What Do The Bluetooth & WiFi Symbols Mean in the iPhone Control Center

When you open Control Center on iOS 11 you’ll see a wide range of new icons and depending on how you tap them, they may change from blue or green to white or grey and even with a crossed out symbol. This is standard on the iPhone XiPhone 8 an iPhone 8 Plus and you’ll see it on any iPhone running iOS 11 or higher. It’s confusing at first, especially now that tapping on WiFi or Bluetooth doesn’t actually turn either off, but it’s easy to understand once you learn what each of these mean.

There are only three different options for your WiFi, Bluetooth and Cellular options in the iOS 11 Control Center. They are denoted by color and by a crossed out line when it is completely off, Here are the options and what they mean.

What do the Blue, Gray and Green icons mean in Control Center?
What do the Blue, Gray and Green icons mean in Control Center?
  • Blue – On
  • Grey – Off for the Day
  • Crossed Out – Off completely

You may also see a green icon, which means Cellular is turned on. You want this to be green so you can get calls, texts and use your data to get online without WiFi. If the Airplane is orange then Airplane mode is turned on and Cellular is off. You can use WiFi or Bluetooth while you are in Airplane mode.

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Apple changed it so that tapping on WiFi or Bluetooth in the Control Center on iOS 11 only turns the feature off for right now. This was very confusing, but they’ve added more to the software so it tells you that this is only lasting until tomorrow. This means tapping on WiFi disconnects you from nearby networks for a day. If you leave your home and go to a coffee shop that you’ve connected to before, the phone will still connect.

On and connected.
On and connected.

When you see the blue icons like those above, it means that your iPhone is connected to a Bluetooth device and connected to WiFi. It can also mean that both are simply on, even if they aren’t connected to anything. This lets you look at a quick glance and know if you are able to connect to WiFi or Bluetooth devices.

Disconnected for now or until tomorrow.
Disconnected for now or until tomorrow.

Tap on WiFi or Bluetooth in the Control Center and they will turn gray or white. This means that WiFi is disconnected from the current network and will not connect until tomorrow. If you leave and go near another known WiFi network it will still connect. The same goes for Bluetooth. This means both are still scanning for WiFi networks or Bluetooth devices, which can use a minor amount of battery life.

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Turned completely off.
Turned completely off.

If you look at the Control Center and see a slash through the WiFi or Bluetooth icons that means they are completely off. You have to go into the Settings to actually turn WiFi or Bluetooth off on iOS 11. This means your phone will not start connecting to either tomorrow and it means they will not connect to any new devices or networks until you turn them on. This can help save some battery life, but the benefits of Bluetooth and WiFi outweigh any battery saving. If your iPhone battery life is awful due to Bluetooth or WiFi you may have a software issue or a bad device. The video below shows you how to turn off WiFi completely on iOS 11.

To turn WiFi or Bluetooth on or off completely you need to go to Settings -> WiFi -> Toggle Off or Settings -> Bluetooth -> Toggle Off. This can also be used to turn it on so that you can connect and so you don’t see the crossed out icon in Control Center.

If you 3D Touch into the Control Center area for WiFi and Bluetooth you can open up other options inside of Control Center. You still cannot go into the WiFi or Bluetooth settings directly from Control Center, which is a pain. The video below shows you how to use and customize Control Center on iOS 11.

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Keep reading in these iOS 11 tips and tricks to learn more about what you can do with your iPhone or iPad on iOS 11.

31 iOS 11 Tips and Tricks You Might Not Know

See Older Messages on the Lock Screen

See Older Messages on the Lock Screen

 You can quickly look at your older messages and notifications from the lock screen without unlocking your phone to get to the Notification Center. 

When you are on the Lock Screen, simply pull up from the middle of the screen and you will see your Notifications from Earlier today. You can also clear these out from this screen. 

If you want to reply to someone or interact with a message just swipe on it, Swipe left to right to open and right to left to choose to view or clear individual notifications. 

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