Can someone point me why this activity indicator is spinning? All apps are closed. It's starts to spin right after I'm activating wifi. Wifi turned off - activity indicator disappearing.

  • It is constantly scanning for new WiFi signals.
    – Ruskes
    Commented Mar 29, 2014 at 15:20
  • @Buscar Afaik the activity icon in the status bar has nothing to do with scanning for networks — do you have a source?
    – grg
    Commented Mar 29, 2014 at 15:34
  • I misread the question ?
    – Ruskes
    Commented Mar 29, 2014 at 15:41
  • I have been noticing that the network activity indicator on my iPhone is always active from the home screen. I do not know what it is doing. It should not be doing that.
    – Brennan
    Commented Apr 12, 2014 at 17:47
  • this fixed it for me; iphonetricks.org/… Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 14:58

4 Answers 4


Usually that means that your phone is doing a heavy-weight network activity, which can mean any of the following (not exhaustive list, only most common, and, coincidentally, easiest to fix):

  • The network you've connected to needs some more configuration, and it's taking some time to get the configuration information set properly from the router (or, more likely, DNS server)
  • Your phone is polling for a lot of data to transfer - maybe there are a lot of apps to update, or you have a lot of email to sync, or you have a lot of cloud data to download
  • Your phone is trying to hit an important server, and is having trouble connecting to it (say, it's trying to poll apple servers to check for software updates and the servers in questions are down). The spinner is going to stay up for a while, until your phone gives up or gets an actual connection.

Try connecting to a reliable network (fast connection, easy internet access - ie, not something like a coffee shop network), and letting your phone figure itself out for a while (give it a good 15-20m). Try doing this a few times. If you still have the spinner problem on the good network after being connected to it for a long time, and checking your phone a few times, you might have a rarer, but also much more difficult to diagnose/fix, problem - go to the apple store and ask them to take a look :)

  • Good answer with good guesses for most users, but the "cause/reason" answer feels right to my issues.
    – mgPePe
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 20:53

The Cause

I can reproduce this problem consistently on iOS 7.1.1. Just go into App Store and click the "update all" button in the updates tab. When you exit to your home screen, the activity indicator will spin in the status bar incessantly. Since the code has been wedged into the wrong state, the only way to get rid of the activity indicator is to power down your phone and boot it back up.

The Reason

This is caused by Apple developers poor programming. They properly show it when apps begin to update:

[UIApplication sharedApplication].networkActivityIndicatorVisible = YES;

But they fail to turn it off when the apps finish updating:

[UIApplication sharedApplication].networkActivityIndicatorVisible = NO;

The way their Cocoa Touch framework is written makes it very easy for amateur developers to make this mistake, including Apple's own internal iOS development team. It's very hard to manage nested network operations that need to show the activity indicator. The correct interface for managing the activity indicator would have been to create a stack. Any time the indicator is needed, an object would be pushed onto the stack. When the operation is complete, the object would be popped from the stack. Once the stack is empty, the indicator should disappear.

  • 1
    Does this drain battery as well?
    – Drai
    Commented May 6, 2015 at 20:22

I had the same problem: Network Activity icon constantly spinning on home screen, even with all apps closed. I turned off my iPhone and then turned it back on. Problem solved.

  • restart is one of possible solutions, why downvote? Commented Apr 13, 2014 at 10:08
  • This worked for me! The solution to everything: "Turn it off, and on again."
    – Neeku
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 10:29

I had the same problem: Network Activity icon constantly spinning on home screen, even with all apps closed. I turned off my iPhone and then turned it back on. Problem solved. Worked for me too, iPhone 5c

If you don't want reboot, you could also kill all process with this iOS application : https://itunes.apple.com/fr/app/system-status-activity-monitor/id401457165?mt=8

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