The Complete Guide to Text Message Colours & What They Mean


Are you confused with the red and green dots next to your phone’s text messages and contacts? Maybe you sent a message and remained on “delivered” but not read?

I’m here to help you figure out what you need to know about text message colors. Text message colors can indicate many things. For example, if a contact blocked you, the notifications and messages you received but didn’t read could show your online status.

What Does a Red Dot Mean Next to a Text Message?

A red dot next to a text message means you are either out of coverage, out of mobile credit, or blocked by the receiver. But in most cases, it’s a notification for messages that you haven’t read and will most likely go away once you tap on the unread text message.

Red dots next to a text message can mean many things on Android devices. Many different brands of phones run on Android OS, but most share common features regarding text messages.

A red dot next to the text message typically means an error while sending your message. This error could be due to various reasons. We have discussed all these reasons below:

  • Out of Coverage Area

When sending text messages, the most common error is an out-of-coverage area. If a phone is in an out-of-coverage area, it lacks the network to send text messages. You can fix this by entering a site that has coverage. If you have data roaming turned on, you will receive text messages and emails when you enter the coverage area.

  • Insufficient Mobile Credit

Having insufficient mobile credit is a common issue that prepaid SIM users face when sending messages. A prepaid SIM card needs to have credit before sending text messages. If there is a red dot next to your text messages, it could mean that you have insufficient mobile credit. You may even get a notification, “your message was not sent.”

  • Recipient Has Blocked the Sender

Another reason could be that the recipient has blocked you. Depending on what app you use, a recipient can permanently block messages from a specific address.

For example, the Messenger app will notify you if you’re blocked. When you send a message, a red dot will appear right under your text message and display an error message “You cannot reply to this conversation.” But for other applications, it’ll just show a red dot.

  • Unread Notifications

The text messaging app you use may have a notification bubble on top of the app. It generally means you have x amounts of unread messages.

The red dots will go away if you read all the unread messages on your phone. Simply clicking on each conversation with unread messages will remove them.

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What Does the Red Dot on My Contacts Mean?

The red dot beside a contact indicates if your contact is free to talk or not. The red dot can also be a “do not disturb” indicator to ensure that the sender doesn’t send unnecessary messages on Android devices. Apps like Skype and Slack use this indicator.

There can be green or red dots beside a contact on some phones. There are many possible meanings to this. For example, it can indicate when the connection was last active, if they are busy, away (leaving their phone turned on but is idle), do not disturb, or offline/inactive.

In most cases, the red dot symbol will mean that the recipient/contact doesn’t want to be bothered or flooded with many messages. In apps like Slack and Skype, they include an indicator to show dots beside their contact profiles.

What Does the Green Dot Mean in Text Messages?

The green dot in text messages means that the contact is online and active. In addition, it indicates that the recipient of your messages is currently active on the platform/app that you’re using.

An online/active contact means that they have their messaging app open and are currently using it. If you send a message while there is a green dot next to their name, there’s a high chance that they will reply to your texts immediately.

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What Does Grey Dot Next to Text Message Mean?

A grey dot is another indicator for “do not disturb”. It can be a simple dot or a symbol in grey, such as a muted speaker icon or a grey crescent icon which indicates that the recipient’s “do not disturb” option is enabled.

Like the red dot beside a contact in text messages, the grey dot next to text messages can mean that the contact you’re trying to message has the do not disturb mode enabled, which means they will not receive any notifications from you.

On most Android apps and messaging platforms, the grey dot next to text messages can also mean that the contact/group chat is currently muted from your end. It’s a great feature where you can choose to get alerts from specific people. Apps like Messenger and WhatsApp have this feature.

How Do You Mute Text Messages?

Although there are different apps and Android devices in the market, muting text messages from contacts is the same on all platforms and devices.

  1. Long press the conversation with the contact
  2. Press ’mute notifications’
  3. Choose between mute text messages, mute calls, or mute text messages and calls.

How To Mute App Notifications

  1. Open the ’settings’ app
  2. Navigate to Apps
  3. Scroll down and look for the messaging app you use
  4. Switch off or on the ‘show notifications’ settings to ensure the entire app is muted.

You can also mute notifications from specific apps. To do it on Samsung devices, follow these steps:

This feature is excellent if you plan to mute the entire app. You can even choose which notifications to block, such as texts, reminders, and calls.

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What Does It Mean if a Text Says Delivered but Not Read?

A delivered message means that it has successfully been sent to the recipient, and they have also received a notification about it. However, it will remain delivered if the recipient has not read or opened the text. 

The recipient won’t always read a delivered message. If a message has been delivered, their device is connected to the internet, and they have received the message but not read it yet.

Here’s what you need to know about when a message is delivered:

  • Both of you are in the coverage area or have access to data.

A text message will automatically be marked as delivered if both the sender and receiver of the message are within the coverage area.

  • The receiver of the message is notified that they have received a message.

The receiver will always get a notification when a new message has been received, provided that you aren’t muted, and their notifications are turned on.

  • It will have a blue/red/green dot beside the message.

The dot indicates that the message hasn’t been read. Once you click on the conversation, the dot will go away and notify the sender that you have read their message.

Why Is There a Green Dot on My Text Messages?

The green dot on text messages indicates that a person in your contacts is online. It shows you their availability. Online status means that the person is currently using the app, and you can message them.

The green dots on text messages are mostly found on Android devices and messaging apps that require data or an internet connection for the status indicators to work. Because a connection is needed, you can see the online, offline, do not disturb, and away statuses, which help you determine whether a person is available or not.

Why Do Some of My Contacts Have Blue Dots?

Contacts have blue dots because a carrier scans your contacts and connects you with the people using an RCS-capable phone and their RCS network infrastructure. It marks the contacts with a blue dot if it meets the requirements for sending and receiving messages in chat mode.

The blue dots on the contact means that your carrier has scanned and connected you to your contacts using an RCS (Rich Communication Services) capable phone, which means you can enter chat mode with other contacts with the same carrier.

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