8 Gmail Icons And Their Meanings

Gmail uses several icons to enhance the visual hierarchy of the emailing platform. Some new users are often confused by some of these icons.

Here are the explanations for eight popular icons that are featured in the Gmail web and mobile apps.

8 Gmail Icons And Their Meanings

1 – What Does The Lightning Bolt Mean On Gmail

The lightning bolt icon in Gmail that appears next to the date and time of an opened email indicates that the email that you are currently viewing is dynamic.

What Does The Lightning Bolt Mean On Gmail
Lightning Bolt Icon

Gmail dynamic emails use a framework called accelerated mobile pages (AMP) to create an interactive web page within the body of the email.

This allows you to perform actions such as a reply to comments on shared google workspace projects, fill out forms, interact with a Pinterest pin, browse through booking.com listings, and much more all without leaving the email.

2 – What Does The Red Lock On Gmail Mean

The red padlock in Gmail that appears in the “to” field when sending an email or under the sender’s name when you opened an email means that the email service that the sender or recipient is using does not support TLS encryption.

Gmail uses this red padlock icon to warn you that the emails being sent and received aren’t encrypted, to prevent you from sending confidential material within these emails. 

3 – What Does The Yellow Arrow Mean In Gmail

The yellow arrow that appears next to the sender’s name in your list of emails indicates that this particular email has been marked as important by the Gmail AI system called Google Magic.

3 - What Does The Yellow Arrow Mean In Gmail

4 – What Does The Blue Arrow Mean In Gmail

Similarly to the yellow arrow found on the Gmail web and IOS app, the blue arrow is used in the Gmail Android app to indicate that an email has been marked as important by the Gmail artificial intelligence system. 

5 – What Does The Green Dot On Gmail Mean  

The green dot that appears in the hangouts section of Gmail next to the user’s image is used to indicate that a hangouts user is currently online.

What Does The Green Dot On Gmail Mean

6 – What Does The Envelope Icon Mean In Gmail

The envelope icon in Gmail is used to mark emails as unread. This feature is particularly useful if you accidentally opened an email that you weren’t ready to read. 

What Does The Envelope Icon Mean In Gmail
Envelope Icon

By marking the email as unread it will appear in your inbox as a new email which helps you to remember to read it when you are ready 

7 – What Does The Red Hook On Gmail Mean 

The red hook in Gmail app for IOS and android is used to warn users that the email that they are currently viewing may be a phishing attempt.  

What Does The Red Hook On Gmail Mean

On the Gmail web app, this red hook icon is replaced with a red “X” icon, accompanied by a warning message that lets you know that messages similar to the one that you are reading were previously used to steal personal information from other people. 

What Does The Red Hook On Gmail Mean Web App

8 – What Does The Question Mark In Gmail Mean

The red question mark that appears over the sender’s profile picture indicates that Gmail isn’t sure whether or not the sender of the email is actually who they are claiming to be. 

What Does The Question Mark In Gmail Mean

In most cases, this is due to the sender not configuring SPF records on their DNS server. SPF records are used to verify the domains and mail servers that are sending emails on behalf of a particular domain are allowed to send those emails. 

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