What Does the Arrow Mean on iPhone? Understanding This Tiny Icon


By Jack Lin

Update on

What Does the Arrow Mean on iPhone
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Do you know what the arrow means on iPhone? You probably landed on this article as you want a clear answer.

So, we composed this article explaining it clearly for every reader.


The arrow indicator in the status bar is found on your iPhone. Basically, it indicates that a program is using the device’s location services. There are various meanings associated with each hue of the arrow.

This specific arrow can appear in different colors, and each color has a specific meaning to it.

If you are curious about what the arrow means on iPhone, this article got it covered for you. So, let’s go ahead and learn everything about this tiny arrow icon.

Besides, if you are facing the issue of ‘Face ID not working move iPhone lower,’ here are the detailed troubleshooting steps for you to follow up on.

So, What Does the Arrow Mean on iPhone?

When Location Services are enabled, a little arrow icon may display on your iPhone’s status bar. This will typically appear in black or white with a hollow center. For instance, apps like Camera, Maps, and weather apps use location services.

By allowing your iOS device to use Location Services, you may have it pinpoint your exact location. You can get the most precise location for your iPad or iPhone by using a combination of connections.

For instance, GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and mobile network data can be utilized for this. When you turn this feature off, it will be turned off in every app. That means none of the above apps will be able to find your location.

You may have to enable this feature if you use any apps that rely on this data. You can set up notifications based on your current location, for instance.

If you turn off Location Services, Find My iPhone also stops functioning. It’s possible that navigation apps won’t work unless you enable Location Services.

For specific programs, you can switch this on or off. Be aware that using Location Services could cause battery life to decrease.

Also, if you come across a situation where no location is found on your iPhone, here, you will find its causes and the nine solutions you can try to fix.

● The Arrow Appears in Gray Color

An app or a website on your iPhone is accessing your geolocation if you see a gray arrow icon. This appears in the corner of the screen while you are using the iPhone. It can be Maps, weather, or even the camera.

The Arrow Appears in Gray Color

● The Arrow Appears in Purple Color

Now let’s learn ‘what does the arrow mean on iPhone’ if it appears in purple. Well, if the arrow appears in purple, that means one of the location-based apps has used your device’s location.

The Arrow Appears in Purple Color

● The Arrow Has Become Hollow

What if a small, empty arrow appears in the top right corner of your iOS device? Or, what does the arrow mean on iPhone if it appears hollow? If so, it indicates that your location will be used by an app under specific conditions.

If your device’s arrow icon is hollow, it suggests it uses geofencing. This kicks in when you reach a specified location. Basically, it often appears when your device is programmed to perform certain tasks when you reach a certain location.

Assume that you have an application called Shortcuts, for instance. In that case, you can program a shortcut to run automatically whenever you enter your house. You might also have a homecoming reminder set.

The Arrow Has Become Hollow

● The Arrow Appears with a Blue Circle

The blue color circle containing the white color arrow icon is less common than the other arrow icons. Do you see this symbol in the status bar all of a sudden?

Well, it implies a website or app is requesting permission to use your location. Most of the time, this will appear when a website you visit asks for your location.

The Arrow Appears with a Blue Circle

How Can You Disable the Location Services?

Now that you know: what does the arrow mean on iPhone? Let’s move on with more information. You may be wondering whether it is possible to disable the location services on your iPhone.

In this section of our article, we explain how to do it. Location services, in general, are used very often on your iPhone. For instance, apps such as Maps, Weather, Camera, etc., on your device use this location feature.

But the problem is that there are many individuals who don’t want to have their device’s location enabled. Instead, they want to be disabled.

The small arrow located in the notification bar indeed tells if the location services are enabled. However, some individuals still expect this location service to be disabled manually.

The good news is that you can disable location services on your iPhone. So, if you intend to disable location services on your device, follow the steps mentioned below.

  • First, you should go to “Settings.”
  • After that, select the option called “Privacy and Security.”
  • Then, you can see an option called “Location Services.” Just tap on it.
  • Once you have done that, disable the toggle button located at the top of the page. This will prevent any apps in the device from accessing its location services until you enable it.
Disable the Location Services

Disabling Location Services Only for Some Apps

Unsurprisingly, if you restrict an app’s accessibility to Location Services for an iPhone, it may stop functioning properly.

