What does the name mean?

Schildi = Schildkröte = German for turtle. So "Turtle"-Chat. Feel free to call it Shieldy-Chat (shield for security?), if that's easier to pronounce for you.

What does the icon depict?

A turtle with a post horn.

What is the goal of this Element fork?

We mainly focus on tweaking the UI to our likings and usually do not want to go deep into architectural changes to reduce merge conflicts with upstream.
Sometimes, we like to play with additional community-based features that Element does not prioritize, which means we might support a few more MSCs than Element do.
It may also happen more often than expected that we include additional bug fixes compared to Element, if the Element team misses some bugs which become apparent in our internal testing. Of course, this does not imply that SchildiChat has less bugs, since we're not safe from introducing new ones either.

To summarize, the main goal of the SchildiChat clients is as following: we want to take a Matrix client that is good, and tweak it just to match our taste, since Element's design team has a different taste than we have, and our priorities do not always align with those upstream.
We are not trying to please any particular kind of target user group, except those who share our taste :)

Will there be an iOS version?


What version of Element is SchildiChat based on?

When you have a look at the SchildiChat version, the part before "sc" is the upstream Element version that your current SchildiChat build is based on.

What is this "upstream" that people keep mentioning in issues/chats/...?

Since SchildiChat is a fork of Element, "upstream" refers to "Element".

How can I help to translate SchildiChat?

You can translate SchildiChat-specific text at! For Element-specific translations, visit their weblate and localazy websites, and we will get it for our next upstream merge.

How can I donate you something?

Thanks for asking! However, we currently do not accept donation. Our goal is not to make money with this project, but just create a chat client that we enjoy using. As a result, we also do not feel any obligations to satisfy user expecations or wishes - this is a hobby project, after all. Feel free to donate to a charity of your choice instead, or to directly for maintaining the matrix specification.

How to get in touch?

Matrix is a chat network, and so you can use it to get in touch with the SchildiChat community! Feel free to join any of the following:

How to get notified of updates?

We have announcement rooms that you can join:


How do I set up UnifiedPush?

Follow the guide at to set up UnifiedPush. Once you have that working, SchildiChat should pick it up automatically. You can also change the distributor in Settings/Notifications/Notification Method.

If you want to use ntfy, and don't want to self-host a server yourself, feel free to use

Why is UnifiedPush not working?

Here are some common reasons for UnifiedPush not working:

For debugging UnifidedPush setups, first try to get the "UP-Example" application to work, which you can get on F-Droid. You may also get help at

What are the different variants?

You can find information about all available variants here.

How to use multiple accounts?

Unfortunately, that's not possible right now. We will hopefully get support for multiple accounts once Elements supports it (they have it on their roadmap at least). Until then, as workaround, the best thing we can offer is using 5 variants of SchildiChat, when using our own F-Droid repo, as you can install all of these alongside each other:

Why does SchildiChat not support Android Auto? Element does!

We have disabled Android Auto support for the app provided in the Google Play Store, since Google requires you to fill extra legal paperwork for that, and you have to guarantee that you did thoroughly test this scenario. But in fact, we haven't tested this at all. If you want to use Android Auto with SchildiChat, you can still download SchildiChat from any of our F-Droid or direct download sources (even if it's the FCM variant) - we haven't disabled Android Auto there, but use at your own risk.

What are the differences compared to Element Android?

I'm maintaining a list here, but note that this may not be complete and partly outdated.

Is there any way to find (and join) public rooms?

In case you enabled easy mode during initial setup, you need to first disable it in Settings / Preferences / Easy mode. Then, just click the + / #+ buttons while viewing the home rooms list. You may want to click the "Change network" options menu item in case you want to see public rooms on suggested homeservers other then your own homeserver.

Where to report bugs and request features?

Feel free to support existing issues, or file new issue on GitHub.
In case you experience bugs that require logs to debug, such as app crashes or other bugs not commonly reproducable, send a bug report from within the app (e.g. use the options menu in the chat overview, or enable "rageshake" in the settings and shake the device), and make sure to have the logs option enabled. Also make sure to always provide a concise description of what your issue is and what you did in order to get it.


How to use multiple accounts?

When launching schildichat-desktop in the command line, you can use profiles for different accounts, e.g. schildichat-desktop --profile=account2.

Why does the desktop app say "use the Desktop app" while searching?

See the related issues here:

How to use custom themes?

Enable them inside labs and add a new theme via URL inside the advanced section of the appearance settings.
Adding a theme with the same name again does not change it, you'll either have to remove the old one first and add it anew or directly change the account data.
Also make sure the Access-Control-Allow-Origin: * header is set on the URL you're trying to load the theme from.

Where to find custom themes?

Here are some:
To get help or discuss themes, join
Any theme for Element should work for SchildiChat as well.

How to remove custom themes?

Write /devtools as message in any room and remove it from the im.vector.web.settings account data inside the custom_themes section.

Why does the theme not change according to the system theme with Linux?

Linux users suffer from a Chromium bug which prevents the theme being updated if the system theme is being changed.
There's now a workaround with cli options which allows to override the detected system theme even for a running profile through abusing the multi instance prevention mechanism.
Let it switch to light mode: schildichat-desktop --system-theme-light-override --hidden
Let it switch to dark mode: schildichat-desktop --system-theme-dark-override --hidden
You have to do this for each profile seperately, just append the --profile option to above commands.

Why does a click on the tray icon open the context menu instead of the app on Linux?

See here:

Where to report bugs and request features?

Feel free to support existing issues, or file new issue on GitHub.