Set Up Your Control Center (2020)

How many hours a day do you use your iPhone? Two? Three? Ten!? While researching, I found that there are iPhone users who claim to use their phone for as many as 16 hours a day! Maybe you're an Android user and you're smugly thinking to yourself, "I don't have an iPhone, so my answer is 0 hours". This article probably won't be that useful for you...

The point is, most of us iPhone users spend a lot of time on our phones. So of course, it's important to make sure that we're using these devices that we interact with so much as effectively as possibly. It's just way more satisfying to get a task done in a few taps instead of scrolling and going into Apps and searching. Today we're going to break down how setting up your Control Center can do just that.

The Control Center isn't a new feature by any means. We've seen it around since iOS 7, so it's fairly safe to say that most iPhone users have at least made contact with it before. Furthermore, as of the release of iOS14, the Control Center got a few new Controls such as Shazam and sound recognition. Both are really useful tools to be able to easily access.

With these handy Controls as well as the many pre-existing ones, we would argue that the Control Center has developed into an important tool for any iPhone user. In fact, not using your Control Center when interacting with your phone could be compromising your time and energy.

So first, let's highlight: why should you be accessing your Control Center more?

  1. To Save Time - You can get access to Controls without even unlocking your phone.
  2. To Save Energy - What might take as many as five or ten taps can be done by tapping a single Control, such as choosing a WiFi network.
  3. To Access Features That Can't Be Accessed Elsewhere - For several iPhone models, the only way to access your phone's flashlight without Siri is via the Control Center.

While most of us likely do access our Control Center from time to time, there are many interesting Control Center features that aren't so intuitive. Since the Control Center's development process has been gradual, if you never acquired the habit of fully utilizing your Control Center in the first place, you may have missed out on useful additions that have been released over the years. That's why decided to focus this article on the kinds of Controls that are available and how you can use each Control effectively.

Read on to see what exciting features and shortcuts you might be missing out on!

Make your Control Center like a personalize remote control

Accessing Your Control Center

First things first, let's address where exactly you can find your Control Center. There are several ways you can access it.

  1. From your lock screen, place your fingertip on the home button (without applying any pressure/unlocking your phone). Now swipe upwards, so that your finger slides upwards on the phone screen. If you're having issues, try swiping faster.
  2. From your home screen, use the same upwards swipe method discussed in the method above.
  3. From inside any App, use the same upwards swipe method discussed in the method above. If this doesn't work for you, read below about how you can get to your Control Center settings. At the top of the Control Center settings, there is an option called 'Access Within Apps'. Make sure that it's turned on.

You can toggle this Setting to allow the Control Center to be accessible while you're using Apps

Designing Your Control Center

What's great about the Control Center is that you can choose what Controls are displayed and even the order in which they're displayed.

Think of your Control Center as a TV remote control; when you want to access the menu button, isn't it annoying to spend a whole 30 seconds just locating that one button among a jumble of buttons you don't ever touch? Getting rid of unused Controls is like getting rid of all those unnecessary buttons on your remote! And choosing the ordering of Controls lets you make important features even more accessible.

Now, let's get started on designing your Control Center. To do so, go to Settings on your Phone.

Scroll down until you see 'Control Center' located under 'General'. Tap it.

Tap 'Control Center'

You're now in your Control Center settings and you're ready to add, remove, and reorder Controls! The first section you'll see is 'Included Controls', laying out all the Controls that are already in your Control Center.

Remove any unneeded Controls by tapping the red minus sign to the left of any Control.

Tap to remove a Control; you can re-add Controls at any time

Rearrange Controls by holding down on the three horizontal lines to the right of any Control. Drag the Control up or down in the list to your desired location.

You can drag up or down the list

At any point, you can pull up the Control Center to see if you're liking the way it looks. We discussed how to do this in the section above titled 'Accessing Your Control Center'.

To add Controls, scroll to the bottom of the Control Center settings. You'll see a section titled 'More Controls' These are Controls that are not currently included in your Control Center.

Add any of these Controls by tapping the green plus sign to the left of any Control. If you're not sure what a Control does, check out the next section titled 'Using Your Control Center'.

You can remove a Control that you add at any time

Using Your Control Center

To best use your Control Center, you can take some time to decide which Controls are most useful to you. This may not be as obvious as going through the list of Controls; some Controls are just "switches" that allow you to turn on/off a phone setting such as Airplane Mode or Sleep Mode. Others give you even more options if you hold down on them.

We typed up a quick guide on basic Controls that your phone comes with (as of iOS 14) so you can get an idea of some of the useful things you can do using Controls. Reading through these may reveal some simple options that you've been missing out on!