Luckily, you can pick and choose which apps have the authorization to find your device’s location.

To do that, you should adjust the configurations in Location Services. Here’s how to selectively enable location services for specific programs.

  • First, you should go to the “Settings” app on your iPhone.
  • Then, you should select the option called “Privacy and Security.”
  • Once you have done that, select the option called “Location Services.”
  • After that, you should make sure that the toggle option related to location service is activated. Otherwise, you cannot necessarily change the configurations for each app.
Disable Location Services Only for Some Apps
  • Scroll the page down and locate the apps for which you intend to change the location settings.
  • You will see four different options to select from.
    • Never: This means the respective app will never be able to access the location under any circumstance).
    • While Using the App: If you select this option, the app will be able to access location services only when on screen. In other words, if you enable this option, apps won’t track your location while running in the background.
    • Always: This option ensures that the selected apps will access your location services all the time. So, it is best to enable this option only for the apps that are trustworthy.   
    • Ask Next Time Or When I Share: This is the option that triggers a popup from the respective app whenever you open it. This prompt notifies you that the given app wants to access location services, and you need to allow it. You can allow the permission, deny it or even allow it while using the respective application.
While Using the App Allow Location Access

So, if you know – what does the arrow mean on iPhone, you can choose one of the above options.

Is It Possible to Hide That Arrow Icon?

There are many individuals who wonder how to hide that arrow icon from their device’s status bar. If you are one of them, this section is for you.

Disabling Location Services seems to be the only method for preventing that arrow icon from appearing on your device. You can choose to hide the symbol altogether whenever System Services access your location, though.

Below are the steps you should follow to access this feature.

  • First, you should go to the “Settings” option.
  • After that, you should tap on the option called “Privacy and “Security” to proceed.
  • Tap on the option called “Location Services.”
  • After that, you should select the option called “System Services.” You can select it from the appearing list of apps.
  • At the bottom, you will see a setting dedicated to the “Status Bar Icon.” Just toggle the switch to hide that icon from appearing when the location data is accessed by System Services.
Hide That Arrow Icon

Is It Possible to Hide Your Actual Location from Certain Apps?

All Apple devices automatically share your precise location with any app that requests it.

Disabling this feature will result in merely a rough estimate of your position being collected. This is applicable if you’re concerned about sharing your precise location.

So, let’s go ahead and learn how to do it.

  • First, you should go to the “Settings” option on your device.
  • Now, you should tap on the option “Privacy and Security.”
  • After that, you should go to “Location Services.” By default, this option might be toggled on your device.
  • Now, you should choose the desired app and deactivate the setting called “Precise Location.” With this option disabled, the app will be able to acquire only an approximate location.
Hide Your Actual Location from Certain Apps

Without a doubt, iPhone messages indexing can be annoying for any user. We will explain the possible nine solutions to address this issue for you easily.


  1. What does a gray arrow mean on iPhone? The gray arrow signifies that an app has used your location in the last 24 hours.
  2. How can I turn off the arrow icon on iPhone? You can turn off the arrow icon by going to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and switching it off. However, this will also turn off GPS capabilities.
  3. Does the arrow icon drain my iPhone’s battery? Yes, as GPS and location tracking services can use a significant amount of power, they might drain your battery faster.
  4. What does a purple arrow mean on iPhone? The purple arrow means that an app or service has used your location recently.
  5. Why is the arrow icon always visible on my iPhone? If the arrow icon is always visible, an app or service might be constantly using your location. Check your Location Services settings to identify the culprit.


Depending on its appearance, the arrow indicator on your screen may indicate a variety of distinct actions. However, this indicates that an application is tracking your precise locations.

Your iPhone itself and many of the apps in it adapt their interactions with you based on this information. However, you should be wary of granting this permission to every program due to privacy concerns.

Thankfully, iOS from Apple provides you with a great deal of leeway in adjusting these parameters. However, in most cases, some apps don’t function properly when the location services are blocked. This is specifically true when you use location-based apps, including maps.

Hopefully, the above content explains what the arrow means on iPhone. Do you have other concerns related to this matter? Please let us know. Our team will address your queries at earliest.

Also, if you want to add anything to this information, leave a comment below.


10 years of experience in information and computer technology. Passionate about electronic devices, smartphones, computers, and modern technology.