There’s a neat little Chrome extension for Gmail that technology blogger Amit Agarwal recently released called Gmail Sender Icons. It adds a slight visual tweak to Gmail that makes it easier to see which company or website has sent you a message. The extension places a small tile before an email’s subject line with the favicon and name of the originating website.
Agarwal’s basic idea for the extension is to help differentiate between seeing an email from Bob Johnson from Microsoft and Bob Johnson from Acme Widgets. But there are other uses for it as well. If a scam email claiming to be from Twitter happens to get through Google’s filters, you should be able to see that it was actually from Scamwebsite.net and not Twitter.com.
The extension also makes it easy to quickly scan the social and promotions tabs in Gmail to find messages you want to read. It’s pretty easy to scan the name of the sender already, but the visual cues of the favicons make it even speedier.
Download and install Gmail Sender Icons from the Chrome Web Store (link above). Once it’s installed, the extension places its own icon to the right of the address bar. The icon is two squares stacked on top of each other with a corner facing out. Right-click it, and from the context menu that appears select Hide in Chrome menu. This gets the extension icon out of the way—since it doesn’t have any extra features or require tweaking—while still maintaining the functionality. If you ever want to remove the extension you’ll find it by entering chrome://extensions into the address bar and hitting Enter.
To use the extension, all you have to do is open Gmail as you normally would, and the tiles will appear as pictured above. That’s it. Gmail Sender Icons is pretty good at sourcing the favicon for each site including more obscure ones; oddly, however, it didn’t show Google’s favicon on an email I received from Google Analytics.
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Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has never met a tech subject he didn't like. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, social networks, and browsers. When he's not covering the news he's working on how-to tips for PC users, or tuning his eGPU setup.