How to Turn Bluetooth On or Off With Your iPhone or iPad

Did you know there are actually two different ways to turn Bluetooth off on your iPhone or iPad? The quickest way to flip the switch on Bluetooth is to use the hidden control panel, but this only turns Bluetooth off temporarily. You can turn it off permanently by using the Settings app.

We'll take a look at both ways and why you might want to use the temporary solution rather than the permanent one.  

How to Turn Bluetooth On or Off Using the Control Panel

A screenshot of the iPhone's control panel

The control panel is a quick solution because you don't need to hunt for the Settings app.  However, turning Bluetooth off using the control panel will only turn it off for the day. Bluetooth will turn back on at 5 AM local time the next day. 

The best part about using the control panel's Bluetooth button is that Apple Watch, Apple Pencil and Apple's AirPlay and AirDrop services will still work even though they technically use Bluetooth to communicate.  

  • First, open the control panel by sliding your finger up from the bottom edge of the iPhone or iPad. Your finger should be positioned right where the display meets the bevel, which is the outer edge of the device. As you slide your finger up towards the top of the screen, the control panel will be displayed. 
  • The Bluetooth button is in the panel with the Airplane button.  It is located in the bottom-right corner of this panel and appears to be two triangles standing on top of each other with a partial triangle or arrow head sticking out the back between them.  If you tap this button, Bluetooth will turn on or off. When turning off, the device will warn you that Bluetooth will be turned back on tomorrow. 

How to Turn Bluetooth On or Off Permenently

A screenshot of the iPhone's Bluetooth settings.

Bluetooth is great, but it can also be annoying.  For example, you may have Bluetooth speakers you occasionally want to use with your iPhone when you are at home, but not all the time.  If you don't use Bluetooth much, its easy enough to just turn it on or off when you want to use the speakers. 

  • Open the iPhone or iPad's settings by launching the Settings app. (Find out how to launch Settings quickly without hunting through screen after screen for it.)
  • The Bluetooth settings are at the top of the left-side menu, just under Wi-Fi.
  • Once you've tapped the Bluetooth settings, you can slide the switch at the top of the screen to turn the service on or off.
  • Once Bluetooth is turned on, all nearby devices that are discoverable will be shown in the list. It may take a few moments for devices to be listed.
  • You can turn an individual device off tapping next to it where it reads Connected.  
  • You can pair a device by tapping it in the list and pushing the discover button on your device.  Consult the device's manual on how to put it in discoverable mode.