show end-to-end encryption state of chat

when you want to be sure end-to-end crypto is used, you have to manually check if you reply to a message with a lock symbol. else your message will get sent unencrypted.

there should be a notification, when end-to-end crypto is downgraded to disabled.

also a force encryption option may be useful: #246.
similar to #212.

(This proposal has been moved from the issue tracker)


I also think there should be a more visible way to at least warn the user the message will be sent unencrypted (ex. when peer unexpectedly disabled encryption), users may expose sensitive information unintentionally!!!


this is a great idea!!! and i agree on force encryption.

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What about this:
one red point if the next message will be sent unencrypted
two orange points if it is end-to-end encrypted
three yellow points if it is end-to-end encrypted and the chat partner scanned my (static) qr code
four green points if I scanned my chat partner’s qr code (or later if they scanned my dynamic qr code, this is not implemented currently; @testbird’s proposal :wink:)

Show it somewhere atop of the screen

Or would you prefer a simple green lock/red crossed-out lock?


Any indicator outside of the text entry field, and especially on the send button, has the drawback that it may only come to the users attention after writing the text, if at all.

Nevertheless, (such) a clear, explicit indicator is still necessary.

However, a subject indication in the editor- like explained here may also serve to draw attention to the fact that the plain email sending mode is going to be used.

For consitency, when composing a to-get-encrypted email-chat message, the editor may show the current
🔒- encryption icon with the background and the dash “-”, which would also hint to the (automatic) subject line that gets used. An alternatively icon may be a
🔑- key icon.

This subject line feature might then be even the only encryption state indicator that is necessary.


My thoughts on this:

Indicator whether the next message will be encypted.

Needs to come from the core and get live updates, so we can be sure it never sends unencrypted when displaying otherwise.

I suggest a small ingicator that has an info button or can otherwise be exapnded to show the reason.

Encrypted (verified chats)

All messages in verified chats must be encrypted


Has key of [user] and will send encrypted. Got the key verified contact / directly / gossiped from []

Unencrypted (no reply yet)

DC doesn’t have the key of this person yet, your messages will be unencrypted until they reply.

Unencrypted (reply, but no key)

Looks like your chatpartner hasn’t setup encryption.
Ask them to do so and tell them about autocrypt and deltachat, if they use plain email.

Unencrypted (error)

Can’t send encrypted: Key invalid [reason]


We need the same idea on IOs version. We can open the ‘info’ of message and reaad the state but would be better to see a color or lock.

This Feature Proposal is about all platforms so no worries there.

Great idea! I can add my somewhat disappointing “very first time user” experience:

  • Installed delta chat
  • Added a friend, sent a message
  • Checked IMAP server what happens behind the scenes
    –> Found a clear text message in the deltachat IMAP folder.

Me as a developers knows why it was not encrypted. But a clear warning that “this user is not yet using Delta Chat, your message will NOT BE ENCRYPTED” would have added a lot of trust for me. In the end it is only about managing the expectations for the user.

Hope this helps to improve the UX. DeltaChat is an awesome idea! Keep going!

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for example, if the message will be sent unencrypted, the send button could be something like:


this makes me wonder, if I can see my chats in the DELTA CHAT folder on my email provider is that only for the unencrypted chats? Will they appear scrambled on my email server if they’re encrypted? I’m worried about using this with google services that are scanned.

@lps When we can encrypt it, your Mail Server cannot read the contents. The Mail Server can always see the transport metadata (From, To). We use a blinded Subject when we can encrypt so there is nothing to be seen.