What Are the Orange & Green Dots on the iPhone Status Bar?

If your recent iOS 14 update came with orange or green dots at the top of your screen, you’re not alone. But don’t worry, these indicators on the iPhone status bar are there to safeguard your security and privacy. They let you know when apps use your microphone or camera, and are especially helpful when you’re not aware that your microphone or camera is in use. Let’s take a look at what each dot means and how you can monitor which apps accessed your iPhone microphone or camera recently.

Related: How to Find Apps That Use the iPhone Camera & Microphone & Disable Access

What’s in This Article:

What Is the Green Dot on the Top of My iPhone?

The green dot on the top of your iPhone means that the app you’re using can access the device’s camera. Expect to see this dot while you’re on a Zoom meeting or taking a picture to share with friends. But if you notice this dot while you’re using an app that shouldn’t need your camera, this could be a privacy issue that requires your attention. If you notice that an app is accessing your camera and it shouldn't be, you can restrict camera access for that app. 

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What Does the Orange Dot on the iPhone Mean?

The orange dot on the iPhone means that the app you’re using can access your microphone. You’d normally see this indicator if you’re on a FaceTime call with your sister or asking Siri for directions. This orange dot allows you to keep an eye on apps that have access to your microphone but don’t really need it. In those cases, you can restrict permissions using Privacy Settings. 

See Which App Used Your Microphone or Camera Most Recently

When you notice either of these dots, you can open the Control Center and see which apps used the microphone or camera most recently. This is only available shortly after an app used the camera or microphone.

Review & Change Which Apps Can Use Your Microphone & Camera

If you're not able to check the Control Center in time to see which app used the camera or microphone, you can use Settings to review and change which apps are allowed to use them:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Privacy.

  3. Here, you will find Microphone and Camera.
  4. Tap on Microphone or Camera for a list of apps that are using these functions.
  5. You’ll see various toggles to alter permissions for use of your camera or microphone. Toggle them on and off as you see fit.

The orange and green dots on your iPhone are indicators that provide extra transparency and protect your privacy. Knowing which apps have access to your microphone and camera keeps you informed and in better control of your iPhone’s permissions.

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Author Details

Erin MacPherson's picture

Author Details

Erin MacPherson

Erin is a Web Editor for iPhone Life and has been a writer, editor, and researcher for many years. She has a degree in communication with an emphasis on psychology and communication, and has spent many of her professional years as a coach in various business and specialty fields. Erin officially joined the ranks of iPhone and Apple users everywhere around nine years ago, and has since enjoyed the unique and customized feel of Apple technology and its many gadgets. When she’s not working, Erin and her son enjoy outdoor adventures, camping, and spending time with their eclectic collection of pets.