Under the Bridge

Settings URLs


The process described below was noted as disabled back in 5.1 beta 1 and not only do they continue to not work in 5.1 final, people are noting review rejections for using them. So the following should be taken as a nugget of historical interest only. Or cause to file a Radar to plead for them back!


So you ever wanted to be able to send the user to a particular Settings page? Yeah, us too … pretty frequently actually.

Well, now you can in iOS 5 with the prefs: URL scheme with [UIApplication sharedApplication] openURL:

Turn on Location Services?

[NSURL URLWithString:@”prefs:root=LOCATION_SERVICES“]];

Set up Twitter?

[NSURL URLWithString:@”prefs:root=TWITTER“]];

Hook up a Bluetooth device?

[NSURL URLWithString:@”prefs:root=General&path=Bluetooth“]];

Handy, indeed. And why yes, yes they do work just fine in Mobile Safari as well; load this page up on your device and tap any of the sample links above to see for yourself!

  • http://www.facebook.com/agsteiner Florian Agsteiner

    Thanks for the hint you can even show your own settings:

    [[UIApplication sharedApplication] openURL:[NSURL URLWithString:@”prefs:root=Apps&path=Your+App+Display+Name”]];

    • http://twitter.com/hiroshi3110 hiroshi

      Is it true? I failed to do it. e.g. prefs:root=Apps&path=iBooks
      FYI: I used Safari’s url bar to enter the URL

    • gudin

      This does not appear to work for me either. I do this:

      – (void) openSettingsApp
      NSString *appDisplayName = [[NSBundle mainBundle] objectForInfoDictionaryKey:@”CFBundleDisplayName”];
      [[UIApplication sharedApplication] openURL:[NSURL URLWithString:[NSString stringWithFormat:@”prefs:root=Apps&path=%@”, appDisplayName]]];

      It opens settings, but does not open MY settings. Only the general settings app.

      Also, is this iOS 5 +?

      Thanks for the hint, regardless.

  • http://twitter.com/esaruoho Esa Ruoho

    Thanks! Just got [NSURL URLWithString:@”prefs:root=General&path=Network”]]; working from a website, so now can get to toggling 3G On and Off very quickly. Next step would be to create some sort of a web-clip icon on my iPhone and click that to get directly to General->Network. Not sure how I’d accomplish that, but really nice to know that iOS5 allows for directly going to where one needs to go..

  • http://www.mokten.com/ Yoo-Jin Lee

    @FIORIAN You can create your own Home screen icon with custom urls, like the ones in this article, with aHomeIcon (shameless plug) . There are some other Apps but I think aHomeIcon has the most comprehensive set of features. You can download aHomeIcon here : http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ahomeicon/id417171558?mt=8&uo=4

  • Mare

    Set just saved image as a wallpaper

    [NSURL URLWithString:@”prefs:root=Wallpaper”]];

  • manzarock

    Hi, it’s a useful trick. Do you know if there’re some problem using it with the Apple review process?

  • Mariano

    I can’t seem to make this url work… any ideas?


  • http://twitter.com/anystonetech Anystone Tech, Inc.

    For what it’s worth, an app of mine was just rejected for using these. Use at your own risk.

    • Speck Tastisch

      Can anyone confirm this? And @anystonetech what was Apples comment?

      • anystonetech

        It was essentially that we were using undocumented API’s.

        I think you’ll find that Apple disabled them altogether in 5.1 (actually, maybe even in 5.0.1 – I don’t recall which).

        Hopefully they will bring them back in a documented form in some future version of iOS.

  • http://www.webhostings.in/ Hosting companies in india

    save that links and all useful links after that you can do…but its very risk to setting the urls..

  • http://twitter.com/cafulnecky Charles Fulnecky

    iOS 5.1 removed the Settings App – custom URLs. This meant that users were unable to use shortcut creator Apps to easily create shortcuts to view their most used Settings screen.


  • Subborter

    I just wondering where do you get those URLs? Can you post the source url?

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