Understanding the coloured dots on your iPhone

Ever noticed a green dot on your iPhone? Before you dash to the Apple store to find out what’s going on, we’ve got all the info you need. All models after the iPhone 14 have a status bar on the top right corner that tells you when an app’s using your phone’s camera or microphone. They can turn orange or green, depending on which is being used. This nifty little security feature is there to keep you in the loop, so you’ll know what your apps have been up to. This way, you’ll know you have complete privacy all the time.


Orange and green: what do they mean?

The orange and green lights are a great way to get peace of mind as you’re going about your daily life. If you see the orange dot on your iPhone, that means the microphone is being used and the green one means it’s using your phone’s camera or both the camera and mic. But which app is it? Swipe down on the upper right corner and you’ll see a “privacy” heading, tap it and it’ll tell you which app is using the camera or microphone.


You have complete control

You can tell every app you install what it’s allowed to access on your phone, so if doesn’t need to use the camera, just take the permissions away. There are a couple of ways to do this, the easiest being to click “deny” when you open the app for the first time, and it asks you if it can use the camera or mic. But if that ship’s sailed already, you could change it in the settings menu.


  • 1

    Open ‘Settings’.

  • 2

    Tap ‘Privacy’.

  • 3

    Click on the microphone or camera and a list of all the apps you’ve downloaded will appear with toggles next to them.

  • 4

    Turn the toggle off on any that you don’t want to use your camera or mic.

  • 5

    If there are some you want to give permissions to, turn the toggle on.


A neat little trick

Tech has taken over the world and we all use smart devices every day, but Apple are always coming up with new ideas to keep your phone safe and secure. These little dots have a big impact because they give you an insight into what your phone might be doing in the background. Ultimately, it means you have more control and awareness so you can stop your apps doing anything you don’t want them to. It’s a really good idea to have a look at your permissions and make sure they’re how you want them – that’ll get you away from scrolling for a few minutes.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does the orange dot mean on iPhone?

The orange dot means that an app is using your microphone.

2. What does the green dot mean on iPhone?

The green dot means that an app is using your camera and maybe your microphone, too.

3. How do I turn off the green dot on my iPhone?

As this is a privacy feature, there’s no way to turn these dots off other than to remove the app permissions. Once no apps are recording, you’ll have no green dots. If you prefer, you can change the dot to a square in your privacy settings, though.

4. Do the orange and green dots mean someone is spying on my phone?

The orange and green dots don’t mean anybody is spying on you, it just means an app is using your camera or microphone. This could be for several reasons, including if you’ve just unlocked your phone with facial recognition. The control is in your hands as you can remove permissions whenever you like.

5. Why does a green dot appear on my iPhone randomly?

The green dot appears on your iPhone whenever your camera has been used or is being used by an app. This could be for facial recognition or if you’ve just taken a new selfie for your socials. Once the app has stopped using your camera, it should go off. If it doesn’t, swipe down on the top right corner and look at the privacy heading – that’ll show you which app is using your camera, and you can change the settings to suit you.


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