The Complete Apple Watch Icons & Symbols Guide (2022)

What are the teardrop icon, orange icon, and red dot on Apple Watch? Read through this article to learn all about the Apple Watch icon meanings.

If you've ever wondered what the symbols on your Apple Watch are, this guide is for you. Your Apple Watch uses various icons, symbols, dots, and arrows to convey important information to you. They are small and don't come with much explanation, so it's natural to be confused. We'll take the mystery out of reading these icons and help you understand these extremely useful communication tools.

Related: How to Control Your Apple Watch with Your iPhone (2022)

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What Do the Symbols Mean on the Apple Watch?

Each of the symbols and icons on your Apple Watch has a purpose. In general, these images are colorful methods for your watch to communicate with you without disrupting you by sending a formal notification. They can be very helpful if you know how to interpret them! We'll go over the common Apple Watch symbols and icons and teach you their meanings so that you can use your watch more efficiently. Here's a guide to the wonderful world of Apple Watch icons, including a section on the i icon on Apple Watch.

Every Apple Watch Control Center Symbol Explained

The Apple Watch Control Center allows you to quickly access various modes, features, and information. Here is what the Apple Watch Control Center icons mean and how they function:

At A Glance Icons in the Control Center

At the top of the Control Center, you will see tiny icons that will vary depending on which features you have enabled at any given time. You can tap on it to see more information. 

At the top of the Control Center, you will see tiny icons that will vary depending on which features you have enabled at any given time.

You will be able to tell if your iPhone is connected to your Apple Watch if the icon is green. If the icon is red and there is a diagonal line through it, your phone is disconnected. If you see the Wi-Fi symbol instead of a phone, this means that your iPhone is disconnected but your Apple Watch is connected to Wi-Fi. 

If you tap on the smaller icons, you'll see this screen with larger icons and more information

If you have a Focus mode enabled, it will also appear here along with the schedule you've set up.

Focus modes will be displayed here when enabled.

If you have an accessibility feature enabled, it will also appear here.

If you have an accessibility enabled, it will also appear here.

If you see a blue arrow, it means an app on your Apple Watch has used Location Services recently. You can find out which app requested your location by tapping on the arrow. 

Apple Watch icons -

Wi-Fi Icon on Apple Watch

The Wi-Fi icon can show you if you are connected to Wi-Fi. You can tap and hold this to connect to a different network.

Apple Watch icons - apple icon

Apple Watch Cellular Icon

The cellular icon turns the Apple Watch cellular connection on or off. It is only available on Apple Watch models with cellular. Enabling cellular functions allows you to make and receive calls and texts when don’t have your iPhone near you and can't access Wi-Fi.

Cellular Icon on Apple Watch - Apple Website Photo

Ping iPhone Icon on Apple Watch

The icon with the phone two curved lines on either sign is the ping iPhone button. As long as your iPhone is connected to your Apple Watch and within range, tapping this will make your iPhone make a noise so that you can locate it. If you tap and hold this icon, it will make a noise and flash a light to make it easier to find in the dark. This icon always looks the same, even if your iPhone isn't connected. It does temporarily turn blue to indicate that your iPhone is pinging.

Apple Watch icons - apple watch green light

Apple Watch Battery Percentage Icon

The percent icon shows the remaining battery percentage of your Apple Watch. It is one of the few icons that cannot be removed from the Control Center. If you tap on it, you will see the option to activate Low Power mode to have your watch battery last longer but limiting functionality.

Apple Watch icons - what does the i icon look like on apple watch

Apple Watch Silent Mode Icon

The bell icon can turn Silent Mode on and off. When the bell is gray, your watch has sound and vibrations on. If the bell is red and has a line through it, it will not make any sounds, but it will still vibrate and light up when there is a notification.

Apple Watch icons - small dot icon

Theater Mode Icon on Apple Watch

The happy and sad masks represent Theater Mode. When the icon is gray, Theater Mode is off. When it is orange, Theater Mode is on and Silent Mode will also be activated. This means that your watch will only vibrate if you receive a notification, but it won’t ring or light up your screen.

Apple Watch icons - apple watch dock

Apple Watch Walkie-Talkie Icon

The radio icon in the Control Center is the Walkie-Talkie icon. When it is gray, the feature is off. Tap it to turn it on and it will be yellow with two curved lines on either side to show that it is on. You will still have to set it up and open the app from the App Library in order to send a message to a contact.

