Understand Conversation Icons and Colors

Pictures are worth a thousand words they say, and Help Scout uses icons and colors to give you a lot of information in a quick glance. Here we'll break down the icons and colors that you'll see in a conversation designed to make your life easier!  

In this article

Top Menu

At the top of each conversations you'll find a row of information and menu items. When you're starting out, to figure out what’s what, hover over each icon to see a tooltip.


Change the conversation status. See Conversation Statuses below for more on the options.


Assign the conversation. See Assign Conversations for more help there.

Run Workflow

Apply a manual workflow to this conversation. See Manual Workflows for how to create those.

More Actions

  • Follow: Check out Follow a Conversation for the details on this feature.
  • Forward: See Forward Conversations Outside of Help Scout for more.
  • Move...: Move Conversations to Different Inboxes has more on the options.
  • Show Details/Hide Details: Hides or shows the audit trail items in the conversation view. These are line items that show that a workflow ran, that someone assigned the conversation, or that the status was changed.
  • Delete: Moves the conversation to the Recently Deleted view. Check out About the Recently Deleted View for more information there.
  • Previous Conversation & Next Conversation: Leave this conversation and navigate to the previous or next conversation in the folder.

Just below the toolbar icons is the subject line. You can edit the conversation subject by clicking anywhere on the text.

Conversation Statuses

In Help Scout, there are three values for conversation status:

  1. Active conversations indicate the conversation is waiting for action. New conversations are automatically set as Active when they arrive in your Inbox. 
  2. Pending conversations are waiting on something. Set a conversation to Pending if you’re waiting to hear back from a customer, or you just need time to gather more information.
  3. Closed conversations are solved conversations. Set the status to Closed when you’re finished working with the customer, and you consider the case to be resolved.

If a customer replies back to a Pending or Closed conversation, the status will automatically be changed to Active.

It’s not possible to edit existing status options or add custom values to the status menu. We suggest using tags for that. More help on tags here: Create and Manage Tags

Conversation Thread Colors

Conversations can be colorful! You’ll notice a couple of different border colors, each representing a different type of thread:  

  • Customer replies have no border. 
  • User replies have a grey border. 
  • Drafts are represented by a blue border. 
  • Notes are represented by a yellow border. 

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