How to use Notification Center: The ultimate guide

How to use Notification Center: The ultimate guide

Everything you need to know about setting up and using Lock screen, Notification Center, and banner or popup alerts, including the new Do Not Disturb mode

Notification Center is Apple's attempt to bring order and sanity to the myriad alarms, alerts, messages, calls, announcements, and challenges that flood our iPhones, iPods, and iPads every day. With Notification Center, you can choose on an app-by-app basis between unobtrusive banners, un-ignorable popups, and between beeps, buzzes, or nothing at all. You can badge your icons so you know how many items you have pending, and you can have everything listed for you right on your Lock screen, so you know about it immediately, or whenever you're ready. When too many notifications become interruptions, you can set a timer or flip a switch and silence it all for as little or as long as you want.

Also note, we'll be updating this guide regularly as Apple introduces more iMessage features, so make sure you bookmark this page and check back frequently!

How to find, access, and clear Lock screen, Notification Center, banner, and popup notifications

How to use Notification Center

iOS notifications can appear on your Lock screen, on the pull-down Notification Center shade, or as banners or popup alerts while you're using your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. All of the variations show the icon of the app issuing the notification to the left, and a brief except of the alert content to the right, but all three work in different ways.

Here's how to find your each type of notification, act on them, dismiss them, or clear them out.

How to use Do Not Disturb for Notification Center on iPhone and iPad

How to set up and use Notification Center's Do Not Disturb mode

While Notification Center is a great tool for receiving alerts on your iPhone and iPad, some times notification turns into interruption. That's where the new iOS 6 Do Not Disturb feature comes in. It allows your iPhone or iPad to continue to collect notifications without beeping, buzzing, or lighting up the lock screen. Whether you're in a meeting or want a peaceful night's sleep, Do Not Disturb can give you it.

How to disable Notification Center banners, popups, badges, and sounds

How to customize Notification Center alerts on your iPhone and iPad

If Do Not Disturb simply isn't enough, if you find yourself using it so much you start wondering if you should even have Notifications enabled, or if you want some on and others off, you can also choose to do just that. Notification Center also lets you do just that to banners, popups, badges, and sounds on an app-by-app basis, so you get to decide what's important enough to get your attention. That's right, serenity -- and sanity! -- can be yours again in just a few simple steps.

How to enable, disable, and configure the Weather, Stocks, and Sharing widgets in Notification Center

How to configure the Weather and Stocks widgets in Notification Center

If the default content isn't what you want, you can easily change the Weather and Stock widgets to show just exactly what you want. If you don't need them, or the Sharing widget, you can remove any or all of them, add them back later, or simply change their positions within Notification Center.

How to sort and organize alerts in Notification Center on iPhone and iPad

How to sort and organize alerts in Notification Center on iPhone and iPad

The whole point of Notification Center is to make it easier to view alerts and stay up to date on the tasks that matter the most to you. By default, Notification Center will add app alerts in the order in which the app was installed. You can take control of notification handling on your iPhone or iPad, however, and organizing alerts and notifications in a way that makes the most sense to you.

How to quickly update your Twitter and Facebook status from Notification Center

How to quickly update your Twitter and Facebook status from Notification Center on iPhone and iPad

With iOS 6 you can send a tweet to Twitter or post to Facebook right from Notification Center and the Sharing Widgets Twitter and Facebook buttons.

How to get more help with Notification Center

If you need more help setting up, using, or trouble-shooting Notification Center on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, or Mac, head on over to our iOS forum and ask away!

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,, Google+.

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