How to use Control Center: The ultimate guide

How to setup and use Control Center, the always-accessible way to quickly toggle your settings, control your media, and more!

Control Center, which launched with iOS 7, makes it easier than ever to toggle Airplane mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, and Orientation Lock, to adjust brightness, to control media playback, to get to AirDrop, and AirPlay, and turn on flashlight, and to get to Timer, Calculator, and Camera. It sounds simple because it is, but there are still a few tricks and settings worth knowing about!

How to access and start using iOS 7 Control Center

How to access and start using iOS 7 Control Center

By default, Control Center is accessible from the Lock screen, Home screen, or from within any app you're running on iOS 7, at any time. However, full screen apps behave a little differently. And once you access Control Center, there are many different things you can do with it. Here's how to get to it, and what to do with it!

How to use Control Center to AirPlay videos to your Apple TV

How to use Control Center to AirPlay videos to your Apple TV

Ever wish you could take a video from your iPhone or iPad and watch it on your big screen TV? Well, with AirPlay and an Apple TV you can! Many apps have built-in AirPlay buttons but, sadly, they're often in different shapes, sizes, and places. Luckily, Control Center has an AirPlay button as well. That makes it easy to find and easy to use!

How to quickly turn your iPhone into a flashlight with Control Center

How to quickly turn your iPhone into a flashlight with Control Center

Ever wish you could quickly and easily turn your iPhone's camera flash into a flashlight? Well, with iOS 7 and Control Center finding your way is only ever a swipe and a tap away!

How to disable Control Center access from the Lock screen

How to disable Control Center access from the Lock screen

By default, Control Center can be accessed from anywhere, including the Lock screen. While it doesn't share or access personal information, it does potentially let pranksters or even thieves disable services on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, and even put it into Airplane mode so you can't track it later. Having Control Center available is hugely convenient, but if security is more important to you, you can easily turn Lock screen access off.

How to disable Control Center access from within apps

How to disable Control Center access from within apps

Control Center gives you access to many system toggles and utilities on your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad from virtually anywhere, including inside app. While, by default, iOS 7 requires a second swipe to bring up Control Center from inside full-screen apps like videos and games, even you still find yourself unintentionally triggering it - and interrupting your fun - you can turn off access from within apps entirely.

How to get more help with Control Center

If you have additional questions, or need some more help with Control Center or iOS 7, check out the following resources!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 32 comments. Add yours.

Rob1119 says:

Are people that stupid that we need these tutorials

Becjr says:

"A person is smart, people are dumb."
- Agent K

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Rene Ritchie says:

Some people don't even know it's there. I have a friend in IT who once got an irate email from a sales person saying "Why doesn't the stupid iPhone have a sleep button, I always have to wait for the screen to turn off on its own!"

Heck, I've been surprised a time or two myself. We want to make sure we help everyone, from first time smartphone users, to ourselves :)

Becjr says:

Indeed. I have friends and family who still ask me about basic iPhone functionality that is second nature to me. ... And of course, like a friendly neighborhood _, I am always happy to help. :)

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jagfan2 says:

I don't consider myself stupid but do appreciate Rene, Allyson and the other guys who provide tutorials. Easy to ignore if you don't want to read them.

Adrian Liu says:

Correction: iPod touch 5th generation does have the flashlight button, and an LED camera flash.

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Galley says:

I had completely forgotten my iPod touch had a flash!

Becjr says:

I love Control Center... It was a looong time coming. I would like to have a quick switch for Cellular Data.
The biggest difficult I have with Contol Center is activating it when a keyboard is on screen. 99% of the time characters are typed instead of the CC popping up.

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applelex says:

It's simple to use.. Therefore rending a guide about it pointless. Press down and pull up from the bottom of the screen at anytime and the rest is self explanatory. But a guide for using airdrop and AirPlay May help help out about few people using an iOS 7 device.

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Team George says:

The lack of personal hotspot toggle drives me crazy!!

lfeuln says:

Eventually hopefully Apple will allow for customization. I know for example that pediatricians constantly use the calculator since drug dosages are weight dependent, so it's perfect for them - but I'm sure the personal hotspot would be more appreciated by others.

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Becjr says:

I'm all for a little more customization.

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Rene Ritchie says:

The trick is how to do it while still keeping it simple, but I'd also love the ability to swap stuff out. (Like the old tab chooser in Music.app.)

Becjr says:

To steal an idea...
I like the way Tweetbot offers customizing the menu tabs with a long press into a popup style menu. Very elegant.

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CORYK333 says:

Nice shout there regarding Tweetbots handling of "tabs" in the dock......elegant is the perfect word for it

bruteforce037 says:

I had a flashlight app on my phone until I thought oh damn, just swipe up and bam. :) Thanks iMore! Happy Holidays to all! Be safe.

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oscaramzz says:

I would love to see some more personalization to it as well. One thought I had was, it could be useful to allow a "tap and hold" for items like the wifi button and it would send you straight to the settings for wifi. Same for the Bluetooth button and Do Not Disturb button. Control Center is nice the way it is but I'm sure apple will present us with new stuff soon :).

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News_Dr2521 says:

These tutorials are always useful for iPhone newbies and graybeards alike. Keep em' coming iMore! Thank you.

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Metro1088 says:

Best iOS 7 feature. And the most beautiful one as we'll. Reminds me of a Christmas window. Like as if there is condensed water on the glass and through it you can see the beautiful winter.

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acondax says:

It's amazing how few people know this. People who visit iMore and other tech blogs know this for sure, but the average user (70 year olds mostly) have no idea.

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asuperstarr says:

Thanks for the tutorial. I can share this with my mom who just received her first iPhone (5s). These tutorials are great and well produced. Bring on more!!!!!!!!

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asuperstarr says:

Thanks for the tutorial. I can share this with my mom who just received her first iPhone (5s). These tutorials are great and well produced. Bring on more!!!!!!!!

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BlackB_G says:

Are the options customizable like the BlackBerry 10 Quick Settings on the new os 10.2.1? love that i can choose and rearrange it.

zdn1042 says:

It was great that Apple finally added this Control Center in iOS 7. I say its been long overdue. I just wish it offers some kind of customization. There are some shortcuts that I don't really use like the calculator and timer and they are just there taking valuable space that could have been for other more useful apps that I frequently use.

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Cojrom says:

It's strange how some people don't even know that control centre exists. I thought it told you about it when you have installed iOS7. It's definitely a neat feature but I wish it had more customisation though like changing the option to quickly go to camera, calculator etc to something like safari or phone.

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iNitvizn says:

Control center was one of the best additions, if not the best, for iOS 7. I use it all the time.

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gcardona says:

Great guide for first comers to the iOS platform

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BeyondtheTech says:

What we need is the ability to Customize the Control Center. iOS 8, perhaps?

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