Chrome’s Lock Icon Will be Replaced Later This Year – CNET

Google is switching out Chrome’s padlock symbol for a new icon in the address bar, the company announced in a blog post on Tuesday. The lock will be replaced this fall with a “neutral indicator” designed to urge users to verify a website’s security information. Users will see the new icon in September with the launch of Chrome 117. 

Chrome redesigned the browser’s lock icon back in 2016 after learning that people misread it as a sign of a site’s safety level and credibility. However, the clickable symbol provides information on a website’s permission settings, cookies and whether the site has a secure connection. Citing how the move from HTTP once meant that newer HTTPS websites were more secure, the company says the lock used to indicate better protection. Google wrote that it is a common misunderstanding, and the lock icon does not equate to trustworthiness. 

The team behind Chrome is working on a version of tune icon (pictured below) that encourages users to click and check for vital privacy and security information. Google says the user-friendly image is better because it does not indicate “trustworthy,” “is more obviously clickable” and “is commonly associated with settings or other controls.”

rendering of tune icon with a circle and line

<span class="c-shortcodeImage_caption g-inner-spacing-right-small g-text-xxsmall" readability="27"></p> <p>Chrome&#8217;s lock symbol will be based on this tune image.&nbsp;</p> <p></span> <span class="c-shortcodeImage_credit g-inner-spacing-right-small g-outer-spacing-top-xsmall g-color-text-meta g-text-xxxsmall">Google Chrome</span>

Desktop and Android users will see the replacement symbol roll out at the same time this fall, but the lock will be completely removed from iOS because it can’t be tapped. Chrome will keep providing alerts for unsecured connections.

Read on to learn more about how you can optimize your browser settings for better security and how safe browsing mode actually works.