How to use Lock screen widgets on iPhone and iPad

How do you use Today widgets on Lock screen, Home screen, and Notification Center? Like this!

Widgets let you take a quick glance at information and even perform small actions without even having to open an app. You can access widgets from the Lock screen, the Home screen, or from Notification Center. It doesn't matter if you just want a quick glance at the weather, or to turn off the lights in your house, widgets are versatile and easy to use.

If you don't have any set up yet, check out the best widgets for iPhone and iPad.

How to access your widgets

You can get to your widgets from three different screens on your iPhone or iPad, so they're always within reach. The first two screens are your Lock screen and your Home screen. After waking up your iPhone or iPad's display or unlocking your device, simply swipe to the right to view your widgets.

The third screen is the Notification Center. Here's how you access widgets from there.

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen on your iPhone or iPad
  2. Swipe to the right to access your widgets if you're not already looking at them.

    Swipe down, swipe right

How to use widgets

While some widgets only offer quick displays of information, others, such as Day One, Workflow, and Hue, are more interactive, letting you perform actions in apps without opening the apps themselves.

  1. Swipe to the right on your Home or Lock screen, or pull down Notification Center, to view your widgets.
  2. Scroll down to find the widget you want to use.
  3. Tap on the action you'd like to perform. While some widgets will take you to their attendant app to continue the action, many will allow you to remain on the widget screen.

    Swipe right, scroll down, tap action

Many widgets offer a couple of viewing options, with some able to expand to offer a greater set of options or letting you view more information.

  1. Swipe to the right on your Home or Lock screen, or pull down Notification Center, to view your widgets.
  2. Scroll to the widget you'd like to expand.

    Swipe right, scroll down

  3. Tap Show More.

  4. Tap Show Less to return the widget to its smaller size.

    Tap Show More, tap Show Less

How to add widgets from the App Store

In addition to built-in options from Apple, you can add widgets from third-party developers. There are actually a couple of ways to do this.

  1. Swipe to the right on your Home or Lock screen, or pull down Notification Center, to view your widgets.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of your widget list.
  3. Tap Edit.

    Swipe right, scroll down, tap Edit

  4. Scroll down to find the widget you want to add. If you've just downloaded an app with a widget, or widget support was just added, you'll often find the app's widget near the top of the availability list with a blue dot next to it.

  5. Tap the green + button.
  6. Tap Done.

    Scroll down, tap +, tap Done

While the above is similar to the widget addition process of previous versions of iOS, iOS 10 offers a new option that some developers have taken advantage of.

  1. Find the app whose widget you wish to add on your Home screen.
  2. Press firmly on its app icon to activate its 3D Touch menu.
  3. Tap Add Widget if a version of the app's widget appears alongside the shortcut menu.

    Choose app, press firmly, tap Add Widget

How to rearrange widgets

Once you add a new widget to your list, you can position it how you'd like.

  1. Swipe to the right on your Home or Lock screen to view your widgets.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of your widget list.
  3. Tap Edit.

    Swipe right, scroll down, tap Edit

  4. Tap and hold the three lines to the right of the widget you'd like to rearrange.

  5. Drag the widget up or down.

    Tap and hold lines, move widget

How to disable widgets

Of course, if a widget isn't working out, or is unnecessary, you can always get rid of it.

  1. Swipe to the right on your Home or Lock screen, or pull down Notfiication Center, to view your widgets.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of your widget list.
  3. Tap Edit.

    Swipe right, scroll down, tap Edit

  4. Tap the red - button.

  5. Tap Remove.

    Tap -, tap Remove

Any questions about widgets?

If you've got any questions about using widgets on iPhone and iPad, be sure to let me know in the comments.