User interface

Here is a screenshot of the default Irssi user interface, with all the major visible things annotated.


channels often configure a topic with more information about the channel. Type /t (short for /topic) to read the full topic

window number

each window (β€œTab”) in Irssi has a number. You can go to a window by number by typing /<number> (e.g. /2). To change the number, see window number changing

channel mode

the channel mode is a protocol-specific list of letters and arguments to configure the channel behaviour. Each network may have its own custom channel modes. See IRC Client Protocol – Channel Modes for some common modes and your network website for network-specific modes. Note, the status bar does not show list modes (like bans) nor channel membership prefixes (like channel operator).

channel name

the name of the channel that you are joined to

network tag

the Irssi-internal name tag assigned to your current connection/network

user mode

the user mode is a protocol-specific global list of letters that reflect properties of your nick/connection. Each network may have its own custom nick modes. See IRC Client Protocol – User Modes for some common modes. You can use /set usermode in Irssi to configure your desired default user mode or /umode to change your current user mode (where permissible; not all mode letters can be changed by yourself).

your nick

your current nick name on the server. You can set your default nick with /set nick in Irssi and change your current nick with /nick.


shows the time on the computer where Irssi is running

active window indicator

shows where any text you enter will be sent to

activity indicator

this list will tell you about new messages in windows that are currently not visible. It reads Act: 1,2,3,5,7,.... Each number that lights up indicates that there are unread messages in that window. The colour of the number depends on the type of message – white/black: regular text, cyan: status messages, magenta: hilights or private messages

root status bar

the root status bar type is a status line that is either at the very top or at the very bottom of your screen. if the root status bar contains window-specific information, it will always refer to the currently active window

window status bar

the window status bar type is a status line that is either at the top or bottom of a split window. if you create a window type status bar, it will be replicated on all inactive split windows. window status bars can show information specific to the window that they belong to. See Help: statusbar for help on configuring the status bar.

split window

multiple windows can be shown on the Irssi screen at the same time. See Help: window for help on managing windows.