Why Is There a Red Dot on My iPhone?

Have you ever noticed a mysterious red dot on your iPhone screen and wondered what it means? You’re not alone. The appearance of this red dot on iPhone has stumped many users, leaving them confused about its purpose and how to remove it. In this article, we’ll uncover the meaning behind the iPhone red dot on phone icon and explain what that red dot on your iPhone screen signifies. 

We’ll also provide steps to turn off red dot iPhone if it’s bothering you. By the end, you’ll understand exactly why that red dot on iPhone shows up and how to dismiss it so your screen remains dot-free. Whether you find it helpful or annoying, the red dot on iPhone tries to deliver useful alerts – once you know its intent, you can decide if you want it around.

The Notification Badge

One of the most common reasons for a red dot on an iPhone is to indicate that you have unread notifications. Apps like Messages, Mail, Facebook, Instagram, and many others use these notification badges to alert you when there is some sort of update. The red badge will appear on the app icon and remain there until you open the app and view whatever messages or notifications are waiting for you. Once you’ve cleared them out, the badge disappears.

This is useful feedback that keeps you informed without being too intrusive. At a glance, you can see which apps have pending notifications. It’s an easy way to separate the apps that need your attention from the ones you can ignore for now. Some people find these persistent red badges annoying, but they can be disabled in the settings for each app. If you want to keep the badges, just remember that a red dot means open the app and check your notifications!

The Notification Badge

Low Battery

Another reason for a red dot on your iPhone is to indicate low battery. As your battery level drops below 20%, a red battery icon will appear in the top right corner of the screen. This serves as a warning that your battery is running low and you need to charge soon.

Unlike the notification badges, the low battery indicator is not an app icon. It’s built into iOS and can’t be removed. The red battery icon will remain there steadily draining, serving as a constant reminder to plug in your phone. If you continue to ignore it, your iPhone will eventually go into low power mode to conserve the last bit of battery life.

So when that red battery icon pops up, take it as a sign to wrap up your current task and find a power source. The red dot is trying to save you from the dreaded sudden shutdown when the battery dies!

Recording Indicator

If you ever see a red bar across the top of your screen, this indicates that your screen or camera is being recorded. Applications like Voice Memos or the iOS Screen Recording function will trigger this indicator.

When you start recording your screen or camera video, the red bar provides a very clear visual that recording is underway. No more accidental recordings! The color red is universally associated with stopping and caution, so this is a perfect application.

As soon as you stop the recording, the bright red bar will disappear from sight. This is a helpful way to know if you are capturing video or audio. So if you spontaneously see the red bar, chances are you accidentally started recording something! Toggle it off and continue on.

Emergency Calls Only

In some circumstances, primarily when there is no cellular service available, your iPhone may display a red bar with “Emergency Calls Only” in white letters. This is indicating that you only have the ability to make emergency calls, usually to 911.

You will see this when you are out of your provider’s service range and your phone loses connection to the cellular network. Since there is no way for it to connect regular calls, emergency calls through government channels are still available. This ensures that even without cellular service, you can still reach emergency services if needed.

The appearance of the red bar with “Emergency Calls Only” lets you know that you have very limited phone capabilities until you reconnect with the network. Time to put the phone away and enjoy the sights! The red signifies stoppage of regular service.

Safari Private Browsing

The Safari web browser also utilizes a red dot for private browsing mode. When you open a private browsing window, the Safari icon gains a red badge in the upper corner. This indicates that you are browsing privately and your history will not be saved once you close the tabs and windows.

The red dot appears as a notification, almost like the app badges for new messages. It remains there until you fully close Safari or turn private browsing off. This is a discreet but clear indicator that your browsing activity is currently private. No history or cookies are being stored.

So if you open Safari and see that red badge, it means you have private windows open. When the red goes away, Safari has returned to normal browsing mode.

Emergency Calls Only

Alarm Set for AM

One lesser-known use for the red dot involves the iPhone clock app. Within the Alarm section of the Clock app, you can set alarms for specific times. When an alarm is enabled, a small red dot will appear next to the time.

