Android cell phones, tablets and Chromebooks are now fully featured devices and they have a substantial number of sometimes confusing notification icons. We regularly receive requests from visitors about what the icons on their various Android devices mean so we invested a day researching all of the current Android icons we could track down.

For beginners, the single graphic below will explain most of the common icons.

Common Android Icons Explained

However, there are a myriad of other Android icons that sit in the notification bar at the top of your screen and here is the most complete list of explanations we could create:


Leigh · July 25, 2022 at 6:28 am

I have a white box with an R in the center of it. It appears on the top right hand corner next to signal strength vertical bars. I have a Mobicel R 1 Plus. Please help.

    Ian Matthews · July 27, 2022 at 3:23 pm

    Hi Leigh;

    We sent you an email asking for screen shot so we can figure it out 🙂

Sgt. Ruben Rodriguez · February 1, 2022 at 10:29 am

My new Android Moto 5g Stylus has a mid-screen row of icons on swipe-down (before logging into home screen) (Extra “Notifications?”)
that always has “App,” “Capsule,” “Alarm,” “Clock,” “Wallpaper.” What is it, why is it there & how do we get rid of it? This has never appeared on any previous Samsung Android smartphones.

    Ian Matthews · February 21, 2022 at 5:57 pm

    Hi Ruben;

    That is odd. We do not have access to a Moto 5G (nice device, we hear), but I found this which might help:

    Jeremy · March 15, 2022 at 7:16 am

    Little dot at top of screen is you are bugged!

      Eastcider · May 22, 2022 at 3:16 pm

      The white dot on the left is when you have a pending voicemail, clear your voice mailbox to clear the dot. Feel free to test this when you see the dot, clear and properly exit your voicemail to see it disappear.

      The white dot on the right comes on when you turn on mobile data. This can be turned on and off in the drag down notification thingy. Feel free to test it on and off to see that it dictaes if the white dot comes on or not.

      I discovered these once and for all by turning off things one by one, until they vanished. Then I turned the same ones back on to see if the dot comes back.

      Tried and tested,

      Left white dot = V. mail pending

      Right white dot = Mobile data (on)

Peter · January 26, 2022 at 1:01 am

My RedMi Note 10S today shows a compass like arrow (triangle shaped arrow with indented base) pointing to north east next to the bluetooth icon. I have closed all running apps and removed them from memory. The pull down menu doesn’t show anything about this arrow either. If you know what this icon means please add it to your list.

    Ian Matthews · January 29, 2022 at 12:35 pm

    Hi Peter;

    We don’t know that icon, but if you send us a screen shot, we will look into it 🙂

Vern · January 25, 2022 at 10:54 am

NORD Android-10. What is, from left side sound button, square box with 2 lines and a slash?

    Ian Matthews · January 29, 2022 at 12:36 pm

    Hi Vern;

    I don’t know but if you send us a screen shot, we will look into it 🙂

Sheeri · January 21, 2022 at 10:13 am

Hello. I have a black dot on my status bar a I have searched Google and cannot find an explanation for it. My daughter (who has the same phone as I do) and me husband both do not have it. Am I being spied on?
I have a Moto G Stylus through Google Fi.
Thank you in advance.

    Ian Matthews · January 29, 2022 at 12:41 pm

    Hi Sheeri;

    Can you send us a screen shot? Our email address is on the CONTACT page.


Tom Guthrie · January 11, 2022 at 12:18 pm

I have an icon which looks like a cloud and another which looks like a ship’s propeller. What are they?

    Ian Matthews · January 29, 2022 at 12:42 pm

    Hi Tom;

    If you can send us a screenshot, we will look into it 🙂

Toni Loppie · December 28, 2021 at 8:03 am

I keep getting a solid black icon in my status bar, it comes and goes periodically. Can you please tell me what it is? I can’t find it anywhere. Thanks.

    Ian Matthews · January 6, 2022 at 7:13 pm

    A black square? If so is it full size (i.e. same size as the other icons)?

Jonathan · November 14, 2021 at 11:15 pm

This is a wonderfull chart. I thought learning to read chinese was hard. These icons are frustrating to those of us who are inexperienced. Some of the descriptions are as inegmatic as the icons. You might add explanations of the descriptions.

    Ian Matthews · November 17, 2021 at 11:48 am

    Thanks for the kind words and suggestion Jonathan. There are so many, I needed to keep it brief.

Melanie · June 15, 2021 at 11:13 pm

Hi Ian
What is two circles with arrow through?
I’ve checked your contact page on where to send screenshots – On site support does not give any contact information?

    Ian Matthews · June 17, 2021 at 2:55 pm

    Hi Melanie;

    In your private message to me, you identified that icon as an app named “Reface”. We are putting this comment through to help others with similar questions.


Jenny · May 5, 2021 at 11:40 am

What is a phone handset on angle with a plus sign?

    Ian Matthews · May 10, 2021 at 9:44 am

    Hi Jenny;

    If you can send me a screenshot of that icon (see our CONTACT PAGE) I will dig into it further, but it sounds like (pun intended) it might be to add more callers to a conference call.

      wolf · September 23, 2021 at 2:01 pm

      my girl told me her phone is not working i see faded white bars all of them are faded and then next to that full WiFi bar all solid white no arrows up and down just the bars so what could be the problem? philippines use load to use a phone and sim cards she did buy a new sim card but still did not work she then tried the card oh her sisters phone and it worked do u have any idea what it could be also what does that mean to have all WiFi bard are full solid white but the signal bars are faded meaning no signal

        Ian Matthews · September 28, 2021 at 9:59 am

        Hi Wolf;

        A few questions may help: Is there any damage on the device? Was it dropped in water? What is the make and model? What is the version of Android?

        I have not seen the icons you describe, but if they are faded IT people would likely call that “greyed out” and likely means that the WiFi is down. What I have seen is icons with a circle and a line through them to indicate a problem, which is not the icon you describe. I would take the device to a retail store or kiosk that supports the brand you have and ask them. As a guess I would suggest that the WiFi has failed (i.e. internal antenna has come loose).

SOLVED: Everything You Need To Know about Extra Dim on Android – Up & Running Technologies, Tech How To's · July 13, 2022 at 8:39 pm

[…] recently had a question from a reader named James who had looked at out Complete List of Android Icons and not found an icon on his phones home screen, so we went to […]

SOLVED: How To Determine What An Android Icon Means – Up & Running Technologies, Tech How To's · October 20, 2021 at 9:22 am

[…] year we collected all of the Android icons we could find and documented them in The Complete Guide To Icons on Android Devices.  Since then readers have sent us notes and pictures ask us to identify their miscellaneous icons, […]

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