A Complete Guide to Apple Watch (watchOS 6) Icon Meanings

The Apple Watch is a very feature-rich smartwatch. It can act as your bedside clock, show you notifications, take an ECG, and so much more. All of that’s good, and yet, with so much power comes a lot of complexity. Now, fortunately, Apple has done a really great job at making the Apple Watch an easy to understand and use device. However, watchOS 6 does have a lot of symbols and icons that can be very confusing. For example, what is that red dot on the top of the screen? What’s the weird four green dots?

Well, today we solve all of that. Here is a complete guide to every single Apple Watch icon and status symbol you’ll see in watchOS 6.

Apple Watch Icon Meanings

Apple Watch IconApple Watch Icon NameApple Watch Icon Meaning
red dot iconRed Dot IconYou have an unread notification
Walkie Talkie IconWalkie Talkie is enabled and your contacts can reach you via Walkie Talkie
Third Party Navigation IconAppears when a third party app is providing navigation
Maps IconAppears when Apple Maps is giving directions
Call IconActive phone call on Apple Watch or on the paired iPhone
Now Playing IconMedia playback. Tap on this to control playback and change volume
LTE Icon (Four Green Dots)Shows the signal strength on Apple Watch (GPS + Cellular) models.
Mic IconAudio is being recorded in the background
Activity Progress IconShows that a wireless activity is in progress, or an active process is happening.
WiFi IconAppears when Apple Watch is connected to WiFi
Location IndicatorAn app or watch face is accessing your location
Green iPhone IconPaired iPhone is within range and connected to Apple Watch
Red iPhone IconPaired iPhone is disconnected from Apple Watch.
Bring devices closer.
Turn off Airplane Mode (if on)
Restart your watch
Red Cross IconNo cellular network. This only shows up on cellular Apple Watch.
Workout Icon (Running Man)Active workout in progress. Tap on this to go to the workout screen in order to pause or end the workout, or see more details.
Theater Mode IconTheater Mode is enabled.
Apple Watch screen doesn't light up when you receive notifications; Always on Display is off.
Airplane Mode IconWatch is in airplane mode
Do Not Disturb IconWatch is in DND mode
Water Drop IconWatch is in 'Water Lock' mode. The screen doesn't respond to touches in this mode.
Rotate the Digital Crown to resume normal watch operation.
LockApple Watch is locked by a passcode
Red Flash (Lightning Bolt) IconApple Watch battery is low
Green Flash (Lightning Bolt) IconApple Watch is charging
Cellular Icon (Personal Hotspot Icon)Enable or disable LTE
WiFi Icon (Control Center)Toggles WiFi on/off
Ping iPhone IconTap to make iPhone beep.
Long press to make iPhone beep and flash the LED.
Battery Percentage IconShows remaining battery. Tap to put watch in Power Reserve mode.
Bell IconToggles Silent and Normal modes
FlashlightTurn on flashlight or strobe light
AirPlay IconChoose audio output for Apple Watch media

Always Know What Your Watch Is Telling You

Now that you know the meaning of all the Apple Watch icons in watchOS 6, the next time you see one of these pop up on your screen, you will know exactly what it means and what you should (or can) do about it. In some cases, you can actually disable the icons as well if they are too annoying to you. For example, you can disable the red dot icon in Apple Watch.

So, how many of these icons did you know about? Let me know in the comments.

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