We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.

BlackBerry Quick Tip: What are these icons?

When you become a BlackBerry owner, it's like you learn a whole new language. Not only is there new terminology to learn, but your screen will soon be home to all kinds of icons and notifications. Most of them are pretty self-explanatory, but others aren't so obvious to new users, and sometimes getting rid of notifications can be just as confusing.

The picture above has been floating around the forums for quite some time (thanks to ifarlow for putting it together way back when), and those of you running older OS' are likely familiar with several of them. For the most part, notifiers haven't changed a whole lot from OS to OS, though there have been some notable changes. After the break you can see a list of more recent notifiers, from OS 5-7, as well as a list of several things that can have an effect on how notifiers look on your device.

Why don't my icons look like the examples?

  • Themes - Many 3rd party themes contain custom icons and notifiers. While most will still be familiar to you, theme developers can recolor them or replace them with custom icons.
  • 3rd party apps - All sorts of apps that you download can push notifications to your home screen. Twitter apps (such as SocialScope, UberSocial, Twitter for BlackBerry) FaceBook, weather apps (such as BerryWeather), system monitoring apps (such as BatteryEx and MeterBerry), the list goes on and on.
  • OS and App updates - If you do a major upgrade on your OS, for example from OS5 to 6, your notification icons will look different than you are used to. Similarly, if you have an app that gets updated, the update may include new notification icons.

Ok, how do I get rid of them?

Clearing notifications from your screen can sometimes be confusing. Usually, opening the app that the notifier pertains to will clear it out. If it's an email, SMS, or BBM, you will need to actually open the message, or use the 'mark all read' function from the menu. If you find yourself with a random notifier that you can't seem to find, a good place to look is in the combined Messages folder. Selecting 'U' will take you to the first unread message, so if there is one hiding in there, you should be able to find it and clear it out. Of course if you've done all you can and it's still not clearing, a battery pull or soft reset will sometimes take care of it.

List of common BlackBerry symbols and notifiers 

OS  Symbol  Meaning
5.0, 6.0, 7.0
New item
New item, ie email, SMS, BBM; appears on corresponding app icon
5.0, 6.0, 7.0  Sending data Sending data
5.0, 6.0, 7.0  Receiving data Receiving data
5.0, 6.0, 7.0  System busy System busy, also known as the hourglass
5.0, 6.0, 7.0  Roaming Roaming
5.0, 6.0, 7.0  Alarm is set  Alarm is set
5.0  Bluetooth technology is turned on Bluetooth technology is turned on
5.0  Bluetooth enabled device is connected Bluetooth enabled device is connected
6.0, 7.0  Bluetooth technology is turned on Bluetooth technology is turned on 
5.0, 6.0, 7.0  voice mail message  voice mail message
5.0, 6.0, 7.0  unopened message count unopened message count
5.0, 6.0, 7.0  missed call count missed call count
5.0, 6.0, 7.0  calendar reminder count calendar reminder count
5.0, 6.0, 7.0
 New BlackBerry Messenger item New BlackBerry Messenger item 
5.0, 6.0, 7.0 
 New BlackBerry Messenger group item New BlackBerry Messenger group item 
6.0, 7.0
 New item in the Social Feeds application New item in the Social Feeds application 
5.0, 6.0, 7.0   Wi-Fi is turned on Wi-Fi is turned on 
5.0, 6.0, 7.0 Update is available in the BlackBerry App World storefront
Update is available in the BlackBerry App World storefront 
5.0, 6.0, 7.0
GPS is turned on
GPS is turned on 
 5.0, 6.0, 7.0   App World Message Message from App World

For a complete list of icons and notifiers you can check out the OS specific icon guides at the links below.

BlackBerry Icon Guide - 5.0
BlackBerry Icon Guide - 6.0
BlackBerry Icon Guide - 7.0

Read more