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Guide To iPhone Icons And Symbols On Status Bar And Control Center

The iPhone shows icons at the very top of the screen in an area Apple calls the Status Bar, and also in the Control Center.

These symbols are designed to show you which features are enabled, or disabled on your device. You can turn off or on features using Control Center icons or in the Settings.

Some icons meaning are obvious – like Wifi or signal strength – as they have appeared on phones since they were first introduced. Other symbols can be confusing and even worrying if you don’t recognize them.

Apple has the habit of changing things regularly, so I have also included icons for older versions of iOS too. This will help you identify icons on an older iPhone running early versions of iOS.

So if you have ever asked yourself ‘what do these symbols mean on my iPhone?’ read on to find out…

 

iPhone Icons Status Bar Home Screen Control Centre

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Where do you see these icons?

The iPhone information icons and symbols normally appear in the status bar.

On the iPhone 8 and earlier models, the status bar icons appear along the top edge of the screen.

iPhone 7 status bar

On iPhone X and later, only some of the icons appear in the top-left or top-right corner of the screen on either side of the notch. Due to the notch placement not all of the symbols mentioned below appear due to the lack of space.

iPhone X status bar

There are other types of icons used on Apple devices, such as the symbols on iPhone photos.

If you see an orange or green circle

This feature only appears on iOS 14 or newer.

To enhance security and provide detailed information on your device Apple has added an indicator in the status bar that tells you when your camera or microphone is switched on.

This is handy as you know when Apps take over control of these functions without your knowledge.

orange light in status bar
The orange indicator on an iPhone status bar

 

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An orange indicator microphone on status bar icon means the microphone is being used by an app on your iPhone .

green light in status bar
The green indicator on an iPhone status bar

A green indicator  Camera and microphone on status bar icon means either the camera or the camera and the microphone are being used by an app on your iPhone.

For more information on using the iOs Control Center, see Use and customize Control Center on iPhone.

If you see blue, green, or red bubble

On iPhone X and later, the color shows as a bubble behind the time. On iPhone 8 or earlier, the color goes all the way across the status bar. Here’s what each color means:

ios12-time-status-on-a-call

You’re on a call.

ios12-time-status-recording-screen

Your iPhone is either recording sound or your screen.

ios12-time-status-sharing-hotspot

Your iPhone is either providing a Personal Hotspot or an app is actively using your location.

iOS icons and symbols explained

The battery symbol always appears in the top right with another iPhone icon next to the battery, usually signal strength or WiFi.

The iPhone call symbols meaning depends on the icon shown but normally indicates the type of cellular network in use – such as 3G, 4G or 5G. It can also show if call forwarding is enabled.

If you ever thought “what are the symbols on my iPhone?” the table shows the full list. It includes status bar icons used on iOS since the first iPhone release together with the phone symbols meaning.

