iPhone Icons: Home Screen & Control Center Symbols & Meanings (2022)

What do all the iPad and iPhone symbols and icons mean? Learn about iPhone symbols at the top of the screen, and iPhone Control Center icons.

If you've ever wondered what the iPhone symbols on top of the screen (in the status bar) or in the iPhone Control Center are trying to tell you, then you've come to the right spot. Apple uses iPad and iPhone status icons and symbols to show a lot of information in a very small space. Here are iPhone symbols and their meanings explained; your guide to the most common iPad and iPhone status icons.

Related: iPad Multitasking: The Complete Guide to Split Screen, Slide Over & Picture in Picture

iPad & iPhone Symbols: Their Meanings on Home Screen & in Control Center

Some iPhone icons (symbols on an iPhone) are more commonly known, such as the Wi-Fi icon and Bluetooth icon, but some, like the Orientation Lock icon, mystify many. It’s good to know what every iPad and iPhone icon means, so you can utilize their features or make sure at a glance that they’re turned on or off. These iPadOS and iOS status icons are mostly the same for every iPhone generation, whether you have an iPhone 8, an iPhone 11, or the very latest iPhone.

Let's learn the meanings of iPhone symbols and icons, whether they're at the top of your iPhone screen in the Status Bar or in the Control Center icons. For more tutorials on how to navigate your iPhone and iPad, check out our free Tip of the Day

Home Screen Icons in the Status Bar (iPhone Symbols at the Top of Your iPhone Screen)

Let’s start at the top of the Home screen, in the Status Bar. These iPhone icons can also be seen within apps, but instead of appearing white, they may appear black.

If you have an iPhone X or a newer model, not all these icons will appear at the top of your display the way they do on earlier iPhones. To see your Home screen icons on all models of the iPhone X and later:

  1. Touch and drag slightly down on the spot just underneath the three icons at the top-right corner of your display. 

  2. This will reveal hidden icons, as well as the battery-charge percentage. If you pull down too far, you'll open the Control Center instead. 

What Does It Mean When You See a Colored Bubble in the Status Bar?

If you own an iPhone X or later, you may have noticed that sometimes there's a colored bubble behind the time on your Home screen. The bubble can display in four colors: blue, green, red, and purple. This chart will explain what each of those colors means. 

Symbol Meaning

Blue

Your iPhone is Screen Mirroring or is currently using your location. 

Green

You're currently on a call or your iPhone is providing a Personal Hotspot.

Red

Your iPhone is recording sound or is recording your screen. 

Purple

Your iPhone is using SharePlay to share content. 

Recording Indicator: The Orange & Green Dots

For iPhone models running iOS 14 and later, you'll see a small, green or orange dot in the upper-right corner of your display.

Symbol Meaning

Orange

 The microphone is being used by an app on your iPhone.

Green

The camera or the camera and microphone are being used by an app on your iPhone.

Other Status Symbols

Here are other symbols that you will see in the Status Bar on your iPhone. 

Symbol Meaning
3G network is available through your carrier, and your iPhone can connect to the internet over that network.
4G or LTE network is available through your carrier, and your iPhone can connect to the internet over that network.

LTE network is available through your carrier, and your iPhone can connect to the internet over that network.

Note: Works with iPhone 5 and later models. Not available in all areas.

5G network is available through your carrier, and your iPhone can connect to the internet over that network.

Note: Works with iPhone SE (3rd generation), iPhone 12 models, and iPhone 13. Not available in all areas.

5G E network is available through your carrier, and your iPhone can connect to the internet over that network.

Note: Works with iPhone 8 and later models. Not available in all areas.

5G network with higher frequency is available through your carrier, and your iPhone can connect to the internet over that network.

Note: Works with iPhone SE (3rd generation), iPhone 12 models, and iPhone 13. Not available in all areas.

GPRS (GSM) network is available through your carrier, and your iPhone can connect to the internet over that network.
EDGE (GSM) network is available through your carrier, and your iPhone can connect to the internet over that network.
You're in range of your cellular network and can make in receive calls. "No service" will appear whenever there's no signal. 
With Dual SIM capability, you're in range of your cellular network and can make and receive calls."No service" will appear whenever there's no signal.   
Wi-Fi Calling is available for you to use. Your carrier also appears next to the icon. 
Your iPhone is connected to the internet over Wi-Fi.
You're connected to a VPN network.
The VPN network you're using is disconnected. 
Location Services is currently being used by an app or a website. 
An item may receive your location under certain conditions. 
An app you're using is requesting your location.
Network Activity is present.
Call forwarding is enabled.
Airplane Mode is enabled. 
Teletype (TTY) is enabled.
Orientation Lock is on, and your screen won't rotate until the setting is disabled. 

