How to access and start using Control Center

How to access and start using iOS 7 Control Center

Control Center, one of the major new features in iOS 7, lets you quickly access your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad Settings, adjust brightness, control media playback, get to AirDrop and AirPlay, and rapidly get to flashlight, timer, calculator, and camera. All at the flick or tap of a finger. Here's how it works!

How to access Control Center on iPhone or iPad

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. From the Lock screen, Home screen, or any standard (non full-screen video, game, etc.), you can bring up Control Center with a single swipe:

  1. Place your finger below the screen (on the bezel)
  2. Slide your finger up onto the screen to reveal Control Center

If you're in a full screen app - watching a video, playing a game, etc. - iOS will try to prevent you from accidentally triggering Control Center, and interrupting what you're doing, by requiring two swipes to bring it up.

  1. Place your finger below the screen (on the bezel)
  2. Slide your finger up onto the screen
  3. When the grabber appears, place your finer on it
  4. Slide your finger up onto the screen to reveal Control Center

How to use Control Center on iPhone and iPad

The top level of Control Center lets you quickly toggle Settings. Tap any icon to switch between on (white) and off (black).

  • Airplane Mode
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • Do Not Disturb Mode
  • Screen orientation lock

Screen Brightness is controlled by moving the slider left for darker and right for brighter.

Media playback - music, podcasts, videos, etc. - lets you skip back, rewind (by hold down on skip back), play or pause, skip forward, or fast forward (by holding down on skip forward). You can also scrub through by using the slider, dragging left for backwards, right for forward.

Tapping AirDrop lets you choose between making yourself available to no one (off), your contacts only, or everyone.

Tapping AirPlay lets you choose between your device and any other available sources, such as Apple TV or Airport Express, etc.

The top level of Control Center lets you access:

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!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

How to access and start using Control Center


They were always there. Any tips tagged as tips automatically feed into that page. If you want just iOS 7 tips, you can also go to

For the media controls, you can click on the name (the bottom one I think) and it will take you into the app that the media is playing in. It's a bit trick, at least for me, to hit it so I typically do it over on the right-hand side where there aren't any buttons you can accidentally hit.

No one seems to ever talk about the fact that you can have Siri do things like turn on/off airplane mode, wifi, and bluetooth. And even adjust the screen brightness. I asked Siri this on my iOS 6 phone and it told me if I upgraded to iOS7, it could help me with that.

From day one I've enjoyed being able to tell Siri "Disable Cellular Data"... And she turns it off (or "on" if I choose). I'm still extremely disappointed that I have to do that in the first place.

Sent from the iMore App

Did you realize that by enabling Airplane mode on Control Center, it provides an easy loophole for disabling Find my iPhone?
It should not be there!!!

I have been experiencing difficulty getting into Control Center from within other apps. Maybe a bug? Maybe my iPhone 4S? Maybe just me? ...

Wait, what?

Sent from the iMore App

Love control center and quick access to flashlight and calculator and alarm app....but why the timer part of the "alarm" app. Who needs quick access to a timer!?!

After I redefine my iphone (ios 7 already installed), the notification center turned darker, black.
How do I turn it translucid again, please?