How to read the iPhone Status Bar Icons

The iPhone’s status bar can give you a lot of information from a very small slice of the screen. Sometimes, the icons can be a little tricky to guess, if you haven’t read the manual. How many of us do that? Join us as we relay the manual to you, so you can look up the symbols that have been escaping you.

Even though many of the symbols are guessable, if not self-explanatory, there’ll always be one or two that will catch most of us out. For instance, I didn’t know that the circular icon next to the Wi-Fi icon was for network activity, which is used by some third-party apps to show an active process.


The following symbols are taken from the Apple user guide PDF that you can download from Apple’s website.

So without further ado, here’s the status icon legend for the iPhone:

Click for full size
Click for full size

While we’re on the topic of status bar, you should also know that the hidden Field Test mode allows you to check the true signal strength by displaying it as a number rather than the traditional signal bars. You can check this post for more details on how to enable the Field Test mode and read the signal strength number.