Focus (formerly Do Not Disturb) is on.

Note: The appearance of this icon will differ depending on which Focus mode you have enabled. You may see a person's bust for Personal, a bed for Sleep, a car for Driving, etc.

iPhone is syncing with iTunes. 
iPhone is locked. 
iPhone is paired with a wireless headset, headphones, or earbuds. 
An alarm is set.
Your iPhone's battery level. It will turn red when the level is less than 20%.
Your iPhone is charging. 
Low Power Mode is enabled. 
Battery level of your paired Bluetooth device. 

iPhone is connected to the internet through the Personal Hotspot of another iOS device.

Note: For iOS 15 and later, the symbol is replaced with the green bubble behind the time. 

iPhone is connected to CarPlay. 
You're sharing your screen with SharePlay.
SharePlay is active. 

iPad & iPhone Control Center Icons

Access the Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of your screen if you have an iPhone 8 or earlier, or down from the upper right corner of your screen if you have an iPhone without a Home button. Some of the icons in the Control Center are the same for every iPhone, but the icons at the bottom of the Control Center are determined by how you choose to customize your Control Center. You can add or take away Low Power Mode, the Flashlight, the Calculator, Voice Memos, and more.

What Are the Symbols in the iPad & iPhone Control Center?

Here are some charts of the controls in your iPad or iPhone Control Center.

Symbols Meanings
Airplane Mode
Bluetooth
Cellular Data
Hotspot
AirDrop

Focus

Note: The appearance of this icon will differ depending on which Focus mode you have enabled. You may see a person's bust for Personal, a bed for Sleep, a car for Driving, etc.

Accessibility: quickly enable accessibility features. 
Alarm: create an alarm to wake up or adjust your Sleep Focus settings. 
Calculator: quickly do calculations or rotate device to use scientific calculator for advanced problems. 
Brightness: adjust brightness by dragging brightness control up or down. 
Camera: take photos or record videos. 
Driving Focus: silence calls, messages, and notifications while driving.
Do Not Disturb: silence notifications for an hour, until the end of the day, for an event, or while at a location. 
Flashlight: turns the LED flash on the camera into a flashlight. 
Home: control accessories that are set up in the Home app. 
Low Battery Mode: switch on when iPhone battery is low or doesn't have access to electrical power.
Magnifier: turns iPhone into a magnifying glass.
Night Shift: adjust colors in display to warmer tones at night. 
Portrait Orientation Lock: prevents screen from rotating when you move your device.
Screen Recording: records your screen by just a tap or captures sound while recording with tapping and holding. 
Silent Mode: silences alerts and notifications on your device. 
Stopwatch: measures duration of an event and track lap times. 
Text Size: adjusts the size of text by dragging the slider up or down. 
Timer: set the duration of time by dragging slider up or down and pressing Start.
True Tone: automatically adjusts the color and intensity of your display to match the light in your environment. 
Voice Memos: creates a voice memo with device's microphone. 
Volume: adjusts the volume by dragging the control up or down. 
Wallet: access cards for Apple Pay or boarding passes, movie tickets, etc. 
Screen Mirroring: streams music, photos, and video wirelessly to Apple TV and other AirPlay-enabled devices. 
Dark Mode: great for viewing iPhone or iPad in low-light environments. 
Guided Access: limit device to a single app and control which app features are available.
Hearing: pair hearing devices with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
Code Scanner: use camera to scan QR codes to quickly access websites. 
Music Recognition: find out what you're listening to with a single tap and see the results at the top of your screen. 
Noise Control: detects external sounds which your AirPods Pro or AirPods Max can block or cancel. Transparency mode allows you to hear outside noises around you.
Sleep: Choose which apps and people you want to receive notifications from while sleeping or getting ready for bed. 
Spatial Audio: Use Spatial Audio with AirPods Pro or AirPods Pro Max.
Announce Notifications: Siri will announce your incoming messages when wearing your AirPods or compatible Beats headphones. 
Notes: quickly jot down an idea, create a checklist, sketch, etc. 
Personal Focus: Choose which apps and people you want to receive notifications from during your personal time. 
Apple TV Remote: use your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch for the remote control for Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD.
Sound Recognition: iPhone will listen to certain sounds and notify you when sounds are recognized. Examples: sirens, fire alarms, door bells, etc.
Work: Choose which apps and people you want to receive notifications from during work. 

Check out our free Tip of the Day for more great Apple device tutorials. Next, master the buttons and port on your iPhone for even quicker navigation!

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Conner Carey's picture

Author Details

Conner Carey

Conner Carey's writing can be found at conpoet.com. She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.