Visualizing the Control Center through VoiceOver, for first timers


This guide may no longer be accurate or up-to-date for most users and use cases. We're keeping it online as a courtesy to its author, but we consider it archived.
Last modified
Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Control Center is the feature, that allows users to directly access and manipulate commonly used settings at one place. These settings include, turning airplane, wi – fi, Bluetooth etc on or off, locking/unlocking screen orientation, activating / deactivating do not disturb, adjusting brightness, handling music player, turning rear led flashlight on or off, using calculator and clock and many other frequently used feature settings.

Like notification center, the control center could be accessed from any screen including lock screen. You can open control center by firstly selecting any item in the status bar and then swiping up with 3 fingers. If you have done it correctly, the voiceover would prompt by saying “control center”, and your cursor would be placed on the first item that is airplane mode button of the control center screen

The control center could be imagined as collection of5 main regions, of different lengths and same width that is approximately equal to the width of the display screen, all arranged one over the another.

Of this, the first region which is around half inch in length, contains 5 buttons which are arranged in a row. These buttons are used to toggle

1. Airplane Mode: Turning on the airplane mode would temporarily disconnect your device from the mobile network You can toggle airplane mode on or off by double tapping on this button.

2. Wi-Fi: Double tapping this button would turn on or turn off your device’s wi – fi.

3. Bluetooth: You can turn Bluetooth on or off from here by double tapping on the Bluetooth button.

4. Do not Disturb: While this feature is turned on, you can allow or restrict any call or notification to alert you through sound, rest of the alerts would be silenced.

5. Screen Orientation: Double tap to lock or unlock the screen orientation and to resist your device to change screen layout despite of orientation of device.

Moving further, the next region allows you to adjust the brightness of the screen, if needed. Once this region is highlighted, you can swipe up / down with one finger to increase or decrease the brightness of the screen. Keeping brightness to its minimum saves battery life.

The next region allows you to perform some basic function of the music player. This section shows different behavior depending on the fact whether or not the music is playing. If the music is playing or paused, this region firstly show the track position bar, through which you can move forward or backward in a currently playing music track by swiping up or down.

The next part shows the title of the track. Below this, you will find previous pause/play, next button.

In case the music is not playing, you will find a button that would take you to the music player and the group of above mentioned buttons below it. Double tapping the play button will start playing music.

The next region is the AirDrop region. The airdrop feature allows you to transfer files between your device and the Mac computer. The airdrop feature could be found only in iPhone 5 series or later.

The final and the bottom-most region is similar to the first region, it is identical in size and contains four buttons in a row. These buttons allow you to :

1. Turn rear LED flash light on / off.

2. The clock: It would allow to use stop watch, timer, alarms and world clock.

3. Calculator: Double tapping this button would open inbuilt calculator app.

4. Camera: You can also access the camera from here.

So, in this way, with control center, you can change common settings of device quickly with ease at one place.

With this, you must have got an image of the display structure of your device under different situations relative to the corresponding features offered your device.

I hope you found it helpful. Feel free to connect.

This guide was originally posted on


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Submitted by Ekaj on Friday, February 15, 2019

Thanks for this guide. A sister of mine just got an iPhone, and she is a VoiceOver user. I'm helping her learn her iPhone's layout and things like that. I've had mine since early last year, but I was always wondering what exactly the Control Center was. I had 2 very good tutoring sessions at a place here in Chicago when I first got my iPhone, but have been rather busy but hope to go back there one of these years, lol.

Submitted by careyglenn on Tuesday, January 14, 2020

It’s ironic that this note has been archived and both comments are from the last 12 months! As my vision declines, my reliance on VoiceOver has increased, and somewhere in the past few years I lost the ability to access the Control Centre! As I’m doing a presentation in front of a group next week, and I HAVE got the Centre up by accident in the past few months, it’s been really frustrating to have all these variations of instructions on its use, but NO-ONE mentioned that in VoiceOver, you have to SELECT something to get access to the Centre!! I’ve rotated the iPad around and around, turned VoiceOver off and on, researched other methods of opening it: there’s only one way to turn on Airplay, and that’s in this particular place . . Thanks for mentioning the need to select in the Status Bar!!!