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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  • Victor Cespedes

    Nice app…
    I’m from Brazil..
    Hey Jeff, says something about Brazil in next topic..
    Obrigado 😀

  • Love the video jeff keep them coming
    This is a must for i4s uses who are still waiting for a jailbreak ,
    now to the app store …..

  • no. I need my BITESMS

  • Jeff
    This is fantastic for a device with no jailbreak…
    Thanks for the heads up on this cool app

    • Jeff Benjamin

      Glad you like it! Thank Sebastien, he’s the one who convinced me to cover it.

      • Ok then
        Seb this is great THANKS for getting jeff to cover this, it’s almost absettings , well the next best thing to a none jailbroke idevce.

      • No worries. As I told Jeff, I was just thinking about this a couple days ago and I knew I wasn’t the only one who’d want to use this workaround while waiting for SBSettings on my iPhone 4S.

      • I need to know is there a shortcut for Siri instead of holding down home button or rising the phone ? I would like a shortcut to use Siri ..if not ,thanks anyway for this …this is what iDB is all about giving out info like this …,big thank you for a none jailbroke i4s

      • No there is no shortcut for Siri. We need a jailbreak first, then you could use Activator to set up a gesture or something. Until then, you’ll have to push this home button and wait 2 seconds before using Siri.

      • Ok thanks anyway…and can I just say I love this new posting system, I was just at another post when I got the notification go red up and bang straight back here …love it..

      • Great. Most people really like it too so that’s a good sign. It’s still not 100% for us admins but the comments are incredibly better now. No more trolls, no more hate comments. iDB is a safe place again for commenters 🙂

  • Donavan Asmawidjaja

    I want a shortcut for Wifi syncing

    • I’m trying to figure that one out as well (assuming you mean iTunes wifi sync)… I’ll let you know if I have any luck.

    • Nicholas Westbrook

      I’m trying to figure this out as well

    • Nicholas Westbrook

      I’m trying to figure this out as well

    • Jeff Benjamin

      I was going to demo this with that app,but it’s definitely subpar when compared to IconProject.

  • only 4s ??? for function fine in iPhone 4 ???

    if ok in iphone 4, which shortcut to switch 3G/EDGE

    • If this works on i4 ,…use the network shortcut….then again jailbreak and use sbsetting

  • This just could get pulled from the app store…

  • Anonymous

    looks great buying right now good deal at 99c. smart price point from the dev not getting greedy

  • There is also way to use Siri Just add as contact name what setting you would like and under URL put preference Shortcut works great

  • It pained me watching you type WIFI by pressing the arrow each time. Double tap the arrow and it turns blue for capslock

  • Can u make a custom icon for any icon/app? Or just settings and calls and messages?

  • Alex Hernandez

    This is cool. What is the directory to Personal hotspot?

  • awesome… but I do miss being able to jailbreak my 4S, until then this app is just want I need to create my own SB settings :p

  • Can i just say , thanks for the icons they look better then the stock ones , but now I need a LOCATION icon , can you please make one for me ?

    • Glad you like the icons. I just posted 2 options for locations.

      • Thanks
        ..looks like you might be busy making these icons…ill be in touch for more….lol…

      • Erm…..can you do a network icon..

    • Done.

      • Love the icons; if you could do something similar for personal hotspot (internet tethering) it would be most appreciated!

      • You sir are …fantastic …

  • Dean Huffman

    You can also just type these shortcuts into safari

  • Has anyone figured out the path directly to the personal hotspot settings?

  • dagobertba

    Can i get shortcuts to musics or playlist, and can i get it to work on 4.x?

  • Anyone know the shortcut for Personal Hotspot?


  • Thank you! Every combination I had guess did not work.

  • @ Nate posted a tether for ya.

  • What is the url for Mobile usage?

    • prefs:root=General&path=USAGE/CELLULAR_USAGE works for me.

  • Fantastic !!!
    Is it possible to crate a shortcut to “turn off” or “reboot” the iDevice ?

  • Fantastic !!!
    Is it possible to create a shortcut to “turn off” or “reboot” the iDevice ?
    Thanks and have a good night.

  • I found another App in the App Store it’s called iFavorite check it out same exact thing but way better Frames, Backgrounds, Icons, exc….It has nearly 3x’s as many images to choose from. I used both of them to create my icon shortcuts. If you have iFile, SSH or iFunBox you can go to var/mobile/Library/WebClips and find the link and look at how the .plist file is and change the icon that way also. Hope this helps anyone. Thanks.

