of course requires me to change panes from the timer to alarm!!
 
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JGIGS

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Jan 1, 2008
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I'm Not entirely sure how I feel about the new control center. It just looks very convoluted and clustered. I know you can customize it, which I like. But I just don't know if I prefer this or not for the iPhone.

They still could have made it customizeable with side scroll like jailbreak apps. I think that would have been more compact and thus better. Not having to reach up on a large phone one handed.
 
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JGIGS

macrumors 68000
Jan 1, 2008
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CANADA!
Think tank at Apple "Should we add a settings shortcut in control centre? Wait doesn't Android do that? And that makes way too much sense. Nah forget about it." o_O
 

bradkrischel

macrumors 6502
Sep 2, 2010
297
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USA
The downside of adding more of the optional ones to control centre is that the music controls get progressively harder to reach with one hand.

This is my biggest complaint about the new control center. If I would have the option to also move the default controls (music, airplane, bluetooth, wifi, brightness, volume, etc) to a different location it would be much more beneficial.
 

GrumpyMom

macrumors G4
Sep 11, 2014
11,147
17,309
Thanks so much @MacRumors for this guide. I'll be needing it when I get home and start updating and setting up my devices one by one. I can't say any of this looks intuitive and easy to just figure out without some help. I appreciate it.
 

samxv

macrumors newbie
Sep 23, 2015
22
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annoyed I can't remove screen mirroring, it takes up two spaces compared to single entries and i do not use it at all, ever.
 

dmk1974

macrumors 68020
Sep 16, 2008
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Tapping the WiFi button used to completely turn OFF WiFi. But now, it seems it only disconnects me from any active connection. Am I missing how to turn it OFF again through the Control Center?
 

itsmilo

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Sep 15, 2016
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They changed the behavior, for Bluetooth too. It only disconnects you temporarily like you said. I guess the impact on battery life is so low now that they dont want you to disable it. Flight mode also leaves wifi and bluetooth on now
 

soupcan

macrumors 6502a
Nov 21, 2014
725
2,926
Netherlands
Tapping the WiFi button used to completely turn OFF WiFi. But now, it seems it only disconnects me from any active connection. Am I missing how to turn it OFF again through the Control Center?
Crap I just noticed that.

What knobhead decided that that was a good idea? If I turn off Bluetooth it's for power saving reasons, and if your icon is showing me its off while in reality it just meant it disconnected but is still turned on you have made some bad design choices.
 
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MXBY

macrumors member
May 18, 2015
78
44
You would think that Apple would like to make it easier to switch to AirPods/Bluetooth devices, but it's even more of a drag now than in iOS 10.

Don't know what Apple are up to these days, but they have become complacent.
 

DogHouseDub

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2007
561
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SF
3D touch on wifi to bring up hotspot toggle! Just found that one (been on the beta for several weeks...intuitive)
 

spacemnspiff

macrumors 6502a
Feb 11, 2009
898
739
MD
Crap I just noticed that.

What knobhead decided that that was a good idea? If I turn off Bluetooth it's for power saving reasons, and if your icon is showing me its off while in reality it just meant it disconnected but is still turned on you have made some bad design choices.
I am completely bummed by this. I want to turn off WiFi and BT from the control center, not merely disconnect them. I hope this is a bug and will be corrected in the future.
 
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