What Is a Toggle?


What does Toggle mean?

A toggle is a switch that has only two positions: on and off. The word is used as both a verb and a noun, as in “to toggle between the different screens while video chatting with two people at once.” Toggle can also refer to hardware and software: for example, the Caps Lock and Num Lock keys on a keyboard are both toggle switches that turn specific functions on or off. It’s also common to see toggle switches in options menus, where users can choose between two options.

When designing your own interfaces, it’s important to consider how you use toggles. They are the right choice for simple settings that have a clear and obvious impact on user experience. They’re often preferred over checkboxes on mobile because they take up less screen space and have a built-in default state (ON or OFF). However, you should avoid using them when users need to provide an answer to a question or select between more than two options. In those cases, it’s better to use a checkbox instead.

When using toggles, it’s important to clearly label the switches and make it clear what the default state is. The labels should also be concise and direct—no more than two words. If possible, you should also use high-contrast colors to signal the toggle’s current state. In addition, it’s always good to evaluate the societal and cultural implications of the color choices you make.