Google is replacing Chrome’s lock icon this year: Here’s why you should care

Google is replacing Chrome’s iconic lock icon this year as most people didn’t understand what it means. Here’s what Google is replacing it with.


  • Google is replacing Chrome’s lock icon this year.
  • It will be replaced by a new tune icon.
  • The change will be rolled out to all users in September this year.
Google Chrome

The lock icon has appeared in the address bar of Google’s Chrome web browser for such a long time now that it has practically become a part of the browser’s identity. Ask anyone about it and they will tell you that the lock icon in Chrome indicates that a particular website is safe for browsing. But that is clearly not the case. Also Read - Pixel Buds A-series gets an update ahead of Pixel 7a launch: Take a peek

The lock icon represents that the network connection between you and the website that you are accessing is protected by HTTPs. Or as Google explains it, the “lock icon is meant to indicate that the network connection is a secure channel between the browser and site and that the network connection cannot be tampered with or eavesdropped on by third parties.” Thankfully, you are not alone in your misunderstanding of the Chrome’s lock icon. Millions of people across the globe remain confused regarding the purpose of the lock icon and what it represents in the Chrome web browser. Google is painfully aware of this confusion. Also Read - Gmail is rolling out its own blue verified checkmarks for verified senders

In 2021, it conducted a study wherein it found out that only 11 percent of study participants correctly understood the precise meaning of the lock icon. Google notes that this misunderstanding is ‘not harmless’, especially since nearly all phishing sites use HTTPS, and therefore also display the lock icon. The company, in its study found out that many Chrome users never understood that clicking the lock icon showed important information and controls. Also Read - Google Pixel 7a full specs and color options leaked before launch

“Misunderstandings are so pervasive that many organizations, including the FBI, publish explicit guidance that the lock icon is not an indicator of website safety,” Google wrote in a blog post.

So, to clear up this confusion, the company is replacing the iconic lock icon in Google Chrome with a new tune icon. The new tune icon looks like the toggle buttons that we see in the settings menu on various websites. Google says that the new icon “does not imply trustworthy”, “is more obviously clickable” and “is commonly associated with settings or other controls”.

Image: Google

Google says that the new tune icon in Chrome prevents the misunderstanding that the lock icon is associated with the trustworthiness of a page, and it stresses on the fact that “security should be the default state in Chrome”. Furthermore, the company says that the new icon will also help in making permission controls and additional security information more accessible to the users.

Chrome tune icon availability

As far as availability is concerned, Google says that the new icon is scheduled to launch in Chrome 117 in early September 2023.

Google says that it will be replacing the lock icon on Android at the same time as the broader desktop change. The only difference is that the company will be completely removing the lock icon from Chrome on iOS as it will not tappable.

  • Published Date: May 4, 2023 11:23 AM IST
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