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If you’d like to capture ideas on the go, Apple’s Notes app is a wonderful way to do it. When a great idea strikes you, it can feel like too much of a fumble to find and launch the app on your device. Luckily, there’s an easy way to quickly access Notes using a Control Center shortcut.

How to Launch the Control Center

Control Center is a collection of shortcuts to commonly used tasks, such as adjusting screen brightness, volume, song playback, and more. It also serves as a way to quickly launch features such as turning on the flashlight or taking a photo.

In the step ahead, we’re going to add a shortcut to launch Notes. But first, here’s how to launch Control Center itself.

  • iPhone X or newer/iPad running iOS 12 or later: Swipe down from the top right of the screen.
  • iPhone 8 or earlier/iPad running iOS 11 or earlier: Swipe up from the bottom of the screen. (Control Center first appeared in iOS 7).

How to Launch Control Center on iOS

One of the handiest things about Control Center is that you can launch it even without unlocking the device, which makes accessing your shortcuts that much quicker.

Add a Notes Shortcut to Control Center

To launch notes quickly on your device, we’ll add a shortcut to the app in Control Center. Here’s how to do it.

Open Settings, scroll down the list until you find Control Center, and then tap it.

Select Control Center in Settings on iOS

In Control Center, tap “Customize Controls.”

Select Customize Controls in Control Center iOS

You will be presented with a list of functions you can choose to add to the Control Center.

Scroll down to the “Notes” option and tap it.

Adding Notes to Control Center on iOS

The Notes icon will be added to the “Include” list at the top of the screen. You can change the order of icons in the Control Center by rearranging them in this list.

Notes added to Control Center on iOS

Now leave Settings by returning to your home screen or another app.

Swipe the edge of the screen to launch Control Center (see instructions above). You should see the Notes icon (which looks like a tiny notepad with a pencil) on the screen.

Tap the Notes icon to launch it.

Notes shortcut on Control Center on iOS

The Notes app will open on the screen. Start typing away.

Example of using Notes on iOS

Any time you want to quickly jot down a note, launch Control Center by swiping on the screen, tap the Notes icon, and you’ll be taken to the app immediately.

By default, Control Center allows you to write new notes even while the device is locked. Existing notes are not accessible unless you unlock the device with your passcode. To change those settings, visit Settings > Notes > Access Notes from Lock Screen.

Access Notes From Lock Screen settings in iOS

How to Remove Notes from Control Center

If you’d like to remove Notes from your Control Center, follow these steps.

Navigate to Settings > Control Center.

Select Control Center in Settings on iOS

Tap “Customize Controls.”

Select Customize Controls in Control Center iOS

Find the Notes entry from the list (with a red minus sign in a circle next to it) and tap it. It will be removed from Control Center.

Removing Notes from Control Center on iOS

Profile Photo for Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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