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Understanding iOS Status Bar Symbols

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Everyone is familiar with this bar at the top of the screen, but maybe there are some symbols you don't recognize. This article will help clarify. Let's start with the basics.

NOTE: The iOS 7 and later status bar icons are generally the same, but may have a different color scheme, i.e. white instead of green or blue. Same with iOS 6 - nearly all icons are white. Any other differences in iOS 7 will be noted below.

 This icon appears when the orientation of your device is locked in portrait mode (or portrait and landscape on the iPad). Many people have locked their orientation without realizing it. The below article will show you how to lock or unlock the orientation.

Corresponding Apple Club Article: (will take you to the Apple Club's Advice and Articles page)

 This appears in the upper left if you have an iPhone or iPad with 3G/4G capability. It displays your cellular network's signal strength anywhere from one to five bars, with one being a weak signal and five being strong. To the right of this is the name of your carrier. If you have an iPod touch or iPad, it will display the name of the device, iPod or iPad, instead of the carrier.

Signal strength (iOS 7) In iOS 7, dots are used instead of bars to signify the signal strength.

For the cellular model iPad, it will display "iPad" if you are not actively signed up with a carrier, but otherwise, it will display the carrier name.

or This will appear to the right of the carrier name. It will indicate if you are currently connected to the Internet by a 3G or 4G connection. ("4G" indicates that the device is operating on an HSPA+ network on an AT&T or T-Mobile device, not LTE. Learn more in About the 4G Network Indicator on iPhone 4S)

If you have the iPad 3rd generation or later, or iPad mini, and have the Wi-Fi + Cellular model, or have the iPhone 5, it may also say "LTE" in the upper left. LTE is another type of cellular connection, like 3G and 4G, and is the fastest connection available. LTE stands for Long Term Evolution.

 Sometimes "Extended" will appear instead of your carrier's name when your phone is connected to a network other than your provider's. You do not pay any extra for roaming, as this typically occurs when on the network of a carrier that is affiliated with your own carrier.

 This may appear instead of 3G/4G. This means that you are connected to the Internet by a Wi-Fi connection. It displays your signal strength anywhere from one to three bars, with one being a weak signal and three being strong.

Being connected to Wi-Fi is usually a lot better, as location accuracy improves, and you will not be charged for data from your carrier. If you have both a Wi-Fi and 3G/4G connection, the iPhone will choose Wi-Fi for these reasons. In order to use 3G/4G in this case, Wi-Fi needs to be turned off.

 Here's a tricky one. This may also appear to the right of your carrier's name, but it does not mean "Error" or "Network Error," contrary to what some believe. This means that you are using an EDGE connection where 3G/4G is not available. EDGE is considered 2G, and EDGE connections are slower than 3G.

This small "o" means that you are on a GPRS connection. GPRS is even slower than EDGE. Essentially, GPRS is "1G." In iOS 7 and later, instead of the small circle, "GPRS" will be displayed. "1x" is the CDMA (i.e. Verizon, Sprint) equivalent to GPRS.

   This icon represents Bluetooth. It appears in blue when a device or accessory is connected, or in gray when Bluetooth is on but no connections have been made.

             This icon represents the battery level of your Bluetooth headset.
             This is the same icon in iOS 7 and later.

 This icon appears in iOS 10 and later. In iOS 10.0 through 10.1.1, it signifies that there is a pair of Beats wireless headphones or AirPods connected. In iOS 10.2 and later, it will appear when any Bluetooth audio device is connected.

 As if you didn't already know this, the time is displayed in the center.

 This gauge will show the remaining battery life. Turning battery percentage on is explained in our Apple Club article, "Battery Percentage: iOS and Mac."

Corresponding Apple Club Article: (will take you to the Apple Club's Advice and Articles page)

The battery icon is normally white. When the battery is less than 20%, it is red. In iOS 7 and later, it is green when the device is connected to a charger, and is charged more than 20%. There will also be a lightning bolt symbol to the right of the battery icon when charging (also only in iOS 7 and later). In iOS 6 and earlier, the lightning bolt symbol will appear on top of the battery symbol, rather than next to it, when charging. If you have iOS 9 or later, and the battery icon is yellow, then your iPhone is in Low Power Mode. Go to Settings > Battery > Low Power Mode to adjust this.

