Apple devices are known for their privacy features to help users understand their privacy protection. So, if an app is using services on your iPhone, such as a microphone, camera, and location services, your iPhone will notify you. Hence, what does it mean when there is a red bar at the top of my iPhone?
A red bar at the top of your iPhone means an app is running in the background using your microphone. On some iPhones, you get a red dot at the top of your iPhone screen instead of a red bar.
When you know the app that is using your microphone, and you are the one that gives it permission to use it, you have nothing to worry about. But it can be a little concerning if you don’t know what app is using the microphone. Keep reading to learn how to get rid of the red bar at the top of your iPhone and stop apps from listening to your conversation.
How To Get Rid of the Red Bar at the Top of Your iPhone Screen
When you install an app, it will ask for permission to use certain services on your iPhone. You can either deny the permission, grant the permission to use the service just once, or always have permission to use it.
You must trust the app when giving an app permission to use certain services on your iPhone. Over time, it can be easy to forget which apps you granted access to certain services. Hence, if you give an app you don’t trust permission to use essential services like your camera or microphone, you may have privacy concerns when you start noticing the red bat at the top of your screen.
Fortunately, if your privacy is breached, as you often see a red bar at the top of your screen, there are a few tricks you can use to solve the issue.
Solution #1: Reboot Your iPhone
One of the first things you want to do when you notice a red bar at the top of your iPhone is to reboot your device. By rebooting your iPhone, you close all running apps that might be using your microphone at the moment. Hence, rebooting your iPhone should get rid of the red bar at the top of your screen.
To reboot your device, press and hold the power button until the power-off slider appears. Slide the restart button and wait for your device to shut down automatically and power up. If, after rebooting your device, the problem persists, then you ought to figure out what app is using the microphone.
Solution #2: Use Safe Mode
Another solution you can try is to boot your iPhone into Safe Mode. The Safe Mode on your iPhone is a feature that can help you narrow down the possible cause of an issue on your device. When you boot your iPhone into Safe Mode, it restricts third-party apps or services from being used.
In other words, if your iPhone is in Safe Mode and the red bar no longer appears, you know it’s a third-party app that uses your microphone. But if you boot your iPhone into Safe Mode and the red bar appears, you know it is a system program that uses your iPhone’s microphone.
So, press and hold the power button until the power slider appears. Next, press and hold the power off icon until the Safe Mode prompt appears; select the “Safe Mode” option to confirm and wait for your device to reboot.
Solution #3: Remove the Microphone Permission for Apps
Launch the Settings app to confirm the app using your iPhone’s microphone in the background. In the Settings app, scroll down and click on the “Privacy” option. In the “Privacy” menu, select the “Microphone” option. In this option, you will see a list of all the apps on your iPhone that have permission to use the microphone.
Besides, the app is a toggle switch that restricts the app from using your microphone when off. Hence, go ahead and toggle the microphone access for each app one by one until you find the app that uses your microphone in the background.
Solution #4: Uninstall the App Using Your Microphone Secretly
If the app using your iPhone’s microphone in the background is an app you need and use often, you can leave the microphone permission toggled off. So, anytime you need to use the app, you can grant it permission; then, when you close the app, it will no longer have access to use your microphone.
However, if the app is not one you actively use frequently or trust, then you should uninstall the app. To uninstall an app, press and hold the app for a few seconds or until it starts to jiggle. Press the “-” symbol at the top right corner of the app icon to uninstall the app.
When you boot your iPhone into Safe Mode, you will see the word “Safe Mode” in your screen’s lower right or left corner.
Before concluding that someone is spying on you because you see the red bar at the top of your iPhone, confirm what app is using your microphone. To protect your privacy, ensure you only give apps you trust permission to services like your location, microphone, camera, etc.