In the top of your Galaxy Note 4 screen, there is a status bar with all sorts of icons. These status icons and notifications icons may give you very valuable info of the phone.
This guide is trying to explain to you the meaning of the Galaxy Note 4 status icons and notification icons.
Please note, in different regions, the icons may be different. In addition, third-party apps usually have their own notifications icons. So, this guide only tries to cover the commonly-encountered status icons and notification icons of pre-installed apps in Galaxy Note 4.
What’s the difference between status icon and notification icon?
As the name suggests, status icon indicates the system status, e.g., mobile signal strength, battery levels. Galaxy Note 4 status icon usually located in the right side of the status bar.
Notification icon usually notifies you about some activities on the phone, e.g., USB cable connected, new messages, missed calls. These notification icons are usually in the left side of the status bar.
Of course, it is not necessary for users to differ these two categories: both of them are giving you some information.
Some documents may just refer to status icon and notification icon as “indicator icons”.
Meaning of Galaxy Note 4 status icons and notification icons
|No mobile network. Galaxy Note 4 is NOT registered with any mobile networks. So, you can not use voice and mobile data.
This status icon usually indicates two possible scenarios: 1). the area is not covered with mobile signal of your carrier; or 2). your SIM card is not activated.
You need contact your carrier to find out the possible solutions.When you see this status icon, you should be able to use WiFi and many other functions on Galaxy Note 4. Actually, you can use most features of Galaxy Note 4 without a SIM card.
|Mobile network signal strength indicator. This status icon shows you how good the mobile network signal is in your area. More bars mean stronger signal, and therefore, the connection is usually more reliable.
Please do not compare the bars of this status icon with that on other phones. Different phones may use different ways to normalize the signal strength. To get accurate (and actual) signal strength, you can go to Settings–About device –Status.
|Roaming. Galaxy Note 4 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. 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. You should avoid downloading large files when you see this status icon in your Galaxy Note 4, because it will be frustratingly slow. Such connections are meant for MMS messages or emails, not for intensive web browsing or downloading.
When data are transmitted, the arrows in the notification icon will flash or show different colors.If your mobile plan includes 3G data or 4G data, you may check with your carrier on the 3G and 4G network coverage.In some regions, there are no arrows in the bottom of this status icon, i.e., it could be just a plain G.
|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.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 can mean different things. This status icon usually means Galaxy Note 4 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.
The typical 3G speed is a few hundreds Kilo bits per second. You may browse website, download email attachments, use instant messaging. It usually is not fast enough to download movies or watch online video streaming.
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, you can use your Galaxy Note 4 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 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+.
|4G network connected. This status icon is very confusing, because it is actually NOT 4G LTE.The status icon indicates your Galaxy Note 4 is connected to a network that can 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 means 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 a 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 Note 4 is limited to 3G or HSPA or HSPA+ network. This is normal because the radio frequency used in that region may be not activated in your Galaxy Note 4.
|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.
|Airplane mode (flight mode) activated. Once you see this status icon, 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 Note 4 will show this status icon if it fails to detect any SIM card inside. Without SIM card, you can still use a lot of functions in Galaxy Note 4.
To save battery on SIM card detection, it is a good practice to enable flight mode (airplane mode) if you plan to use Galaxy Note 4 without SIM card.
|New text message or multi-media message. You will see this notification icon when new messages arrive. In the notification area, you can tap the message to preview or go to the messaging app.
In Galaxy Note 4, you can choose 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 GMail messages. This notification icon is from GMail app.
|New email message. This notification icon is from EMail app in Galaxy Note 4.
|New voice mail messages. You need check with your carrier on how to manage your voice mail box.By default, in the dial keypad, long tapping “1” will connect you to your voice mail box if it is configured by your carrier.
