UPDATE 6/24/14: Unfortunately it looks like this trick no longer works in iOS 7.1.1.
Version 5 of Apple’s iOS system for iPhone and iPad added a Notification Center, a “pull-down” window accessed by swiping down from the top of the screen. iOS 7 adds a Command Center, activated by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. These are convenient shortcuts, but not everyone uses them, and if you’re playing games that require swiping (like the old chestnut Flight Control) they are a big nuisance. Sadly, Apple gives us no obvious way to disable them.
I discovered a fairly easy way to disable and enable the Notification and Command Centers. First the setup:
- Go to the Settings app. Select General, then Accessibility.
- Scroll down to the very bottom and tap the Accessibility Shortcut option.
- Tap the AssistiveTouch option so there is a check mark next to it. This should be the only option with a check mark; if not, un-check the other options.
Once that’s done, here’s how to disable the Notification and Command Centers. This can be done from the home screen or within any app:
- Click the Home button three times in quick succession. A black square with a white dot will appear on the screen. Tap it once.
- A menu with several options will open. Tap the Home option three times in quick succession. The menu will disappear.
Your Notification and Command Centers should now be disabled. Try swiping down from the top of the screen and swiping up from the bottom to verify.
NOTE: I’ve discovered this method has one undesirable side effect. When Notification Center has been successfully disabled, your device will no longer sleep automatically. Your device’s battery will drain quickly if you’re not aware of this. If you want to disable Notification Center on a long-term basis, you will need to remember to manually put your device to sleep when you’re not using it by hitting the Sleep/Wake button. This effect is only temporary; if you re-enable the Notification Center (as outlined below), the device will sleep automatically once again. Because of this, I would recommend disabling Notification Center only when you really need to (when playing a game, for example), then re-enable it when you’re finished.
If you wish to enable them again, here’s how:
- Click the Home button three times in quick succession. The black square with a white dot will appear; this time ignore it.
- Click the Home button again three times in quick succession. The black square with a white dot will disappear and your Notification and Command Centers should be working again.
That’s it! This worked on both my iPhone 5S and my third-generation iPad. I hope it works for you!