What Does It Mean When You Have a Lock With a Circle On Your iPhone?

If your iPhone is displaying an icon at the very top of the screen that looks like a lock with a circle and arrow around it, then you are probably curious about what that means, and where it came from. Don’t worry, it’s nothing bad. The lock with the circle around it means that your iPhone is locked in portrait orientation. This is an option that is available on nearly every model of iPhone. It can be turned on from the Control Center, and it can also be turned off from the Control Center.

Our guide below will show you how to open the Control Center, then identify the option that controls the lock icon. Once you know what that icon means, and what portrait orientation lock does, you can choose whether you want to turn it off or on.


What is the Lock With a Circle and Arrow Around It At the Top of My iPhone?

When you enable the portrait orientation on your iPhone, you are telling the device to stay that way, regardless of how you are holding it. This is especially useful if you move your hand a lot while reading your iPhone, or if you are trying to use it while lying down. I personally activate portrait orientation lock and that little lock icon whenever I am lying in bed and looking at my phone. So if I switch position, then information on the screen does not.

You can enable or disable the lock icon with the circle around it with the steps below. This guide was written using an iPhone 5, in iOS 9.3.

Step 1: Swipe up from the bottom of the screen. This opens the Control Center.

swipe up to open control center



Step 2: Tap the circular lock button at the top-right of the menu.

what is lock icon with circle around it on iphone



If the circled lock icon is white, then portrait orientation is enabled. If the circled lock icon is gray, then portrait orientation lock is disabled.


You have probably noticed that your iPhone’s status bar contains a lot more icons that the lock with the circle around it. For example, there is a battery indicator at the right side of the status bar, and it might have a numerical percentage displayed next to it. This article – https://www.live2tech.com/disable-battery-percentage-display-iphone-6/ – will show you where to find the setting that controls the display of the numerical battery percentage.