What is the Little Arrow Icon on My iPhone 5 Screen? A Guide

Have you ever noticed a little arrow icon at the top of your iPhone 5 screen and wondered what it means? Well, you’re not alone. This small but mighty icon is actually a very important feature of your iPhone that tells you when apps are using your location. Understanding what this icon indicates and how to manage it is crucial for maintaining your privacy and battery life. So, let’s dive in and unravel the mystery of the little arrow icon on your iPhone 5 screen.

After you understand the meaning of the little arrow icon, you’ll be able to manage your location services better, ensuring that your privacy is protected and your battery life is maximized.


Have you ever caught yourself staring at your iPhone 5 screen, puzzled by the tiny arrow icon that occasionally pops up at the top? What could it possibly mean? Is it directing you somewhere? Well, not exactly. That little arrow icon is actually a nifty feature on your iPhone that serves a specific and important purpose.

The little arrow symbol indicates that an app or service on your iPhone 5 is currently using or has recently used your location. This might not seem like a big deal, but it’s incredibly vital for a couple of reasons. For one, it keeps you informed about which apps are tracking your whereabouts. This is crucial for maintaining your privacy. Secondly, location services can have a significant impact on your iPhone’s battery life. If an app is continuously using your location in the background, it can drain your battery faster than you can say, “Where’s the nearest charger?”

Understanding what the little arrow icon means and how to control it is essential for any iPhone 5 user. Whether you’re concerned about keeping your location private or simply want to extend your battery life, it’s a topic worth exploring. So, let’s get to the bottom of this and ensure you’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to your iPhone’s location services.

Step by Step Tutorial: Understanding the Little Arrow Icon

The following steps will guide you through understanding and managing the little arrow icon on your iPhone 5 screen.

Step 1: Identify the Arrow Icon

Look for a small arrow icon at the top of your iPhone 5 screen. It might appear hollow or solid, depending on the app’s use of location services.

When you see the little arrow icon, it’s an indicator that an app is currently using or has recently used your location. A solid arrow means that an app is actively using your location right now, while a hollow arrow signifies that an app has used your location within the last 24 hours or is using geofencing.

Step 2: Access Location Services Settings

Open the Settings app, scroll down, and tap on ‘Privacy,’ then select ‘Location Services’ to view which apps have access to your location.

In the ‘Location Services’ settings, you can see a list of all the apps that have requested access to your location. Next to each app, you’ll see the arrow icon, which indicates how the app uses your location.

Step 3: Manage Location Access for Apps

Tap on an app to change its location access to ‘Never,’ ‘Ask Next Time,’ ‘While Using the App,’ or ‘Always.’

Managing each app’s location access is crucial for maintaining your privacy and conserving battery life. If you don’t want an app to have continuous access to your location, you can change its settings to only use your location when the app is in use or not at all.


Privacy ControlBy understanding the arrow icon, you have better control over your privacy and can manage which apps have access to your location.
Battery ConservationDisabling unnecessary location services for certain apps can help conserve your iPhone’s battery life and reduce the need for frequent charging.
Informed DecisionsWith knowledge of the arrow icon, you can make informed decisions about which apps you allow to use your location, enhancing your overall iPhone experience.


Potential InconvenienceDisabling location services for certain apps may lead to a less personalized and convenient user experience.
ConfusionWithout proper understanding, the arrow icon can be confusing and lead users to believe there’s a problem with their iPhone.
Missed FeaturesRestricting location access might cause users to miss out on certain app features that rely on location data to function properly.

Additional Information

When it comes to the little arrow icon at the top of your iPhone 5 screen, there’s more to it than meets the eye. This icon is not just a random design element but a gateway to understanding how your location is being utilized by apps. Remember that location services can be crucial for navigation apps like Google Maps or ride-sharing services like Uber. Without allowing these apps to access your location, they simply won’t work as intended.

Furthermore, it’s worth mentioning that Apple takes privacy seriously, and with the introduction of iOS 14 and above, users have even more control over their location data. You can now grant apps approximate location instead of precise location, further protecting your privacy.

Lastly, always keep an eye out for apps that don’t need to know your location but ask for it anyway. Sometimes, apps use location data for advertising purposes or to gather information about their user base. Be cautious and consider whether it’s necessary for an app to know where you are before granting it access.


  1. Identify the arrow icon on your iPhone 5 screen.
  2. Access ‘Location Services’ in your iPhone’s ‘Privacy’ settings.
  3. Manage each app’s location access according to your privacy preferences and battery conservation goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a solid arrow icon mean?

A solid arrow icon indicates that an app is actively using your location at the moment.

What does a hollow arrow icon mean?

A hollow arrow icon signifies that an app has used your location within the last 24 hours or is using geofencing.

Can I turn off location services altogether?

Yes, you can disable location services completely, but it will also disable any location-based functions or services on your iPhone.

Will restricting location access affect app functionality?

In some cases, yes. Certain apps require location access to provide their full range of services or features.

How can I see which apps have used my location recently?

In ‘Location Services’ settings, apps with a recently-used arrow icon have accessed your location within the last 24 hours.


The little arrow icon at the top of your iPhone 5 screen is more than just a quirky symbol; it’s a beacon of transparency and control. It empowers you, the user, to take charge of your privacy and battery longevity. By understanding and managing your location services, you’re not only safeguarding your personal data but also ensuring that your iPhone runs more efficiently.

So, the next time you see that little arrow pop up, you’ll know exactly what it means and how to handle it. Keep this knowledge in your tech-savvy arsenal, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a master of your iPhone’s inner workings.

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy