How to use Notification Center for iPhone and iPad: The ultimate guide

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 Notification Center features, so make sure you bookmark this page and check back!

How to use Lock screen, Today, popup, and banners in Notification Center for iPhone and iPad

How to use Notification Center for iPhone and iPad

Notification Center collects and organizes all your alerts, all in one place. Whether they're on the Lock screen or the Missed view, whether they're a banner or a popup, whether they beep or buzz, Notification Center does all it can to make sure you get all the alerts you need. But how exactly does it work? If you see a notification on the Lock screen, what can you do with it? If you're on the Home screen or in an app, how do you even get to Notification Center? If you get a banner or a popup, what can you do with it? Well, if you have Notification Center questions, we have answers!

How to disable Notification Center on the Lock screen of your iPhone and iPad

How to disable Notification Center on the Lock screen of your iPhone and iPad

By default you can pull down Notification Center from your Lock screen to quickly get to any recent messages or notifications you need to access. If, however, for privacy and security reasons, you prefer Notification Center not be accessible from the Lock screen, there's an easy way to disable it.

How to set up and use Do Not Disturb mode on iPhone and iPad

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

While Notification Center is a great way to make sure you never miss an alert, there are some times when you might not want to hear the beeping and the buzzing that typically comes with them. Enter Do Not Disturb. With Do Not Disturb, your iPhone or iPad will keep collecting all your alerts but will do so quietly. Whether you're in a meeting, at a romantic dinner, or simply trying to get a good night's sleep, Do Not Disturb will make sure you can talk, eat, or sleep in peace and quiet, and still find all your alerts waiting for you when you're ready.

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

How to disable Notification Center banners, popups, badges, and sounds on your iPhone and iPad

Notification Center alerts you to everything that's happening on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad using a combination of banners, popups, badges, and sounds/vibrations. That's great if it's something really important like an alarm, appointment, or message. But when every app and game on your iPhone starts blinking, beeping, and buzzing, notification quickly turns into constant interruption. When everything is urgent, nothing is. Luckily, Notification Center also lets you turn off those 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 customize the Today view on Notification Center for iPhone and iPad

How to customize the Today screen in iOS 7 Notification Center

Notification Center's Today view gives you day and date, next appointment, next destination, calendar list, reminders, stocks, an tomorrow's highlight all at a quick glance. But what if you just don't care about weather or stocks? What if calendar's on the Today view just aren't your thing? Well, you can customize Notification Center's Today view to show you only those things that matter to you!

How to organize alerts in Notification Center for iPhone and iPad

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

By default, Notification Center lists alerts in the order in which apps were installed. That's all well and good until your important messages and tasks get lost amid a stream of breaking news and game challenges. Luckily, you can change the order of alerts in Notification Center to be time and date based, or in whatever custom app sequence makes the most sense to you!

How to use the flash on your iPhone as a LED notification light

How to us the flash on your iPhone as a LED notification light

Notification Center can make your iPhone beep or buzz when a new alert comes in, but what if you want or need more? What if you're hearing impaired or came from BlackBerry or some other smartphone with an LED notification light? What if you want that on the iPhone? Well, thanks to Apple and iOS Accessibility options, you can turn the LED camera flash into just that!

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, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 9 comments. Add yours.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

That you took the time to comment on.

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verpeiler089 says:

Unlike you. Oh wait... ;-)

PeekyChew says:

Does there seriously have to be a guide for this? It's pretty self-explanatory.

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ejraney says:

Does there seriously need to be a comment like yours??? Guides like this help my 85yo grandma enjoy her phone, without calling me all the time.

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oscaramzz says:

There always had to be 1 or 2 comments like this

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Allyson Kazmucha says:

Yes. Not everyone is tech savvy. Believe it or not.

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Heisenberg says:

You'd be surprised the number of people who get on Google who aren't enthusiasts like us looking for help on things like this. It's a good way to direct people here in a Google search. Just consider that not everyone knows the ins and outs of iOS like you, Ms. PeekyChew.

off95 says:

Allyson, what apps do you recommend for replacing the stocks and weather in the notification center for the iPad? I hate that Apple decided to not keep the platform consistent across these two products.