 This will appear if no 3G or 4G or other signal can be attained or if the SIM in the phone has not been activated.

 This will appear if no SIM card is inserted in the phone. A SIM is required to activate an iPhone, but you can choose to take it out afterwards. The iPhone will still be able to connect via Wi-Fi, and cannot place calls or use text messaging (unless using iMessage). The iPhone 2G, 3G and 3GS use SIM cards, the iPhone 4 and 4S use a Micro SIM card, and the iPhone 5 uses a Nano SIM card.

 If this message is displayed, your device is currently trying to find a cell tower to connect to for service.

Now, moving on to some other icons that you may not be familiar with.

 This icon means that you have an alarm set. Alarms can be set or cancelled in the Clock app.

 This icon means that music is playing. It will only appear in iOS 6 and earlier.

 This icon means that an app is currently using your device's location if you have Location Services enabled.

             This icon appears if an app or service has used your location within the past day.

             This icon appears if an app is using a geofence around your location.

Geofences are perimeters set up around locations. Apps such as Reminders on iOS use these to send you location based notifications, such as when you are leaving or arriving at a location.

 This icon appears if your device is currently being synced, either wirelessly (iOS 5 or later) or when plugged in to iTunes.

 This icon means that iPhone is able to use a TTY device. This function is off by default, and if you want to turn it off or on, go to Settings > Phone > TTY.

 This icon means that Call Forwarding is set up. Go to Settings > Phone > Call Forwarding to adjust your settings.

This indicates that Do Not Disturb is enabled. Do Not Disturb is a feature in iOS 6 and later that silences calls and other notifications, and allows you to select who you accept notifications from or at what time you accept them.

 When your device is connected to a VPN, this icon will appear in the status bar. To configure VPN, go to Settings > General > VPN (near the bottom).

 This means that there is some activity going on in the network.

This icon indicates that AirPlay is in use.

 This icon appears when the device is on the lock screen. "Slide to unlock" or enter your passcode to unlock the device.

 This icon shows up when another device is connected to your personal hotspot. It will only appear in iOS 7 and later, and it is only present on the lock screen. It will have a number in the upper right of the icon indicating how many devices are connected to the hotspot (up to 5). You can manage Personal Hotspot by going to Settings > Personal Hotspot. In older iOS versions, go to Settings > General > Cellular > Personal Hotspot.

You may also notice that sometimes, your status bar is blue. This can be for a variety of reasons. If other devices are connecting to your iPhone using Personal Hotspot, that is one possible reason it would be blue. Another is if you are using the AirPlay feature.

The status bar may also appear red under certain circumstances, like if you are recording in GarageBand or if you are on a call in Skype (these are both downloadable apps). It is usually if the app is using VoIP (Voice over IP), though not always.

That's All
These are all icons that may appear at the top of the screen. Hopefully now, you are familiar with them. If you see any icon not listed here, chances are your device is jailbroken, and we do not support such devices on this site.



Article ID: AA1054

Overall User Rating: [128 RATINGS] • See the breakdown

Comments (92):

By Anonymous13 on 9/14/12 • Reply
Just the information I was looking for. Thanks. 

By Anonymous24 on 1/20/13 • Reply
My status bar has a symbol that wasn't defined. Can't believe I'm only one to have this that's commented. 

in response to Anonymous24
By AppleClubSupport on 1/20/13 • Reply

Thank you for reporting this. That icon next to the Bluetooth icon represents the battery level of your Bluetooth headset. We will add this to our article.

in response to AppleClubSupport
By Anonymous69 on 2/22/14 • Reply

This symbol does not show On mine

in response to AppleClubSupport
By Funky118 on 2/22/14 • Reply

But why does it look like a cigarette with a flame???

