The Icons on the iPad Status Bar

The status bar, which is at the top of the iPad screen, displays tiny icons that provide a variety of information about the current state of your iPad:

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  • Airplane mode: Airplane mode should be enabled when you fly. It turns off all wireless features of your iPad — the cellular, 4G, 3G, GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), and EDGE (Enhanced Datarate for GSM Evolution) networks; Wi-Fi; and Bluetooth — so you can enjoy music, video, games, photos, or any app that doesn’t require an Internet connection while you’re in the air.

    Tap the Settings app and then tap the Airplane Mode switch on (so green is displayed). The icon appears on the left side of your status bar whenever airplane mode is enabled.

    Disable airplane mode when the plane is at the gate before takeoff or after landing so you can send or receive email and iMessages.

    There’s no need to enable airplane mode on flights that offer onboard Wi-Fi. On such flights it’s perfectly safe to use your iPad’s Wi-Fi while you’re in the air (but not until the captain says so).

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  • LTE (Wi-Fi + 4G models only): This icon lets you know that your carrier’s 4G LTE network is available and your iPad can use it to connect to the Internet.

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  • 3G (Wi-Fi + 3G models only): This icon informs you that the high-speed 3G data network from your wireless carrier (that’s AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile in the United States) is available and that your iPad can connect to the Internet via 3G.

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  • GPRS (Wi-Fi + 3G and 4G models only): This icon says that your wireless carrier’s GPRS data network is available and that your iPad can use it to connect to the Internet.

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  • EDGE (Wi-Fi + 3G and 4G models only): This icon tells you that your wireless carrier’s EDGE network is available and you can use it to connect to the Internet.

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  • Wi-Fi: If you see the Wi-Fi icon, your iPad is connected to the Internet over a Wi-Fi network. The more semicircular lines you see (up to three), the stronger the Wi-Fi signal. If your iPad has only one or two semicircles of Wi-Fi strength, try moving around a bit. If you don’t see the Wi-Fi icon on the status bar, Internet access with Wi-Fi is not currently available.

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  • Personal hotspot: You see this icon when you’re sharing your Internet connection with computers or other devices over Wi-Fi. Personal hotspot is available for every iPad except the iPad 2 and may not be available in all areas or from all carriers. Additional fees may apply. Contact your wireless carrier for more information.

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  • Syncing: This icon appears on the status bar when your iPad is syncing with iTunes on your Mac or PC.

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  • Activity: This icon tells you that some network or other activity is occurring, such as over-the-air synchronization, the sending or receiving of email, or the loading of a web page. Some third-party apps use this icon to indicate network or other activity.

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  • VPN: This icon shows that you’re currently connected to a virtual private network (VPN).

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  • Lock: This icon tells you when your iPad is locked.

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  • Screen orientation lock: This icon appears when the screen orientation lock is engaged.

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  • Location Services: This icon appears when an app (such as Maps) is using Location Services (GPS) to establish your physical location (or at least to establish the physical location of your iPad).

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  • Do Not Disturb: This icon appears whenever Do Not Disturb is enabled, silencing incoming FaceTime calls and alerts.

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  • Play: This icon informs you that a song is currently playing.

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  • Bluetooth: This icon indicates the current state of your iPad’s Bluetooth connection. If you see this icon on the status bar, Bluetooth is on, and a device (such as a wireless headset or keyboard) is connected. If the icon is gray, Bluetooth is turned on, but no device is connected. If the icon is white, Bluetooth is on, and one (or more) devices are connected. If you don’t see a Bluetooth icon, Bluetooth is turned off.

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  • Battery: This icon shows the level of your battery’s charge, and also indicates when you’re connected to a power source. It’s completely filled when you aren’t connected to a power source and your battery is fully charged. It then empties as your battery becomes depleted. You see an on-screen message when the charge drops to 20 percent or below, and another when it reaches 10 percent.