Why is there a red dot on my iPhone? [SOLVED]

You might see a red dot on your phone for multiple reasons. The dot location will indicate the meaning of the red dot.

Here are the most likely possibilities;

  1. Your microphone is active.
  2. You can see the light from a sensor.
  3. You have voicemail.

Let’s look at the different possibilities and what the red dot you see means.

Does the Red Dot Mean My Microphone is ON?

There are two dots, one orange and one green. They can appear at the top of the phone screen next to the signal strength bars.

The green dot indicates that your camera is in use. You will see the green dot at the top when using the camera app.

We are interested in the orange dot, which indicates your microphone is active.

You will see the orange dot in situations such as;

  • While you are on a call
  • When you use Siri
  • While using an application like Voice Memos

These are just several examples of when you will usually see it. 

You might see the microphone indicator when you are not doing anything on your phone. 

This usually indicates an app on your phone has permission to use your microphone and is operating in the background. We will discuss this more in a moment.

To summarise what the dots do, they are simply there to let you know when the microphone and the camera are in use.

Why is my Microphone Dot Red?

The microphone dot indicator is orange by default. However, the microphone indicator may appear red if you have settings that alter the screen’s color.

You may or may not realize you have these enabled.

You can see in the image the microphone indicator is red with the increase contrast option selected.

Increased screen contrast changes the color of the indicator from orange to red. 

So, why is there a red dot on my iPhone? In this case, it will be because your microphone is active, and your phone is letting you know.

I’m NOT on a call. So why can I see the red dot still?

If you are not on a call and do not have an application open that uses your microphone, it is most likely an application on your phone that has permission to use your microphone and is running in the background.

How do I know what apps are using my microphone?

You can go into an app from Settings to see if that application has permission to use your microphone. 

Follow the steps below to see a list of all the applications that use your microphone.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose Privacy & Security.
  3. Select Microphone.

You can turn the permission on and off by pressing the switch on the app.

If the switch is green, the app has permission to use your microphone.

Why is there a red dot on my iPhone camera?

Next to the front-facing camera, there are sensors. The sensors there may vary depending on the iPhone model.

The proximity sensor is located next to the camera in the notch. Have you ever noticed when you make a call and then put it to your ear, the screen turns off?

The proximity sensor detects how close your ear is to the phone and will turn the screen off.

Depending on your iPhone model, you may also have the Face ID sensor in the notch.

So why is there a red dot on my iPhone? Well, if you see a red light coming from next to the camera, it is likely one of these sensors.

The light from a sensor is more likely to be seen if you are in a dark room where there is not much light.

Why is there a Red Dot on the Phone Icon?

If you see a red dot in the top right corner of the phone app icon, then this is the notifications badge.

Usually, the notifications badges on the phone icon will display a number indicating how many missed calls you have.

In this case, the red dot is likely a bug that others have also reported. This appears to be caused by an issue with voicemail.

How Can I Fix the Red Dot on the Phone Icon?

Ensure each of your voicemails has been listened to by playing them again.

When you have done this, check to see if you still have the red dot. If you do not need the voicemails, delete them.

Playing the voicemail through and then deleting them should clear the issue.

If the red dot persists, send yourself a voicemail from another phone. 

Then listen to it through to the end, then delete the message.

The red dot should now be gone!

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Nathan Plume

Nathan is the founder of Tech Guy Guide and a seasoned IT Support Analyst with a passion for technology. With a background in IT and multimedia, he has made it his mission to simplify tech troubleshooting for users of all experience levels.