By Anonymous29 on 3/25/13Reply
Excellent help ...took awhile to find this good answer to my question

By Anonymous30 on 4/13/13Reply

Found exact answer I needed!!!! *****

Sent from my iPad

By Beltip on 5/03/13Reply
Found required info. very easily. Terrific and congrats to all involved.

Sent from my iPhone

By Anonymous31 on 5/04/13Reply
Excellent. TY.

By Anonymous32 on 5/10/13Reply
So that little circle that you said was 1G what does that mean exactly? My phones been weird all day. Wifi is working and on because my fiances phone works. But whenever I go to do something I get either my wifi, that little circle or 3G pop up. And half the time it'll say no Internet connection but yet our Internet is working!!!!! Help!!!!

Sent from my iPhone

By Anonymous34 on 5/20/13Reply
Excellent information! You learn something new everyday!

By Anonymous36 on 6/12/13Reply
big help this thing! 

By Anonymous39 on 7/13/13Reply
Just what I was looking for

Sent from my iPad

By Anonymous41 on 7/27/13Reply
I have the "new" iPad. Purchased it new last summer. It's WiFi only - no phone. Lately, it's been necessary for me to manually get onto my own home WiFi network. Also, the WiFi icon on the status bar is no longer there, even though I'm on my network. Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks

in response to Anonymous41

By AppleClubSupport on 7/27/1
Try going to the Wi-Fi menu in Settings, tap on the blue circle to the right of the name of your Wi-Fi network, and tap Forget this Network. The enter your password and re-join it, and see if it will reconnect automatically next time.

As for the status bar issue, maybe this will help:

in response to AppleClubSupport

By Anonymous41 on 7/28/13
Thank you! The reset did the trick. One last issue; I have 4 updates ready to install, but when I get to that page it stays blank. Again, your help would be greatly appreciated.

Sent from my iPhone

in response to Anonymous41

By AppleClubSupport on 7/28/13
Try quitting the App Store app and relaunching, per:

in response to AppleClubSupport

By Anonymous41 on 7/28/13
No luck when I quit the App Store. I closed the App Store app, went to the home screen and held the on/off button long enough for the home screen to reappear but still no luck updating the 4 apps. Still need help. Thanks!

in response to Anonymous41

By AppleClubSupport on 7/28/13
We have actually seen a lot of reports of this today. It seems Apple's servers are having an issue so just try again later, like tonight or tomorrow.

in response to AppleClubSupport 
By Anonymous41 on 7/28/13 • Reply 
Will do. Thank you! 
Sent from my iPhone

in response to Anonymous41

By AppleClubSupport on 7/28/13 • Reply 
No problem.
If that doesn't work, and/or you need further assistance, please fill out our Ask a Question form, and someone will help you out.

in response to AppleClubSupport

By Anonymous41 on 7/30/13
I was able to download the updates on Monday evening. Thank you for all the help you provided to me!

By Anonymous47 on 8/12/13Reply
Very informative

Sent from my iPhone

By Anonymous48 on 9/02/13Reply 
At last ,now I know what a couple of those symbols meant! 

Sent from my iPad 

By Anonymous49 on 9/03/13 • Reply
Very helpful, thanks.

Sent from my iPhone

By Anonymous51 on 9/20/13 • Reply
Just what I was looking for!

By Anonymous52 on 9/24/13 • Reply
Many thanks, this was most helpful. Now just need to work out my next steps.

By Anonymous55 on 10/06/13 • Reply
Answered my ??? Thanks

Sent from my iPhone

By Anonymous60 on 11/02/13 • Reply
Just exactly what I needed to know ( well I guess I did know in the past but had forgotten...) many thanks

By Anonymous61 on 11/03/13 • Reply
Great article answered all my questions 

Sent from my iPhone

By FL on 11/26/13 • Reply
That was easy- thanks!!

Sent from my iPhone

By Anonymous62 on 11/27/13 • Reply
Awesome! A great help. Really appreciate it.

Sent from my iPhone

By Anonymous63 on 11/28/13 • Reply
Thank You!!!  this was just what I was looking for… Just took me awhile to figure out where to find it! 