Apple Watch icons - apple watch water drop

Focus Icon on Apple Watch

The Focus icon will show you what Focus mode you are in. If you do not have Focus engaged or set up, it will show the moon symbol that represents Do Not Disturb. Tap it to turn on regular Do Not Disturb or, press and hold to change the Focus mode. You will see the options for Do Not Disturb, Personal, Work, Sleep, and any customized Focus mode you've created. If you don't see the options you want, you can add existing Focus Modes and create custom ones on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. They will sync across your devices so that you can use them on your watch as well. To turn off Sleep Focus, press and hold the Digital Crown.

Apple Watch icons - what does the moon mean on iphone

Flashlight Icon on Apple Watch

Many users are surprised to learn that their Apple Watch has a functional flashlight! You can turn it on by tapping on the flashlight symbol in the Control Center. This will turn your screen a bright white color. You can swipe left to switch to a flashing white and again to a red screen. You can turn it off by swiping down. 

Apple Watch icons - how do i get the i icon on apple watch

Apple Watch Airplane Mode Icon

The airplane symbol turns Airplane mode on and off. When it is grayed out, it is off. Tap it to turn Airplane mode on and it will be orange. By default, Airplane Mode will turn off your Wi-Fi and cellular networks but will keep your Bluetooth enabled. You will still get notifications in Airplane Mode, especially if you are connected to Wi-Fi. It doesn't silence your notifications, it simply prevents you from connecting to the cellular network. 

Apple Watch icons - what is the water drop on apple watch

Apple Watch Water Mode Icon

Many users wonder about the Apple Watch water drop icon and what it actually does. The droplet icon turns the Water Lock on but not off. When you turn on Water Lock, you will still be able to see your watch face, but you won't be able to open anything. To turn it off, you will need to press and hold the Digital Crown to unlock your watch. Forgetting to activate it before you get your watch wet will not damage it, as long as your Apple Watch is water resistant. However, it is good practice to turn it on when getting out of water to help remove water from the speaker via vibrations.

Apple Watch icons - apple watch water mode

Audio Output Icon on Apple Watch

Tapping the triangle with three curved lines above it takes you to a list of any Bluetooth speakers, headphones, or earbuds that your watch is connected to. You can add new audio devices by tapping Connect a Device.

Apple Watch icons - where is the i located on apple watch

Headphone Volume Icon on Apple Watch

Tapping the ear symbol in the Control Center takes you to headphone volume. It looks the same as the app to measure noise levels that can be found in the App Library.

Apple Watch icons - watch icon

Siri Announce Icon

If you don't see this icon in your Apple Watch's Control Center, don't panic! It will only be viewable and tappable under certain circumstances. In order to have access to this particular icon, you will need to have enabled Announce in both Siri and Phone Notifications in your Apple Watch's and iPhone's settings. Additionally, you will need to have AirPods or certain models of Beats headphones (not all Beats models are compatible with this feature) in order for the icon to appear on your Apple Watch's Control Center and for it to be tappable. Lastly, your AirPods or Beats must be turned on and actively connected to the Apple Watch's Bluetooth. Once all of these things come together, you should be able to tap the Announce button to enable or disable Siri to announce phone calls and messages while you listen to audio.

Siri Announce Icon

The Siri Announce button is gray when enabled and red when disabled.

it will be red when enabled 

Dynamic Type Button

Certain apps let you increase the text size on your Apple Watch for easier viewing. If you tap this button, you will have the option to increase or decrease text size for your Apple Watch.

Certain apps let you increase the text size on your Apple Watch for easier viewing. If you tap this button you will have the option to increase or decrease text size for your Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Schooltime Icon

The person with a raised hand icon enables Schooltime but doesn't disable it. Once enabled, you will only be able to see the date, time, and your name. To disable Schooltime, you need to press and hold the Digital Crown. It functions as an Apple Watch lock button, similar to Water Lock and Sleep mode. 

Apple Watch icons - apple watch red phone icon

How to Add & Remove Control Center Icons on Apple Watch

  1. At the bottom of the Control Center, you will see an Edit button. Tap it to add or remove the icons mentioned in this list. By default, some options may be hidden and optional to add

    Apple Watch icons - icon on apple watch
  2. To remove an icon, tap the small circle with a minus sign. It will appear below MORE. Some icons cannot be removed, this includes the battery percentage, Wi-Fi, and Airplane Mode.

    Apple Watch icons
  3. To add an icon, tap the green circle with a plus. It will move above MORE. You can also drag the icons to rearrange them.

    Apple Watch icons
  4. Once you are done making changes to your Apple Watch Control Center, which can mean adding, removing, or moving icons, tap Done.

