How to Use Control Center on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

Customize what's available in your Control Center

What to Know

  • iOS 16: Open Settings > Control Center. iOS 11 and up: Open Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls.
  • Turn on Access Within Apps to use outside of Home screen. Select red minus (-) > Remove to remove items.
  • Press and hold three lines to drag item up or down list. Select green plus (+) to add items to Control Center.

This article explains how to customize Control Center for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch to adjust shortcuts like toggling on or off Bluetooth, or using your camera flash as a flashlight.

How to Customize Control Center in iOS 16

Originally added in iOS 11, Control Center customization is still available in iOS 16 but the process is a little bit different in the newer operating system.

  1. Open the Settings app, then scroll down and select Control Center.

  2. Turn on Access Within Apps to allow Control Center to be pulled up when using apps. Though this may interfere with some apps' or games' functionality, in which case you can turn it off.

    Control Center settings, Access Within App
  3. To remove an element from Control Center, select the red minus (-) icon next to its name, then select Remove.

  4. Press and hold the three lines next to an item's name, then drag it up or down the list to change its order.

  5. To add other Control Center elements, scroll down to "More Controls" and press the green plus (+) icon next to an item's name to immediately add it.

    Remove, reorganize, add

How to Customize Control Center in iOS 11​​​ and Later

Apple delivered a great update to Control Center with iOS 11: The ability to customize it. Now, instead of being limited to one set of controls, you can add the ones you find useful and remove the ones you never use (from within a certain set).

Here's how to customize Control Center on any device with iOS version 11 or later:

  1. Tap Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls.

    Settings, Control Center, Customize Controls
  2. To remove items in Control Center, tap the red icon next to an item, then tap Remove.

  3. To change the order of the items, tap and hold the three-line icon to the right. When the item rises up, drag it to a new location.

    Minus button, Remove button and move item button in iOS Control Center Customize settings
  4. To add new controls, tap the green icon to move the item to the Include section. Drag these new controls to the position you prefer. 

  5. After you've made the changes you want, leave the screen. Your changes save automatically.

Commonly Used Control Center Features

Reveal the Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of the iPhone screen.

To open Control Center on the iPhone X or newer, swipe down from the upper-right corner.

Commonly used Control Center items include:

  • Airplane Mode turns off Wi-Fi and cellular radios on the device. To turn on Airplane Mode, tap the icon. When Airplane mode is on, the icon is orange. Tap it again to turn it off.
  • Wi-Fi toggles your device's connection to all Wi-Fi networks. Technically, this step doesn't turn Wi-Fi off; go into the Settings app to do that.
  • Bluetooth toggles on or off the Bluetooth radio. It doesn't forget devices, however; go to Settings > Bluetooth to manage devices.
  • Screen Rotation Lock prevents the screen from rotating when you turn your device.
  • Do Not Disturb prevents notifications of any calls or messages while it is activated. If you set up Do Not Disturb, this item toggles the settings you established.
  • Brightness slider makes the iPhone screen brighter or dimmer.
  • Night Shift (Dark Mode in iOS 16) changes the color warmth of the device screen to reduce the amount of sleep-disrupting blue light emitted.
  • Flashlight toggles the camera flash on and off, functioning as a flashlight.
  • Clock offers a shortcut to the built-in iOS Clock app, which shows world clocks, alarms you have set, a stopwatch, and a timer.
  • Calculator opens the built-in Calculator app.
  • Camera launches the iOS Camera app.

Optional Control Center Features

Control Center offers several other features, not activated by default, that you may find useful:

  • Accessibility Shortcut takes you to the Accessibility app. 
  • Alarm opens the alarm screen in the Clock app.
  • Apple TV Remote is a shortcut to the Remote app used to control your Apple TV from your phone.
  • Do Not Disturb While Driving toggles on Do Not Disturb mode. To set preferences for this tool, go to Settings > Do Not Disturb.
  • Guided Access locks your iPhone to allow it to use only a single app or a small set of features.
  • Hearing is a shortcut to Accessibility options for hearing-impaired users.
  • Home controls your HomeKit-compatible smart home devices.
  • Low Power Mode can help you get extra life out of your battery by reducing the amount of power it consumes, through reducing screen brightness and toggling off nonessential features.
  • Magnifier turns the camera into a digital magnifying glass.
  • Music Recognition (in iOS 16) helps to identify songs that are playing in your vicinity.
  • Notes launches the Notes app.
  • Quick Note (in iOS 16) will let you jot down small notes over any app or screen, with an option to include images, links, mentions, and tags.
  • Scan QR Code (Code Scanner in iOS 16) lets you use your camera to scan QR codes.
  • Screen Recording captures in a video everything that happens on the screen. Just tap this button to start recording.
  • Sound Recognition (in iOS 16) is an accessibility feature that can be set to recognize sounds you specify (alarms, doorbells, etc) and send you a notification when it picks them up.
  • Stopwatch is a shortcut to the stopwatch feature of the Clock app.
  • Text Size lets you change the default text size of the words on the screen.
  • Timer opens the Timer feature in the Clock app.
  • Voice Memos activates the Voice Memos app that records sound files through the device microphone.
  • Wallet launches the Wallet app, where credit cards for Apple Pay are stored.

Control Center and 3D Touch

If you have an iPhone with a 3D Touchscreen (as of this writing, the iPhone 6S seriesiPhone 7 series, iPhone 8 series, iPhone X, iPhone XS, XS Max, and newer), several items in Control Center have features that can be accessed by hard-pressing the screen.

  • Networking Panel contains multiple controls: Airplane Mode, Cellular Data, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirDrop, and Personal Hotspot.
  • Music Panel brings up music controls such as volume, play buttons, and AirPlay settings.
  • Screen Brightness Panel gives you finer control over the brightness slider by enlarging it. It also lets you toggle on Night Shift and True Tone.
  • Volume works like with screen brightness, enlarging the slider bar to allow more precise volume control.
  • Flashlight allows you to set the brightness of the flashlight feature, from very bright down to dim.
  • Calculator lets you copy the last result totaled in the app so you can paste it elsewhere.
  • Camera gives you shortcuts to take selfies, record video, scan QR Codes, and take Portrait-mode photos. 
  • Home displays your common Home scenes.

How to Hide Control Center

When you're done using Control Center, hide it by swiping down from the top of the screen (or up from the bottom on iPhone X and newer models). Press the Home button to hide Control Center if your iPhone model has the Home button.

Control Center Access Within Apps

Tap Settings > Control Center to access a slider to allow or disallow access to the Control Center from within apps. Even when it's disabled, you can still reach the Control Center from the Home screen.

  • How do I add low power mode to the Control Center?

    To access low power mode from the Control Center, go to Settings > Control Center. Tap the plus sign icon next to Low Power Mode to move it to the upper section of icons, which are the controls that appear in the Control Center.

  • How do I open the Control Center on an iPad?

    To access the Control Center on your iPad, swipe down from the top-right corner of the iPad screen. Tap the screen to close Control Center, or swipe up from the bottom of the screen.

  • How do I add Shazam to the Control Center?

    To add the Shazam song-identifying app to your iOS device’s Control Center, go to Settings > Control Center. Tap the green plus sign next to Music Recognition. When you want to identify a song via Shazam, open Control Center and tap the Shazam logo.

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