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What Do Icons and Symbols Mean in Spotify

by Gaurav Bidasaria
What Do Icons and Symbols Mean in Spotify

Spotify’s UI has undergone several changes in recent years and many fans of the music streaming service are unhappy with it. Let’s ease that pain a little with this detailed guide on where and what all icons and symbols mean in the Spotify app. We will go through each Spotify screen and then explain what the icon looks like and mean so you know what to expect.

Home Tab

The home tab is where you land when you open the app for the first time. So let’s begin from there and understand what each icon and symbol means in Spotify’s home tab.

Bell Icon (With Blue Dot)

The bell icon at the top right corner indicates notifications and the blue dot indicates notifications that are pending to be seen or read. Spotify calls it What’s New where you can discover the latest songs, artists, podcasts, and shows.

bell icon in spotify with blue dot

Clock With Dots Icon

Aptly named Recently played, it contains a date-wise list of all your songs and podcasts that you have played so far. You can scroll down the memory lane to find that one song or episode you can’t remember and quickly replay them.

recently played icon in spotify denoted by clock with dots icon

Cog Icon

No matter which app you are using, the cog icon always represents Settings and so is true for Spotify as well. Change playback, data saver, account, language, social, and other settings here. Some of these settings are device-specific.

spotify cog icon which means settings and options

Noticed the song playing at the bottom of the screen? Tap on that to expand it to find more options. Let’s explore that next.

A neat trick is the ability to use one of the Spotify songs or tracks as your morning alarm.

Song Screen (When You Play a Song)

When you play a song, this is the screen you see where you can interact with the song, view lyrics, and do more.

Heart Icon

The heart icon if empty or transparent means you have not liked the song. If the icon is filled with green color, you have ‘liked’ the song. Songs that you like are added to a separate playlist called Liked Songs.

heart icon in spotify that means liked song

Three Arrows Icons

The arrow to the left pointing backward is the back arrow which when pressed once will begin the song from the start and when pressed twice will play the previous song. The arrow inside a circle in the center is the play and pause button. The arrow on the right-pointing forward will play the next song in the playlist or queue.

back, play, and forward button icons in spotify

Criss-Cross Arrow

That’s the Shuffle icon. The gray color means that shuffle is disabled and songs in the playlist will play in the listed order. When enabled, the icon turns green and that means Spotify will play a random song from the list without necessarily following the listed order.

criss-cross arrows in spotify that denotes shuffle playlist

Rectangle Arrow (With 1 in the Middle)

That’s the Repeat icon in Spotify. Grey means repeat is disabled and songs will play in the listed order from the playlist. Tap once and it will turn green which means the entire playlist will repeat so when the last song finishes, the playlist will begin again from the first song.

Tap again and you will notice the number 1 at the center which means the current song will repeat until the feature is turned off.

rectangular arrow with 1 means repeat icon in spotify

Half Screen With Remote Icon

That’s the Spotify Connect icon. You can create a group session and host a listening party where a group can listen to the same songs or podcasts. You can also seamlessly connect to other devices on the same Wi-Fi network and switch devices while playing songs.

screen with remote icon means spotify connect

Box With Arrow

That’s the universal icon for Share. Spotify allows you to copy a link to the song or directly share it with installed messaging and social media apps.

spotify share menu option

Parallel Lines

That’s the Queue icon where you will see the current song playing. You can then choose the next songs from the playlist that you want to listen to here. Check the radio button on the left to choose songs. You can also hold-n-drag to reshuffle the play order using the three-line icon on the right of the song.

parallel lines in spotify means queue order of songs

E Icon

E stands for Explicit meaning the lyrics of the song have violent, adult, sexual, or offensive words. It is usually not recommended for kids of people who are sensitive to these things.

E icon means lyrics are explicit in spotify

Search Tab

This is where you can search for songs, albums, artists, podcasts, etc.

Camera Icon

Spotify users can create a unique barcode with an album cover for any song, album, artist, and playlist on Spotify. Other users can then use their camera icon to scan these bar codes and immediately load the song or playlist shared. Tapping it launches the in-app camera.

camera icon in spotify to scan barcodes

Your Library Tab

This is where you will find your saved and created music playlists and podcasts you have subscribed to, and songs and episodes that you have liked. You will also find special playlists created by Spotify and some other recommended content.

Spotify Your Library tab icons meaning

Magnifying Glass

That’s the universal icon for Search. Tap on that and then type for song name, lyrics, podcast episode, album, artists, and so on to find what you are looking for. Sadly, search icon is missing on the home tab.

Plus Symbol

Tap on the Plus icon in Spotify to create a new Playlist and name it. You can then add songs to the same.

Up-Down Arrow

It’s the icon for sorting playlists in Spotify. Tapping on it will reveal a pop-up menu where you can choose to sort by most recent, alphabetically, recently added, and creator.

sort playlist icon in spotify

Pin Icon

The pin icon in Spotify will bookmark the playlist and display it at the top above all other playlists you have saved. It makes it easy to find your favorites.

Four Squares

The four-square icon in Spotify will change the UI from list view to grid view. The icon will change to three vertical lines with dots before them. Tap on that to view playlists in Spotify in list view again.

Podcasts List Page

Spotify also carries podcasts. The settings, options, and hence the icons and symbols are slightly different here.

spotify podcast icons and symbols

Plus Inside Circle

Tapping on that will save the podcast episode to Your Episode playlist in Your Library. Useful when you want to listen or relisten to the podcast again at a later date.

Down Arrow Inside Circle

That will download the podcast episode to your device so you can listen to the same offline. Useful when traveling.

Podcast Player

Just like the music player screen above, there is a podcast player screen too which appears when you are listening to an episode. The options here are slightly different.

spotify podcast player icons and symbols

Number X

This is the current podcast speed. I have set it to 1.2x which means the podcast is playing at 1.2x speed. So if the speed is set to 2x, a 60-minute podcast will finish in 30 minutes.

sleep timer icon in spotify

Number With Back/Front Round Arrow

The back arrow will rewind the podcast by 15 seconds while the front arrow will fast forward the podcast by 15 seconds.

Half Moon

You can now set a sleep timer on Spotify using the moon icon. You can choose from the presets but there is no way to enter your own number.

sleep timer icon in spotify

Other icons like share, Spotify Connect, and Queue icons function the same as on the music player screen.

Lock Screen

You can access the music or podcast player from the lock screen too.

Triangle With Three Circles

That’s the AirPlay icon and is visible only on iPhone or iPad. Tap on that icon to connect Spotify with nearby Apple devices like speakers or Macbook and listen to podcasts.

airplay icon on spotify

Iconic Symbols of Spotify

Spotify app is riddled with a number of icons and symbols and while some are easy to understand, others you may figure out after tapping on it. But some symbols are just there for information and you really don’t know what that means. One such symbol for me was the E icon. I hope this guide on the meaning of Spotify icons and symbols helped clear some air.

Not happy with Spotify or moved to a different music streaming service? Learn how to delete Spotify account permanently.

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