Apple Watch has come a long way since its inception and now carries a number of features under the hood that powers its complex ecosystem. It can be overwhelming for new users to find all those symbols and icons in the Control Center and status bar. Here is a handy table on what icons and symbols mean in the Control Center and status bar on your Apple Watch.
Status Bar and Control Center Icons and Symbols Meaning
I have created a handy table that will make it easier to scan through and find the exact icon that you are looking for. I will keep updating this table over time as watchOS adds new features.
|Icons and Symbols
|What They Mean
|Cellular icon on Apple Watch Control Center that supports eSIM. Used to turn off/on cellular data.
|Wi-Fi icon in Control Center on Apple Watch. Used to toggle on/off Wi-Fi connectivity.
|Schooltime option is available on managed Apple Watches only. It limits features allowing users to focus.
|Pressing this button will ping your connected iPhone helping you to find/locate it in case you have lost sight of it.
|Allows you to check Apple Watch’s battery levels in percentage.
|Silent mode is on meaning you won’t receive notifications on Apple Watch.
|Apple Watch is locked and you need to enter passcode to unlock it.
|Water lock icon on Apple Watch which means touch screen has been disabled to avoid accidental taps due to water droplets. Turning the digital crown button unlocks the device and ejects water out speakers.
|DND mode is on meaning you will not receive notifications, calls, and the screen will not light up either. However, alarms set via Sleep Focus mode will still work. Tap to disable.
|Sleep focus is turned on which means you will not receive calls or notifications nor will the screen light up until your morning alarm goes off. Tap to disable.
|Game focus is turned on which works similarly to how other focus modes work. Tap to disable.
|Personal focus mode works similarly to other focus modes on iPhone and Watch. Tap to disable.
|Work focus mode is enabled on Watch. Tap to disable.
|Driving focus mode is enabled to help you stay focused on the road while driving. Notifications are silenced when it is turned on.
|Airplane mode is enabled on Apple Watch which means no cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity. Non-wireless features will still work that do not require an active internet connection.
|Theater mode is enabled on Apple Watch. The device will remain silent and display will not light up upon receiving notifications or calls.
|Workout monitor is enabled on Apple Watch. Tap on the icon and then swipe right to End the workout and view results. If the workout has ended but the icon is still visible, restart Watch.
|This means you have lost cellular network on your eSIM-supported Apple Watch.
|This means your Apple Watch is no longer connected to your Apple Watch. Move the two devices closer to each to re-establish the connection. Disable airplane mode if enabled to reconnect.
|This means your Apple Watch is connected to your iPhone.
|An app on Apple Watch is using GPS location services right now.
|A wireless process or some activity is running behind the scenes.
|Microphone is on or being used by an app.
|The number of green bars indicates the signal strength on Apple Watch with cellular connection. In watchOS, you may also see four (or less) green dots instead of bars.
|A music or radio app is playing audio. Tap on the icon to open Now Playing screen to control the playback.
|A phone call is being made and tapping on the icon will open the Phone app.
|Apple Maps is active and giving directions. Tap on the icon to open the Maps app to view or stop directions.
|Walkie-Talkie app is enabled which means other Watch users in the vicinity can connect and talk to you over it. Tap on the icon to speak back or close it.
|Turn on/off the flashlight. The entire screen will turn white and you can swipe to choose from three levels of brightness.
|Audio output icon on Apple Watch which means audio is being played either via speakers or Bluetooth.
|Use this feature to check if the headphone volume is too high for your ears. A potentially high volume may damage your ears and impair hearing capacity in the long run.
|Turn on/off Announce Notifications option. This will make Watch read aloud all notifications that make their way to your wrist.
|It means you have unread notifications. Swipe down from the top to view and interact with them.
|Apple Watch battery is low and needs to be recharged to avoid shut down.
|Apple Watch battery is being charged. The Watch is connected to the USB charger.
|This means you are using a 3rd-party app, like Google Maps, for navigation and that it is active right now.
|Info icon on Apple Watch. It means you need to tap on the i icon and reconnect the Watch with your iPhone again.
|Tapping on it will open the Activity app which is also available on your iPhone now.
|This represents how much you have moved during the day and is logged in the Activity app.
|This represents how much exercise you have done during the day and is logged in Activity app.
|Activity app in Apple Watch is asking you to stand more based on the number of hours you have set as a goal in the app.
|Passbook app icon that allows you to save and view tickets, cards, etc.
|This is the remote icon that allows you to control your Apple TV. Works only if you have Apple TV Remote app on your iPhone too.
|If you own iPhone and AirPods along with Apple Watch, you can announce calls and notifications using the Announce with Siri feature. You can listen to and respond to these notifications using Siri.
|Heart with an arrow through it
|We have not seen this icon but Apple Support thread has a theory. This icon means that Watch was unable to find a heartbeat. Causes may include loose worn Watch, water or sweat, or dust. Please tighten the strap after cleaning the sensor and hand and try again.
Apple Watch Icons and Symbols
Apple Watch is a complex system with many apps and features working hard to make your life easier. There are many icons and symbols that are unmarked in Apple Watch due to the tiny screen real estate making it hard for users to know what they do or mean. Hope the table above clears some air around common and not so common icons and symbols that one finds on Apple Watch and what they mean.