Recently, I received a question from Teresa who emailed:
“What does the little orange dot in the upper right corner of my iPhone mean?”
The orange and green dots you see at the top of the screen are part of an enhanced privacy and security update for iOS 14 or later. Learn more below about what these notification dots mean, not only for iPhone but also for Android.
What does it mean if you see an orange dot at the top of your iPhone?
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When an orange dot appears in the upper right corner of the screen – just above your cell signal bar – it means an app is using your iPhone microphone.
It could be any third-party app, or even when you use your phone for basic functions like making calls, asking Siri for help, or whenever you dictate text messages to your friends and family using speech-to-text.
Which iPhone apps are using your microphone?
If you see orange dots, you can:
- Swipe down from the top right corner of the screen to show which apps are using your microphone
- You’ll see an orange icon at the top of the screen, next to the device
- In the example below, the application using the microphone is the iPhone
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What does it mean if you see a green dot at the top of your iPhone?
When a green dot appears in the upper right corner of the screen – just above your mobile phone bar – it means an app is using camera or camera with microphone on your phone.
Which iPhone apps are using your camera?
- As with orange dots, if you see green dots, you can:
- Swipe down from the top right corner of the screen to show which apps are using your camera or camera with microphone
- You’ll see a green icon at the top of the screen next to the device
- In the example below, the application using the camera is Facetime
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What does it mean if you see a green dot at the top of your Android device?
If you have Android 12 or higher, you’ll notice just a green dot indicator (no orange dot) in the upper right corner of the screen, which notifies you in the app when your phone’s camera or microphone is being used by someone else. When an app first accesses your camera or microphone, you’ll see a camera icon and a microphone icon, then it turns into a simple green dot. The dot will stay on as long as the app is using your microphone or camera.
Which Android apps are using your microphone or camera?
If you see a green dot, you can:
- Swipe down from the top of the screen to displaynotification bar
- Click on the green dot and you will see which apps are using your camera or microphone
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What if an app is using my microphone or camera and I can’t find it to delete the app?
If you notice that your microphone and/or camera are being used even if you don’t have any apps open, it could mean that the app has permission to use those features on your phone even though it’s not being used, or your phone might be disabled Hacked.
Click here to find step-by-step instructions to see which apps have access to your microphone or camera and when.
To avoid this altogether, consider adding antivirus software to your phone to ward off any malware.
Lock down your technology
My greatest wish is to educate and inform you of the increasing real threats to each of our connected devices, and to encourage you to use strong antivirus security for everything in your life that is connected to the rest of the world. The best way to protect yourself is to install antivirus software on your device.
Click the magnifying glass icon at the top of my site, search CyberGuy.com for “best antivirus” to see my expert reviews of the best antivirus protection for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices.
related: Free Antivirus: Should You Use It?
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Now that you know what those green and orange dots mean, what other questions do you have for us to answer? let us know. We’d love to hear from you.
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