What Is a Toggle?

February 3, 2023 by No Comments


A toggle, or toggle switch, is a control that lets you switch between settings on your computer. It can be found in options menus and is usually a two-position switch, or on and off.

Toggle Definition

The term toggle is derived from the English verb “to toggle,” meaning to switch, change or alternate. It can be used in reference to both software and hardware switching.

Toggle labels should describe what the control will do when the switch is on; they should not be neutral or ambiguous, allowing users to know whether it is on or off. In addition to labeling, visual cues like color can help indicate state changes.

For example, the colors red and black are commonly associated with stop signs and lights; a high-contrast, dark green could be more appropriate for use in a toggle.

Static Configuration

Managing toggle configuration through static files can be cumbersome when you are managing a large number of toggles, as well as ensuring consistency across a distributed fleet of servers. For this reason many organizations are opting to move their toggle configuration into some type of centralized store, often an application DB.

Dynamic re-configuration

Some toggle systems support runtime configuration, which makes it easy to change the toggle’s state at any time without having to restart the process or re-deploy a new artifact. While this can be useful for some types of toggle, it is not ideal for others, such as Ops Toggles and Experiment Toggles.