How to Use Control Center in iOS 7

Control Center is a new iOS 7 feature that lets users quickly access a flashlight, common settings and apps from any screen on the iPhone or iPad, even when the device is locked.

The Control Center feature is new for iOS 7 as an answer to complaints that turning on Do Not Disturb, Bluetooth and WiFi and controlling settings and music took too long on the iPhone and iPad.

With Control Center, Apple takes these settings toggles from three or four taps into Settings and puts them in a slide up control panel that users can access anytime the iPhone’s screen is on.

Control Center in iOS 7 offers fast access to common settings. Here's how to use Control Center.
Control Center in iOS 7 offers fast access to common settings. Here’s how to use Control Center.

What is Control Center?

Control Center is a slide up menu that offers access to a number of iPhone or iPad controls or settings. It covers most of the basic iPhone controls that users will want to change during their day. It also provides access to what’s now playing and to four common iPhone and iPad apps.


Here’s what you can do in Control Center in iOS 7:

Turn the following settings on and off;

  • Airplane mode
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • Do Not Disturb
  • Orientation Lock

Here's what you can change in the iOS 7 Control Center.
Here’s what you can change in the iOS 7 Control Center.

You can also control brightness using a slider right below those toggles. There is no option to set brightness back to Auto from this screen.

Next up users can control the currently playing music including pausing, skipping tracks and interacting with iRadio in iOS 7. Below these controls is a volume slider to control how loud your music is.


Control Center in iOS 7 also works in Landscape.
Control Center in iOS 7 also works in Landscape.

Users can also toggle AirDrop settings with a tap and pick AIrPlay devices including Apple TV, Bluetooth or iPhone for the source of audio.

The final set of controls packed into Control Center is a set of four app shortcuts.

  • Flashlight – a built-in flashlight iPhone app so you can get light from any screen, even when the iPhone is locked.
  • Clock- Jump to timers, alarms and more.
  • Calculator – Figure up your tip discreetly or just crunch numbers.
  • Camera – open the camera with a tap.

This is iOS 7's Control Center on the iPad.
This is iOS 7’s Control Center on the iPad.

All of these options are fit into a Control Center screen that takes up three-fourths of the screen in portrait and the whole screen in landscape mode on the iPhone. The iPad version is smaller and wider.

How to Use Control Center

Control Center should be on by default on iOS 7 including from the lock screen. To use it, simply swipe up from the bottom of any screen with one finger. The only time we’ve encountered trouble is when swiping up over a keyboard.¬†Users can do this from the lock screen and from apps as well.

Tap on any of the items to toggle the status on or off, skip tracks, adjust brightness or pick a Bluetooth headset. All but the bottom row of apps will not close the Control Center.

To close the Control Center drag down from the top of the menu or just press the home button.

How to Customize Control Center?

Apple will let you customize the Control Center, but only when and where you can access it. At this time there is no way to choose different settings or Control Center apps.

Apple only offers limited IOS 7 Control Center Customization Options.
Apple only offers limited IOS 7 Control Center Customization Options.

To change Control Center options, go to Settings -> Control Center and access the toggles. Users may want to turn off Access on Lock Screen if they are worried about someone turning Airplane Mode on if the iPhone is stolen. Another option is to turn off Control Center access in apps. This is a good idea if Control Center is launching while you are playing games.

Josh Smith is Editor of GottaBeMobile and He's always looking for ways to help you get the most of your gear and loves to talk about tech on radio and TV. Josh uses an iOS and Android devices as well as Mac and Windows Computers. Josh Smith on Google+ Email: [email protected]


  1. yes. I have 4s and it works just fine. if i am not mistaken, the only think we don’t get to enjoy is the airdrop.

  2. My iPhone 5 has a otter box case. control center will open but is hard to get it open. I have to swipe real fast. Sometimes it opens but most of the time not. I will take the case off in the morning to see if it works better.

  3. Your finger needs to go off the screen at the bottom and swipe up. I have a cover on and have to pull bottom part down to get finger off screen to swipe up. Works for me after hour of struggling to get control centre to work

  4. I have a 4 and it worked by going into settings then control centre,, on previous ios6 it connected to appleTV immediately but now it looks like a longer process but it got there in the end, then it started working as it should from start up screen and all the others I tried so maybe try it from settings first?

  5. Hi , I cant use the music bar in the control center I can only change the volume but I cant skip tracks or pause the song or play it. anyone knows the solution or the reason please?

      • as indicated earlier complete power off and restart. had the same problem, could not even use next song function in car, what a p-off. all good now.

    • Against all odds, the “turn off then turn back on” option totally worked; I was getting ready to reinstall ios7.

  6. I hate this!! Want to choose my own four buttons. What do I want with a calculator and flashlight?? Rather have weather!!

    • Well, it’s still better than the former command, isn’t it? If you really hate it, you can always revert to ios6 and only be able to access music commands. Yay!
      The only thing I really dislike are the colrs and new ideograms used on ios7, seemingly aimed towards kindergarten kids.The “Notes” and “Reminders” are side by side on my homescreen, and they look alike

  7. I agree Sharon Ricci! Can someone tell the powers that be that we would like to choose our own buttons please.

  8. My iPad only displays part of the control screen. I can’t access parts I need. I want to lock the portrait mode and can’t. How do I get at it? Works in iPhone but not my mini-iPad.

  9. How can I turn off the control center. I find it is a bother as I constantly hit it while searching on the internet and then accidentally hit air play or other buttons trying quickly to get rid if it. I find a real pain to have

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