How to use the quick settings menu on Android

what to know

  • Access quick settings: Swipe down from the status bar. Swipe again for more options.
  • Edit menu: Click the pencil icon. Long press and drag the icons to move them.
  • You can access some switches, such as the flashlight, directly from the lock screen.

The Android quick settings menu has been a powerful feature of Android since Android Jellybean. This article explains how to use it. The following tips and information apply no matter who makes your phone: Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, or others.

Finding the Quick Settings menu is simple: drag your finger down from the top of the screen. If your phone is unlocked, you'll see a short menu that you can use as-is or drag down again to see an expanded tray with more options.

The available default settings may vary slightly from phone to phone. Additionally, apps you have installed on your phone may also have the Quick Settings tile shown here. If you don't like the order or your options, you can change them. We'll get to that shortly.

You don't need to unlock your phone to access this menu, but not all quick settings are available on the lock screen. You can turn on a flashlight or put your phone into airplane mode, etc., but if you try to use a switch that might allow users to access your data, you'll be prompted to unlock your phone before continuing.

Don't like your choice? Edit them. To do this, first unlock your device so that you are on the home screen, then follow these steps:

  1. Drag down from the simplified menu to the fully expanded tray.

  2. Click the pencil icon to open the menu for editing. It's at the top on some phones and at the bottom on others.

  3. Long press on a tile and drag it to another location to make changes.

  4. If you want to see the tile, drag it into the tray (top of the edit menu); if you don't, drag it out of the tray (bottom).

    You can also change the order in which Quick Settings tiles appear. The first six items appear in a short Quick Settings menu.

    You may have more options available than you think. Swipe up to view.

Now let's look at some Quick Settings tiles and their uses. Different phones and operating systems may have different names for these tiles, but most should be similar.

The Internet toggle will show you information about the Wi-Fi network you're using (if there is one). To see more information about it, or choose a different network to connect to, just click the toggle switch once. There are also some details about the cellular network you're on, and you can turn it off if you want to disconnect from your mobile network.

Power Saving Mode turns power saving mode on and off. When enabled, this will help your phone last longer between charges as it limits background activity and pauses non-essential apps and notifications.

On some devices, if you tap this tile when your phone isn't charging, you'll see an estimate of the remaining battery time.

The Flashlight Quick Settings toggle is the easiest way to turn on your phone's flashlight. There are no deeper options here. Just turn it on or off to reach somewhere in the dark. You don't need to unlock your phone to use this feature.

If you have a Chromecast or Google Home, Screen Cast lets you send your screen or audio to that device. This is a quick way to mirror your Android device to your TV.

Controls whether the phone is displayed horizontally when it is rotated horizontally. For example, you can use it as a quick toggle to prevent your phone from automatically rotating while you're reading in bed. Remember, the main menu is locked in place regardless of the state of this tile.

If you long press this tile, it will take you to the Settings app with additional options.

Click this tile to turn your phone's Bluetooth antenna on or off. You can long press to pair more Bluetooth devices.

Simply tap this switch to turn airplane mode on and off. When enabled, it turns off your phone's Wi-Fi and cellular data. Long press to view network and internet settings.

Airplane mode isn't just for airplanes. Turn this feature on for the ultimate do not disturb while saving battery power.

The Do Not Disturb tile lets you control your phone's notifications. Tap once to turn on Do Not Disturb mode, or tap and hold to open a ton of really specific settings. The options let you choose who can disturb you even if DND is turned on, you can choose the schedule you want Do Not Disturb to run on, you can set it to automatically turn off after a set time, and more.

Location turns your phone's GPS on or off. Long press to see which apps have recently used your location.

Hotspot allows you to use your phone as a mobile hotspot, sharing your phone's data with other devices such as your laptop or even other phones and tablets. This is also called tethering. Some carriers will charge you for this feature, so use it with caution.

This tile inverts all colors on the screen and in all applications. Some people find the screen easier to read with color inversion activated.

Data Saver attempts to save data usage by closing many applications that use background data connections. Use this option if your cellular data plan has limited bandwidth. If you want to modify which apps should bypass this feature, press and hold this switch.

The NFC tile was added by Android 7.1.1 (Nougat), although it's not added to the default quick settings tray. It allows you to share information between apps on two nearby phones—essentially a social sharing feature. You'll need an app that takes advantage of the Nearby feature for this tile to work properly. Example applications include Trello and Pocket Casts.

Depending on your phone and apps, there may be many other Quick Settings tiles on your phone. Examples include screen recording, QR code scanner, sensor off, wallet, camera access, alarm clock, dark theme, voice recorder, one-handed mode, night light, focus mode, and bedtime mode.

  • To turn on Android's developer mode, open Settings > About Phone > Select Build Number multiple times until you see "You are now a developer!" Next, open Settings > Development Options > Select the options you want to adjust.

  • The process for resetting network settings is slightly different depending on your device. For example, on a Samsung phone, open Settings and select General management > Reset > Reset network settings .