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

All iPhones, from the classic iPhone 8 to the latest models, are filled with symbols. Each icon has a story, a function waiting to be understood.

In this guide, we dive into the world of iPhone icons and symbols. We’ll explore everything from the status bar to the control center.

Curious about that orange light or different network symbols? We’ve got all the answers.

Become an iPhone icon expert. Enhance your user experience with every swipe and tap.

Read on. It’s time to unravel the mysteries of your iPhone’s interface.


iPhone Icons Status Bar Home Screen Control Centre


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


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:


You’re on a call.


Your iPhone is either recording sound or your screen.


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

Full list of iOS icons

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.

Old iOS iconNew 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 display these symbols?

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 15.

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.

15 thoughts on “Guide To iPhone Icons And Symbols On Status Bar And Control Center”

  1. I have noticed on my phone for a few months I will turn Wi-Fi and Bluetooth off and turn my vpn on turn cellular data off on some apps as it will turn back on I can’t log out of my iCloud yet I cant see anything backed up in files or on iCloud how can I fix this please help me I have never seen so much info anywhere you are exceptional what a great website I have reset my Apple ID password and change my password every two weeks

  2. LiL-Bit Confused!

    I am seeing things that I have never seen before in my Settings. I believe someone has my Apple ID and changing things in my phone. I had certain pictures saved and now some of them are different, by color or the wording I did in Word, changed! I can not save a password nor Email period!! I had a text message I was working on and was sending it when, right in front of my eyes it changed colors and the text message changed wording! It was unbelievable! I worry now how things can be thought of one way, when it perceives to be another. It looks like a lot if info for a
    Developer and I am not even close! I can’t keep an email much less understand what I am seeing. Can the software update make this happen? Or is someone else sharing my device that I’m not aware of? HELPless!

  3. Glenda Brownfield Schmidt

    I got a star right above my battery symbol the other day. It was only there for about 5 minutes and disappeared. I can’t find what it was anywhere. Do you know? It was just a bit larger than the battery symbol and was yellow.
    Thank you

  4. Not for my problem. I have 2 tiny hyphens on the upper right hand side of my screen! How can I get rid of them please?

    1. It sounds like the network hotspot icon. It means your iPhone has been set up as a mobile internet hotspot that other devices could use. To disable it go to Settings > Personal Hotspot > And Turn off ‘Allow others to join’. Turning this off also has the additional benefit of reducing battery useage.

    1. Tap Photos and pick the first photo you want to send. Tap the icon at the bottom left. Scroll through your photos and tap the others you want to share. At the bottom tap the Mail icon. Address the email message and send it.

  5. You’re so awesome! I don’t think I’ve truly read through anything like this
    before. So nice to discover someone with some unique thoughts on this issue.
    Really.. thank you for starting this up. This site is something that
    is needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!

  6. When I was low on battery iPhone SE, it showed the battery 1%, an almost empty battery symbol and butted up to the battery on the right where the lightning symbol resides if charging was a small green rectangle. I’m wondering what that is.

    1. Is this in the control center? If so, it’s a little iPhone icon, green to show your phone is providing the communication path for the watch.

  7. Marian Williams

    While reading my email,I noticed a little file box at the bottom. Is that for archiving or actually filing in docs?

    1. The little box that looks like a file (which is second in from the left) is for moving the message to a different folder within the email App. It doesn’t put it in a doc folder.

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