iPhone and iPad

How to Use iOS 11’s Customizable Control Center on iPhone and iPad

Khamosh Pathak 19-09-2017

iOS 11 brings the third major iteration of Apple’s shortcut feature known as Control Center. We first saw it appear with iOS 7, and it was refreshed just last year.


In iOS 11 What's New in iOS 11? The New Features Coming to Your iPhone Here's everything coming to your iPhone and iPad with the arrival of iOS 11 later in 2017. Read More , Apple is going back to single page design for the Control Center, based on expandable widgets and customizable controls. That means that things that were muscle memory for the past couple of years are in a completely different place.

If you’re wondering how to disable AirDrop Disable AirDrop to Avoid a Barrage of NSFW Images Received a surprising image of someone's genitals on your phone while riding on the bus or train? You've been bluejacked! Here's what that means and what you can do to stop it. Read More , enable Night Shift iOS 9.3 Has Arrived, Here's Why You Should Upgrade While mainly focusing on bug fixes and increased performance, iOS 9.3 introduces few new features which make updating all the more worthwhile. Read More , or change AirPlay output for the song you’re listening, read our guide below.

New Expandable Widgets

The new Control Center is built on the concept of widgets and controls. Widgets are expandable and they reveal more options (e.g. the Music widget). Controls are specific actions that show up as single buttons. You can long press or 3D Touch them Everything You Can Do With 3D Touch on Your iPhone 3D touch is really just a fancy name for a pressure-sensitive screen, but adds a whole array of extra input options to iOS. Read More to show contextual options (e.g. Flashlight).

The Toggles Widget

The first thing you’ll notice in the new Control Center is that the strip of toggles at the top that we were familiar with since iOS 11 have been converted into a widget.

In the top left, you’ll find four toggles: Airplane Mode, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Cellular. Tap on a toggle and you’ll be able to turn the feature on or off.


Customize Control Center 2

Try to 3D Touch or long press on the widget itself and it will expand.

And it’s here where you’ll find the AirDrop feature. Tap on it and you’ll be able to change AirDrop receiving AirDrop Not Working? Fix It Fast With These Tips Is AirDrop not working on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac? Here are several troubleshooting tips to fix AirDrop on your devices. Read More from off to contacts only or for everyone.

iOS 11 Control Center AirDrop Settings


The last toggle is a new one for iOS 11: Personal Hotspot How to Fix 5 Common iPhone & iPad Security Threats New security threats prove that Apple devices are no longer "bullet-proof". IPhone and iPad owners need to know which threats they could encounter, and how to fix them if the worst happens. Read More . Tap on it to quickly enable tethering feature.

The Music Widget

In the top-right, you’ll find the Music widget. You’ll see a short rotating description of what’s playing. And there are buttons for play/pause, previous and next.

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3D Touch the widget and you’ll enter the expanded mode. Here you’ll be able to seek the track and change the volume as well.


On the top, right next to the title, you’ll find the new AirPlay icon. Tap on it to see a list of all available audio outputs. Tap on another output to switch to it.

iOS 11 Control Center AirPlay Shortcut

If you frequently switch between outputs — from iPhone speakers to AirPods Apple AirPods Review Everything you need to know about the Apple AirPods. Read More to Apple TV The 21 Best Entertainment Apps for Your Apple TV Your Apple TV has access to some really amazing apps. Read More — tapping thrice to get here can be a bit tedious, so Apple has added a hidden shortcut to quickly open the AirPlay menu from the Control Center.

iOS 11 Control Center AirPlay Shortcut


When you first swipe on the Control Center, you’ll see that the radar icon in the top-right corner of the Music widget animates a bit. Tap on it to directly jump to the AirPlay menu.

The Home Widget

iOS 11 Control Center Home Widget

In iOS 10, the HomeKit accessories 4 Apple HomeKit Compatible Products You Never Knew You Needed There's so much more to the Smart Home world than lighting and gadgets. These HomeKit-compatible devices can change your home for the better, but you might not even know they exist! Read More got a whole panel to themselves. In iOS 11, it shows up as a control (button). Tap on the Home control to expand it. Here, you’ll see the all the available toggles for all your favorite devices.

Sliders for Brightness and Volume

The brightness and volume sliders have been redesigned. Instead of tiny horizontal sliders, they’re now big, chunky and vertical. They might look weird but they’re surprisingly easy to use (sometimes way too easy, resulting in accidentally swipes).

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Just swipe your finger over the slider and you’ll change the brightness or the volume.

3D Touch on a slider to make it full screen. You’ll now get more precision control. Also, when you 3D Touch the brightness slider, you’ll find that Night Shift toggle is hiding just below the slider.

Right next to the slider, you’ll find the toggles for Do Not Disturb mode, portrait orientation lock and the Screen Mirroring feature How to Cast Your Screen: Wired and Wireless Solutions to Share Your Screen There are many situations where you might want to mirror your smartphone or PC display to the giant TV in your living room. There are multiple ways to do this, both wired and wireless. Read More .

Everything Below Is Customizable

You’ll find the four toggles at the bottom that you’re used to – Flashlight, Timer, Calculator, and Camera. 3D Touch on a control brings up contextual options.

Customize Control Center 1

This is the customizable territory. Not only can you remove the four toggles above, you can actually add more controls here. Some of them will bring brand new functionality like a fully fledged Apple TV remote and a native screen recording feature.

Let’s enable some extra controls.

  1. Open the Settings app and select Control Center.
    Customize Control Center iOS 11 3
  2. Tap Customize Controls.
    Customize Control Center iOS 11 4
  3. You’ll now see a list of enabled and available toggles. If you’ve ever customized Today View widgets The 10 Best iPhone Widgets (And How to Put Them to Good Use) iPhone widgets let you access app information at a glance and can be extremely useful. Here are some of the best iPhone widgets. Read More , you’ll be familiar with this UI.
    Customize Control Center iOS 11 5
  4. Find a control you want to add to Control Center and tap on the green + button next to the name.
    Customize Control Center iOS 11 2

Here are some of the controls you should consider enabling:

Where’s Control Center on the iPad?

iOS 11 Control Center iPad 2

On the iPad, swiping up from the bottom of the screen in iOS 11 reveals the new Dock. The Control Center is still there, it’s just integrated into the new App Switcher.

You’ll need to keep swiping up till you reach the middle of the screen. Here, in the right corner, you’ll find the new Control Center. Everything here is exactly the same as the iPhone, down to the two column layout and the customizable controls.

Did you end up adding any new controls to the bottom of the Control Center? What does your Control Center look like? Share with us in the comments below.

Related topics: iOS 11, Productivity.

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