What is the Orange Dot on my iPhone? [All You Need To Know]

Velina Nenova
Velina Nenova

Updated · Oct 16, 2022


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If you’re an Apple user and your system is older than iOS 14, you occasionally see orange or green dots at the top of your device’s screen. When first seeing them, you may be confused and ask yourself, what is the orange dot on my iPhone?

Worry not - you’re in the right place.

This article will review the meaning of the colored dots, what to expect when you see them, and how to customize them.

Let’s get started!

What Is The Orange Dot On My iPhone? 

The colored dots are a privacy feature. They alert you when an application uses your device's camera or microphone

But where do they appear, and what do they show you?

  • The tiny orange dot appears above the signal bar of your iPhone when an app uses your mic.
  • The green dot will show in the same place and indicates that your camera is active.

They look like this:

orange dot on top of iPhone's display green dot on top of iPhone's display

But how can you check which app is using them, and why is it important?

Let’s see!

Checking Which Apps Have Access To Your Microphone

Let's review the primary reasons an orange dot on your iPhone appears.

  • Siri is open 
  • Active phone call 
  • FaceTiming someone
  • Using voice memos
  • Using voice-to-text 

Likewise, the green dot activates when you:

  • Use the camera
  • Make an Instagram story
  • Open Snapchat 
  • When taking pictures or videos on social media 

The two dots don’t appear at the same time. Only the green indicator will show if you use your camera and microphone simultaneously.

But where can you check which apps are using your mic and cam when you see the green or orange dot on the top of your iPhone screen?

Let’s see!

Simply open the Control center, and you will see the app's name at the top of your screen.

Voice memos using the microphone The camera app using the camera

Having reviewed what these dots mean and how you can check which apps use your phone elements, let’s now explore why this is important.

Do The Indicator Lights Matter?

They aren’t just some random feature - they’re here for a good reason. 

Let me explain.

Seeing the green or orange dot at the top of your iPhone screen isn’t something particularly scary. 

However, the primary purpose of the indicator lights is to give a heads-up to Apple’s users when their microphones and cameras are in use.

And what if some apps didn’t ask for permission to use them but still gained access. 

In this case, when you see the indicator, check which application is using them. If it’s unfamiliar, you can go to Settings and disable the access. More on this shortly. 

As some apps may use your microphone for advertisement purposes, the orange light on your iPhone can help catch them.

What Can You Do to Prevent That?

You need to pay great attention to which apps you give your consent to use your mic or cam.

Before you grant access, ask yourself if the application really needs it. If that's not the case, don’t grant permission.

For example, if you want to use WhatsApp, it’ll need access to your microphone or camera.

But if you want to be extra safe, you can toggle access to an app when using it. This can be a little frustrating if you use it all the time.

You can also check the app’s privacy policy and see if there is any indication that it collects your data. Doing so informs you whether or not they gather information and how they use it. It’s best not to download an app if you don’t like what you’ve read or if the policy lacks related details. 

Can You Disable It?

Apple is widely known to emphasize privacy, and as such, you can’t turn off the orange dot on your iPhone.

However, if you have trouble differentiating between colors, there is an option to change the indicator's appearance.

You can quickly achieve this by: 

  1. Open Settings
  2. Scroll down
  3. Select Accessibility
  4. Click on Display & Text Size
  5. Enable Differentiate Without Color

Accessibility in iOS settings Display & Text size in Accessibility

Differentiate without colour button

And now, the orange circle on your iPhone screen should be an orange square.

orange square on top of an iPhone's display

That's it, you’re all done, and hopefully, the square figure is more easily discernible. 

Let’s now review how to enable and disable access to the apps.

Controlling Apps Access 

It’s important to know how to control apps’ access to your microphone and camera.

The steps are straightforward and won’t take much of your time.

  1. Open Settings
  2. Scroll down
  3. Select Privacy

Settings in iPhone's menu Privacy options in the settings tab

4. Click on Microphone or Camera

5. Review which apps have access 

6. Toggle the switch for those you wish to enable/disable access.

Selecting the microphone or camera Choosing apps that can access the microphone

You now know how to enable and disable your microphone and camera access.

Wrap Up 

Overall, the indicator lights are a privacy feature that provides a warning when an application is using your microphone or camera.

If you’re not sure which app is using them, you can always check. And if the app is unfamiliar or suspect, you can toggle off its access to your mic or cam.

This article showed you what the dots mean, why they are essential, and how to customize them.

With such an understanding, you no longer have to ask yourself, what is the orange dot on my iPhone.


How do I get rid of the orange dot on my iPhone?

Open the Control center, see which app is using your mic, and close it.

Does the orange dot mean someone is listening?

No, it means that an app is using your mic.

Should I be worried about the orange dot on my iPhone?

If you find an unfamiliar or suspect app accessing your mic, follow this article's instructions to disable it.


Velina Nenova

Velina Nenova

Velina describes herself as passionate media savvy and a versatile individual with numerous different interests, most a result of her Media & Communications BA. She has also developed a keen interest in Digital Marketing and Advertising. Her never-ending desire to constantly learn new things and enrich herself and her ultimate dream to go around the globe before 45 are her driving forces.

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