Toggle is a user-interface component that lets people choose between two opposing values that affect the state of content or view. Toggles provide direct labels and use standard visual design, so they’re easy to understand across platforms. When used appropriately, toggles help users update preferences, settings, and other types of information.
It’s important to be careful when using toggles because they can lead to confusion if the labels or visual cues are not clear. For example, toggles are usually colored to indicate the current state (e.g., green for on and red for off). But not all users see the color difference, especially those with color vision deficiencies. This means that if you use colors to represent states, it’s critical to also make sure the toggle is clearly labeled and that the surrounding context communicates what the toggle controls.
The word toggle derives from the 18th century definition of “a pin passed transversely through an eye or loop in a chain, rope, etc., to bind it temporarily.” In the UX world, it’s still used as a reference for this type of fastener, but more generally describes switching back and forth between settings or programs. That’s why it’s best to only use toggles when you want to let people manage the state of something. For other kinds of settings, consider using other components such as checkboxes or radio buttons.