How to Customize the Center Panel in iOS

With the introduction of iOS 11, Apple is finally allowing users to customize the Control Center panel feature that gives you quick access to some of the most popular options and features on your iPhone or iPad.

However, in true Apple style, you’re limited in what you can actually change. For example, you can remove a few controls like the flashlight, timer, calculator camera, etc., but you can’t move the top items around and you can’t delete the default group of options at top like music, brightness control, volume control, etc

In addition, the items you can add can only be selected from a list of predefined items that Apple has created. These include controls like the Apple TV Remote, Do Not Disturb, Notes, Wallet, and Text Size.

Access Control Panel in iOS

On iPhones prior to iPhone X, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access the iOS Dashboard. On the iPhone X, with the removal of the physical button, swiping up is the new menu button to click. Instead, the Control Center is opened by swiping down from the top right.

Instructions to open Control Center on iPhone X

Default panel shortcuts

The iOS Control Panel is a shortcut to many things on your iPhone, and I use it several times a day. For example:

  • Use AirPlay (screen mirroring) to wirelessly stream content from your device to your HDTV via Apple TV
  • The fastest way to activate the flashlight
  • Increase or decrease the sound; lighten or darken the screen
  • Music start and stop
  • Start a timer or set an alarm
  • Put the device into Airplane Mode

However, in iOS 11, users are now allowed to customize what appears in the bottom two rows of their panel.

How to customize the dashboard

To get started, tap Setting on your device and scroll down to reveal the search box.

Settings panel in iPhone

With so many settings to sort through, the search feature is really useful and will save you time. Start typing custom enter the search field and you will see Customize controls Because Control Center at top.

Type "custard" in the Control Center search window

The controls shown at the top are the ones currently included in your Dashboard. To delete a control, just tap the red minus sign at the far left. To rearrange the order of the controls, touch and drag the three lines on the far right.

Instructions for removing or moving controls

Now, scroll down to the Customize Controls screen. Below More control, you will see all the available controls to include. So instead of red minus icons to remove controls that are already included, you will now see green plus icons to add controls. Tap the green plus sign to add one of these pluses to your Center Panel.

To demonstrate, here are two screenshots. First, my Default Dashboard; Then I tap the green plus sign next to the Apple TV Remote entry and the second screenshot shows the newly added remote at the end Consists of list.

Control Center settings before and after adding Apple TV Remote

Now that the Apple TV remote shows up in Settings as an included control, you can immediately check if it’s added. Simply swipe up from the bottom (or down on iPhone X) and the newly added control will show up in a new row.

New control added to Control Panel

Note that the standard controls in the top blocks of the panel cannot be deleted or rearranged, while the bottom rows, below the screen mirroring and brightness/sound controls, are where controls can be added and rearranged. For starters, here are some additional controls that I’ve found helpful.

Apple TV Remote

The Remote app on your iPhone works in place of the Apple TV remote, making it easier for you to enter app logins, such as signing in to your Netflix account with your voice.


This control directly opens a new Note for editing. If you normally use Notes on your iPhone, this is much faster than finding the app, launching it, and tapping to create a new note.

Screen Recorder

If you find yourself frequently wanting to send iPhone tips to your friends and you need to record what you’re doing, the Screen Recording control provides a great shortcut to the old fashioned way, requiring a device connection. yours with your Mac.

Magnifying glass

This control is intended for older users who need help with magnification, or even younger people trying to read some incredibly small serial numbers. Part of the assistive tech toolkit in iOS, this control center shortcut saves you from having to search the Settings app.

By all means, experiment with these added controls to find out which ones work best for you. If you have any questions, feel free to post a comment. Interesting!

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