How to Create Custom Shortcuts For WiFi Settings, Airplane Mode, and More – No Jailbreak Required

By , Nov 11, 2011

It’s going on a month since the iPhone 4S made its initial debut, and we’re still without a jailbreak. Not that we’re complaining; we never expected a jailbreak for the 4S to be released this soon anyway.

Still, it’s hard giving up some of the luxuries that jailbreaking brings to the for — namely SBSettings toggles to quickly enable and disable certain low-level functions like WiFi, Bluetooth, Airplane mode, etc.

Fortunately, there is a compromise. We’ve briefly touched on it before, but in this article and video walkthrough we’ll show you how to create custom shortcuts to your favorite settings; no jailbreak required…

In this video tutorial, I used IconProject to create the custom icons with specific URL links to certain Settings app sections. IconProject is $0.99 on the App Store, but it’s super easy to use, and far and away the best app I’ve seen of this nature.

Admittedly, this is not a replacement for SBSettings, because SBSettings allows for direct toggles. This is more of a shortcut to specific sections of the Settings app. Again, it’s not a replacement, but it is a decent compromise until a jailbreak is released.

If you want to know all of the shortcut addresses to the various panels in the Settings app, you can use the following preference shortcut addresses:

Preference Shortcuts

About — prefs:root=General&path=About
Accessibility — prefs:root=General&path=ACCESSIBILITY
Airplane Mode On — prefs:root=AIRPLANE_MODE
Auto-Lock — prefs:root=General&path=AUTOLOCK
Brightness — prefs:root=Brightness
Bluetooth — prefs:root=General&path=Bluetooth
Date & Time — prefs:root=General&path=DATE_AND_TIME
FaceTime — prefs:root=FACETIME
General — prefs:root=General
Keyboard — prefs:root=General&path=Keyboard
iCloud — prefs:root=CASTLE
iCloud Storage & Backup — prefs:root=CASTLE&path=STORAGE_AND_BACKUP
International — prefs:root=General&path=INTERNATIONAL
Location Services — prefs:root=LOCATION_SERVICES
Music — prefs:root=MUSIC
Music  Equalizer — prefs:root=MUSIC&path=EQ
Music Volume Limit — prefs:root=MUSIC&path=VolumeLimit
Network — prefs:root=General&path=Network
Nike + iPod — prefs:root=NIKE_PLUS_IPOD
Notes — prefs:root=NOTES
Notification — prefs:root=NOTIFICATIONS_ID
Phone — prefs:root=Phone
Photos — prefs:root=Photos
Profile — prefs:root=General&path=ManagedConfigurationList
Reset — prefs:root=General&path=Reset
Safari — prefs:root=Safari
Siri — prefs:root=General&path=Assistant
Sounds — prefs:root=Sounds
Software Update — prefs:root=General&path=SOFTWARE_UPDATE_LINK
Store — prefs:root=STORE
Twitter — prefs:root=TWITTER
Usage — prefs:root=General&path=USAGE
VPN — prefs:root=General&path=Network/VPN
Wallpaper — prefs:root=Wallpaper
Wi-Fi — prefs:root=WIFI

Special thanks to Clay Russell at The iPhonaddict for the tip.

What do you think? Is this enough to hold you over until a jailbreak hits the 4S, or an untethered jailbreak hits iOS 5? Share your thoughts with us below.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/neil.andrew1 Neil Andrew

    Awsome!
    I have been slowly going insane having to go through sub menu after sub menu in settings again!

    Many MANY THANKS!!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

  • Fabrice THOMAS

    Any tips to turn ON / OFF 3G and cellular data ?

  • http://www.lackluster.org/ Esa Juhani Ruoho

    Is it really so that the “AIRPLANE_MODE” cannot be used to disable the Airplane mode? I made an icon and had it switch airplanemode on, but when i clicked on the icon again it didn’t switch it off. Is there no such URL?

  • http://twitter.com/agiagi Ralle

    Seems that the prefs-shortcut doesn`t work with iOS 5.1 any more. If I type in pref:root=XXX it says “Please enter a valid URL”. Thanks Apple for finding no own solution and blocking others.

