iPad Tips: Explaning the iOS 6 Settings Panel

iOS 6 Settings IconIn order to configure various features and functions of the new iOS 6 operating system one your iPad, select the Setting icon from your home screen. If you haven’t arranged the default icon layout for the first page on your home screen then you will find the steel colored settings tab in the last row of the initial home screen. Tap it and you will be greeted with a settings panel.

Arrangement of the settings panel – The settings panel is divided into two main sections. First, you have the left area that defines s wider category like notifications, mail etc. then you have the area on the right hand side where specific settings based on your category selections appear. The right panel options will constantly change depending on the setting type selected on the opposite side.

Note: Both the sides are scrollable inside your settings panel. You will also see new settings panels for specific applications that you installed on your iPad.

Now that you are familiar with the basic arrangements of the settings panel let’s take a closer look at each one of them and I will explain you the fun tons they perform. We will also take a look at some of the new settings available in iOS 6.

Airplane Mode

By default the airplane mode stays in the off state. In order to activate the airplane mode simply swipe your finger from left to right. You will see a blue area indicating that it is active. When you are in this mode, your iPad will disconnect from all cellular networks and Internet connections. This feature is widely used when someone is traveling in a plane.


Below the airplane mode you will find the tab for pall the wifi settings on your iPad. Select it and you will see three main sections on the left.

Wi-Fi Settings for iPad

  • First is a slider that lets you turn the wi-fi on or off.
  • Below the slider you have a list of connections that your iPad automatically memorizes. The current connection which you are connected to will be marked with a tick sign.
  • The last option inside the main wi-fi area allows you turn the notification prompting for any new networks. By default this is in the off mode but if you turn it on, you will be notified of any new wi-fi network in your vicinity.
  • Tap the blue arrow beside any wi-fi connection to bring up the details. Here you can check the IP a address of a connection. You can also see other technical stuff like DHCP, BOOTP and change the configuration of your proxy settings. Please configure these settings only if you know what you are doing. Tweaking the advanced wi-fi settings might lead to obstruction in your Internet connection.


The Bluetooth setting is a pretty simple and contains one slider that aloes you to turn on your Bluetooth. You will now see a list of devices below which your iPad can pair with. Just enter the prompted pairing password (if any) and it’s configured automatically. This setting is particularly useful for connecting your iPad with various other wireless accessories like speakers, keyboard etc.

Do Not Disturb

This is one of the new features in iOS 6. The do not disturb settings is mainly scattered into two places which I am going to explain here. At first in your settings panel you will find a purple icon that represents the do not disturb slider. You can turn this feature on using this. However, if you want to configure your settings for the DND mode then you need to go to the notification settings and tab the do not disturb segment. Here you can configure the following stuff:

Do Not Disturb Features

Scheduled – when you activate the scheduling of your DND configuration, you can set a specific time period for activating your DND automatically. This is particularly helpful when you don’t want any disturbance while you sleep. For example: if you schedule from 11.30 PM to 7 AM then you can have a good night’s sleep without any annoying notification or FaceTime calls on your iPad.

Allow Calls From – this feature lets you adjust the persons you still wanna attend even when the DND mode is switched on. By default this is set to favorites but you can assign it to a personal group from your contacts or simply select “no one” in order to stop receiving from every caller.

Repeated calls – finally, this is the most important feature of the do not disturb configuration panel and it is always advised to keep this on. If someone tries to call you more than one time within a span of 3 minutes then the call will not be silenced. This feature is essential in case there is an emergency of some sort.


The notifications panel can be considered as the central nervous system of your iOS device. Situated on the top, it provides you with constant updates from your emails, calendar, app notifications and other alerts. When it comes to configuring the notification settings t is important that you first understand the way it is strutted instead of overing through tons and tons of installed applications with no real clue of what’s happening with the changes that you just applied.

At the top of the notification panel you will find the settings to Do Not Disturb which we already covered in the above section. Next, you will find two options that slows you to sort apps either manually or by time (in this scenario the apps that you use most frequently will come first).

Note: In order to edit the arrangement of all the applications in the notifications area two the edit button the top right hand corner of the screen. This mode allows you to arrange the apps according to your liking. Simply drag any app top or bottom and you will find the others adjusting their positions accordingly. Once you are happy with the arrangement tap the same top right corner that says done.

At the end of the notifications panel you will encounter a list of all those applications that utilize notification features but are currently disallowed by the user (meaning you).