    Apple Watch icons meaning

Apple Watch Status Icons, Active App Icons & Other Symbols

Your Apple Watch shows icons for some active apps at the top of your watch face. You can tap the icon to return to the app. However, not all active apps will appear at the top of the watch face. For example, the Now Playing, Workout, and Third-Party Navigation icons no longer appear at the top of the watch face starting with watchOS 9. The best way to find your most recent active apps is by clicking the Side button to open the Dock. The following icons are some examples of active app icons and which apps they correspond with. You may also see other icons; here are what they all mean!

Green Lightning Bolt 

When the lightning bolt is green, it means that your Apple Watch is charging. If your watch is on the charger, you'll see a ring around this icon indicating to what percentage your watch is charged.

Green Lightning Bolt icon on Apple Watch

Apple Watch Red Lightning Bolt

When you see a red lightning bolt on your watch, it means that your battery is low. If you've just put it on the charger and that's when you saw the icon, just keep charging it. 

Red lightning bolt icon on Apple Watch
Image courtesy of Apple.com

Low Power Mode Symbols

When Low Power Mode is turned on, you will see a small yellow circle at the top of your Apple Watch's screen.

low power mode yellow circle icon

Additionally, the battery percentage button will turn yellow.

low power mode turns battery icon yellow

Red Rectangle with a Diagonal Line

This icon indicates that your Apple Watch is not connected to your iPhone. You may need to move your devices closer together or turn off Airplane Mode.

Red rectangle with a line through it icon on Apple Watch

Red X 

This red X means your Apple Watch with GPS + Cellular has no connection to the cellular network.

Red X icon on Apple Watch
Image courtesy of Apple.com

Blue or Turquoise Water Drop

There are many nicknames for the Apple Watch water drop icon. Some people call it the raindrop logo, drip icon, tear icon, and tear symbol. When you see this little drop on your watch screen, it means Water Lock is on, and the screen will not respond to taps. 

To unlock your Apple Watch, press and hold the Digital Crown (the dial on the side of the watch). The Water Lock is only available on Apple Watch Series 2 or later and Apple Watch SE. Do not swim with Apple Watch 1st Generation or Apple Watch Series 1 as they are not waterproof.

Pro Tip: The Digital Crown does way more than just unlock your Apple Watch! Check out these 15 ways to use the Digital Crown on your watch.

blue water drop icon on Apple Watch

Sleep Mode & Other Active Focus Modes

When you have an active Focus mode running, such as Sleep (a blue bed), Do Not Disturb (a purple crescent moon icon), or a Personal Focus ( purple person icon), the symbol for that particular mode will appear at the top of the watch face. Like Water Lock, Sleep mode locks your screen and requires you to press the Digital Crown to unlock your watch. You will then need to turn Sleep mode off in your watch's Control Center or on your iPhone to keep it from locking again. Other Focus modes don't lock your watch and can be turned off in the Control Center or on your iPhone.

Blue Lock

This icon indicates that your Apple Watch is locked. Tap to enter the passcode and unlock your watch.

blue lock icon on Apple Watch

Orange Microphone

This icon means your Apple Watch mic is active. It appears when you are using Siri, recording a voice memo or text, or using the microphone with another app like Handwashing.

orange microphone icon on Apple Watch

One, Two, Three, or Four Green Dots

Your Apple Watch with GPS + Cellular is connected to a cellular network. The number of dots indicates cellular network strength.

Green dots icon on Apple Watch
Image courtesy of Apple.com

Red Dot, Apple Watch Circle, or Center Dot Symbol    

One of the most common questions is, “what is the red dot on my Apple Watch?” This icon indicates that you have received a notification. To read the notification, swipe down on the watch face. This red dot will show up on your Apple Watch charging screen if you get a notification as well.

Red dot icon on Apple Watch

Where Is the i Icon on Apple Watch?

A common question people ask is, “where is the i icon on my Apple Watch?” This is a slightly more complicated symbol that you can only see when your watch isn’t paired with your iPhone. You can see it if you do a factory reset on your Apple Watch and use it to find out the name of your watch for manual pairing.

where's the i icon on apple watch, what the i icon on apple watch

Image courtesy of Apple.com

Where is the i on Apple Watch? It is on the bottom right of the watch display but only on the initial pairing screen. This is the only icon on Apple Watch that you don't have to worry about during everyday use! 

Knowing the different symbols and icons on your Apple Watch helps you use your watch to its fullest and as efficiently as possible. Are you wondering about a less common icon we didn't mention? Apple maintains a thorough list of Apple Watch icons meanings for your reference.

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Author Details

Hannah Nichols

Hannah Nichols is a freelance marketing consultant and writer. She is obsessed with audiobooks and podcasts and always asks people for recommendations. Hannah loves going to the gym and taking really long walks with friends. She enjoys traveling with her partner and her eight-year-old son.