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How to make Android 12’s device control panel easier to access

Bring one of Android’s best features back to the forefront

One of the first things you might notice when you get Android 12 on your phone is that a standout Android feature is no longer where you expect it.

I’m talking about the device control panel Google added into the operating system with last year’s Android 11 release. The panel offers a handy set of commands that lets you access and adjust any smart lights and other connected gadgets set up in your home.

On Pixel phones, at least, that panel used to come up when you’d press and hold your phone’s power button. With Android 12, though, it’s no longer part of the power button menu. But don’t despair: it isn’t gone entirely. It just takes an extra step and a teensy bit of preparation to reach it.

Reposition your Android 12 device control panel

First things first — track that panel down. In Android 12, the panel has moved from the power button menu into the Quick Settings area of the operating system (which is where some device-makers, including Samsung, had stashed it in Android 11, anyway).

By default, you’ll probably have to swipe down twice from the top of your screen and then maybe even swipe over to the left once or twice to find it. But with about 60 seconds of setup, you can move it to a much more optimal position:

  • Swipe down twice from the top of your screen to open up the full Quick Settings area. If you already see a “Device controls” control in one of the first four spots in that menu, you’re all set. Otherwise, you’ll want to do a little fine-tuning.
  • Tap the pencil-shaped icon in the lower-left corner of the Quick Settings area. If you’re using a phone other than a Pixel, you might have to tap a three-line menu icon and then look for an “Edit” command there instead.
  • Find the “Device controls” tile, then press and hold it and slide it up to one of the first four positions in the Quick Settings area.
  • Tap the arrow in the upper-left corner of the screen to save and exit.

Now that the option is in a more prominent position, you can always get to it with just one swipe down from the top of your screen instead of two.

In Android 12, you must wipe down from the top of your screen for the device control panel button.
Swipe down to get the button that takes you to the device control panel...
...which gives you quick access to all of your connected smart gadgets.
...which gives you quick access to all of your connected smart gadgets.

It’s still not quite as convenient as the old power button placement, admittedly, but it’s a step in the right direction — and at this point, it’s about the best you can do.