Update 2: If you get new Samsung phone status icons or notification icons after applying Android Nougat for Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, and Galaxy S6 edge +, please check New Galaxy S7 status icons in Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge Nougat update page.
Update: Galaxy S7 (including Galaxy S7 edge) use almost identical notification icons and status icons as Galaxy S6. This guide also applies to Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge.
What are status icons and notification icons in Samsung phones?
In the right side of the status bar, you can find status icons which indicate the status of the mobile network signal, WiFi connection, time, battery levels and many other system-level status.
In the left side of the status bar, you can find notification icons. These notification icons in Samsung phones usually associated with corresponding apps. Normally, you may also get a notification message associated with the notification icon.
If you want to know the meaning of these status icons and notification icons in Samsung Galaxy S6 (and S6 edge) and other Samsung phones, this page is for you. Samsung phone icons (status, notification) are more or less universal.
As you may know, in different regions, the design of status icons may be different. Some carrier may add a few special icons for their special network features or services.
In addition, third-party apps normally use their own notifications icons.
So, if you find a status icon or notification icon that is not covered in this guide, don’t be panic. You may take a screenshot and share with the community in the comment box below so that the community can help you find the meaning of such a status icon or notification icon.
Sometimes, status icons and notification icons in Samsung Galaxy S6 and other Samsung phones are just referred to as “indicator icons“.
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge shares almost identical status icons and system notification icons as Galaxy S6, so this guide applies to both phones. In the text, we will just use the Samsung Galaxy S6.
Meaning of status icons and notification icons in Galaxy S6 and other Samsung phones
Although it is not absolutely required, most Galaxy S6 phones are using SIM card issued by your carrier (see this page for SIM card guide for Galaxy S6). When you turn on the phone, Galaxy S6 connects to the carrier’s mobile network (or roams to partners’ network).
The mobile network status usually includes signal strength and network type for mobile data connections.
|No mobile network. Galaxy S6 is NOT registered with any mobile networks. So, you can not use the phone for voice or mobile data. This status icon in Samsung Galaxy S6 usually indicates either:
You need to contact your carrier to find a solution.
When you see this status icon in Galaxy S6, you can still use other functions that do not require a mobile network.
|Mobile network signal strength indicator. This status icon in Galaxy S6 shows you how strong the mobile network signal is in your area. More bars mean stronger signal, and therefore, the connection is usually more stable. If you can only see one bar, voice or data connection may be interrupted frequently.
Because different phones manufacturers may use different ways to normalize the signal strength, it is meaningless to compare the number of bars on your Galaxy S6 with other phones. You can get accurate (and actual) signal strength in dBm in Settings–About device –Status.
|Roaming. Your Galaxy S6 is registered in other carriers’ network, not in your carrier’s own mobile network. This status icon usually shows when you are visiting other countries.
The roaming charges are usually expensive in most regions. So, it is better to check the roaming rate before using any services when you get this status icon.
|GPRS network connected. GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) is the slowest 2G mobile data connection.
If there are no available 4G, 3G or Edge networks, mobile data in Galaxy S6 will fail back to GPRS. When data are transmitted in the Galaxy S6, the arrows in the status icon will flash or show different colors.
In some regions, there are no arrows in the bottom of this status icon, i.e., it could be just a plain G.If your mobile plan includes 3G data or 4G LTE data, you may check with your carrier on the 3G and 4G network coverage.
|EDGE network connected. EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) is normally faster than GPRS. But it is still a 2G connection, and it is too slow for downloading files.
If there are no available 4G or 3G networks, mobile data in Galaxy S6 will fail back to EDGE.
When data are transmitted, the arrows in the status icon will flash or show different colors. In some regions, there are no arrows in the bottom of this status icon, i.e., it could be just a plain E.If your mobile plan includes 3G data or 4G data, you may check with your carrier on the 3G and 4G network coverage.
|3G network connected. For different carriers, the 3G status icon in Galaxy S6 can mean quite different things. This status icon in Galaxy S6 usually means Galaxy S6 is connected to a 3G network.
