How to Use the New iPhone Control Center in iOS 18

How to Use the New iPhone Control Center in iOS 18

The Control Center has been totally revamped in iOS 18. You can now move pretty much every control around, add more controls than ever before, and have access to multiple pages of controls. My only complaint is that it’s still a bit too hard to launch Control Center from the top-right corner of the iPhone’s display. That gripe aside, it’s a great time to start with Control Center customization, and here’s how to do it.

Download the iOS 18 beta

At time of writing, iOS 18 isn’t generally available. The good news is that there’s a free developer beta you can already sign up for. Follow the instructions here to install the iOS 18 beta on your iPhone, but be careful: you’re risking instability and bugs by doing so. I suggest using a secondary phone until the official launch, if you can.

How to add controls to the Control Center in iOS 18

Credit: Pranay Parab

Through iOS 17, you had to go through the Control Center page in your iPhone’s Settings app to add or remove controls. Things have changed in a big way with iOS 18, and you can now make a lot of tweaks directly in the Control Center. To get started, open the Control Center by swiping downwards from the top-right corner of the screen and hit the + button in the top-left corner. Alternatively, long press on any empty space in the Control Center, then tap the Add a Control button near the base of your iPhone.

You’ll now see lots of options and a search bar up top. Go through these shortcuts and add whatever appeals to you. My favorite controls are automation routines from the Shortcuts app and the Vehicle Motion Cues feature.

Removing controls from the Control Center

To clean up the Control Center in iOS 18, open it and hold down any empty space until borders appear around the controls. Now hit the button next to any control and it’ll be gone. It’s as simple as that.

Explore other pages in the Control Center

Credit: Pranay Parab

There are now three full pages in iOS 18’s Control Center, but don’t worry, all of the most useful controls are on the first page. Explore these pages by swiping upwards with the Control Center open.

The second page shows you music playback controls. Instead of swiping vertically, you can also open it by holding the media controls widget in the first Control Center page. You’ll need this page to control other speakers connected to your iPhone, such as your HomePod.

Swipe upwards once more in the Control Center to see connectivity options. Alternatively, you can see the same options from the first page of the Control Center. Just hold the connectivity widget and you’ll get the same features. This lets you quickly toggle airplane mode, AirDrop, wifi, cellular data, Bluetooth, hotspot settings, and VPNs.

Move controls around to make them easier to access

iOS 18 lets you swap the positions of all controls in the Control Center. This means that previously immovable controls such as connectivity options, media playback, and rotation lock can now be moved. The best thing is that you don’t have to place all controls next to each other. I like to leave large gaps in between controls to make them easier to access.

To do this, open the Control Center in iOS 18 and hold any empty space on the screen. When borders appear on your controls, start dragging any button or widget to any place you like. I’ve moved connectivity and media options to the bottom of the screen, where they’re far easier for me to access.

Your iPhone has a new shut down button

Credit: Pranay Parab

The days of a complicated shut down ritual are over. iOS 18’s Control Center has a power button in the top-right corner. You can tap this button and slide the power off switch on the screen to turn off your iPhone.

Access the Control Center easily

Most of my Control Center changes involve making it more ergonomic. There’s no reason to keep reaching for the top-right of the screen to launch the Control Center when a better option is available. Back Tap is that option. It allows me to tap the back of my iPhone to fire up the Control Center. You can set this up by going to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Back Tap. I’ve mapped Triple Tap to launch Control Center to avoid accidental activations, but you can use the Double Tap option too.

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