In iOS 14 and later Apple includes a microphone indicator on the iPhone. Here’s what it means.
Wondering “what is the orange dot on my iPhone?” You’re not alone. It’s a dot you could see quite often, depending on the apps you use – and it’s one you shouldn’t ignore.
These indicators are useful because they will tip you off that an app is accessing these services. Obviously, if an app can access your mic or camera, it could potentially hear or see what you are doing.
That’s why the orange dot on your iPhone is so important. This orange dot is the microphone indicator, and it lets you know when your mic is being accessed or has recently been accessed.
What is The Orange Dot on My iPhone?
The orange dot on your iPhone appears when your microphone is being accessed by an app – or has recently been accessed. It is there to show you when an application is accessing your iPhone’s microphone. For this reason, it can be considered a security/privacy feature of Apple’s iOS software.
Now don’t freak out – if you see the orange dot it’s just an alert that your microphone is being accessed. However, on iOS apps can only access your microphone if you’ve previously granted them access to do so.
This means that if you see the orange dot on your iPhone, it’s likely an app that you have previously given access to your microphone is accessing it. This could be for completely benign reasons – and it often is.
Some examples where you might see the orange dot on your iPhone:
- When Shazaming a song.
- When using a voice calling app like FaceTime, WhatsApp, or Zoom.
- When using any kind of recording app.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it gives you an idea of what types of apps will trigger the orange dot. Keep in mind, these apps will only trigger the orange dot if they are actively using the microphone – not if you’ve only granted them access to it.
Orange Dot On iPhone: How To Tell Which App Is Triggering It
The orange dot on your iPhone will appear when an app accesses your microphone. But on your home screen, all you’ll see is the orange dot. So how do you tell which app is causing the orange dot to appear?
- When you see the orange dot on your iPhone, it means an app is accessing the microphone.
- Swipe down to access Control Center (or up if you are on an iPhone with Touch ID).
- At the top of Control Center, you’ll see an orange dot indicator with the name of the app that triggered it.
That’s how you can tell which app triggered the orange dot.
Orange Dot On iPhone: How To Revoke Microphone Access
As already stated, the orange dot is just an indicator light that tells you an app is accessing your microphone. And many times this is because the app needs to perform a critical function (such as making a voice call).
However, if you’ve given an app access to your microphone, it can theoretically access the mic any time it wants – this is why the orange dot is so important. It alerts you when an app is accessing your microphone. And if the app is when it has no reason to, you would probably revoke the app’s access to the microphone. Here’s how:
- Once you know which app is causing the orange dot to appear and you’ve concluded the app should not be accessing your microphone at that time, you’ll want to revoke access to the microphone. So first, tap the Settings app.
- Tap Privacy.
- Tap Microphone. Here you’ll see a list of all apps you have given microphone access.
- Now find the app in the list that you want to revoke microphone access from and tap the toggle to OFF (so it switches from green to WHITE).
And that’s it! You’ve now successfully revoked that app’s access to your microphone. Also, be sure to check out how to turn off Find My iPhone.
And check out Which iPhone 13 Should I Get?
Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.