The Apple Watch takes some getting used to. Not only are there new interactions including the Digital Crown dial on the side of the smartwatch and the Force Touch technology built into the display, but there are also new symbols and icons that you might not be familiar with. Here, we've put together a guide to all of the icons and symbols you'll find on your Apple Watch to help you.

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Apple Watch status symbols

What does the red dot on Apple Watch mean?

If you see a small red dot in the centre of the top of your display, it means you've got an unread notification. Swipe down from the top to see your unread notifications and in some cases respond to them.

What does the green lightning bolt on Apple Watch mean?

A small green lightning bolt in the top right corner of your Apple Watch indicates that the device is charging.

What does the blue padlock on Apple Watch mean?

If you spot a small, pale blue padlock icon on your Apple Watch, it means that the smartwatch is locked with a passcode.

What does the purple moon on Apple Watch mean?

A small purple half moon on the Apple Watch indicates that you’ve got Do Not Disturb turned on. Go to your Apple Watch Glances (swipe up from the bottom of the screen) to turn it off, otherwise calls and alerts won't sound or light up the screen (of course, if that's what you're after then you should leave Do Not Disturb on!). Alarms will still work even if you can see the Do Not Disturb icon.

What does the airplane on Apple Watch mean?

Slightly more familiar is the airplane icon, which means you've got your Apple Watch in Airplaine Mode. WiFi will be turned off but non-wireless features will remain available.

Like Do Not Disturb, you can turn Airplane Mode on or off by swiping up from the bottom of the screen to access Glances.

What does the red icon with a line through on Apple Watch mean?

This one's caused some confusion, as it looks a lot light a battery indicator that's warning you that the battery is about to run out. What the red rectangle actually represents, though, is your iPhone, and the line through it means that you've become disconnected from that iPhone.

The battery indicator actually looks like a circle with a number in the middle that represents the percentage of battery life remaining, but that icon will only be present on some watch faces. You can check the remaining battery life at any time in Glances.

What does the dotted circle on Apple Watch mean?

If you see a dotted circle spinning somewhere on your Apple Watch display, it simply means that something is loading. Sometimes the symbol can appear in the centre of the display, and at other times it'll be spotted in the top right hand corner. It can indicate that there is wireless activity or an active process happening, says Apple.

Apple Watch icons

What does the icon with multi-coloured circles on Apple Watch mean?

This is the icon for the Activity app, which is a new app designed specifically by Apple with its smartwatch in mind. It'll track your daily activity, including standing, moving and exercising. Find out more: How to use the Apple Watch Activity app.

What does the camera icon on Apple Watch mean?

The grey circle with a tiny glimpse of a camera on it is the Camera app, which lets you use the Apple Watch as a remote finder and shutter button for your iPhone.

What does the icon with multi-coloured stripes on Apple Watch mean?

This icon represents Passbook, the app that lets you store and access tickets, boarding passes, loyalty cards and more.

What does the blue arrow icon on Apple Watch mean?

This is the Remote app, which lets you control your Apple TV. You'll only see this icon if you have the Apple TV Remote app on your iPhone. 

What does the grey icon with a cog on Apple Watch mean?

This is the Settings app, and it is one of the most important apps you've got on your Apple Watch. Tap it to change lots of the settings in your Apple Watch to suit your preferences. Alternatively, you can edit settings in the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.

What does the black icon with a white line through it on Apple Watch mean?

This is the stocks app, and unfortunately, in typical Apple fashion, you're stuck with it even though we don't know anyone who actually uses it. Do you?

What does the orange icon with a clock in it on Apple Watch mean?

There are two very similar orange clock-like icons on Apple Watch. One is the Stopwatch app and one is the Timer app. The Stopwatch's hand is pointing directly upwards, while the Timer app's hand is pointing slightly to the left.

Another orange icon that might confuse you here is the World Clock, which has a white divided circle within it. Here, you can see the time in other locations around the globe.

Then there's the alarm icon, shown above on the far right.

What does the green icon with a man running in it on Apple Watch mean?

Related to the Activity app, this is the Workout app, which takes fitness tracking further by allowing you to track specific activities and monitor your achievements. Find out more: How to use the Apple Watch Workout app.

What does the iPhone with lines around it on Apple Watch mean?

This one is found in Glances, by swiping up from the bottom of the Apple Watch to the Settings Glance. Tapping it will Ping your iPhone, which means it'll make a chime sound from your phone to help you locate it. Handy.

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Read our Apple Watch tutorials:

How to set up a new Apple Watch | How to make Apple Watch battery last longer | How to use Siri on Apple Watch | How to use Digital Touch on Apple Watch | How to reply to a text on Apple Watch | How to answer a call on Apple Watch | How to change watch faces on Apple Watch | How to use the Music app on Apple Watch | How to use Maps on Apple Watch | How to use the Apple Watch Activity app | How to use the Apple Watch Workout app | How to take a screenshot on Apple Watch | How to make the Apple Watch a more accurate fitness tracker | How to manage Apple Watch notifications | How to use Apple Pay on the Apple Watch