If it is a HSPA or HSPA+ network, in most regions, different notification icons (see below) will be shown.
When data are transmitted, the arrows in the notification icon will flash or show different colors. In some regions, there are no arrows in the bottom of this status icon, i.e., it could be just a plain 3G.
|HSPA network connected. HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access) is considered as mobile “broadband”. The typical speed is about a few Mbits per second. In some regions, it is stated as 3.5G network. In a few regions, it is just called 4G.
When you see this status icon in Galaxy S6 or other Samsung phones, you can use your Galaxy S6 for most online activities, including watching online videos.
When data are transmitted, the arrows in the notification icon will flash or show different colors.
In some regions, there are no arrows in the bottom of this status icon, i.e., it could be just a plain H.
|HSPA+ network connected. HSPA+ (Evolved HSPA) is considered as the fastest 3G data connection you can get currently.In some regions, it is named as 3.75G or 4G. The typical speed of HSPA+ network is about 10-20 Mbits per second.
When data are transmitted, the arrows in this status icon will flash or show different colors.
In some regions, there are no arrows in the bottom of this status icon, i.e., it could be just a plain H+.
|4G network connected. This status icon in Galaxy S6 is very confusing because it is usually NOT 4G LTE.
This status icon can indicate a network that could be anything from HSPA to HSPA+, but definitely NOT 4G LTE. This status icon is used in some regions to differentiate 3G and 4G LTE. In other words, in these regions, the status icon means H or H+.
|4G network is transmitting data. Again, this 4G status icon in Galaxy S6 means data are transmitted through anything from HSPA to HSPA+, except 4G LTE.|
|4G LTE network connected. LTE (Long-Term Evolution) is usually called 4G in most regions. Of course, there is the even faster LTE+ in some regions. You will see an additional + sign on the top right.
Unlike 3G, HSPA, and HSPA+, the frequency of 4G LTE in different regions (and different carriers) differs dramatically (bands).
When you travel to other regions, you may find out your Galaxy S6 is limited to 3G or HSPA or HSPA+ network. This is normal because the radio frequency used in that region for LTE maybe not activated in your Galaxy S6.
|Data transmitting through 4G LTE. In some regions, the status icon is different. In these regions, there are two arrows below 4G in the status icon to indicating data transmitting through 4G LTE network|
|Airplane mode (flight mode) activated. Once you see this status icon in Galaxy S6, you cannot send or receive calls. You cannot send or receive SMS. You cannot use mobile data. However, it is possible to manually enable WiFi and Bluetooth after they are disabled.
By default, when you enable airplane mode (flight mode), all radios are turned off, including WiFi and Bluetooth. If you know it is allowed to use WiFi or Bluetooth in that location, you can manually enable them although the flight mode status icon is still shown there. But you cannot enable mobile data or voice as long as you have this status icon. If mobile data or voice is enabled, this status icon should disappear.
|SIM card missing. Your Galaxy S6 will show this status icon if it fails to detect any SIM card inside.
To save battery on SIM card detection, it is a good practice to enable flight mode (airplane mode) if you plan to use Galaxy S6 without a SIM card.
You may refer to this guide on using SIM card on Galaxy S6.
When you receive a text message or MMS, or email or voice mail message, you will get the notifications icons in Samsung Galaxy S6 status bar.
Normally, you also get a preview of the messages except voice mail messages in the notification panel.
|New text message or MMS message. You will see this notification icon in Samsung Galaxy S6 when new messages arrive. In the notification area, you can tap the message to preview or go to the messaging app. In Galaxy S6, you can choose a default messaging app.
If you choose other apps, e.g., Hangouts, as the default messaging app, the notification icon for new messages will be Hangouts icon (see below).
|New Hangouts notification. If you choose Hangouts as the default messaging app, this notification icon may also indicate new SMS or new MMS, in addition to other Hangouts notifications.|
|New Gmail messages. This notification icon in Samsung Galaxy S6 is from the Gmail app. It means you have new GMail messages.