Types of notifications – once you tap a particular application you can alter the notification criteria specific to that app.

Types of Notifications

  1. None – No notification will be displayed
  2. Banners – This will show all your notifications on the top banner section. In order to access this area se your hand from the top of your screen.
  3. Alerts – when you activate the alert system for any app, you will be prompted with notifications directly on the lock screen of your iOS device.

Apart from the display formats there are a few small settings to tweak your app specific notifications. For example: upon selecting any app, the first option that you will get is a slider to switch on or off the notification for that given application. Then there is a option of choosing the maximum number of updates that you can display if there are multiple alerts. Finally, a brand new feature that comes embedded right with the notification system is the ability to change the sound for different apps.

Some important things to remember inside Notification Settings:

  • Click on the icon that says mail. Here you can select from a range of different email accounts that are currently synced with your iOS device.
  • You can Configure the sounds either inside your notifications panel or in the dedicated sound settings tab.
  • Inside your mail notifications you can customize the alerts for your dedicated VIP mailing list.

This concludes our notifications panel guide. Now we will continue to move on with other tabs in the settings panel.

General Settings

As the name suggests, general settings allows you to change some of the basic functionalities of your iPad like date, time and even shows critical information about your device. If your are looking for some pass lock security then those can be configured within this panel as well. We will explain each and every panel inside general settings in details.


the about panels displays all your basic information for the iPad. Information like storage space, number of apps, number of photos, baseband versions etc. This is also the place where you can change and personalize the name of your iPad. A the end of the about tab you will see some options that displays more information about advertising, diagnostics and other legal documentation.

By default your iPad tracks the content you are browsing in your Safari browser and shows relevant advertisements in various applications. You can turn the tracking off by going inside the advertising panel under the about tab and turning on the feature that says limit ad tracking.

It is always advised to send diagnostics and usage data to the apple servers so that they can automatically monitor different errors that you. Might encounter with your iPad. However you can turn the feature off in the diagnostics panel. Here you can also view the data logs that are sent to Apple for various purposes.

The legal documentarians are something that hardly anyone reads. They can be accessed at the bottom of the about panel.

Software Update

Whenever Apple releases any update to their iOS software this is the place where you need to go under the general settings tab to update your device. Upon clicking software update you will see a message saying “your software is up to date”. However after a new version release this tab will prompt you with the new version details and start the upgrade process.


The usage panel allows you see the free space left on your iPad. Another important task done by this panel is monitoring your battery life performance considering the way you use your device on a daily basis. People often forget that the usage panel is also meant for battery apart from storage. On top you will see the total space available and the total being used by your iPad currently. Below that is a list of all your applications and their respective size arranged in descending order. If you have are having lots of apps installed on your device then tap the show all apps to display all of them.

Below your application usage section you will also see the current space available on your iCloud account. Your iCloud is used to sync photos, app data, videos etc. across all your Apple device and every user is entitled to 5 GB of free space. If you want additional space then follow the following steps:

  • Go to your usage tab
  • Select Manage Storage which is present in the iCloud section.
  • Select Change Storage Plan and purchase your upgrade.

Two new additions to iOS usage is the ability to track your iPad’s battery life both in standby and from the time your full charge was completed.

Note: Select any application from the usage panel to delete them directly from your iPad.


With iOS 6 Apple added Siri to iPads for the fort time. In this diction the first option allows you to turn the Siri feature on or off. By the way, if you want to access Siri then you need to double tap your Home Button.

The other three options inside the Siri panel is very basic. You can change the language in which you speak. Then there is a voice feedback option that sends automatic feedbacks to Apple. We recommend you always enable the voice feedback. Finally there is an option that lets you choose the information you want Siri to remember about you. This info is retrieved from your contact card.


Here you can turn on your Virtual Private Network. You need to know the proper configurations for your VPN settings. Known settings will be stored on your iPad.

iTunes Wi-Fi sync

This feature allows you to play on songs on your iPad or your laptop/PC using wireless syncing. In Oder to activate this feature please ensure that your computer’s Wi-Fi is on and you have a successful airtime connection between the two devices.

Spotlight Search

When you swipe left from your first home screen you gain access to spotlight search. Here you can search anything and everything within your Apple device. The spotlight settings allows you to configure the various type of substance that should appear on your actual result. You can drag and rearrange the search types like contacts, music etc. to re order them based on preference. You can also unmark a category to exclude them from spotlight search.

