How to Actually Turn Off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in iOS 15, iOS 14, and iOS 12
With new iOS versions (iOS 15, iPadOS 15, iOS 14, iPadOS 14, iOS 13, iOS 12, iOS 11, and later), the new Control Center toggles for turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth do not actually turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on an iPhone or iPad. Instead, if you hit the buttons for disabling Wi-Fi or Bluetooth in Control Center, the iPhone or iPad will disconnect from wi-fi or Bluetooth, but not actually turn off those wireless services on the iPhone or iPad. This can cause some confusion for obvious reasons, and many users are left wondering why wi-fi or Bluetooth is not actually turned off on their devices, or how to turn off wi-fi or Bluetooth in iOS 11 and newer completely.
You can still turn off wi-fi and disable Bluetooth on an iPhone or iPad with iOS 11 and newer, but rather than use Control Center to turn the wireless features off, you must go to the Settings app to disable either.
To be clear, turning “off” Bluetooth or Wi-Fi in Control Center simply disconnects the iPhone or iPad from wi-fi or Bluetooth. For example, if you hit the wi-fi off button in Control Center, it actually just disconnects from the current wi-fi router, but the wi-fi service remains active on the device. Similarly, if you hit the Bluetooth “off” button in Control Center, it only disconnects any connected Bluetooth device (like a keyboard or Apple Watch), and does not actually turn off the Bluetooth service on the iPhone or iPad. This is different from how Control Center worked in past versions of iOS, where hitting the toggle buttons would actually disable the service rather than simply disconnect from connected devices.
How to Disable Wi-Fi in iOS 15 / iOS 12 on iPhone or iPad
Because the toggles in Control Center no longer turn off wi-fi or Bluetooth, you will instead need to turn to the Settings app to disable these services:
- Open the “Settings” app
- Near the top of the settings options choose “Wi-Fi” and flip the switch to the OFF position to completely disable wi-fi on the iPhone or iPad
How to Disable Bluetooth in iOS 15 / iOS 12 on iPad or iPhone
- Open the Settings app on the iPhone or iPad
- In Settings choose “Bluetooth” and flip the switch to the OFF position to completely disable Bluetooth on the iPhone or iPad
Note that the AirPlay mode option in Control Center continues to work to disable both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, but AirPlay mode also turns off the cellular capabilities of the device, thereby taking it completely offline.
Remember, the wi-fi and Bluetooth toggles in Control Center for new iOS disconnects only, it does not turn off wi-fi or Bluetooth. To actually turn off wi-fi or Bluetooth now, you must go to the Settings app instead. The wi-fi settings section still allows you to forget wi-fi networks and perform other similar more advanced options as well.
In some ways this change is a feature improvement because now there is an easy way to disconnect from wi-fi or Bluetooth without disabling those services, this can make it slightly easier to join a hidden wi-fi network from an iOS device for example, particularly if your device is auto-joining another network, but the change in Control Center button behavior can lead to some confusion if the new behavior is not understood.
This isn’t the only change brought to the totally redesigned Control Center of iOS 11 and later, and there are some other feature adjustments that take some getting used to as well, like accessing the Night Shift toggle in Control Center of iOS 11. Fortunately much of Control Center in iOS is now customizable via the Settings app too, so it’s possible that future versions of the operating system will unveil new button toggles to have these functions more directly.