How to use the new Lock Screen on iOS 11


After installing iOS 11, you’re bound to notice a lot of small changes and some bigger changes. There’s the ability to record your screen, a customizable control center and then there’s… Notification Center.

Actually, it’s no longer called Notification Center. It’s now called Lock Screen. In fact, it is the lock screen, but now it works much in the same way Notification Center did. 

Here’s how Apple shows off Lock Screen on its iOS 11 website:

Swipe down and here comes your lock screen.

Apple, Inc.

It looks simple enough, right? You still swipe down from the top of the screen to view recent notifications, but now an additional swipe up is required to view older notifications. Notice the “Recent” section is sometimes labeled “Earlier Today.”


Swipe up and away it goes!

Jason Cipriani/CNET

To go back to the previous screen, you can swipe up from the very bottom of the screen. If you don’t start at the bottom, you’ll likely keep scrolling through older alerts. Getting it right will take some patience and practice. 

Interaction has changed, kind of


Swiping your notifications has changed a little.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

With Lock Screen, you can still swipe in either direction across a notification to do things like clear or open it. Only now, you can swipe all the way to complete the action without having to press the button once it’s visible. 

A long or hard press on an alert will also bring up more interaction options, as it did prior to iOS 11. 

Access Today and Camera 


Swipe to quickly get your Today section or access the Camera app.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

One benefit to the new Lock Screen is it provides quick access to the Today section and the Camera app. At any time you can swipe down, then swipe to the right or left to access the respective feature. Just make sure you’re not touching an alert (I found using the edge of the screen to work quite well). 

Added layer of security


If you need to unlock your phone for something, this will pop up.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

If your iOS device is locked and you attempt to open a notification within an app, a new prompt shows up, telling you to use Touch ID before you can view the alert. 

First published July 21, 1:56 p.m. PT
Update, Sept. 1, 1:50 p.m. PT: Updated to reflect the name change to Lock Screen, which was previously named Cover Sheet. Adds details on the new prompt for Touch ID.

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