By Anonymous64 on 12/05/13 • Reply
Excellent, just what I needed

Sent from my iPhone

By Anonymous65 on 12/19/13 • Reply
It answered my question precisely and provided useful related information!

By Anonymous66 on 1/02/14 • Reply
Oh yeah real nice thanks for the article very informative

Sent from my iPhone

By A. Cardenas on 1/15/14 • Reply
Great help, very clear, answer my question

By JorgeAT on 2/05/14 • Reply
Great article !!
I have a extrange icon too is a litle spark like the charging one but my phone is unpluged can help me ?

By gregorgr8 on 2/27/14 • Reply
Thank you very much.

By Anonymous70 on 3/14/14 • Reply
What about the VPN icon?

Sent from my iPhone

By Miser on 3/16/14 • Reply
Well written, easy to follow!

By Anonymous71 on 4/15/14 • Reply
My wife’s iPhone 5C sometimes shows an “A” to the right of the carrier name (where you’d see data connection type—4G, 3G, E, o, etc.)  What does this mean?

in response to Anonymous71

By AppleClubSupport on 4/15/14 • Reply
We have received other reports here and there about letters in the status bar listed next to the carrier that are not one of the standard ones. For example, see This may be a change made by your carrier - who is your carrier?


in response to AppleClubSupport
By Anonymous71 on 4/15/14 • Reply
Carrier is T-Mobile (USA).

in response to Anonymous71

By AppleClubSupport on 4/15/14 • Reply
Thanks, we'll look into it.

By Natarajan@Dubai on 4/27/14 • Reply
Very good information.....covers all symbols
Keep it up

By Bperalta on 5/08/14 • Reply
This was a very helpful site! I found exactly what I was looking for and learned a few things. Great resource!

By Anonymous72 on 5/20/14 • Reply

Sent from my iPhone

By Otis on 5/29/14 • Reply
Great info! Now I can go back to tending to my goats.

By dbprojectmanager on 6/19/14 • Reply
Outstanding and very informative

By Brenda on 7/12/14 • Reply
Awesome site

By dac65 on 7/20/14 • Reply
Easy to read, easy to understand. Well thought out.

By Layla on 9/08/14 • Reply
Very helpful thanks!!!

By Gratitude on 9/11/14 • Reply
Thank you!!

By sol2014 on 9/23/14 • Reply
I have an Iphone 5C. In the last few days, i have advised that the network icon in the status bar is always showing rotating, as if the network is being used. I know this icon rotates while you are browsing the internet, but this is happening while in the Home page, where you see all the apps in your phone.  

in response to sol2014
By AppleClubSupport on 9/23/14 • Reply
Hi sol2014,

If you have automatic updates turned on, it is possible that an app is being updated. If it seems to be happening non-stop, then you can try rebooting your phone, and if that doesn't solve it, you can try going to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. Hopefully that clears it up for you.

By Msmel1 on 10/15/14 • Reply
Thank you for helping me. It was so nice to be able to fix my problem without having to ask my husband or children! This  article was very helpful and easy to find the answers!

By emmiekay on 10/15/14 • Reply
thank you, easy fix a to a question I had about my iPhone 

By Zims girl on 11/04/14 • Reply
Found it thanks so much !!!

By HezzieQ on 11/13/14 • Reply
Just what I was looking for re GPRS symbol. 

By Anonymous on 12/28/14 • Reply
Sometimes 1x appears instead of 3G/4G. What does that mean? 

in response to Anonymous
By AppleClubSupport on 12/28/14 • Reply
I suspect that your carrier is either Verizon or Sprint. "1x," short for 1xRTT, is the CDMA carrier equivalent of GPRS (which is essentially "1G").

By iphoneuser on 1/05/15 • Reply
found answer to what Call Forwarding icon was. Somehow the icon appeared after an application update. This article explained what icon was and how to turn it off. Thanks!

By 😄regina on 1/24/15 • Reply
Great info!! Just what I needed 😃

By fire_ant on 2/17/15 • Reply
I'd convinced myself that my phone had been hacked! This clear and excellent article brought my anxiety down to a manageable level. I am forever grateful!

