How to . . . customise Apple’s Control Center

Tinker with the quick-access menu to make it work for you

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock


Apple’s new software iOS 13 is now available and brings with it some great new features. There’s Dark Mode, for example, which makes the phone more comfortable to use in low light. Apple has added a Swype-style keyboard, called QuickPath. And your camera now has a new portrait mode that makes your photo look like studio black and white portraits.

But one of the most welcome changes - in my opinion, at least - is that Apple has finally put in a shortcut for accessing wireless settings directly from the Control Center.

Control Center was introduced in iOS 7 to give you access to the most commonly used system controls such as airplane mode, screen brightness, volume controls and wireless controls. The ability to customise it came a few years later.

Since the introduction of iOS 13, you now have even more control over wireless settings. When you press and hold the wifi or bluetooth icon in Control Center, you get the menu that shows what networks and devices you are connected to. Press one of the icons within this menu, and you’ll see a new option: a pop up menu that shows you the available wifi networks, for example, around you and a quick link to wifi settings. It’s a small thing but it makes life a little easier.

To access Control Center on iPhone X and later, swipe down from the top right edge of the screen. For all other phones and devices, swipe up from the bottom to access it.

But there are still some things you’d like to access quickly that aren’t included by default. The good news? You can customise the Control Center.

To switch things around, go to Settings> Control Center>Customise controls. You’ll see a list of what is already included in Control Center, and below that some extras that you can include. That could be adding a stopwatch, or a specific control for a timer. You could also add accessibility settings, such as a quick link for changing the text size or activating the screen magnifier.

You can also switch around the order some of the icons, although the ones Apple has deemed to be the most important – the top half, bascially – can’t be moved.

One thing to note: there are limits to what you can add. The control centre is reserved for Apple’s own software, so for now at least you won’t find any third party apps available to add.