However, if you set an alarm for the PM hours, the dot will actually be blue instead of red! So when you look at your list of alarms, any ones set for the AM hours will display the red indicator dot. This provides a visual separation between morning and evening alarms.

It’s a subtle design choice, but the color coding can help you distinguish between AM and PM alarms with just a quick look. Red for morning, blue for night.

Ways to Fix Red Dot on Iphone Screen

There are a few ways to fix a red dot on the iPhone screen, depending on what is causing it:

If the red dot is next to the microphone icon:

  • Check to see if an app is using the microphone. If so, close the app or change the app’s permissions settings to prevent it from using the microphone.
  • Restart your iPhone.
  • Update your iPhone to the latest version of iOS.
  • If the red dot persists, contact Apple Support for assistance.

If the red dot is next to the camera icon:

  • Check to see if an app is using the camera. If so, close the app or change the app’s permissions settings to prevent it from using the camera.
  • Restart your iPhone.
  • Update your iPhone to the latest version of iOS.
  • If the red dot persists, contact Apple Support for assistance.

If the red dot is in another location on the screen:

  • Try restarting your iPhone.
  • Update your iPhone to the latest version of iOS.
  • Check to see if the red dot is associated with a particular app. If so, close the app or delete it.
  • If the red dot persists, contact Apple Support for assistance.

Ways to Fix Red Dot on Iphone Screen

Additional tips

  • If you’re not sure which app is using the microphone or camera, you can check in the Control Center. To do this, swipe down from the top right corner of the screen. If you see a green or orange dot next to the microphone or camera icon, it means that an app is using that feature.
  • You can also check your iPhone’s privacy settings to see which apps have permission to use the microphone and camera. To do this, go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Microphone and Camera.
  • If you’re concerned about privacy, you can disable the microphone and camera permissions for all apps. However, this will prevent you from using certain features, such as making phone calls, recording videos, and using voice assistants.

If you have tried all of the above and the red dot persists, it is possible that there is a hardware problem with your iPhone. In this case, you should contact Apple Support for further assistance.

In summary

Now that you know what’s behind the mysterious red dot on iPhone, you can decide whether to embrace its notifications or banish it from your screen. While some find the red dot on iPhone screen helpful for identifying missed alerts, others may find it distracting or unnecessary visual clutter. Whether you want that red dot on phone icon around or not, at least now you understand its purpose and how to turn off red dot iPhone if desired.

The next time you see that ominous red dot on your iPhone, you’ll no longer be puzzled – you’ll recognize it as a well-intentioned signpost trying to point out awaiting notifications. The iPhone app Store is where you can discover and download a wide range of apps to customize your iPhone, allowing you to tailor its functionality asd appearance to your liking. We hope this breakdown demystifies the iPhone red dot and helps you customize your iPhone to show only the visual alerts that work best for you and keep your screen decluttered.


Q: How do I get rid of the red dot on my iPhone?

A: The red dot is usually indicating a notification badge or low battery. For notification badges, open the app and view any unread messages. For low battery, charge your iPhone. Once the underlying issue is resolved, the red dot will disappear.

Q: Why is there a red dot on my iPhone camera icon?

A: The red dot on the camera app icon means you have unviewed notifications and alerts related to the camera. Open the camera app to view and clear any alerts to remove the red dot.

Q: Is my iPhone broken if there is a red dot?

A: No, a red dot does not necessarily mean your iPhone is broken. It is usually indicating notifications, low battery, recording status, or another status alert. It is part of the intended design and function.

Q: Can I permanently remove the red dot from my iPhone?

A: You cannot completely remove the low battery, recording, or emergency call red indicators, as they are built-in functions. But you can disable notification badges for individual apps in Settings if you do not like them.

Q: Why does my iPhone battery icon turn red?

A: When your iPhone battery level drops below 20%, the battery icon turns red to indicate it is critically low and needs to be charged immediately. This is a visual warning to charge soon before it shuts down.

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