How to use Control Center on Mac

The control center on the Mac consolidates all system settings and controls into a neat drop-down menu. It also gives you access to new features like Dark Mode, Now Playing, and more. How to use Control Center on Mac.

The Control Center serves as a space-saving measure for the Mac menu bar. Functions such as WLAN and Bluetooth can now be found in the control center. However, if you miss them and prefer to access them from the menu bar, you can easily pin any Control Center item to the menu bar (see last section for more information).

How to use Control Center on Mac

Mac users running macOS Big Sur and later can access the Control Center. You can find the Control Center icon in the top right corner of the screen next to the time.

When you click on it, you’ll see a Mac version of the iPhone and iPad Control Center.

Standard view of the control center on Big Sur

Above are controls for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirDrop, Do Not Disturb, Keyboard Brightness, and Screen Mirroring. You can select any control to expand its functionality.

What’s new in macOS 11.0 Big Sur, available now

To the example, the “Wi-Fi” control shows you a list of all available Wi-Fi networks, similar to the menu in macOS Catalina and earlier.

WLAN module in the control center

Below you can see modules for various functions such as “Display”, “Sound” and “Is currently being played”.

If you click on the “Display” panel, you can toggle between “Dark Mode” and “Night Shift”.

Click on Dark Mode to activate the function

The “Sound” panel shows you a list of all available sound outputs.

Sound module in the control center

The “Now Playing” panel gives you playback control for all media (several apps are supported here at the same time).

Now plays the module in the control center

Click the Control Center button to go back or hide the Control Center. Click anywhere outside of the Control Center to quickly hide it.

Here’s how to add more functionality to Control Center on Mac

You can’t remove panels from Control Center on Mac, but you can add more functionality. You can add controls (or modules) for Accessibility Shortcuts, Battery, and Fast User Switching to Control Center.

To do this, click the “Apple” button in the menu bar and select the “System Preferences” option.

Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu in Big Sur

Then click the Dock & Menu Bar button.

In System Preferences, click Dock & Menu Bar

Here, scroll down to the “Other Modules” section and select the module you want to add to the Control Center.

Then click the check mark next to the “Show in Control Center” option to add the feature to the bottom of Control Center. If you also want to add a shortcut in the menu bar, you can activate the option “Show in menu bar”.

Add accessibility shortcuts to the menu bar and control center

The new modules will be displayed at the bottom of the control center. Click on a module to view all options.

New modules added at the bottom of the control center in Big Sur

The “Battery” module shows you details about your battery status.

Battery module in the control center

The “Fast User Switching” module shows you a list of all available users on your Mac. Click on a profile to switch to it.

Fast user switching module in the control center

The “Accessibility Shortcuts” module shows you a selection of frequently used accessibility functions that you can quickly activate or deactivate using the menu.

Accessibility shortcut menu

How to pin Control Center items to the menu bar

If you want quicker access to some controls like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Sound, you can add them directly to the menu bar. It’s as easy as drag and drop!

Open the “Control Center” and click on a panel and drag it to the menu bar. Place it where you want and let go. The control element now remains permanently in the menu bar.

Drag the display field into the menu bar

Click the icon to expand it and reveal all of the options. To the example, you can quickly activate dark mode using the “Display” option.

To remove or rearrange the control, hold down the Command key, and then drag the icon to move it.

To remove the icon, hold down the Command key and drag it to the desktop and release the cursor.

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