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What Do Various Icons Mean in Control Center on iPhone

by Mehvish
Control Center Icons Meaning

The iPhone’s Control Center is beneficial because it allows users to quickly access and manage important settings and apps from any screen. You can adjust the brightness, manage media volume, enable or disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, make notes, and much more. The only drawback is that the Control Center only displays icons without the text labels. Many users are perplexed because they don’t know what each icon represents. If you are one of them who wants to know the meaning of Control Center icons on iPhone, this post shall help you.

Network Card

The first card in the Control Center holds the network icons like airplane mode, mobile data, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirDrop, and Personal Hotspot.

Airplane Icon

The airplane icon allows users to enable or disable the Airplane mode. When it is grayed out, it means that the airplane mode is turned off. When it’s orange, it means the airplane mode is activated.

Control Center Airplane Icon

For the unaware, the airplane mode turns off all connectivity on your iPhone and iPad. You can, however, enable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when airplane mode is turned on. The airplane mode also helps in troubleshooting connectivity issues on iPhone and saving battery life.

Tower Icon

Tap on the tower icon if you want your device to use cellular data. Basically, it’s used to turn mobile data on or off. When enabled, the icon will be highlighted green.

Control Center Mobile Data Icon

Wi-Fi Icon

As obvious, the Wi-Fi icon lets you quickly turn Wi-Fi on or off. When enabled, the Wi-Fi icon will turn blue.

Control Center Wi-Fi Icon

To switch to a different Wi-Fi network, touch and hold the Wi-Fi icon or any other icon in the network panel. Then, tap and hold the Wi-Fi icon to see the list of available Wi-Fi networks. Tap on a network to connect to it. Press the Wi-Fi settings button to view the Wi-Fi settings.

Control Center Wi-Fi Settings Icon

Bluetooth Icon

Right next to the Wi-Fi icon, you get the Bluetooth icon. Tap on it to enable or disable Bluetooth on your phone. When the icon is highlighted blue, it means Bluetooth is on and available to pair. Please note that it doesn’t mean that your iPhone is connected to any Bluetooth device.

Control Center Bluetooth

To see and connect to a Bluetooth device, tap and hold the network panel to expand it. Then, long touch the Bluetooth icon and connect to the desired device.

Control Center Bluetooth Settings

AirDrop and Personal Hotspot

Long touch the network panel to expand it where you will see the AirDrop and Personal Hotspot icons. Use them to enable or disable the associated settings. Or, press and hold these icons to reveal more options.

Control Center AirDrop Hotspot Icons

Now Playing

The Now playing box lets you control what’s playing on your iPhone from the Apple Music app or third-party apps like Spotify. You can pause, play, and skip between the songs.

Control Center Now Playing

Long touch the Now playing card to view the full playback controls from where you can change the media volume, play via another device by tapping on the Airplay icon, or open the currently playing app by pressing the Album art thumbnail.

Orientation Icon

Generally, if you rotate your iPhone, its orientation will automatically change from portrait to landscape mode. But if you want to restrict the phone to portrait mode such that it doesn’t rotate automatically, you must enable the orientation lock. You can do it by pressing this icon in Control Center. The icon will turn red when the orientation lock is turned on. Tap on it again to allow your phone to rotate.

Control Center Orientation Lock

Two Boxes Icon

The two boxes icon represents screen mirroring. It allows you to mirror your iPhone or iPad to a supported device like Apple TV. Tap on the icon to see the available devices. Then tap on the device you want to mirror your iPhone to. Tap on the icon again to disable screen mirroring.

Control Center Screen Mirror

Moon Icon

In iPhones running iOS 14 and older, the moon icon allowed users to enable or disable Do not disturb mode. With iOS 15, the moon icon lets you enable or disable the last active Focus mode. Know more about Focus modes on iPhone. Long touch the icon to see the available Focus modes such as Do not disturb, Driving, Work, etc. Tap on the mode that you want to enable.

Control Center Focus

Brightness Slider

Swipe up or down on the brightness slider to increase or decrease your iPhone’s screen brightness. You may also long touch on the brightness slider to access more icons like Dark mode and Nightshift. Tap on them to enable or disable them.

Control Center Brightness

Volume Slider

Next to the brightness slider, you have the volume slider. Move it up or down to adjust the media volume on your iPhone. Please note that this slider doesn’t affect the volume of notifications or ringtone on your iPhone.

Control Center Volume

Clock Icon

Tap on the clock icon to open the Timer screen in the Apple Clock app or long-touch the icon to quickly start a timer without having to open the app.

