Read Me First: A Take Control Crash Course
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Where Is the iOS Settings App?

Say you encounter text like this, “Before you shop for an app, make sure you are signed in with the correct Apple ID: tap Settings > iTunes & App Store.” Let’s decode how to follow those instructions.

First, “tap Settings” means you should tap the Settings app icon on the Home screen .

① 	The Settings app icon looks like interlocking gears, though it has evolved slightly through different versions of iOS. You can see it here at the left of the Home screen.

① The Settings app icon looks like interlocking gears, though it has evolved slightly through different versions of iOS. You can see it here at the left of the Home screen.

Finding Settings by Icon

If you can’t find the Settings app icon on your Home screen, try this:

  1. Look above your Dock. If you see more than one little dot , then there is than one page on your Home screen. The selected dot represents the page on view.
    ② 	The three dots above the Dock in this cut-out of an iPhone Home screen indicate that the current screen is the second of three.

    ② The three dots above the Dock in this cut-out of an iPhone Home screen indicate that the current screen is the second of three.

  2. To look for the Settings icon on a different page, swipe your finger across the screen in the opposite direction from the desired page.

If you still can’t find it, try…

Searching in Spotlight

  1. In iOS 6 and earlier, swipe right on the left-most Home screen to reveal the Spotlight screen. In iOS 7 and later, swipe down from the middle of the Home screen (see What iOS Version Am I On?, next chapter).
  2. In the search field, type settings.
  3. When the Settings app appears in the search results , tap it.
③ 	Start typing `settings` in the search field and Spotlight starts showing results.

③ Start typing settings in the search field and Spotlight starts showing results.

Tapping in Settings

At the start of this chapter, I said that we’d decode what “tap Settings > iTunes & App Store” means.

A common shortcut taken by tech writers is to separate different things you should tap with a > character.

So, once you open the Settings app, you should look for the next thing to tap, iTunes & App Store, in this case. On an iPhone or iPod touch, you will see just a list of things to tap, but on an iPad, you are looking for something in the left-hand list.

You may need to scroll down by swiping up. Once you find it , tap it.

④ 	To take this screenshot, which shows iTunes & App Store at the bottom of a long list, I had to scroll down. There are plenty of Settings options even farther down, so be sure to scroll down if you can’t locate something in a list immediately.

④ To take this screenshot, which shows iTunes & App Store at the bottom of a long list, I had to scroll down. There are plenty of Settings options even farther down, so be sure to scroll down if you can’t locate something in a list immediately.

The core settings that are part of iOS come first in the list, followed by settings for Apple’s apps. At the bottom of the pile are settings for some, but not all, third-party apps.

If tapping instructions continue with more > characters and more things to tap, keep tapping!

Note: The use of the angle > character to describe tapping through a series of screens applies to any iOS app.

Note: For advice on finding the settings within an app—but not in the Settings app—read Look for a Gear, earlier.

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“If you can’t find your Settings app—or any other app—on your Home screen, swipe down and search with Spotlight.”

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