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iPhone Symbols – What The Hell Do They Mean?

by John Carroll on November 7, 2012

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If you own an iPhone, chances are you’ve seen a weird shape or a strange symbol on the display.

What do these things mean?

The answer is on the list below. If it’s not on the list… you’re probably holding an Android phone.

iPhone Status Icons

These pages are reproduced from Apples iPhone Users Guide.

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iPhone Symbols – What The Hell Do They Mean? was last modified: March 28th, 2016 by John Carroll
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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar 1 bob greene February 10, 2019 at 6:59 pm

How can I send (6) phots to my email address, all at once, at one time? thanks Bob


Avatar 2 Yvonne Day October 20, 2017 at 3:34 am

When I try taking a picture wth the camera a yellow sun like symbol appears with the focus won’t allow me to take picture. I have tried in all light exposures.


John Carroll 3 John Carroll October 31, 2017 at 9:45 pm

This icon allows you to Tap To Focus or Slide your finger up or down to change Exposure levels. This should in no way stop you from taking a picture. If this is happening, contact Apple Support. There are too many variables that might cause this and they are your best resource for an answer, – John


Avatar 4 maria September 25, 2017 at 11:53 pm

what does the blue exclamation mark with a circle next to one of my contacts name means .


John Carroll 5 John Carroll September 28, 2017 at 8:41 pm

Hi Maria – The blue circle next to the right of a call allows you to get more info about the call. It’s not an exclamation point, it’s an “i”. Tap it fpr more info – John


Avatar 6 Ann August 9, 2017 at 10:30 pm

What does the symbol – a small H with an up arrow and a down arrow below the H, next to my battery, mean?

When I switch to wifi it replaces this symbol but when battery runs low, wifi signal is replace with the H and arrows icon!!??


John Carroll 7 John Carroll August 18, 2017 at 3:16 pm

I believe this refers to the HSDPA network used by some carriers. Contact your carrier for accurate information.


Avatar 8 Romaine Amazeen September 18, 2016 at 10:37 am

What does a single or double rectangular box, page-looking thing mean? I keep getting these from time to time and I don’t know if it’s a compliment, an insult, or what?


John Carroll 9 John Carroll September 22, 2016 at 9:00 pm

Where is this appearing on the iPhone screen and under what circumdtances?


Avatar 10 kathy September 16, 2016 at 11:40 pm

what does the heart symbol with two slanted fingers on it mean? I only see this when I am texting


John Carroll 11 John Carroll September 18, 2016 at 12:58 am

in iOS 10, in Messaging, when you tap this icon is provides access to sending video and tap messages. Only way to really understand it is to start tapping 🙂


Avatar 12 Eleanor Flatow June 13, 2016 at 4:02 pm

I just powered my iphone up and I have the strangest screen. the screen is all black and It shows the power cord and then above the itunes icon. Any ideas what is wrong?


John Carroll 13 John Carroll June 13, 2016 at 8:48 pm

Hi Elanor – Something has happened to your iPhone and it probably needs to be placed in recovery mode in Recovery Mode. You need to follow the instructions here – Read the entire age before you attempt anything. If you are unsure you will be able to do this on your own, then go to your nearest Apple Store. Good luck with everything. – John


Avatar 14 Wendy March 18, 2016 at 10:19 pm

I have a half moon symbol on certain names by text messages. When I’ve looked all my do not disturbs are shutoff. Why on only a couple people?


John Carroll 15 John Carroll March 22, 2016 at 1:04 am

You have set Do Not Disturb for specific contacts. At the top of the Message thread for each person tap Details. Now, slide the Do No Disturb slider off for that person. – John


Avatar 16 Derick March 14, 2016 at 12:32 pm

My call symbol is upsidedown, Why?


John Carroll 17 John Carroll March 14, 2016 at 9:27 pm

Can you describe it exactly or send an image to Thanks. – John


Avatar 18 paul September 30, 2015 at 8:04 pm

Ive no WiFi on my ipad mini. When I click on it, it shows that the signals strong – but there’s a ‘symbol’ – a blue circle, with a blue exclamation mark in it. I’m guessing its a signal problem. Can anyone please help?


Avatar 19 Christopher September 1, 2015 at 9:26 am

What does the symbol with a phone upside down and a keyboard under it mean and how do I get rid of it plz email me if u need a picture I can send u one in a email plz reply asap


John Carroll 20 John Carroll September 2, 2015 at 8:35 am

It’s TTY for the hearing impaired. Go to Settings > Phone > and toggle TTY off.


Avatar 21 Dee August 27, 2015 at 8:02 am

What does a quarter moon and a clock type symbol mean when they are next to a text I received on my iPhone 5?


John Carroll 22 John Carroll August 27, 2015 at 12:11 pm

Go to Settings and tap Do Not Disturb. You probably have this checked ON for a scheduled period of time. Just turn them off and the symbols will disappear.


Avatar 23 Vicky Powell July 13, 2015 at 12:05 am

How do I unlock portrait orientation?


John Carroll 24 John Carroll July 13, 2015 at 12:08 am

Hi Vicky – Swipe the tool menu up from the bottom of the screen. Tap the lock icon. – John


Avatar 25 Mary January 5, 2015 at 4:27 am

What is a TTY machine and how do I get the symbol off my iPhone?


John Carroll 26 John Carroll January 5, 2015 at 4:45 am

TTY stands for teletypewriter and is used for communication over a telephone line, that is designed for use by persons with hearing or speech difficulties.

To turn it off, tap Settings > Phone and slide the TTY switch to the Off position.


Avatar 27 Sandy November 29, 2014 at 6:01 am

I just got the iPhone 6 plus, today and I’m trying to learn it ( I’m slow, sorry ) can you please tell me what the ❤️ Symbol means. So far I’ve only seen it in my pictures

Thank you for your time


John Carroll 28 John Carroll November 29, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Tap the heart symbol to make a photo a favorite. The first time you do this, a favorites album is created. After that, any image you mark as a favorite can be found in that album.


Avatar 29 Amanda July 13, 2014 at 2:15 am

My phone is on the portrait orantation. I can’t get it off can someone please help me.


John Carroll 30 John Carroll July 13, 2014 at 2:36 am

Hi Amanda – If your phone is running iOS 7… swipe up from the bottom of the screen and a translucent window will appear that lets you turn on and off many settings.
Look to the top right hand side where you’ll see a button with the icon of a lock with a circular arrow around it. This is the screen lock icon. It’s white when engaged. Tap it to release and the button will go back to black. Hope this helps – John


Avatar 31 Nicholas June 23, 2014 at 7:06 am

Finally the whole list. thank you for iphone symbols


Avatar 32 mary January 17, 2014 at 7:47 am

I have a blue circle with a slanted line through it next to a contact what does that mean?


John Carroll 33 John Carroll January 17, 2014 at 11:41 am

Is this on a Mac, iPhone or iPad… and what operating system is running?


Avatar 34 tony November 18, 2013 at 8:08 am

how do o turn off the portrait orientation ?


John Carroll 35 John Carroll November 18, 2013 at 8:15 am

Hi Tony – To unlock orientation, swipe up from the home screen to get the settings pane.Tap the last icon on the far-right that looks like a lock inside a circular arrow. Swipe down to get out of the settings pane. – John


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