Control Center Timer Icon

Calculator Icon

Use the calculator icon to open the Calculator app from Control Center or long-press it to copy the last result.  

Control Center Calculator

Camera Icon

The camera icon lets you open the Camera app quickly by pressing it once. Alternatively, long-press the Camera icon to access options like selfie, record video, take a photo, and record slo-mo.

Control Center Camera

NFC Tag Reader Icon

The icon having multiple brackets or vibrations represents the NFC tag reader. Tap on it and hold the phone near an NFC tag to read NFC tags on iPhone.

Control Center NFC

QR Code Icon

As expected, this icon lets you scan a QR code from your iPhone. Check out how to scan a QR code from an image on iPhone.

Control Center QR Code

Waves With a Search Icon

This icon represents Sound recognition and allows you to enable sound recognition for fire alarms, sirens, smoke alarms, and more. Tap on the icon to see the available sounds and press the sound that you want to enable.  

Control Center Sound Recognition

Person in a Circle

This icon represents accessibility and grants access to the accessibility shortcuts enabled on your phone. You can check that via Settings > Accessibility > Accessibility shortcuts.

Control Center Accessibility

Highlighted Dot in a Circle

Tap on this icon to start screen recording on your iPhone. Or, long touch the icon to send the screen recording to an app different than the Photos. You will also find the Microphone icon that allows users to record audio while screen recording.

Control Center Screen Recording

Ear Icon

The ear icon performs two functions. Firstly, it lets you enable or disable background sounds on your iPhone. Secondly, you can use it to activate the Live listen feature that essentially turns your iPhone into a microphone for your AirPods or Beats earpods.

Control Center Hearing

Torch Icon

Press the icon to enable or disable the flashlight on your iPhone. You can also long-press the Flashlight icon to adjust the flashlight brightness. In case the flashlight isn’t working on your iPhone, check out various ways to fix the flashlight.

Control Center Flashlight

Alarm Icon

Tap on the Alarm icon to open the alarm screen in the Apple Clock app from where you can create or modify existing alarms.

Control Center Alarm

Remote Control Icon

This icon provides a digital version of Apple TV’s remote that you can use to control your Apple TV.

Control Center Apple TV

Dark Mode

Use the dark mode icon to switch from light to dark mode and vice versa. When the dark mode is enabled, the icon will turn black.

Control Center Dark mode

Lock in a Dotted Box

This icon lets users enable Guided access on their iPhone. Guided access is an accessibility setting that allows you to limit your device to a single app. Tap on the icon to enable and customize Guided access.

Control Center Guided Access

Home Icon

The home icon takes you to the Home app which lets you view and control the connected accessories like lights. You can also set up automation using this app.

Control Center Home Automation

Battery Icon

Tap on the battery icon to enable or disable Low power mode on your iPhone. When enabled, the icon will turn yellow.

Control Center Low Power Mode

Search Icon With Plus Sign

This icon allows users to open the pre-installed magnifier tool quickly from Control Center.

Control Center Magnifier

S Icon

Want to identify a song playing nearby? Tap the Music recognition icon to find out what’s playing, This feature uses Shazam to identify the music. Long-press the icon to view the history of songs that have been identified.

Control Center Music Recognition

Notes Icon

This icon lets you quickly create a note in the Apple Notes app. Alternatively, long-press the Notes icon to choose from different options like new notes, a new checklist, a new photo, or the ability to scan a document.

Control Center New Note


The stopwatch icon will take you to the stopwatch mode in the Apple Clock app.

Control Center Stop Watch

aA Icon

This icon allows you to change the text size on your iPhone. To access the text size slider, tap on the icon. It also lets you choose whether to change the text size for the app from which Control Center was launched or for all apps.

Control Center Text Size Slider


The waves icon will take you to the Apple Voice memo app from where you can record or listen to a voice memo.

Control Center Voice Memo


Tapping on the wallet icon will open the Wallet app from where you can access Apple Pay and use it for payments.

Control Center Wallet

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How to Access Control Center?

You can access Control Center by swiping up from the bottom edge of your iPhone. Check out other ways to access Control Center on iPhone.

2. How to Customize Control Center?

You can add, remove, and rearrange icons from Control Center by going to Settings > Control Center.

3. How to Disable Control Center From Apps?

If you want to access Control Center only from the home screen and not from apps, you can turn it off in the apps. Go to Settings > Control Center. Turn off the toggle next to Access within apps.

Meaning of Social Media Icons

Hope you understood the meaning of all Control Center icons. If you use social media, check out the meaning of various icons on WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and Discord.

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