The One UI 3.1 in Galaxy S21 enhances the quick settings area better than stock Android, where you can access the most frequent settings for your device, like power-saving modes, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.
It’s a selection of shortcuts, accessed when you swipe down from the top of the screen on your Samsung phone. Samsung also adds a couple of extra elements here.
Quick settings tip and tricks for Samsung Galaxy S21
Quick access to Google Home controls
This is similar to the Pixel’s power menu smart home controls. If you have Google Home installed and set up, drop the quick settings menu and then tap ‘Devices’.
Now tap the drop-down menu option that says ‘SmartThings’, and you should see ‘Home’ as an option. Select that and now you’ll see big onscreen widget controls for your Google Home connected devices.
Instantly access the quick settings and notifications pane from your home screen
Swipe down anywhere on the home screen and the notifications pane will slide down meaning you don’t have to stretch up to the top of the page, swipe down again and you’ll get quick settings – really useful on the bigger Galaxy S21+ and S21 Ultra phones.
This is off by default, to turn it on long press on the wallpaper and select “home screen settings”, then “swipe down for notification panel”.
Edit quick settings
To change the shortcuts you see when you swipe down the notifications, swipe down twice so you see the full grid, open the menu by tapping the three dots and select “edit buttons”.
You’ll be shown the full list of options across pages. You can drag to reorder or remove shortcuts you don’t need. Top tip: only the first six apps are shown in the compact view across the top, so make these your first settings shortcuts.
Instantly access device settings from quick settings
This is a standard Android tip, but great for accessing settings instantly. Press and hold the shortcut (for example Bluetooth) and you’ll instantly jump to the full settings menu. It’s really useful for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and power-saving options.
Access connected devices in the quick settings pane
By default, you’ll find that connected devices and media is shown in the quick settings pane too. This means you can swipe down and tap through to access music you’re playing or speakers that you’re connected to.
The devices option covers direct connections as well as SmartThings, so if you’re a smart home user then this is a way to get directly to those devices.
You might find you don’t or need that option, so you can turn it off by opening up the quick settings and tapping the menu top right. Then tap on “quick panel layout” and toggle off “show media and devices” to remove it.
Quickly adjust the screen brightness
Samsung lets you access the brightness through the quick settings panel, just swipe it down and you’ll see the slider.
If you want to adjust auto-brightness, hit the down arrow at the right-hand end of the slider and it will take you straight through to those settings, where you can turn it on or off.
If you want the slider above the notifications (so it’s easier to get to), you can enable that in the menu for quick panel layout as mentioned in the tip above.