    • http://sathishpaul.tumblr.com/ Sathish Paul

      I am seeing the same issue too. The one-tap settings worked really well prior to iOS 5.1. Alas, we have to wait till someone figures out how to get this working now.

  • Anonymous

    Have just downloaded the app and followed all examples I could find. It returns “Please enter a valid URL”. Anyone got any solutions?

  • http://www.facebook.com/tommcelvy Tom McElvy

    The shortcuts stopped working in iOS 5.1 !!!!!
    Any word on new shortcuts, or has Apple taken a dislike to this?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Max-Zorin/100003623951457 Max Zorin

    Same for me – it doesnt work anymore on ios 5.1, iphone 4s.

    Wonder if this is Apple being obsessively involved. Why not listen to the crowd and implement a kind of sbsettings instead of blocking a work around?

    I am 1 step closer to jailbreaking….

    • http://www.facebook.com/capuman Alex Capurro

      same here! I only just discovered these shortcut links the other day and now I have lost them completely!! why the hell would apple do that? Any one know of any work arounds?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Easthope/614675187 David Easthope

    I’m having absolutely no success with this. I followed your video to the letter and even tried creating the same brightness settings link that you did, only to get the warning “Please enter a valid URL”. What gives?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816532187 Dan Wachtveitl

    My iPhone keeps saying “enter a valid URL”……help

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/QXLX362DHVGZN5KL6BLYEN5QRQ antonis

      mine also running ios 5.1

  • Stefan Kotthaus

    Hey there …
    Nice App .. but wont work on my 3GS with iOS 5.1
    Any Suggestions for Creating a WiFi or BT Shortcut here ?
    Thx in 1st

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ling-Yao-Hui/100003588127020 Ling Yao Hui

    ‘”Please enter a valid URL.”"” whats happening? aren’t the above URL valid!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ling-Yao-Hui/100003588127020 Ling Yao Hui

    “”Please enter a valid URL.”"”"?? aren’t above URLs valid???

  • Anonymous

    Just downloaded based on your recommendations, seems IOS5 asks for a valid URL, so shortcuts to Bluetooth and Wifi dont work. My next phone is going to be the Nokia 900 Windows phone. TIred of Apple’s obsession with controlling everything. Steve Jobs may not have used Bluetooth as much as me so he hides the Bluetooth control deep in the menu set. Not happy!

  • marco losi

    I bought this app, i copied this exactly..ie did it for brightness and at the end it said ‘please type a valid url’ help ? sugestions?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ben-de-Goey/100001651303902 Ben de Goey

    Does it work on a 3GS with ios 5.1

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ben-de-Goey/100001651303902 Ben de Goey

    Does it work also with a 3 GS ios5.1 ?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1264772972 Moana Lea

    I had an apple iPhone 4s for two weeks. It drove me crazy with not being able to access toggle buttons like what I had on my droid. Took it back , got $900 back, bought HTC One X for $600. Added all the toggle buttons I need, heaps faster than crapple iPhone any day…

  • James Mineau

    It always says invalid url!!!

  • Flo Troche

    I am trying to create a Bluetooth or Wifi icon on my main screen. I have tried using Iconizer, and Icon Project. Ive also tried just creating myself from the URL (prefs:root=General&path=Bluetooth) to my safari browser and then putting it on my homescreen. None of these work. I keep getting the message that it is an invalid URL. Has Apple done something so this URL wont work anymore. Any assistance would be great.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=729161297 Chris Bird

    prefs:root=General&path=Network for network shortcut not working says please enter a valid URL.
    Please help

  • http://twitter.com/KarimMuharram  Kim

    It doesn’t work on iOS 6.1, I tried it on my iPhone 4 and that app became useless after I bought it. -.-

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1625160503 Jeremy Davis

    Doesn’t work on my iPhone 4S version 6.1.3

  • http://www.facebook.com/foznor John Foster

    Save your money on the app. This no longer works. The apps author makes no mention of it in the store, because it isn’t a advertised feature, even though people still buy it exclusively for that, and then feel ripped off that they weren’t told.

  • Larissa Jones

    I cannot get the URL to work…any suggestions? Is this because of the iOS 7 upgrade?

  • Chris O’Neill

    Is there any way to make one for turning mobile data off and on?