Toggling Bluetooth and wifi in iOS 11 control center disconnects, not disables

“We noted way back in July that toggling Bluetooth and wifi off in the iOS 11 control center doesn’t do quite what you might expect. Rather than disabling the functionality, it merely disconnects from currently-connected devices and cancels the auto-join feature to stop it immediately reconnecting,” Ben Lovejoy reports for 9to5Mac. “But not everyone got the memo, so the issue is getting some fresh attention.”

“Security researcher Andrea Barisani tweeted about the issue yesterday, and that’s since been picked up by a range of sites. Motherboard spoke with Barisani, who said that it was not obvious to users what the toggles did, and it was good practice to disable both forms of wireless connectivity when not using them,” Lovejoy reports. “Other security researchers agreed that Apple’s approach is too counter-intuitive for users to understand what is happening.”

“You can of course switch off both forms of connectivity in Settings, or toggle on Airplane Mode if you also want to disable mobile service,” Lovejoy reports. “There is one other oddity: even if you switch off in Settings, Apple switches both radio systems back on at 5am. This is likely because people forget they’ve switched it off and then can’t understand why a device won’t connect the next day.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Via Apple’s support document regarding using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in Control Center with iOS 11:

In iOS 11 and later, when you toggle the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth buttons in Control Center, your device will immediately disconnect from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth accessories. Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth will continue to be available, so you can use these important features:

• AirDrop
• AirPlay
• Apple Pencil
• Apple Watch
• Continuity features, like Handoff and Instant Hotspot
• Instant Hotspot
• Location Services

Disconnect from Wi-Fi networks

Open Control Center and tap . The icon will dim and your device will disconnect from any network that you’re connected to.

While Wi-Fi is disabled, auto-join for any nearby Wi-Fi networks will also be disabled until:
• You turn on Wi-Fi in Control Center.
• You connect to a Wi-Fi network in Settings > Wi-Fi.
• You walk or drive to a new location.
• It’s 5 AM local time.
• You restart your device.

Disconnect from Bluetooth accessories

Open Control Center and tap . The icon will dim and your device will disconnect from any accessory it’s connected to, except for Apple Watch, Instant Hotspot, Apple Pencil, and Continuity features, like Handoff.

If Bluetooth is turned off, you won’t be able to connect your iOS device to your Bluetooth accessories until:
• You turn on Bluetooth in Control Center.
• You connect to a Bluetooth accessory in Settings > Bluetooth.
• It’s 5 AM local time.
• You restart your device.

Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

• If you want to completely disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for all networks and devices, follow these steps:
• To turn off Wi-Fi, go to Settings > Wi-Fi and turn off Wi-Fi.
• To turn off Bluetooth, go to Settings > Bluetooth and turn off Bluetooth.
• For the best experience on your iOS device, try to keep Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on.


  1. Actually works well. Switching off effectively switches off (behavior is same to user). For example, in a poor WiFi environment, toggling WiFi off disconnects from all WiFi and cell is used, as expected. Don’t see an issue here as the behavior does what the user is trying to do.

      1. But you don’t know that it has any negative impact on battery. Someone would have to prove that..have actual numbers. Until then, it is speculation. Interestingly, turning off WiFi and only using cell has a negative impact on battery…

        Apple has always been very good at engineering good power schemes for their hardware. I’m willing to bet that this method for Bluetooth and WiFi has no (significant) negative impact on battery. Unless we are talking minutes more or less battery life, it’s a non issue in real use.

  2. Wo-go and Bluetooth turn back on at 5am? That’s so stupid to me. If I turn Bluetooth off if the next morning I can’t connect to my Pebble watch my first reaction is to check the Bluetooth icon at the top of the screen. How hard can it be?
    I use Control Centre all the time to quickly conserve battery life. If I go out and won’t be using wifi a quick flip up an it’s off, I mean properly off. I shouldn’t have to go into settings and navigate to wifi and Bluetooth to turn them off.

    There should be an option in Control Centre settings to either turn them off or disconnect.

    Typical Apple making something easy into something confusing and hard.

    1. But it is effectively off when you toggle in control center. The behavior is the same. You are assuming you are saving battery by turning off fully. That isn’t the case. The only way you can make a significant impact on battery is to use low power mode and not use safari.

      1. Really? I didn’t know that keeping the radio on for Bluetooth and WiFi made my battery last longer. What special magic did Apple do for that?

        My example: If I know I am going to need my phone for phone calls and nothing but calls for the next 8 hours, I will turn off bluetooth and wifi and get more talk time with my phone.

        1. Lol…clearly did not say leaving on will increase life…

          What I said was you are assuming turning them all the way off extends battery enough to even notice. There is no evidence of that. The only way to significantly impact battery is to turn on low power mode.

          Also, if your carrier allows WiFi calling (like ATT), you will get BETTER battery life using WiFi uses less energy than cell. The cell antenna is the most power hungry antenna in the phone. You want to suck your battery… use cell. You want to save..use WiFi. That has always been the case. Bluetooth in low energy mode (not connected to anything) has an insignificant draw on battery. So little that you couldn’t measure the difference without being in a lab.

  3. OK. What is the difference between Toggle and Tap?

    I don’t have iOS 11 to test right now.
    I looked at Apple’s screen shots and it looks the same as iOS 10, just a round icon in Control Center.

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