How to Tell if Your iPhone is Charging or Not

Share This:

Are you having trouble understanding your iPhone's charging icon? Don't worry, many people find themselves scratching their heads when it comes to their device's indicator of a full battery. We're here to help you better understand what the charging icon looks like and how to tell if your iPhone is actually charging.

Whenever your device charges, a lightning bolt will appear inside the battery icon in the status bar or a large battery icon on your Lock Screen. This is the universal symbol for charging across all Apple devices and will appear regardless of the version of iOS you are running. When your phone has just died and you plug it in, you should see a black screen with an empty battery icon. This means that your device is properly charging and will power up shortly.

Aside from the lightning bolt, there are other ways to tell whether or not your phone is actually being charged. If your screen is locked, a large green battery icon with a lightning bolt in the middle should appear on the screen. This confirms that your iPhone is indeed being charged. If you do not see this green battery icon with a lightning bolt in it, then it means that something isn't working properly and your phone may not be receiving power from its charger or cable connection.

Knowing what to look for when it comes to charging icons can help save time and ensure that you get the most out of each charge cycle on your device. So next time you have questions about what exactly that little lightning bolt means on your phone, remember that it means one thing: Your device is being charged!

How to Tell if Your iPhone is Charging or Not 1

Checking If an iPhone Is Charging

When your iPhone is charging, you will see a lightning bolt icon inside the battery icon in the status bar or a large battery icon on your Lock Screen. Additionally, you can check the Battery percentage view in the Control Center to see if it is increasing while the device is connected to a power source. Finally, if you are using an Apple USB power adapter and USB cable, and plugging them into an electrical outlet or computer, then you can be sure that your iPhone is charging.

Symbol Indicating an iPhone Is Charging

The symbol that indicates your iPhone is charging is a lightning bolt in the center of the screen. If you don't see this lightning bolt, or it is a white color instead of yellow or red, then your iPhone is not currently charging.

Is the Lightning Symbol an Indication of Charging?

Yes, the lightning symbol means that your iPhone is charging. When you plug your device into a power source, such as a wall charger or computer USB port, the lightning bolt will appear in the status bar. This indicates that your device is receiving power and charging its battery. If you have a locked screen, you'll also see a large battery icon appearing on the display.

Checking if an iPhone is Charging When Drained

When your iPhone has just died, you can tell if it's charging properly by looking at the icons on the black screen. If you see a green screen with a lightning bolt in the center, then your iPhone is successfully charging and will power on shortly. If you only see an empty battery icon, that means your iPhone is indeed charging but hasn't quite reached its full battery level yet. It's important to keep your phone plugged in until it reaches a full charge so as to ensure optimal performance of the device.

Verifying If Your Phone Is Charging

If you plug in your phone with a working cable, charger, and wall socket, you should see a battery icon appear on the screen. This will indicate that your phone is charging. You may also see a red light that indicates the battery is fully discharged. If neither of thee appears, then you can try unplugging and replugging the cable to make sure it is properly connected.

iphone charging icon

Charging an iPhone When Dead: How Long Does It Take?

It depends on the type of charger you are using. If you have an iPhone 8 or later and use a 20-watt fast charger with a USB-C to Lightning cable, it will take around 30 minutes to charge your phone from dead back up to 50%, and about an hour to fully charge it. If you are using a regular 5-watt charger, it will take much longer – around 3 hours for a full charge.

Symbol Next to Battery Charge on iPhone

On iPhones with Face ID that are running the latest iOS 16 beta, the symbol next to the battery charge is a number representing the exact percentage of battery life remaining. This replaces the visual representation of battery life that was used in earlier versions of iOS. The numerical value appears beside a small battery icon and indicates, to the nearest percentage, how much charge is left in your device.

What Does Charging an iPhone Look Like When It Is Dead?

When an iPhone is dead and charging, the first sign it gives is that its screen will light up. This is usually accompanied by a battery icon or symbol, indicating that it has begun to draw power from the charger. Depending on how drained the battery was, it can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours for the device to fully charge. Additionally, you may hear a chime if sound notifications are enabled on your device, letting you know that it's now charging.

Troubleshooting an iPhone That Is Plugged In But Not Charging

If your iPhone is plugged in but not charging, the first thing to check is the cable, lightning port, and AC adapter. Make sure they are all securely connected and that there is no debris or damage to any of them. If they appear to be in good condition, try restarting your iPhone, updating the , or restoring it. Additionally, you may want to turn off “Optimized Battery Charging” which sometimes stops charging at 80%. If none of these steps work, you may need to contact Apple for further assistance.

Determining If a Phone Is Charging When Completely Dead

If your phone is completely dead, you can tell it is charging if you see a battery icon on the screen. Make sure to use a working cable, charger, and outlet. Wait one minute and if the battery icon appears, then your phone is powered off and charging. Alternatively, if you see a red light on the charger or phone, then this indicates that your battery is fully discharged.


In conclusion, the iPhone charging icon is a visual indicator that your device is being powered up. When you plug your iPhone in to charge, the battery icon in the status bar will display a lightning bolt symbol alongside it. If your screen is locked, you'll see a large battery icon appear on the screen with a lightning bolt in the middle. This icon shows that your iPhone is charging and will power on shortly. Knowing how to recognize the charging icon can help ensure that your device always has enough power to keep it running.

Share This:
Photo of author

James Walker

James Walker has a deep passion for technology and is our in-house enthusiastic editor. He graduated from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and loves to test the latest gadgets and play with older software (something we’re still trying to figure out about himself). Hailing from Iowa, United States, James loves cats and is an avid hiker in his free time.