Ever been confused by the various colorful icons showing up at the top of your Apple Watch’s screen? We’ve been there, too. To fix that, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of all Apple Watch status icons and what they mean.

Green Lightning Icon

Apple Watch has two charging icons. The green lightning icon appears when the watch is charging.

Apple

Red Lightning Icon

The red lightning icon appears when the battery is low.

Apple

Green iPhone Icon

Apple Watch also has several icons that indicate a connection with your iPhone or any kind of active silent mode. The green iPhone icon indicates that your Apple Watch is connected to the iPhone.

Red iPhone Icon

The red iPhone with a strikethrough tells you that the Apple Watch has lost its connection with your iPhone.

Apple

Purple Moon Icon

The purple moon icon appears when your watch is in Do Not Disturb mode. That means that all calls and notifications are silenced.

Orange Mask Icon

The orange icon with two theater masks appears when your Apple Watch is in cinema mode. This mode prevents the watch’s display from turning on unless you tap the screen or hit one of the buttons. As the name suggests, it’s ideal for use in theaters.

Teal Bed Icon

The teal bed icon indicates that your Apple Watch is in bedtime mode. In this state, the watch face changes to a large digital clock and the display is dimmed to avoid waking you up.

Wi-Fi Icon

Network icons on the Apple Watch will tell you whether the watch is connected to the internet. The most common symbol is the blue Wi-Fi indicator. This appears when your Apple Watch isn’t connected to your iPhone but has connected to the Wi-Fi network.

You’re likely to see the Wi-Fi icon when your iPhone is switched off and your watch is connected to Wi-Fi. It shows up when you open the Control Center, which you can do by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. Your Wi-Fi SSID (the name of your Wi-Fi network) appears next to the icon.

Airplane Icon

If you choose to disable all network connections by putting the watch in airplane mode, you’ll see an orange airplane icon above the watch face.

Green Dots

Those of you with a GPS+Cellular Apple Watch variant will see some icons that highlight signal strength. Like the Wi-Fi icon, the cellular signal strength icon appears in the Control Center. Five green dots means that you have full signal strength.

Apple

Red X Icon

In case your Apple Watch loses connection to cellular networks, you’ll see a red X icon on your watch face.

Apple

Purple Arrow Icon

The Apple Watch is also pretty good at telling you when your GPS location data or microphone is being used. When you open the Control Center, you’ll see a purple arrow icon if any Apple Watch app is accessing your location.

Apple

Orange Microphone Icon

The orange microphone icon tells you that an app is using the mic on your Apple Watch. You’ll see this icon frequently if you use Siri on the Apple Watch. If you don’t want to use it, you can easily disable Siri on the watch.

Apple

Apple Maps Icon

Map apps need your location data to give directions. The Apple Watch uses different icons to tell you that a navigation app is directing you. If you’re using Apple Maps, you’ll see an icon that resembles the app’s logo. Tapping this icon will open Apple Maps on the Apple Watch.

Right Arrow Icon

On the other hand, if you use any other app for navigation on the Apple Watch, you’ll see a generic right arrow icon.

Apple

Red Dot Icon

The red dot icon simply tells you that you have unread notifications on the Apple Watch. You can quickly clear all notifications to get rid of the red dot icon.

RELATED: How to Quickly Clear All Notifications on Apple Watch

Blue Lock Icon

The Apple Watch also has a couple of neat lock icons to tell you that your Apple Watch is locked. The blue padlock means that your Apple Watch is locked. It will go away when you unlock the watch.

Apple

Teal Water Drop Icon

The teal water drop icon tells you that the water lock is enabled on the Apple Watch. This usually happens when you immerse your watch in water. To prevent accidental input, the Apple Watch doesn’t respond to taps on the display when the water lock is engaged.

Apple

You can disable the water lock by rotating the Digital Crown (the circular button on the side of your Apple Watch).

Running Person Icon

When you start any workout on the Apple Watch, you’ll see a bright green icon of a running person on the screen. You can tap this icon to open the Workout app. You can hide the workout icon by ending your workout.

Apple

Walkie Talkie Icon

Apple Watch has a nifty Walkie Talkie feature that lets you talk to other people who have the watch. If this is enabled, you’ll see a yellow Walkie Talkie icon above the watch face.

Advertisement

You can open the Control Center and turn off Walkie Talkie to hide this icon.

Play Button Icon

Finally, the Now Playing icon (the red play button in a white circle) shows up whenever you’re playing music, either using your iPhone or Apple Watch. Tapping it opens the Now Playing view on the Apple Watch, and you can pause the music to hide the icon. If you don’t want to use the Now Playing screen on Apple Watch, you can disable it quickly.

That covers all the status icons on the Apple Watch. You should also try customizing the Control Center on your Apple Watch to make it easy to enable or disable some of these status icons.

RELATED: How to Customize Your Apple Watch's Control Center

Pranay Parab Pranay Parab
Pranay Parab has been a technology journalist for over 10 years, during which time he's written well over 500 tutorials, and covered everything from social media apps to enterprise software. Pranay lives in Mumbai, India, and keeps traveling around the country and the world.
Read Full Bio »

The above article may contain affiliate links, which help support How-To Geek.