How to Know When Your iPhone Could Be Recording You

Indicator lights can tell you when your iPhone camera and microphone are running in the background.

By Emily Long

Image for article titled How to Know When Your iPhone Could Be Recording YouScreenshot: Jordan Calhoun

You’ve probably had the (legitimate) fear that your smartphone is listening or watching you. Your iPhone certainly isn’t without privacy risks, and you should absolutely audit your settings and all of your app permissions, but one helpful feature that Apple has built in is a visual warning when your device is queued up to record you.

There are two indicator lights in the status bar in upper-right corner of the iPhone screen that tell you when one or both of your recording functions are in use. A yellow or orange-looking dot appears when your device’s microphone is active. You’ll see a green dot when your camera (or camera plus microphone) is being accessed.

You’ll commonly see these indicator lights when using social media apps that allow you to record and post videos—Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, for example—but other apps that have requested access to your phone’s camera will also trigger the dots.

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