Spotlight Search Settings

Auto Lock

Here you can set the time for your iOS device to be locked when its inactive. By default the time is 2 minutes. Choose “never” to always keep your device in the active state.

Passcode Lock

You can set a 4 digit numerical passcode for your iOS device. This combination will always be asked whoever you want to get out of the lock screen. Tap the option that says “Turn On Passcode Lock” and enter your combination. You can also set complex password by turning off simple passcode. A very weird feature allows you to set a time for the required passcode.
Remember that the time starts once you go to your home screen from a locked state. Tap this option to set a desired time but we suggest that in case of a security issue it is better to stick to the default “immediately” state. You can choose whether someone can access Siri and Picture Frames even in the Locke state. Finally you have a very scary setting that deletes all your iPad data in case of 10 failed attempts. Please keep this off because there might be occasionally when a child wants to play with your iPad or iPhone and before you realize all your data is gone.

Passcode Lock Settings

iPad Cover Lock/ Unlock

the slider allows you to automatically unlock the iPad when you open your Smart Cover. If you are using the Smart Cover then you should know that when your flip it open your iPad automatically unlocks itself and displays the home screen. The slider can be used to turn off this feature.


This is one of those feature that often stays in the limelight when we are using iOS. Restriction allows your to limit the apps, photos, videos etc that are visible on your iOS device. When you turn on restrictions you need to enter a passcode. This passcode is used to prevent others from visiting and accessing the restriction panel. You can customize the apps that you want to be visible but remember that you need to switch off something to hide them. Often, people get confused out here so keep that in mind.

Restrictions on iOS 6

Access to each and every element of your device can be controlled using restrictions. If you scroll all the way to the bottom of the restrictions panel you will find sliders that let’s you choose access to GameCenter and whether someone can add friends in your account. Then there are options to restrict from using or modifying mails, contacts and even basic system settings like the volume levels. Really, if you are paranoid or you got a child playing with your iOS device then this is the perfect way to ensure that nothing goes wrong.

Use Side Switch To

Here you can customize the functions for sliding switch just over the volume rocker button. By default, you use this button to mute your device but it can be used to lock your orientation as well.

Multitasking Gestures

You can switch on or off the multitasking gestures used for your iPad, iPhones and iPod touches. The gestures like four figure swipe to the next app, 5 figure close to zoom etc. will stop working. There is no constructive reason to turn off this setting as it kills the beauty of the iOS experience.

Date and Time

This panel allows you to change the date and time formats for your device. You can select a time zone and turn on 24 Hour time system.


The keyboard settings allows you play with a lot of cool stuff that you might now be familiar with. On top you will find a bunch of sliders that mainly caters to the punctuation configuration. Next you will find a section where you can add and edit various keyboard sets.

Keyboard Settings Panel

In order to access the different keyboards that are denoted numerically, hit the world icon on your keyboard inside any application. In the key or destined you can also assign a bunch of shortcuts that you use regularly. For example when you assign “omg” for Oh My God then once you type omg the device will display the full phrase. Shortcuts are very helpful if one learns to use them effectively.


The international panel is used to change the language of your iPhone or iPad. Once you select any particular language you will see a notification that says “changing language” (in your regional language) as it takes a while for the settings to take action.

The international settings panel also allows you to choose the type of format you want for your English language because there are some spellings that differ in British language than that of USA English. If you have multiple keyboards then this is the place where you choose the regional settings for your local language.We all know how date and times are displayed differently in various regions of the world. The region format allows you to choose the date and time format for your given country. The changes will take place on your top black bar that displays the time and also when you are dialing a number if you have an iPhone. Number formats differ from country got country. The last option in this panel allows you select a default calendar. We all use the normal Gregorian calendar but there are also options for Japanese and Buddhist calendar.


Accessibility settings allows users with any sort of disabilities to use any iOS device. With iOS 6 Apple really brought some flexibility for people with hearing aid, touch problems and even blind persons. Inside accessibility settings you can choose to use touch assistance, guided access, voice overs, mono audio output for disabled ears and much more. The features are so easy and practical that it makes iOS accessible to any individual despite any difficulty.


The last tab in iOS 6 general things is called reset and it allows you to reset and override all your custom installations, icon arrangement, data logs etc. when you click on the reset settings you will get a bunch of options depending on the type of data you want to erase. If you want to make your device brand new then hit “erase all content and settings”. Reset all content and settings will put all your configurations to default value.