  • stewie pedia

    Is this at all linked to the HTML coding vulnerabilities that were highlighted last week?

  • The prefs:root choices for the iPad seems to be different. For example, prefs:root=Brightness does not go directly to Brightness & Walpapers. Neither does prefs:root=Brightness & Wallpaper

    Anybody figured this out?

  • does anyone know the shortcut for mail push?

  • 재선 이

    Anyone know the shortcut for Auto-lotating lock on/off?

  • Ron Hooker

    Anyone know the shortcut for call divert please?

    • pref:root=Phone&path=CallForwarding works for me.

  • Settings pages get reset if settings app is closed down in multitask bar. Renders this app pointless.

  • Settings pages get reset if settings app is closed down in multitask bar. Renders this app pointless.

  • Looking for pref:root for Cellular Data on iPad… tried EVERYTHING. CELLULAR_DATA, Cell_Data, etc etc etc. Anyone got any ideas?

    • Anonymous

      what you need is Prefs:root=MOBILE_DATA_SETTINGS_ID

      This gives you the Cellular Data for iPad

  • Vadim Naliusnij

    Can’t get this to work on iPhone 4 – 4.3.3 jailbreak.
    ‘Please enter a valid URL’ error every time. =(

    • try pinching in to zoom then back out, I found you need to do this with all sorts of app like instagram

      • Vadim Naliusnij

        Thank You. I worked for iOS 5.0 iPhone 4.

        Still can’t get it to work on iOS 4.3.3 iPhone 4 JB.

  • Anonymous

    CANCOM (UK) Apple Premium Reseller…Buy the new iPhone 4S In Factory Box unlocked

    Available in Color (WhiteBlack) 16GB,32GB,64GB


    iPhone 4S
    Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic
    Dock Connector to USB Cable
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    Bill Willis
    International Department–Export Manager

    • Vadim Naliusnij

      Ha-ha! Hotline: – are you joking?

  • Your syntax was incorrect if you want to get to the Bluetooth on/off – should be:
    For location services:

  • Amazing idea!
    i’ve been looking for so long to an SBSetting-like App to handle WLAN etc. without jailbreak.
    is there any possability to put these “selfmade icons” into notificationcenter?
    that will be great.

  • Is there a short cut path for “Show my Caller ID”? It’s so buried in the settings.

  • mls

    anyone know the URL for wifi sync?

  • Anonymous

    prefs:root=CASTLE is for iCloud. Interesting that it’s named CASTLE instead of iCloud.

  • Im having some trouble with this app. I follow the instructions like in the vid, but every shortcut I create just opens the app itself instead of the setting. even when I just try prefs:root=General I have verified the shortcuts still work by typing this directly into safari so that is not the issue. Anyone know what to do?

  • Anonymous

    Thought i would add the links to the Sim Toolkit

    iPhone is Prefs:root=Phone&path=SIMToolkit

  • Anonymous

    Hi, i am from germany…

    if i type for example: prefs:root=WIFI , i get message PLEASE TYPE VALID URL
    if i type : Wlan-prefs:root=WIFI it works for uploading to Safari. But if i tap at the new Icon – error message will come. (Url cannot open…like this)

    Can anybody help me please ?

  • Nicholas Westbrook

    So if “prefs:root=AIRPLANE_MODE” is able to toggle that setting, can you do the same with WIFI and Bluetooth? I’ve tried a few different variations and none auto-toggle like the airplane mode does.

  • Anonymous

    Nothing will work if i type “prefs: …….

    Only making Kontakt for a call is working….

    sorry for my english o:(

    • Vadim Naliusnij

      iOS 5.x and later only!

      • Anonymous

        Thanks, that´s the reason why !!!

  • I’d love a shortcut to WiFi Sync as well! This is an awesome app!

  • is there a shortcut to do itunes wi-fi sync we can use

  • Does anyone know the shortcut for passcode lock?

  • faisal majeed

    Can’t get this to work on iPhone 4 – 4.3.1 jailbreak.
    ‘Please enter a valid URL’ error every time

    • Anonymous

      Yes, because this scheme was only included in iOS 5’s safari/webkit