Home: » Setup And Using Your Device » Guide to badges and symbols on iPhone photos

Guide to badges and symbols on iPhone photos

When you use your iPhone to take and manage your photographs you have probably noticed a wide range of symbols that appear.

Apple calls these symbols “badges” or “status icons” and they are used to quickly and easily show different actions or effects that have been performed on your photos.

Some badges are easy to interpret, while others can be a little confusing as the icon Apple selected does not describe the feature applied to the picture very well.

In this short guide you will find out:

  • The badges Apple assigns to photos on your phone and what they mean.
  • The meaning of symbols and icons when taking a photo using the iPhone camera.
  • The icons Apple uses in the Photos Library app.

If you would like to know more about icons found on the status bar of your Apple device, see iPhone symbols and icons.

Taking a photo using iPhone
Above: Taking a photo using iPhone


Where do you see these photo symbols?

These symbols appear when editing a photograph, on the photo themselves, or when you take a picture using your iPhone.

See our other guides on iPhone Photos, including How to recover permanently deleted photos from iPhone

iPhone photo library status badges

When you edit a photo a status icon is used as a shortcut to show a change has been made.

Symbols are also displayed to show the types of media in the library and the features they use.

When you edit a photo you can use icons to access the edit features.

All of these badges, icons, and symbols are explained in the table below.

Symbol / Badge / IconMeaning
photo edited symbolPhoto has been edited.
photo keywords symbolPhoto has had keywords applied.
photo locations symbolPhoto’s location has been identified on a map.
photo favorite symbolPhoto has been marked as a favourite.
photo video symbolItem is a video, slo-mo or time-lapse clip.
photo HDR symbolOriginal photo was taken as a High Dynamic Range (HDR) photo that combines three photos taken at different exposures.
RAW badgeOriginal photo was taken as a RAW + JPEG photo that includes a RAW and JPEG version. (The badge appears as an R when viewing the RAW version of a photo.)
photo live symbolItem is a Live Photo.
photo bounce symbolItem is a Live Photo set to bounce.
photo loop symbolItem is a Live Photo set to loop.
photo portrait symbolItem is a portrait photo.
photo panorama symbolPhoto is panoramic.
photo rotate symbolRotate photo.
photo flip symbolFlip photo.
photo filter effects symbolPhoto filters and effects.
photo draw on image symbolDraw on photo.
visual lookupVisual lookup.

For more information, see Edit photos and videos on iPhone.

Visual lookup automatic detection tool for photos

Since iOS 16, Apple has introduced visual lookup which allows you to identify animals, plants, landmarks and more in your photos. It can even identify food and provide recipes that include it as an ingredient.


You can tell with visual lookup is available as a star appears at the top left of the info icon when looking at the photo.

To use it, do the following:

  1. In the photo gallery open a picture in full screen or pause a video on any frame.
  2. Tap the starred Info button
  3. Select Look Up at the top of the photo information to see the results.

To find out more, see Use Visual Look Up to identify objects in your photos and videos on iPhone.

On-screen icons when taking a photo

At the top of the screen, there are a number of symbols that control the camera settings:

photo symbols top

  • Flash
    The flash can be on, off, or put in auto mode.
  • Live Photo
    Shoots 1.5 seconds of video before and after the photo is taken giving a snippet of movement together with the image. This is on by default and can take up a lot of space.
  • Arrow
    Tap the arrow to display further settings.

There are further settings found by pressing the arrow. These appear at the bottom of the screen:

photo symbols

  • Flash
  • Live photo
  • Timer
    Set a photo timer for between 3 to 10 seconds.
  • Photo size
    Change the shape of the photo between 4:3, 16:9, or square.
  • Exposure
    Change the exposure.
  • Filters
    Apply effects to the photograph such as Mono, Tonal, Noir, Fade, Chrome, Process, Transfer, and Instant.

If any of these settings are turned on, the symbol appears at the top of the screen as a reminder.

Also at the bottom of the screen are other important icons:

take photo symbols

  • Shooting mode
    Pick the type of photo or video you’d like to shoot.
  • Camera rotate
    Switch between the front-facing and rear-facing cameras.
  • Shutter
    Press to take the picture.
  • Photo library
    Opens the photo library.

To find out more, see iPhone camera basics.

Scroll to Top