Meanings of Various WhatsApp Symbols and Icons (Explained)

WhatsApp has become a ubiquitous messaging app, and its symbols play a vital role in conveying information efficiently. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the meanings behind WhatsApp symbols, focusing on WhatsApp home screen icons, status, calls tabs icons, and chat icons and symbols. Understanding these symbols will enhance your messaging experience and make navigating the app even more intuitive.

whatsapp symbols and icons
The Meanings of Various WhatsApp Symbols and Icons: Image by Freepik [Edited]

1. WhatsApp Home Screen Icons:

Below are all the icons and symbols you’ll encounter on the WhatsApp’s home screen.

a) Camera (Status)

whatsapp symbols: camera icon
Camera Icon

The Camera icon, resembling a camera silhouette, provides access to WhatsApp Status. Use this symbol to share images, videos, and GIFs with your contacts, visible for 24 hours before disappearing.

b) Magnifying Glass (Quick Search)

whatsapp symbols: magnifying glass
Magnifying Glass Icon (Quick Search)

This is an icon to let you do a quick search over WhatsApp. Use it to search for contacts, messages, links, media and documents.

c) Three Dots (Menu)

whatsapp symbols: 3 dots
Three Dots Symbol (Menu)

The Menu, symbolized by three vertical dots, reveals a drop-down menu with various options. From creating new groups to accessing settings, this icon is a gateway to WhatsApp’s extended features.

d) 3-Person Icon (New Chat Group)

whatsapp symbols: 3-person icon
3-Person Icon (New Chat Group)

The 3-person icon represents creating a new chat group. By clicking on this symbol, you can select multiple contacts to form a group chat for easy communication.

e) Speech Bubble (Chat)

whatsapp symbols - Speech Bubble icon
Speech Bubble Icon (Chat)

The chats, represented by a speech bubble icon located at the bottom right corner, is the heart of WhatsApp. Clicking on this WhatsApp symbol takes you to the Chats section, where you can view your ongoing conversations and start new ones.

2. Updates and Calls Tabs Icons:

Updated (July 27, 2023): The Updates Tab is now the home for Status and Channels.

These are all the icons and symbols you’ll come across while swiping to the Updates and Calls tabs on WhatsApp.

a) Pencil Icon

The Pencil icon, denoted by a writing instrument, enables you to set a text-based Updates. Use this symbol to share your current thoughts, activities, or moods with your contacts.

pencil and camera icons on the updates tab
Screenshot updated July 27, 2023: Updates Tab replaced Status Tab

b) Camera icon

The Camera icon, identical to the Home Screen, is used to post WhatsApp Updates updates. By clicking this symbol, you can share photos, videos, or GIFs with your contacts, letting them know what you’re up to.

c) Link Icon

The link icon in the Calls tab allows you to create a group call that people can join using the shared link, available for sharing with WhatsApp contacts or across various platforms.

Link and Call icons on The Calls Tab
The Link and Call Icons in The Calls Tab

d) Call Icon

Located at the bottom right corner of the screen, the call icon enables you to call any of your contacts or groups. Additionally, you can create a new call link directly from this window.

3. Chat Icons and Symbols:

Upon long-pressing a conversation on the WhatsApp home screen, a set of symbols and icons will appear at the top right corner of the screen.

chat icons and symbols
The Meanings of Numerous Symbols and Icons at The Top of WhatsApp Home Screen

a) The Pin Icon: Allows you to pin a chat, keeping it at the top of the chat thread regardless of new messages in other chats. You can pin up to 3 chats.

b) The Trash Bin Icon: Serves to delete the chat thread.

c) Loudspeaker with Backslash: Allows you to mute the selected chat. Once a chat is muted, the icon will appear without the backslash. To unmute the chat, simply tap on it.

d) Folder with a Down Arrow: Allows you to archive a chat. Archiving hides chats without deleting them, providing a convenient way to organize your conversations.

Upon opening a chat thread, you’ll find a collection of symbols at the top right corner of the screen and at the bottom of the screen alongside the Message box.

Meanings of Symbols and Icons in the WhatsApp Chat Thread
Meanings of Symbols and Icons in the WhatsApp Chat Thread, Explained

e) The Video Recorder Icon: Initiates a video call with your selected contact. By tapping this symbol during a chat, you can engage in a face-to-face conversation.

f) The Phone Icon: Allows you to start an audio call with the recipient.

g) The 3-dot Symbol: Offers additional options, such as disappearing messages, accessing media, links, docs, searching, setting wallpaper, and more.

h) Smiley: The smiley icon grants access to a variety of emojis that can be sent in the chat.

i) Paperclip: Represents the attachment feature. Use this symbol to attach files, images, videos, contacts, and locations to your messages. You can even create a poll in the chat thread.

j) Microphone: Enables you to record and send voice messages. Press and hold this symbol while speaking, and release it to send the recorded voice message in the chat.

4. Checkmarks and Clock Symbol (Message Status):

The Checkmarks (tick symbols) and Clock symbol appear next to your sent messages indicate their status.

a) Gray Single-tick: Indicates that your message has been sent but not yet delivered to the recipient.

gray single-tick
Gray Single-Tick: Message Sent But Has Yet to Be Delivered

b) Gray Double-tick: Signifies that the message was delivered to the recipient. However, it does not necessarily imply that the recipient has read your message.

gray double-tick
Gray Double-Tick: Message Delivered

c) Blue Double-tick: Indicates the recipient has read the message.

blue double-tick
Blue Double-Tick: Message Read by Recipient

d) Clock Symbol: Indicates you are not connected to the internet and the message failed to be sent. It will be sent until you’re connected to the internet.

clock symbol next to message
Clock Symbol: Not Connected to Internet. Message Failed to Be Sent

Read also: How to Use WhatsApp on a Computer


WhatsApp symbols are indispensable in enhancing the messaging experience. Understanding the meanings of the Home Screen, Status and Calls Tabs, and Chat icons will empower you to navigate the app effortlessly and use its features more effectively. So, next time you open WhatsApp, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to make the most of its symbols and enjoy seamless communication with friends and family.

Read also: 100+ Best WhatsApp About Lines to Impress Everyone

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