Please note, in the latest Gmail app, you can add other email accounts.
|New email message. This notification icon in Samsung Galaxy S6 is from the EMail app. It means you have a new email message.|
|New voice mail messages. This notification icon in Samsung Galaxy S6 and other Samsung phones is for voice mail messages. You need to check with your carrier on how to manage your voice mailbox.
By default, in the dial keypad, long-tapping “1” will connect you to your voice mailbox if it is configured by your carrier.
Please note, voice mail is provided by your carrier and all voice mail messages are saved on their servers, not on your Galaxy S6.
When WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, and location (GPS) is activated, you will find the corresponding status icons on Galaxy S6 status bar.
When File transfer or USB connection is active, you will find the notification icons in Samsung Galaxy S6.
|WiFi activated and connected. This status icon indicates WiFi connection is activated and Samsung Galaxy S6 is successfully connected to an access point.
When data are transmitted, the arrows in the status icon in Samsung Galaxy S6 will flash or show different colors.
|WiFi activated, but not connected. This status icon in Samsung Galaxy S6 suggests there are some WiFi networks in range, but Galaxy S6 is not connected to any of them yet. Normally, these networks (access points) are new to your Galaxy S6, or you chose not to remember the password when you connected to it last time.|
|WiFi Direct is activated. The status icon in Samsung Galaxy S6 indicates your Galaxy S6 is now connected to other device through WiFi Direct.WiFi Direct in Galaxy S6 offers a quick way to transfer files between devices. It is generally faster than Bluetooth.|
|Portable WiFi hotspot enabled. You will see this status icon if Galaxy S6 is configured as a portable WiFi hotspot. This means you are sharing your mobile data with other devices through WiFi.Some carriers may block this feature.|
|Download booster enabled. With download booster, you can combine 4G LTE connection and WiFi connection to download a single file. This, of course, means faster downloading.|
|Bluetooth enabled, but not paired.|
|Bluetooth enabled and paired with other devices or accessories.|
|Screen mirroring enabled. This notification icon in Samsung Galaxy S6 indicates you are sharing the Galaxy S6 screen with other big screens through Miracast.
For more details on screen mirroring, and Chromecast, you may check this post.
|Downloading or downloaded. This notification icon in Samsung Galaxy S6 reminds you there are one or more downloading jobs.
If the downloading is in progress, the arrow is usually animated downwards. In some regions, the color may also change. Once the files are downloaded, you can tap the notification to open the file in Galaxy S6.
|Uploading or uploaded. This notification icon is for uploading, i.e., when you upload files from your Galaxy S6 to the internet or other devices.|
|Data synchronization in progress. The sync notification icon in Galaxy S6 is for all sync jobs, including email, Gmail, photos, contacts, calendar. Once the sync is done, the notification icon will disappear automatically.|
|USB connection with PC established. You will see this notification icon in Samsung Galaxy S6 when S6 is connected to PC with the USB cable.|
|Tethered through a USB connection. This notification icon in Samsung Galaxy S6 is displayed when Galaxy S6 is tethered via a supported USB cable connection. You can share your mobile data connection with PCs in this way.
Some carriers may block this feature.
|NFC enabled. NFC (near field communication) provides a fast way to share small files and mobile payment.
By tapping two NFC enabled devices, you can quickly share some files. The notification icon in Samsung Galaxy S6 is shown whenever NFC is activated on your Galaxy S6.
|Location service (GPS) enabled. When this notification icon is shown in Galaxy S6, it means some apps are requesting location info, which is usually provided by GPS. You can globally turn off location service if you don’t want to use it (to save battery as well).|
|Blocking mode enabled. In blocking mode, Galaxy S6 is connected to mobile network and functions as usual except that it rejecting all incoming calls. The caller will get a busy tone in most mobile networks. If you disable the blocking mode, this notification icon will disappear and you are accepting incoming calls.