Original iOS iconCurrent iOS iconDescriptionMeaning
original cell signal iconcurrent cell strength symbolMobile/Cell signalShows whether you’re in range of the cellular network and can make and receive calls. The more bars, the stronger the signal. If there’s no signal, the bars are replaced with “No service.”
original airplane mode iconcurrent airplane mode symbolAirplane modeShows that airplane mode is on—you cannot use the phone, access the Internet, or use Bluetooth® devices. Non-wireless features are available.
original lte iconcurrent lte symbolLTEShows that your carrier’s LTE network is available, and iPhone can connect to the Internet over that network. (iPhone 5. Not available in all areas.)
Not usedcurrent 5G icon5G EShows that your carrier’s 5G E (GSM) network is available, and iPhone can connect to the Internet over that network. (iPhone 8 or later. Not available in all areas.)
original 4g iconcurrent 4g symbolUMTSShows that your carrier’s 4G UMTS (GSM) network is available, and iPhone can connect to the Internet over that network. (iPhone 4S or later. Not available in all areas.)
original 3g iconcurrent 3g symbolUMTS/EV-DOShows that your carrier’s 3G UMTS (GSM) or EV-DO (CDMA) networkis available, and iPhone can connect to the Internet over that network.
original edge iconcurrent edge symbolEDGEShows that your carrier’s EDGE (GSM) network is available, andiPhone can connect to the Internet over that network.
original gprs iconcurrent gprs symbolGPRS/1xRTTShows that your carrier’s GPRS (GSM) or 1xRTT (CDMA) network is available, and iPhone can connect to the Internet over that network.
original wifi iconcurrent wi-fi strength symbolWi-FiShows that iPhone is connected to the Internet over a Wi-Fi network. The more bars, the stronger the connection.
original do not disturb iconcurrent do not disturb symbolDo Not DisturbShows that “Do Not Disturb” is turned on.
original hotspot iconcurrent hotspot enabled symbolPersonal HotspotShows that iPhone is connected to another iPhone providing a Personal Hotspot.
original synch iconcurrent device syncing symbolSyncingShows that iPhone is synchronising with iTunes.
original network activity iconcurrent network activity symbolNetwork activityShows network activity. Some apps also use the icon to show an active process.
original call forwarding iconcurrent call forwarding symbolCall ForwardingShows that Call Forwarding is set up on iPhone.
original vpn active iconcurrent vpn symbolVPNShows that you’re connected to a network using VPN.
original lock iconNot usedLockShows that iPhone is locked. This icon is not used in iOS 11.
original tty iconcurrent tty symbolTTYShows that iPhone is set to work with a TTY machine.
original music playing iconNot usedPlayShows that a song, audiobook, or podcast is playing. This icon is no longer used in iOS 11.
original portrait lock iconcurrent portrait lock symbolPortrait orientation lockShows that the iPhone screen is locked in portrait orientation.
original alarm set iconcurrent alarm set symbolAlarmShows that an alarm is set.
original location services in use iconcurrent location services symbolLocation ServicesShows that an item is using Location Services.
original bluetooth iconcurrent bluetooth symbolBluetoothBlue or white icon: Bluetooth is on and paired with a device.
Gray icon: Bluetooth is on and paired with a device, but the device is out of range or turned off.
No icon: Bluetooth is turned off.
original bluetooth battery iconcurrent bluetooth battery symbolBluetooth batteryShows the battery level of a supported paired Bluetooth device.
original battery charging iconcurrent battery charging status iconBatteryShows battery level or charging status.
Not usedcurrent car play iconCar PlayYour iPhone is connected to CarPlay.
Not usedcurrent dual sim status bar iconDual SIM SignalOn your iPhone with Dual SIM capability, you’re in range of your cellular network and can make and receive calls. If there’s no signal, “No service” appears.
Not usedcurrent WiFi call symbolWiFi CallYour iPhone has WiFi calling enabled. This allows you to make phone calls via the WiFi network rather than the GSM network.
Not usedcurrent airplay symbolAirplayAirplay is switched on and is ready to wirelessly connect to nearby devices. This allows you to play music and video on a connected device.
Not usedcurrent voice control symbolVoice controlVoice control for your device is switched on.
Not usedcurrent siri eyes free symbolSiri Eyes FreeSiri optimized for use in a car is enabled. This allows you to make voice requests hands and eye free.

There are no specific Verizon symbols on iPhone. In fact, all the icons are the same regardless of which carrier you use.

For a full list of all icons used on the iPhone including Navigation Bar and Toolbar, Tab Bar, and Home Screen Quick Action see the list of System icons.

Which iPhone models are likely to have these?

iOS 6 and earlier

The iPhones that may have iOS 6 or earlier and will show these icons are:

iPhone 3G:

This model can only be upgraded to iOS 4.2.1 and will definitely display the icons shown in the table above.

iPhone 3GS:

Can only be upgraded to 6.1.6 and will also definitely show the symbols above.

iPhone 4:

Shipped with iOS 4 but can be upgraded to iOS 7.1.2. So if your phone hasn’t been upgraded to the latest operating system it may show the icons above.

iPhone 4S:

This model shipped with iOS 5 but can be upgraded to iOS 9. Like the iPhone 4 it may show the symbols above if it hasn’t been upgraded.

iPhone 5:

The iPhone 5 shipped with iOS 6 but can be upgraded to iOS 10. This may show the icons in the table if not updated to latest iOS.

You will see the icons listed in the leftmost column of the table.

iOS 7 and later

Which iPhone models are likely to have these icons?

If you have an iPhone 5S or newer you are going to see the icons listed in the middle column of the table.

Any changes made to the icons or symbols since iOS 7?

There are no changes in the status bar symbols on the Apple iPhone between iOS 7 and iOS 12.

As mentioned above, there was a major change between iOS 6 and iOS7.

One of the interesting things to note is that the lock and play symbols were removed from the status bar when Apple redesigned iOS 7. Apart from that, the other major change is in the design which has been flattened and simplified.

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