How to Use The Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Toggles in Control Center

Last Updated: May 23, 2021

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With iOS 11, Apple brought much-needed updates to the Control Center. While most toggles are relatively self-explanatory, you may be surprised to learn how the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth toggle work. In this article, I will explain how to use the Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Cellular Data toggles.

Airplane Mode

Airplane Mode works as you would expect. When enabled, all wireless connectivity is turned off, including cellular service and data, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Before I installed iOS 11, I used to enable Airplane mode, followed by re-enabling Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when I boarded a plane. iOS 11 is smart enough to remember my Bluetooth and Wi-Fi preferences! That means if you enable Wi-Fi or Bluetooth while in Airplane Mode, the next time to turn on Airplane Mode, iOS won’t disable them. I appreciate that!

Cellular Data

The green Cellular Data toggle is convenient if you want to turn off cellular data quickly. For example, if you are traveling and are on a limited data plan. When I first saw the switch, I thought it was meant to turn off cellular service altogether. But that’s, of course, not the case.

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

The Bluetooth and Wi-Fi toggles work slightly different from what you may expect. Before iOS 11, those two toggles would turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi altogether. In iOS 11, Apple has changed that behavior.


When disabling Bluetooth in Control Center, your device will immediately disconnect from (most) Bluetooth accessories. But it doesn’t turn off the Bluetooth antenna completely. Apple decided to do that to keep important features working, including:

  • AirDrop
  • Apple Pencil
  • Apple Watch
  • Continuity features, like Handoff
  • Instant Hotspot

iOS automatically re-enables Bluetooth in case of the following events:

  • You turn on Bluetooth in Control Center
  • You connect to a Bluetooth accessory in Settings > Bluetooth
  • It’s 5 AM local time
  • You restart your device

To turn Bluetooth off completely, go to Settings > Bluetooth and turn it off.


The Wi-Fi toggle works very similarly to the Bluetooth toggle. Even when you disable it in Control Center, iOS keeps the antenna turned on for the services mentioned above, plus:

  • AirPlay
  • Location Services

iOS automatically re-enables Wi-Fi in case of the following events:

  • You turn on Wi-Fi in Control Center
  • You connect to a Wi-Fi network in Settings > Wi-Fi
  • It’s 5 AM local time
  • You restart your device

To turn Wi-Fi off completely, go to Settings > Wi-Fi and turn it off.

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Toggles in Control Center

You may not agree with how those toggles function in iOS 11, but if nothing else, it’s good to know how they work behind the scenes. To learn more about those changes, check out the corresponding support article on apple.com.

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