Right below the general panel comes sound settings which is a new addition in iOS 6. This panel allows you to configure and customize the sounds for different elements inside your iOS device. On top there is a large slider that lets you adjust the volume level. There is also a sliding button which lets you choose whether or not you want the side buttons to act as volume changers. I suggest you always turn this ON.

Sound Configuration Panel

Below the volume configuration you will see an array of different sound selection tabs that basically lets you customize a unique tone for all your calls, messaging, alerts, emails etc. Tap each one to select your preferred sound. You can also select music from the iTunes library and set them as your ringtone. At the end of the sound settings panel you will find two sliders that lets you turn on the look screen sound and keyboard clicks respectively.

Brightness and Wallpaper

This tab allows you to configure your wallpaper and change the brightness of the screen. The first thing you will notice is a big slider that lets you adjust the brightness of your device. There is also an option for selecting auto brightness that allows your iPad to adjust the screen light according to the light of the surrounding area.

Note: The greater the brightness the faster your battery will deplete.

Brightness and Wallpaper Panel

Next comes the wallpaper settings. By default Apple gives you a few images that can be used as wallpapers both for the lock lock screen and the home scree. Two the wallpaper icon at the bottom and you will between to an image selection area. You can also browse your photo stream, albums etc. to select any image. Once you are happy with the selection, you will find options to either make the wallpaper for the home screen, lock screen or both.

Picture Frame

As the name suggests, this tab is used to configure various settings for the picture frame which can be activated by tapping the picture frame icon from the home screen. This feature turns your iPad or iPhone into a beautiful animated picture viewer. There are two basic transition animation available, dissolve and origami. Origami displays multiple pictures at once with some random animations. For your dissolve transition you can set the time to show each picture and whether or not you want to shuffle the appearance of the images. Last but not the least you get to select the images from your photo stream and albums. If you want to show Just one standstill image then move the photo to a new album and select the album here in the picture frame settings panel.

Picture Frame Settings Panel

Privacy Settings

The privacy panel shows you all the applications that have access to some of the basic elements of your iOS ecosystem like your location, contacts, photos etc. for example you can tap on Location Services and take a look at all the applications using this feature on your iPad. Here you can turn off the access to each and individual app or stop your location services altogether. Switching off your location will also affect a number of features in Siri which I will explain in the Siri Setting section. The same concept goes for Photos, Calendar, Facebook etc. just tap each one to toggle the access of the other applications.

iCloud settings

iCloud is Apple’s own cloud computing service that syncs various data across all your Apple devices. iCloud also syncs photos and email with your PC but you need to install the software on your computer first. The iCloud settings tab is fairly simple where who see the email address for the account. Next, you will find a list of features that can be turned on to sync with the other devices. You can click on storage and backup to change the Storage settings, see the space you have used and purchase a new plan. It is recommended that you backup your iCloud data once every month. The text above the backup button shows the last time your device was successfully backed up to the iCloud servers.

iCloud Configuration Panel

Mails, Contact and Calendar Settings

This is one of the most important settings tab as it allows you to configure and set up your email account. I have already written a tutorial on setting up push mail on your iPad. Some of the other settings inside this tab includes changing the email signature, showing the number of emails to be displayed on your mail client, font size of the text, whether every mail should bcc itself to you etc. All the options are fairly simple to understand so I won’t go on and explain everything.

Mail Contacts and Calender Settings

One particular thing I would like to focus is something called default mail account. When you are setting up multiple email accounts on your iOS device, you can toggle between the to set anyone as the default mail account. All the emails that you send or receive from any app, safari sharing will use this email.

Calender settings allows you to choose the time for which events can be synced on your device. The default value is 1 month. You can change it according to your preference. The last option allows you to toggle a slider to show calendar alerts on your notification screen.


The notes settings panel allows you choose from a list of 3 different font for your default iOS notes application.


Reminders allows you to set any task, create alerts and keep track of ally he things you do. The reminders settings only offers two option. First, you can choose the time period of syncing all the reminders. Next, if you have multiple reminder groups then you can choose any one as your default. Wine you launch the app any new reminder that you create will be under that group unless you change it specifically.


Messages or iMessage is Apple’s very own IM service across all their devices. Here you can turn the iMessage feature on or off. I find no reason why it should be turned off in the first place. Maybe Apple included this so that you can sometimes have privacy and not be bothered by constant messaging.

Read receipts – This feature allows you to see once someone read your message. The reading time will also be displayed. When you turn read receipts ON, others will get the same data from you.

