Guide To Icons and Symbols on iPhone Status Bar

The iPhone has icons at the very top of the screen to show you features that are enabled.

Some are obvious – like Wifi or signal strength. Other symbols can be confusing and even worrying. So if you have ever asked yourself ‘what does this icon mean?’ read on to find out in our in-depth guide…

Where do you see these icons

Icons appear in the status bar of your iPhone.

On the iPhone 8 and earlier models, they 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 either side of the notch. Due to the notch placement not all of the symbols appear.

iPhone X status bar

iOS status bar icons explained


Old iOS iconNew iOS iconDescriptionExplanation
cell-signalcell strengthMobile/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.”
airplane-modeairplane modeAirplane modeShows that airplane mode is on—you cannot use the phone, access the Internet, or use Bluetooth® devices. Non-wireless features are available.
ltelteLTEShows 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 used5G 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.)
4g4gUMTSShows 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.)
3g3gUMTS/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.
edgeedgeEDGEShows that your carrier’s EDGE (GSM) network is available, andiPhone can connect to the Internet over that network.
gprsgprsGPRS/1xRTTShows that your carrier’s GPRS (GSM) or 1xRTT (CDMA) network is available, and iPhone can connect to the Internet over that network.
wifiwi-fiWi-FiShows that iPhone is connected to the Internet over a Wi-Fi network. The more bars, the stronger the connection.
do-not-disturbdo not disturbDo Not DisturbShows that “Do Not Disturb” is turned on.
hotspothotspotPersonal HotspotShows that iPhone is connected to another iPhone providing a Personal Hotspot.
synchsyncingSyncingShows that iPhone is synchronising with iTunes.
activitynetwork activityNetwork activityShows network activity. Some apps also use the icon to show an active process.
call-forwardcall forwardingCall ForwardingShows that Call Forwarding is set up on iPhone.
vpnvpnVPNShows that you’re connected to a network using VPN.
lockNot usedLockShows that iPhone is locked. This icon is not used in iOS 11.
ttyttyTTYShows that iPhone is set to work with a TTY machine.
playNot usedPlayShows that a song, audiobook, or podcast is playing. This icon is no longer used in iOS 11.
portrait-locklockPortrait orientation lockShows that the iPhone screen is locked in portrait orientation.
alarmalarmAlarmShows that an alarm is set.
location-serviceslocation servicesLocation ServicesShows that an item is using Location Services.
bluetoothbluetoothBluetoothBlue 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.
bluetooth-batterybluetooth batteryBluetooth batteryShows the battery level of a supported paired Bluetooth device.
batteryios10-battery-charging-status-iconBatteryShows battery level or charging status.
Not usedios11-carplay-iconCar PlayYour iPhone is connected to CarPlay.
Not useddual-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 usedWiFi callWiFi CallYour iPhone has WiFi calling enabled. This allows you to make phone calls via the WiFi network rather than the GSM network.
Not usedairplayAirplayAirplay 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 usedvoice controlVoice controlVoice control for your device is switched on.
Not usedsiri eyes freeSiri Eyes FreeSiri optimized for use in a car is enabled. This allows you to make voice requests hands and eye free.

If you see blue, green, or red in the status bar

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-sharing-hotspotYour iPhone is either providing a Personal Hotspot or an app is actively using your location.

ios12-time-status-on-a-callYou’re on a call.

ios12-time-status-recording-screenYour iPhone is either recording sound or your screen.

Status bar icons and symbols on the iPhone

There are a whole set of icons that appear along the top of your iPhone on the status bar.

Some symbols you may be aware of as you see them every day – such as the mobile/cell signal.

But others are more obscure.

I have put together a full list of icons and symbols you can expect to see on an iPhone.

It should explain what those odd-looking iPhone symbols mean.

iOS 6 and earlier

Which iPhone models are likely to have these icons?

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.

Did you find this article useful?

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