Control Center in macOS Big Sur
Khamosh Pathak / How-To Geek

Control Center on the Mac consolidates all system toggles and control in one neat drop-down menu. Plus, you get access to new features like Dark mode, Now Playing, and more. Here’s how to use the Control Center on Mac.

The Control Center serves as a space-saving measure for the Mac menu bar. Features like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are now found in the Control Center. But if you miss them and would prefer to access them in the menu bar, it’s easy to pin any Control Center item to the menu bar (take a look at the last section to find out more).

How to Use Control Center on Mac

Mac users who are running macOS Big Sur and higher can access Control Center. You’ll 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’s Control Center.

Control Center Default View on Big Sur

At the top, you’ll see controls for “Wi-Fi,” “Bluetooth,” “AirDrop,” “Do Not Disturb,” “Keyboard Brightness,” and “Screen Mirroring.” You can select each control to expand the features.

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

Wi-Fi Module in Control Center

Below that, you’ll see modules for different features like “Display,” “Sound,” and “Now Playing.”

Clicking the “Display” panel will give show you toggles for “Dark Mode” and “Night Shift.”

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

Sound Module in Control Center

The “Now Playing” panel gives you playback control for all media (multiple apps at once are supported here).

Now Playing Module in Control Center

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

How to Add More Features to Control Center on Mac

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

To do this click the “Apple” button from the menu bar and choose the “System Preferences” option.

Select System Preferences from Apple Menu in Big Sur

Then, click the “Dock & Menu Bar” button.

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

Then, click the checkmark next to the “Show in Control Center” option to add the feature to the end of the Control Center. If you also want to add a shortcut to it in the menu bar, you can enable the “Show in Menu Bar” option.

Add Accessibility Shortcuts to Menu Bar and Control Center

The new modules will show up at the bottom of the Control Center. Click a module to see all options.

New Modules Added to Bottom of Control Center in Big Sur

The “Battery” module will show you details of your battery status.

Battery Module in Control Center

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

Fast User Switching Module in Control Center

The “Accessibility Shortcuts” module shows you a selection of frequently used accessibility features that you can quickly enable or disable from the menu.

Accessibility Shortcuts 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 and drag a panel to the menu bar. Place it where you want and let go. The control will now stay in the menu bar permanently.

Drag Display Panel to Menu Bar

Click the icon to expand and see all options. For example, you can quickly enable dark mode from the “Display” option.

If you want to remove or rearrange the control, hold the “Command” key and then drag the icon to move it around.

To remove the icon, drag it to the desktop while holding the “Command” key and let go of the cursor.

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Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on Lifehacker, iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has nearly a decade of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
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