How to Use Widgets and the Today View on your iPhone

Today View is a screen of information accessed from your Home screen that gives you a glimpse of your day and access to the things you do most often. The daily glimpse might include your schedule, recent messages, weather, news headlines and more.

Search Bar – At the top of the Today View you have a Search Bar that is the same search bar as used in the Spotlight Search (see Use iPhone Spotlight Search to Find Apps, Get Reminders, News and More)  function.  Use it to search your device, the App Store or the Internet.

Widgets show you information and provide access to your favorite apps. You use Widgets in the Today View to provide you glimpses of activities, news headlines, weather and more. Your Today View is your custom collection of Widgets.

It’s customizable!

It makes sense that the Today View can be customized to reflect the things that are important to you. This recipe will show you how to add and organize the Widgets on your Today View.

How to Access the Today View

From the first screen of your Home screen, the Lock Screen, (see Lock Screen Setup below) or on the Notification Center you can swipe right from the left edge. The Today View screen will pull in from the left.

Use the Today View to check  current activities and events.  Then tap on any of the Widgets to access the underlying details or functions provided by the Widget.


How to Customize your Today View with Widgets


You customize the Today View by adding and arranging Widgets. Many iPhone apps and even third party apps provide Widget to bring information and functions to your Today View.

Here are the steps to add, remove or organize your Widgets.

  1. Open Today View and scroll down to the bottom of the screen.
  2. Tap Edit at the bottom of the Today View screen.
  3. The top of the edit screen will display the existing Widgets. Notice the red delete icon the Remove button that you can use to remove a Widget from your Today View
  4. To change the order of widgets in Today View, touch the Reorder button, then drag to a new position. This allows you to put your most important Widgets on top.
  5. Below your existing widget you will see additional Widget that you can add to the Today View. As you scroll down the list, you will find widgets to numerous apps installed on your device. Tap add the Insert button to add to your Today View.

How about some Widgets recommendations?

We would recommend that as a starting point, you consider the following widgets. Then once you understand their function, you can add more widgets to match your interests, passions and priorities.

Siri App Suggestion – Shows apps, contacts, and other frequently accessed data based on your prior use. It’s a handy launcher of app that might be buried deep in lower Home screens.

Calendar – Display the day’s scheduled items from your Calendar

Reminders – Displays any current reminders for the day.

Weather – Displays the current weather conditions

News – Displays current news headlines and trending news.

Mail – View and access your email from your VIPs. Select VIPs from your Contacts app.

Favorites – Displays phone activity or call people on your Phone favorites.

Adding Widgets that you want to try is easy.  Browse the list of widgets and don’t hesitate to try different widgets to get that perfect Today View for your needs.

Allow access to Today View from the Lock Screen< id="lock" /h2>
You can use the Today View when your iPhone is locked if you wish. However, you will not be able to access underlying details or perform functions unless your device is unlocked. It is still useful to get that glimpse of today’s activity.

Access your Today View from the Lock screen

Here is how to setup Lock screen access.

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Scroll down and tap on Face ID & Passcode (iPhone X and later) or Touch ID & Passcode (earlier models).
  3. Enter your passcode.
  4. Turn on Today View (below the heading Allow Access When Locked).

You will now be able to swipe right from the left edge of the Lock screen in order to display the Today View.

Where do Widget come from?

Widgets will come with apps that are installed on your device.  For example, many of Apples apps provide Widget.  Additionally, you are now seeing my third party apps that you install on your device might also provide a Widget for the Today VIew. Use the customize steps above to see the Widgets that are available on your device.


Have fun exploring Widgets that you can use on your Today View. Look for widgets associated with any of the apps that are installed on your device.


No Setup necessary


Requires IOS: 11+

Works on iPhone and iPad

Additional Information

The Senior Tech Club recommends the following additional resources for members that wish to pursue additional and/or advanced information on this recipe:

iPhone User Guide – View and organize Today View on iPhone

Apple Support – Use widgets on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch