Apple has changed the way Wi-Fi and Bluetooth toggles behave in iOS 11’s revamped Control Center, causing some user confusion in the process. Here’s how you completely disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios in your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch on iOS 11 or later.

How to completely disable Wi-Fi in iOS 11

To completely disable the Wi-Fi radio in your device, do the following:

1) Launch the Settings app.

2) Touch Wi-Fi in the list.

3) Slide the Wi-Fi toggle to the OFF position.

This will completely disable the Wi-Fi radio in your device.

You will no longer be able to connect to any Wi-Fi networks unless you toggle Wi-Fi back on through Settings or in Control Center. Toggling Wi-Fi on also re-enable the Auto-Join feature for any nearby Wi-Fi networks.

How to completely disable Bluetooth in iOS 11

To completely disable the Bluetooth radio in your device, do the following:

1) Launch the Settings app.

2) Touch Bluetooth in the list.

3) Slide the Bluetooth toggle to the OFF position.

This will completely disable the Bluetooth radio in your device.

You will no longer be able to connect to your Apple Watch, AirPods or other Bluetooth accessories unless you toggle Bluetooth back on through Settings or in Control Center. Toggling Bluetooth on will re-connect your device to some of the previously connected accessories, like Apple Watch.

Toggling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in Control Center

Apple has clarified that toggling the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth buttons in iOS 11’s redesigned Control Center immediately disconnects the device from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth accessories but leaves both radios running to support these features and devices:

  • Apple Pencil
  • Apple Watch
  • AirDrop
  • AirPlay
  • Handoff
  • Instant Hotspot
  • Location Services

When Wi-Fi is disabled through Control Center, the Auto-Join feature for nearby Wi-Fi networks also gets turned off until:

  • You turn Wi-Fi back on in Control Center or Settings
  • You manually connect to a Wi-Fi network in Settings → Wi-Fi
  • You walk or drive to a new location
  • It’s 5am local time
  • The device restarts

If you toggle Bluetooth off via Control Center, the device instantly disconnects from any accessory it’s connected to (except for Apple Watch, Apple Pencil and Continuity features like Handoff and Instant Hotspot) and won’t be able to re-connect to them until:

  • You turn Bluetooth back on in Control Center or Settings
  • You manually connect to a Bluetooth accessory in Settings → Bluetooth
  • It’s 5am local time
  • The device restarts

For more information, check out Apple’s support document.

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  • Samy060

    Wifi part shows Bluetooth screenshots 😉

    • igobythisname

      nice catch!

  • Technocrz!

    Thanks for this article i was very confused, although I figured out same my self but wasnt sure. Why Apple did that why not to have completey turn off or have that option via 3D touch

  • Bacillus

    Thanks I will skip iOS11 for the moment.until the reason has returned

  • czbird

    Did I miss lesson 1 – how to turn it on and off – or are we going too fast?

  • Tony Trenkle Jr.

    Piggybacking off my comment in the other article, a lot of us don’t even have an apple watch, pencil, etc and just want simple wifi. The way control center did it before was exactly what I needed.

  • Hektōr

    That’s a complete regression. Why would I wanna just disconnect instead of fully disabling it?

    • Rob

      I agree. Disconnecting from devices should be a 3D Touch feature on those icons i.e. a secondary gesture. What happened to apple making things intuitive? Switching it off should be switching it off, end of.

    • poffuomo

      In my opinion it’s definitely not a complete regression.
      For instance, to be able to force the use of 4G instead of a Wi-Fi network, or to be able to disconnect the iPhone from a Bluetooth devices to let another phone connect to it, while still maintaining the possibility to connect to your Apple Watch or your Mac with Continuity is useful. More importantly, it couldn’t be achieved before. Same thing with AirPlay for instance.

      • Hektōr

        My point is: if I wanna enable Wi-Fi instead of LTE, then I’ll do it by myself. I don’t want iOS to do it “automatically” for me, it is annoying that everywhere I go my iPhone will try to connect to known networks. Furthermore, based on my daily experience, it’s impacting my battery usage, even though not too much. Same point for Bluetooth. The only thing I agreed after all is being able to keep connection to the Apple Watch after disconnecting from another devices. This feature definitely should be an option on iOS.

      • poffuomo

        As far as I understood, it should not work as you say.

        If you turn Wi-Fi off from the control center, with both iOS 10 and iOS 11, it will not connect to any network.
        If Wi-Fi is turned on, it will connect to known networks with both iOS 10 and 11.

        There should be no difference with the new behaviour compared to how it was before. The only difference is the ability to stay connected to the Apple Watch, to use AirDrop and to connect to the AirPods even after “turning off” Wi-Fi, which in practice means disconnecting from Wi-Fi networks, while still maintaining the radios on. It may have an impact on the battery life, but I guess it’s really low.
        Actually another difference is that every day at 5am both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi will turn on again, which is something similar to what Windows Phones do when you turn off Wi-Fi, based on the assumption that the additional battery usage is overcome by the battery saving when connecting to a Wi-Fi network instead of using cellular data.

  • I think it’s dumb

  • Skye

    What about when you turn Airplane mode on?

  • Bibibombibi

    Sometimes, we just can’t understand what Apple is thinking….. They always tends to mess up with the basic features.

  • MrSergioRamos

    It also supports AirPods, on thing nobody mentions.

  • Mirza

    now you should make a full post (with pictures) on how to “send an iMessage”

  • Bogdan

    You can also tell siri to turn them off

  • JulianZH

    Stop being lazy. Using same photos for both WiFi and Bluetooth

  • Paul

    Maybe it’s not that dumb. The Apple AirPods, for instance. Let’s immagine you are using them, but at the same time you don’t want other devices to bother you or get connected or whatsoever. Disabling the whole thing, would let you lose connection with the AirPods. In this way, instead, you can cut off everything else, but at the same time, still listen to music or stay in your phonecall.

    • MacServiceGuy

      so the solution isn’t to force us into apple’s choice. the solution is to add a 3d gesture for partial disable or total disable

  • P.K. Hunter

    Stupid piece. Whole point of control centre is avoid Settings. That’s two taps. Maybe more if one is not in the home screen and settings app is not accessible. Idiotic Apple design.

  • Bertrand Grichting

    So annoying, another change that nobody wanted in the first place. Was so happy when i could switch off BT and WiFi in Control Center without the need to open System Settings, now back to square one…