Gmail Sender Icons for Chrome: better sender identification

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 13, 2017
Updated • Feb 14, 2017
Google Chrome

Gmail Sender Icons is a simple browser extension for Google Chrome that visualizes the sender's domain and favicon of the domain on Gmail's website.

Gmail does not list any sender information besides the name when it lists emails received by connected accounts. Since names are picked by senders, they cannot be used reliably to identify the sender of an email.

While you can display email headers after a couple of clicks for individual emails, it is not really useful when you want to identify senders of all emails that you receive. The reason is simple: you'd spend the better part of the day looking up email headers for individual emails if you receive medium to large numbers each day.

Gmail Sender Icons

gmail sender icons

The Chrome extension Gmail Sender Icons adds sender information to email lists on Gmail. It displays the domain or organization, and the favicon of that domain next to each email.

If you receive an email by [email protected] for instance, is listed on the left side of the email on Gmail, and the site's favicon is listed there as well.

Gmail Sender Icons is a Google Chrome extension that makes it easy for you to identify the domain (or organization) of the email sender. For instance, if you receive an email from [email protected], the Gmail extension will add a virtual label to your email message and also a favicon for the Google website.

The favicons and the domain are visible across Gmail. This means that you see them listed on all email listings, including spam, and also when you run searches on the Gmail website.

The author, Amit Agarwal of Digital Inspiration, notes that the labels are applied virtually. All email messages are left unchanged. If you uninstall the Gmail Sender Icons extension, everything returns to normal without any leftovers.

The extension uses Google's Inbox SDK framework for the extraction of domain information from emails, and Google's S2 service for generating the favicons.

Amit notes that all processing is done locally in the web browser, and that data is never uploaded or shared.

Closing Words

Gmail Sender Icons is a useful browser extension. It visualizes sender information right on Gmail's email listings so that you see on first glance the originating domain of mails. While you should not blindly trust the information, as things can be faked, it is nevertheless mighty helpful for users of the service that use the website, and not one of the apps or a third-party program.

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Author Rating
4.5 based on 2 votes
Software Name
Gmail Sender Icons
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  1. chesscanoe said on February 14, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    I like the favicon addition, but the sending address pushes an already short subject area to the right, making it much less useful. This could be fixed by providing an option to just add the favicon. If I want further info on the sender, I don’t have to open the email to see that; I just have to hover the mouse over the sender, and long user addresses aren’t truncated. I’ve always needed to magnify Gmail to 150% to read it, so my objection to current design may not be of concern to most users of the extension.

    1. chesscanoe said on February 14, 2017 at 11:54 pm

      I installed 0.7 from yesterday and my comments are based on that release. Martin references from the web store, which is version 0.69 and as a matter of general principle is the better place to go. But checking again now, the version is 0.7 there as well. So, FYI for current release available from either source.

  2. Fena said on February 14, 2017 at 8:35 am

    I am having a problem with this article. The English makes no sense especially the first sentence.

    Also “If you uninstall the Gmail Sender Icons extensions” so there are more than one ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 14, 2017 at 8:48 am

      Corrected, sorry for that.

  3. www said on February 14, 2017 at 5:59 am

    How about a privacy icon so they won’t read my email.

  4. Paul(us) said on February 14, 2017 at 1:35 am

    Can I compare it functionality speaking a little bit with the Mozilla Firefox add-on mail email Signature – WiseStamp 4.14.20?
    Or do you know maybe a Mozilla Firefox add-on who comes closer?

  5. Steve said on February 13, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    Do you really believe that nonsense?

  6. Timmy said on February 13, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    “Amit notes that all processing is done locally in the web browser, and that data is never uploaded or shared.”

    For now. Let’s hope they don’t reverse on this decision.

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