By Trish on 3/30/15 • Reply
I have a symbol that I don't understand: it looks like the handset of a phone with an arrow pointing away from it, to the right. Any ideas?

in response to Trish
By AppleClubSupport on 3/30/15 • Reply
From the article:

 This icon means that Call Forwarding is set up. Go to Settings > Phone > Call Forwarding to adjust your settings.

By ACS on 3/30/15 • Reply
Sometimes, in place of 3G, 4G, LTE, or Extended my phone displays 1x. The download speed is always really bad or non-existent when that happens. Can you explain?

in response to ACS
By AppleClubSupport on 3/30/15 • Reply
From the article:

 This small "o" means that you are on a GPRS connection. GPRS is even slower than EDGE. Essentially, GPRS is "1G." In iOS 7 and later, instead of the small circle, "GPRS" will be displayed. "1x" is the CDMA (i.e. Verizon, Sprint) equivalent to GPRS.

By Anonymous83 on 5/28/15 • Reply
Excellent site; answered my question as far as the phone symbol with arrow (which I now know means call-forwarding is turned on).

Thanks from a happy iPhone 4 user.

By woswald on 8/01/15 • Reply
Thank you, this was very helpful. It is important to know what these symbols on the phone are.

By marchare on 8/19/15 • Reply
Excellent. Concise and lucid. Best help forum I've seen.

By Alloneword on 9/06/15 • Reply
Nice work digging all the information out from a wide variety of sources!

By It's me on 9/14/15 • Reply
okay when I have the location off on my phone through settings, Can someone locate me even if we are on the same plan

By Wolflead6 on 9/18/15 • Reply
Nice article, very helpful. Thanks.

By sean on 11/11/15 • Reply
really great page gives me answers my queries every time

By THANKS! on 12/03/15 • Reply
I've had the phone for over 3 years, never saw this Icon, now I know. Thank you. Great help here.

By kt on 2/20/16 • Reply
my phone was silenced and I couldn't figure out why. There was a half moon icon on my screen and I didn't know what it meant. After reading this article I was able to unsilence my phone. Thanks!!!

By stark3923 on 2/25/16 • Reply
Exactly what I was looking for quick. Simple. Easy informative. Thank you for taking the time to write this blog. I appreciate you time and effort 

By Kjo on 3/28/16 • Reply
My mom has a symbol I cannot find the meaning for. It is located below the battery level symbol. It is a white line square with a small solid white square in the lower right corner.

By nkriticos on 4/14/16 • Reply
Very Helpful

By Kpf1233 on 4/25/16 • Reply
Great info....!!!!....wish I had found it sooner..!!....thank you...

By tuffduty on 5/09/16 • Reply
I was fortunate to be directed to your article, you answered my icon question plus I learned a lot of additional information. Very well written. I am still concerned that although I have used iPhones for years, I am sure that I am not aware of all the capabilities of the basic phone. Can anyone identify a comprehensive tutorial for the iPhone 6 and latest iOS? I suppose there should be an app for that.

in response to tuffduty
By AppleClubSupport on 5/09/16 • Reply
You can get some basic information from the "Tips" app which is built-in to iOS. If you go to the bookmarks in Safari, the user guide has already been bookmarked for you. Also, you can see our own guide here: Guide to Built-In Apps on iOS.

By GentleMe on 6/03/16 • Reply
Very helpful. Thanks

By Cabot,AR Iphone/Mac user on 6/11/16 • Reply
Thanks for the info--just what I needed.

By Ipoop on 6/17/16 • Reply
That tty icon was driving me crazy, couldn't figure it out without this 

By Steve on 8/20/16 • Reply
The icon that looks like two triangles on top of each other with lines coming to the left just appeared on my iPhone. What does it mean?

By Harry on 9/13/16 • Reply
Very helpful thanks

By gypsiegrrl on 10/05/16 • Reply
Very helpful. Thank you

By MidnightDawn on 11/14/16 • Reply
Exactly what I wanted. Thanks

By Cuchie on 1/30/17 • Reply
Awesome information thank you so very much