Anyway, voice mail is provided by your carrier and all messages are also saved on their servers, not on your phone.
|WiFi activated and connected. This status icon indicates WiFi connection is activated and your Galaxy Note 4 is successfully connected to a access point.When data are transmitted, the arrows in the status icon will flash or show different colors.
|WiFi activated, but not connected. This status icon suggests there are some WiFi networks in range, but your Galaxy Note 4 is not connected to any of them yet. Normally, these networks (access points) are new to your Galaxy Note 4, or you chose not to remember password when you connected to them last time.
|WiFi Direct is activated. The status icon indicates your Galaxy S5 is now connected to other device through WiFi Direct. WiFi Direct in Galaxy Note 4 offers a quick way to transfer files between devices.
|Portable WiFi hotspot enabled. You will see this status icon if you configure your Galaxy Note 4 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 your 4G LTE connection and WiFi connection to download a single file. This of course means faster downloading. For more details, you may check this guide on how to use download booster on Galaxy Note 4.
|Bluetooth enabled, but not paired.
|Bluetooth enabled and paired with other devices or accessories.
|Screen mirroring enabled. This notification icon indicates you are sharing your Galaxy Note 4 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 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.
|Uploading or uploaded. This notification icon is for uploading, i.e., when you upload files from your phone to the internet or other devices.
|Data synchronization in progress. The sync notification icon 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 when Galaxy Note 4 is connected to PC with the USB cable.
|Tethered through USB connection. This notification icon is displayed when Galaxy Note 4 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. By tapping two NFC enabled devices, you can quickly share some files. The notification icon is shown whenever NFC is activated on your Galaxy Note 4 .For larger files, WiFi direct usually is a better option.
|Location service (GPS) enabled. When this notification icon is shown, 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.
|Blocking mode enabled. In blocking mode, your Galaxy Note 4 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.
You can create an allowed contact list so that incoming calls from these people will reach you.When in blocking mode, you can make calls and you will receive all messages as usual. But some notifications will be disabled.
|Call in progress. When you are in a call, you will see this notification icon.
|Call on hold. This notification icon tells you there is call on hold.
|Call forwarding enabled. You will get this notification icon when you choose to always forward all calls to other number or to voicemail.
|Missed call. The notification icon tells you there are one or more missed calls. You can check the call log or notification area to see the 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. Under Settings–Sound mode, you have 3 different modes: sound, mute (silent) and vibrate. This notification icon indicates it is under mute (silent) mode. The phone will neither ring nor vibrate for incoming calls and notifications. You may check this guide on how to mute your Galaxy Note 4.
|Vibrate mode activated. See explanation of notification icon for silent mode.
|Speakerphone is on.
|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 you battery has less than 5% capacity left, this status icon will shown. Galaxy Note 4 will automatically adjust some settings, for example, the brightness of screen will be automatically dimmed and you cannot adjust it.When you see this status icon, you should charge your phone as early as possible. It may shorten the lifespan of the battery if you often drain battery to this level before charging.Of course, when seeing this notification icon, you can turn on 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 unplug the charger.When you connect your Galaxy S5 to PC through USB cable, you will also see this status icon. 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 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 shutdown your Galaxy S5.
|Screenshot saved. Once a screenshot is taken, you will see this notification icon. The screenshot will be automatically saved to pictures/screenshots in the internal storage.Please follow this guide on how to take screenshot on Galaxy Note 4.
|Smart Stay activated.
|TTY device inserted.
|Emergency Alert. When you see this notification icon, you should check the notification message. It usually indicates a system error. You may need reboot Galaxy Note 4.
|Keyboard/keypad is active.
|Connected to other devices. This notification icon displays when Galaxy Note 4 is connected 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 is from Google Play store app.
|App installed or updated. This notification icon is from Google Play store app. You should get notifications on apps installed or updated.
|New Hangouts notification. If you choose Hangouts as the default messaging app, this notification icon may also indicates new SMS or new MMS, in addition to other Hangouts notifications.
|S Pen detected. This notification icon indicates S Pen is removed from the S pen slot in your Galaxy Note 4.
My Galaxy Note 4 shows some notification icons that are not shown here, what do they mean?
If the notification is on the left side of the status bar, it is usually from third-party apps.
Very often, there is also a notification in the notification area when such notification icons are displayed.
Tap and hold the notification until App info pops out. You can tap the app info to find out the app that shows the notification icon.
Do you have any questions to understand the meaning of Galaxy Note 4 status icons and notifications icons?
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More how-to guides , tips and tricks for using Samsung Galaxy Note 4 are available at Galaxy Note 4 how-to guides page.