Disable the Red Notification Badge from App Icons in iOS

Jan 9, 2012 - 5 Comments

How to Disable Red Badge App Icons in iOS

Don’t want to see the red badge notifications appear on iOS app icons anymore when an alert or notification has arrived for that app? Though they’re certainly useful for many apps, if you’re not a fan of these visual alert indicators, then you can disable these badge notifications and stop them from appearing on any app icons. Once turned off, they will no longer be visible on the icons at all, whether the apps are sitting in the iPhone or iPad’s Dock or just stored on the home screen.

For reference, iOS refers to these as “Badge App Icons” and they must be turned off on a per application basis, so here is how to do exactly that:

How to Turn Off Badge App Icons for Any App on iPhone & iPad

This works the same in all versions of iOS for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch:

  1. Open the “Settings” app
  2. Tap on “Notifications”
  3. Scroll down and select the app you want to disable the badge notifications for
  4. Swipe “Badge App Icon” to OFF
  5. Repeat to disable for other apps

As an example, here’s what disabling the red badge icons for an email client in a modern version of iOS for iPhone looks like:

Turning off red badge app icons in iOS

The effect of an app icon before and after toggling this switch is the removal of the red icon with the number on it, that’s the “Badge App Icon” as iOS calls it:

Red badge icon disabled in iOS

This is the option you are looking for on a per-app basis, the default setting is always ON, thus toggling it to OFF will turn off the red badge icons that sit atop the app icon in iOS.

Exit out of Settings when finished and you’ll find the adjustment has taken place instantly, meaning any existing red badges will have disappeared from those apps icons, whether or not the alerts or notifications have been read or addressed.

Here’s how this looks in prior versions of iOS, modern versions of iOS look a bit different as you’ve seen above. Nonetheless, turning off red badge icons is the same.

Badge app icon shows alerts the icons of iOS

The badge icons are styled a bit differently in modern versions of iOS vs the prior versions, but again it works the same:

Remove the Red Badge Icon from Apps

Note that you can disable the red app badge but still have the application show alerts in the older pop-up variety, and also continue to have the apps show in Notification Center when an alert or event occurs.

The obvious downside to disabling these notification icon badges is that it makes it easier to miss out on important alerts, whether it’s a missed phone call, new emails and the unread email number, new iMessages, available app updates, or the other myriad of possibilities that are so frequently conveyed through those little red buttons. For this reason, it’s probably best to leave them enabled for apps you really need new notifications for (like Mail or Phone), and only turn them off for apps where you find the number count less useful, or if the count is so high and overwhelming that the utitily of the number has become useless. If you do disable them for an app you use frequently, remember to be extra diligent in checking those apps manually for updates and new information.

Once the red icon badges have been turned off you’ll find the home screen and iOS Dock to be quite a bit more minimalist, for better or worse. If you decide the change isn’t for you, you can always revert the feature back to its default settings by returning to the Settings app and flipping the “Badge App Icon” feature back to ON for each app that sends notifications.

By the way, for Mac users, you can also turn off the little red icons for OS X apps too.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks

5 Comments

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  1. JJM says:

    Too bad this doesn’t work with the App store. There are a number of Apps I wait on before updating.

    • JRDN says:

      @JJm – Yeah if you’re jailbroken there’s a cydia tweak for that called NoOTA (No Over The Air) which basically stops the red number one from appearing on your settings app.

  2. Ben says:

    Hmm. Not all my apps are listed in the notification list. How do I modify the ones not listed from displaying the red badge?

  3. […] same trick can be done in iOS too if you’re tired of seeing the red badges on the home screen of your iPad, iPhone, or iPod […]

  4. […] your home screen will be much less distracting with most of these little red icon additions turned off.

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