Microsoft might replace the HTTPS lock icon in the Edge address bar to avoid confusion

Neowin website open in Chrome with the HTTPS icon expanded
The lock icon in the Chrome address bar

Many web browsers like Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge use a lock icon in the address bar to indicate that you're connected to the website via a secure HTTPS connection. However, as noted by Google back in July, many users misunderstand this representation and think that the icon indicates that you're connected to a trustworthy website even though that may not necessarily be the case. The company stated that it is exploring the possibility of replacing the lock icon with a down arrow in Chrome:

As we approach an HTTPS-first future, we're also re-examining the lock icon that browsers typically show when a site loads over HTTPS. In particular, our research indicates that users often associate this icon with a site being trustworthy, when in fact it's only the connection that's secure. In a recent study, we found that only 11% of participants could correctly identify the meaning of the lock icon. To try and reduce this confusion, Chrome will run an experiment in M93 that replaces the lock in the address bar with a more neutral entry point to Page Info (example below). We hope that this experiment will improve the discoverability of critical privacy and security information and controls provided in Page Info, such as site permissions. Importantly, a "Not Secure" indicator will continue to show on sites without HTTPS support, and the experiment includes an enterprise policy in case organizations want to opt-out. In all cases, we'll provide advance notice if we decide to move ahead with a full launch.

Although Google has not rolled out the change to Chrome Stable yet, it appears that Microsoft agrees with Google's stance and is considering implementing it in Edge as well. As spotted by Reddit user u/Leopeva64-2, Edge Canary now features a down arrow instead of the lock icon in the address bar. This can be seen below:

A screenshot of Edge Canary with the lock icon replaced with a down arrow
Implementation in Edge Canary

That said, it is important to note that while this feature is definitely being tested, it is currently available for select users on Edge Canary via Microsoft's controlled rollout strategy. The company may decide to roll this out to a wider audience via the browser's development channels before making it available to the Stable channel. While the company hasn't announced any firm release date yet, the materialization of this implementation is highly dependent on developer and user feedback.

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