Apple Watch Icons & Symbols: Master Your Apple Watch 7 or Earlier Models

What are the teardrop icon, orange icon, and red dot on Apple Watch? Learn all about the Apple Watch symbols available on watchOS 8 and earlier!

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.

What's in This Article:

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.

Apple Watch Control Center Icons, Status Icons & Other Symbols

Green Lightning Bolt icon on Apple Watch

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.

Red lightning bolt icon on Apple Watch
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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. If you see the red lightning bolt and your Apple Watch is locked up, it means your watch is in Power Reserve mode and will need to be charged and restarted.

Orange airplane icon on Apple Watch

Orange Airplane 

Airplane Mode is on. When you see this symbol, all wireless features (cellular data and Wi-Fi) are off until you turn this setting off in the Control Center of your Apple Watch. You can still use your watch for anything that does not require wireless features. You can also turn Airplane Mode off on your watch but keep Airplane Mode on for your iPhone if you choose to do so.

Purple moon icon on Apple Watch

Purple Moon

The purple moon icon means that Do Not Disturb is on. You will not receive Apple Watch notifications for calls or alerts until you turn off Do Not Disturb.

Two orange masks icon on Apple Watch

Two Orange Masks or Faces

These two faces are theater masks, and they indicate that Theater Mode is on. This means Silent Mode is also on and that the watch screen will stay dark until you tap the screen. This mode is useful when seeing a play or a movie in a darkened theater that you don't want to disrupt with bright screen displays from your Apple Watch. Theater Mode keeps the screen dark even when you use the Always On feature.

Red rectangle with a line through it icon on Apple Watch

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 X icon on Apple Watch
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Red X 

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

blue water drop icon on Apple Watch

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, turn 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 lock icon on Apple Watch

Blue Lock

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

turquoise blue bed icon on Apple Watch

Teal or Blue Bed

This symbol tells you that your Apple Watch is in Sleep mode. To exit Sleep mode, swipe up to the Control Center and tap the Sleep icon.

Apple Watch Icons for Active Apps

With watchOS 5 or later, your Apple Watch will show active apps. To open the app, tap the icon. The following icons are some examples of active app icons and which apps they correspond with.

Green running man icon on Apple Watch

Green Circle with a Running Stick Figure

This icon appears when you use Workout. It means there is a workout in progress, and your watch is currently tracking it. You can navigate to the Workout app to start and stop workouts. If you still see this icon after your workout has ended, simply restart your watch to reset it.

Red lines icon now playing symbol on apple watch

Five Red Lines from Largest to Smallest in a White Circle

These lines form a triangle shape like the play button on many devices, so it makes sense that this icon is the Now Playing icon. It indicates that audio is currently being played via a connected or paired device, such as CarPlay or your AirPods. Sometimes this feature auto-opens when you play audio on another Apple device, so it can be confusing.

turn right arrow icon on apple watch

Black Turn Arrow Pointing to the Right

This arrow indicates that you are using a third-party navigation app.

orange microphone 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.

Yellow radio walkie talkie icon on Apple Watch
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Yellow Radio

This is the Walkie-Talkie icon, and it allows you to open the Walkie-Talkie app for quick communication with your contacts via your Apple Watch.

Control Center Icons on Your Apple Watch

These icons can be found in the Control Center of your Apple Watch, which you can access by swiping up from the bottom of your watch screen.

blue Wi-Fi icon on Apple Watch

Three Curved Blue Lines in the Shape of a Wedge

This icon means your Apple Watch is connected to Wi-Fi. It looks like a beaming or radiating signal, and is similar to other images used to indicate Wi-Fi.

Green dots icon on Apple Watch
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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.

Red dot icon on Apple Watch

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. 

Blue & white triangle rings icon on Apple Watch

Blue & White Triangle with Three Partial Rings at the Top of It

This is the audio output button. To switch the audio output between paired Bluetooth headsets, speakers, and accessories tap this button.

Purple arrow icon on Apple Watch

Purple Arrow

This icon in the upper-right corner lets you know that one of the apps on your Apple Watch is using location services.

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

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Where Is the i Icon on the 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 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's picture

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.