Samsung Galaxy S6 combines the old blocking mode with downtime in Android Lollipop.
|Call in progress. When you are in a call, you will see this notification icon in Galaxy S6.|
|Call on hold. This notification icon tells you there is a call on hold. Some carriers may not support this feature.|
|Call forwarding enabled. You will get this notification icon in Samsung Galaxy S6 when you choose to always forward all calls to other number or to voice mail.|
|Missed call. The notification icon in Samsung Galaxy S6 tells you there are one or more missed calls. You can check the call log or notification area to see the caller number.|
|Call muted. If you tap the mute button again, it will be unmuted and the notification icon will disappear.|
|Silent mode (or mute mode) activated. This notification icon in Samsung Galaxy S6 indicates it is under mute (silent) mode. The phone will neither ring nor vibrate for incoming calls and notifications. But this does not affect alarms in Galaxy S6.|
|Vibrate mode activated. Galaxy S6 is in vibrate mode.|
|The speakerphone is on.|
For more info on charging Galaxy S6 battery, please check this page.
|Battery level indicator. You can enable battery percentage (Setting—battery) so that you can read the exact percentage of the battery juice left. The status icon may change to full or charging..|
|Battery level critically low. When your battery has less than 5% capacity left, this status icon will be shown. Galaxy S6 will automatically adjust some settings, for example, the brightness of the screen will be automatically dimmed and you cannot adjust it.
When you see this status icon in Galaxy S6, you should charge your phone as early as possible. It may shorten the lifespan of the battery if you often drain the battery to this level before charging. Please read this page on charging Galaxy S6 battery.
Of course, when seeing this notification icon, you can turn on the Ultra power saving mode to extend battery life if you cannot find a charger soon.
|Battery being charged. It is a good practice to let the battery fully charged before unplugging the charger.
When you connect your Galaxy S6 to PC through USB cable, you will also see this status icon in Galaxy S6. However, charging through PC is usually far slower than from the bundled charger. If you are using the USB 2.0 port in your PC, sometimes you may notice that the battery percentage is decreasing. This is due to the insufficient current of most USB 2.0 ports, especially those in notebooks.
|Calendar event. You will see this notification icon if there is a new calendar event. Tap the notification and you will get the details of the event.|
|Alarm activated. Please note alarm will NOT work if you shut down your Galaxy S6.|
|Screenshot saved. Once a screenshot is taken, you will see this notification icon in Galaxy S6. The screenshot will be automatically saved to pictures/screenshots in the internal storage.
Please follow this guide on how to take a screenshot on Galaxy S6 and S6 edge.
|Smart Stay activated.|
|TTY device inserted.|
|Emergency Alert. When you see this notification icon in Samsung Galaxy S6, you should check the notification message. It usually indicates a system error.
A reboot of Galaxy S6 may help sometimes.
|Keyboard/keypad is active.|
|Connected to other devices. This notification icon displays in Samsung Galaxy S6 if it is being used to control streaming media, and is connected to a Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) certified device using the Samsung Link application.|
|Private mode activated.|
|App updates available. This notification icon in Samsung Galaxy S6 is from the Google Play store app.|
|App installed or updated. This notification icon in Samsung Galaxy S6 is from the Google Play store app. You should get notifications on apps installed or updated.|
I saw some status icons or notification icons in Samsung Galaxy S6 that are not shown here, what do they mean?
If the notification icons in Samsung Galaxy S6 are on the left side of the status bar, you usually should get corresponding notifications. Tap and hold the notification, then tap App info to find out the app behind it.
If the status icon or notification icons in Samsung Galaxy S6 are on the right side of he status bar, very likely, they are from the system apps or some pre-installed apps.
Do you have any questions to understand the meaning of status icons and notification icons in Samsung Galaxy S6? Do you need help in status icons and notification icons in Samsung Galaxy S6 edge?
If you have any problems or questions to understand the meaning of status icons and notification icons in Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 edge S6 edge+, Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge, please let us know them in the comment box below.
We will try to help you find a solution.
For other features of Galaxy S6, please check Galaxy S6 online manual page.
For detailed guides on how to use Samsung Galaxy S6, please check Galaxy S6 how-to guides page.
For detailed guides on how to use the Galaxy S6 camera, please check Galaxy S6 camera guide page.