Network Settings - We'll start off by discussing the Network Settings section of your Control Center, located at the top-right corner. In this section, you can quickly tap Controls like Wifi or Airplane Mode to turn these features on/off. Holding down on the Network Settings sections reveals two more Controls and allows you to hold down on Controls like Wifi and Bluetooth to access more options. Here's a breakdown of each Control in the section:

Hold for more options

  1. Airplane Mode - Tap to turn on/off Airplane Mode.
  2. Cellular Data - Tap to turn on/off Cellular Data.
  3. WiFi - Tap to turn on/off WiFi. Hold down on the Network Settings section and then hold down on WiFi to disconnect/connect to a WiFi network or access your WiFi settings.
  4. Bluetooth - Tap to turn on/off Bluetooth. Hold down on the Network Settings section and then hold down on Bluetooth to disconnect/connect a Bluetooth device or access your Bluetooth settings.
  5. AirDrop - To access AirDrop, hold down on the Network Settings section. Tap AirDrop to turn on/off AirDrop. Hold down on AirDrop to set up who you can receive files from.
  6. Personal Hotspot - Tap to turn on/off your Personal Hotspot.

Try tapping or holding these Controls

Next, let's go through some Controls that every Control Center has (as of iOS 14); these Controls cannot be removed.

  1. Music Player - Quickly play/pause or skip audio playing on your phone. Hold down on the Music Player to get access to more audio related information and options, such as changing the output device or volume.
  2. Portrait Orientation Lock - Tap to turn on/off Portrait Orientation Lock.
  3. Do Not Disturb - Tap to turn on/off Do Not Disturb Mode.
  4. Brightness - Use the slider to adjust your phone's brightness. Hold down on the slider to make it larger andor turn on/off Dark Mode or Night Shift.
  5. Volume - Use the slider to adjust your phone's audio volume (not the ringer volume). Hold down on the slider to make it larger.
  6. Screen Mirroring - Tap or hold to connect/disconnet a screen mirroring device.

Try tapping or holding these Controls

Now let's get into the Controls that can be added or removed from your Control Center Settings (check out the section titled 'Designing Your Control Center' to see how to do this). Understanding what these Controls do can help you get rid of Controls you don't see yourself using.

  1. HomeKit - Tap to turn on/off your favorite Home devices and get quick access to the HomeKit App.
  2. Flashlight - Tap to turn on your phone's flashlight. Hold down to adjust the flashlight's brightness.
  3. Calculator - Tap to access the Calculator App. Hold down to see the result of the last computation done on the Calculator App.
  4. Camera - Tap to access the Camera App. Hold down to get quick access to taking a selfie, recording a video, or recording a slo-mo.
  5. Notes - Tap to access the Notes App. Hold down to get quick access to creating a new note, creating a new checklist, creating a photo note, or creating a scanned document note.
  6. Screen Recording - Tap to start a screen recording. Hold down to turn on/off the microphone and setup where the screen recording should be stored.
  7. Timer - Tap to access the Timer App. Hold down to set up, pause, or resume a timer right from the Control Center.
  8. Alarm - Tap to access your alarms.
  9. Stopwatch - Tap to access the Stopwatch.
  10. Guide Access - Tap to get quick access to Guided Access setup.
  11. Low Power Mode - Tap to turn on/off Low Power Mode. This is useful when your phone's battery is low.
  12. Text Size - Tap or hold to adjust the size of text on your device.
  13. Magnifier - Tap to turn your phone into a magnifying glass. Use this to zoom in on objects near you.
  14. Voice Memos - Tap to access the Voice Memos App. Hold down to quickly create a new voice memo or access a recent voice memo.
  15. Dark Mode - Tap to turn on/off Dark Mode on your phone.
  16. Sleep Mode - Tap to turn on/off Sleep Mode on your phone.
  17. Accessibility Shortcuts - Tap or hold to access any Accessibility Shortcuts you have set up on your phone.
  18. Apple TV Remote - Tap or hold to open Apple TV Remote.
  19. Do Not Disturb While Driving - Tap to allow/disallow your phone from automatically turning on Do No Disturb Mode when it senses that you are driving.
  20. Hearing - Tap or hold to access hearing devices you have paired with your phone.
  21. NFC Tag Reader - Tap or hold to scan a NFC Tag.
  22. QR Code Reader - Tap to open the QR Code Reader.
  23. Sound Recognition - Tap to set up Sound Recognition or quickly add/remove a sound.
  24. Wallet - Tap to access the Wallet App. Hold to add a card to your wallet.

Widget Icons

There are more Controls available, such as Music Recognition if you have Shazam downloaded, however this guide covers a majority of the Controls offered.

The Control Center is continuously receiving upgrades and new Control options to make iPhone usage even more efficient. With new software updates, keep an eye out for developments to the Control Center that are meaningful to you.

We hope that you enjoyed today's Control Center tour! Leave us a comment on our YouTube Video letting us know which Control you liked learning about.

We'd love to publish more articles like these and knowing what you like to see will help us research and choose the most beneficial information to share.