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Chrome Will Soon Remove The Lock Icon In Favour Of New Design: How Does It Matter?

Last Updated: May 03, 2023, 14:31 IST

The lock icon on Chrome address bar will be replaced

These changes are part of the Material You design that is now available on Gmail, Calendar and even Android.

Chrome browser has a safety feature that tells you if you have opened an unsafe website with the HTTPS icon in the website link or URL and a lock icon next to it. But Google is now keen to make some changes as a part of the design overhaul with the Material You elements and soon you will have a new icon replacing the lock icon without any change in the quality of security offered against any vulnerable websites.

Material You has become a core part of Google’s design language, not only for the Pixel devices but also other products like Google Docs, Gmail and Calendar among others. Google has been planning to make these changes for a while, and now the date has been set for September when Chrome’s address bar will have a new look and icons. So why is Google making the change?

The company feels that the purpose of the lock icon was to educate people while navigating through unsafe websites that did not have HTTPS prefixed to the URL. But it is now confident that HTTPS is no longer a necessity as most of the websites are secure and the new icon will give them additional information when they click on it.

The lock icon will be replaced with a tune icon that will also comprise of the details such as the permissions required by the website (accessing you location, microphone and other sensors), and site settings. Google understands that having the lock icon was no longer the indication that a website is secure, as hackers were able to use HTTPS and the lock icon for phishing sites as well.

Google even ran a survey where it found that only 11 percent of the participants knew the real purpose of having the lock icon. The tune icon will reflect the change in the identity of websites running on Chrome, especially those with the HTTP added before the website URL in the address bar. These changes will be part of the Chrome 117 update which is rolling out in September this year. The new icon is coming to Chrome on desktop initially, and Chrome for Android will get it at a later date.

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