You can also configure the email address used for accessing your iMessage. Since this is an IM server, iMessage will use your email address as a reference for contacting you. There is also a feature that allows you to turn subject fields on or off.


FaceTime is a video chatting service between different Apple devices. First of all you need to login to FaceTime with your Apple ID to see other additional settings. Once you are successfully logged in, you can turn FaceTime on or off and change account settings. There is nothing else to configure because the whole service is very simple and elegant.


Maps is the most significant new addition to iOS 6. Although you can control all the functions within the mapping application itself, the settings panel allos you to choose and configure stuff like distance measuring units (either kilometer or miles), whether all labels should be in English and the font size of map labels.

iOS 6 Maps Configuration


This tab allows you to configure all the settings for your Safari browser that comes preloaded with every iOS device. You can turn on anonymous browsing, Change the search engines, delete your cookies and history from this panel. Just make sure that you always keep the fraud warning and JavaScript ON for secure smooth experience.

iTunes and App Store

This panel just displays the email address associated with your Apple ID. You can tap your email address and checked all your details for the account. In Oder to access all the information you need to enter your password twice due to security reasons. In case you forget your password tap on your email and select the option that says iForgot.

iTunes and App Store Panel

This panel also features two toggle sliders that lets you choose whether other Apple devices (those using your ID) can download new application and book purchases. My advice would be to turn this feature on, so that everything stays in sync automatically.


The music settings lets you control some of the features of iTunes. There are a few hand picked options to choose from so it’s not like you have a vast complicated list of settings. You can choose the music equalizer (EQ) in this panel. Please keep in mind that the equalizer settings will have effect for both your videos as well as iTunes. You can also disable the feature of showing songs by album artists.

Music Settings

Another cool feature inside Music Settings is called “Volume Limit”. When yo turn this on you can set the maximum upper limit for your device’s volume. Once applied your iOS device will not increase in volume beyond the set limit no matter how much you press the volume up key.


The video settings has two options that you can play around with. First, you can choose whether to start playing a closed video from the place you left it or to start again from the beginning. Secondly, you can turn on closed caption feature for videos. However, closed caption will only work if the videos have a caption file attached to them.

Video Settings

Photos and Camera

This panel lets you choose between different photo settings. I don’t know why Apple call it photos and camera because you will not find any camera specific controls in this area. On top there are two sliders that allows you to turn photo stream and the recently introduced shared photo stream on or off. Photo Stream is a part of your iCloud syncing and you need to ensure that the same feature is activated inside your iCloud panel for it to work smoothly. The bottom half of this section lets you select certain feature of the photo slideshow. You can choose the time between different photo transitions, turn on shuffle and repeat. Slideshow can be activate by tapping any photo in your gallery and selecting the slideshow button on the stop left hand corner of the screen.


Some of the formatting settings can be configured for Apple’s iBooks app although I recommend the default values are perfect. You can toggle full justification, hyphenation etc. iBooks 3 uses iCloud so this panel can be used to turn on the sync bookmark feature. Obviously you want to keep the show all purchasers otherwise why would someone buy different books on their device. The last tab displays Apple’s iBooks acknowledgment page if you have time to read it.

Twitter and Facebook

These two social networking sites are a part of iOS 6 and integrated with almost each and every feature of your device. The twitter settings allows you to add a new twitter account and update your contacts that syncs with your twitter followers. R bottom section of both Twitter and Facebook shows a list of applications using rid services. Individual apps can be turned on or off to use the features of these two social networking sites.

There are a few additional features in the Facebook Settings panel that allows you to toggle sounds, record videos in HD and see the current version of Facebook running on your device.


This has been a long post as I was on a mission of explaining the entire iOS settings panel for the iPad. By now I hope that you have learnt all the seen essential settings and configuration Apple has to offer on not just the iPad but also their other devices. Some of the options and feature are new in iOS 6 so you might find them missing in earlier versions. If you are having trouble somewhere or you wish to know something in greater details then please ask me in the comments cation below. I will definitely reply to each one of you. Thanks for reading this long post as it took me a while to compile and segment the entire stuff together.


About the Author

I am the creator of The New iPad Blog. I wanted to share some of the best iPad tutorials, authentic reviews and other fruitful information regarding iPad. I love Apple and want to help spread the usefulness of their tablet. Follow me in Google+ to get instant help for any iOS problems. Besides blogging I like travelling and hanging out with my friends.

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