What Alarm Clock Badges on iPad Dock Apps Mean, and How to Get Rid Of Alarm Clock Icons

Dec 30, 2018 - 28 Comments

iPad Dock with apps showing alarm clock badge what it means and how to get rid of them

Have you noticed that some apps will appear automatically in the iPad Dock with a little tiny alarm clock icon on them? You may be wondering why those app icons with the alarm clock badge appear in the right side of iPad Dock at random and what their purpose is, and perhaps you’re even wondering how to get rid of them and remove those alarm clock badged icons from the iPad Dock.

If you assumed apps showing an alarm clock badge on them had something to do with the Clock app that would be a fair guess, but it’s wrong, so don’t bother opening the iPad Clock app and poking around in there.

Instead, the reason why apps with a tiny alarm clock icon badge appear on them in the iPad Dock is due to a relatively new machine learning feature, where iOS and Siri aims to recommend apps to use based on the time of day.

For example, if you have frequently used Safari on the iPad at or near 8pm in the evenings, then Siri will start to recommend and suggest the Safari app by placing it into the right side of iPad Dock at around 8pm. This same learning process happens with all other apps too, and the iPad Dock will continue to recommend and suggest other apps for using for times of day depending on how you use the device.

Some people may like this feature for suggesting apps based on time of day, but other iPad users may not and want to get rid of the the iPad dock icons with the alarm clock badge on them. There are a series of steps you can take to remove those clock badged icons from the iPad Dock.

Note if you disabled the Recent and Suggested Apps on iPad Dock early in your iPad ownership history, then you likely have never seen the clock badge appearing on iPad Dock apps.

How to Remove Apps with the Alarm Clock Icon Badge from iPad Dock

To effectively remove the apps with the alarm clock icon badge from the right side of the iPad Dock, you will disable a few features on iPad Settings and then juggle the iPad app with that clock badge in and out of the Dock itself.

  1. Open the ‘Settings’ app on iPad
  2. Locate and tap on “Siri & Search”
  3. Under “Siri Suggestions” turn off “Suggestions in Search” and “Suggestions in Look Up”
  4. Now return to the main ‘Settings’ section now go to “General” and to “Multitasking & Dock”
  5. Turn off “Show Suggested and Recent Apps”
  6. Return to the iPad Homescreen
  7. Next, manually locate the app that shows the alarm clock icon on the iPad Homescreen, and tap and hold on it then drag it into the left side of iPad Dock so that it is placed there
  8. Once the app is in the main part of the Dock, now tap and hold on it again, then tap the minus button to remove that app from the Dock
  9. The app with the alarm clock icon should no longer be shown in the iPad Dock

Whether or not you like this feature is entirely up to you and your personal preferences and how you use an iPad. If you’re inclined to prefer direct control over what apps appear in the iPad Dock, then remember you can add more apps to iPad Dock (up to 15) manually, which combined with disabling the suggested apps features should offer you precise control over what apps appear in the Dock.

If you have never seen these apps but you like the idea of iOS and Siri recommending apps to you based on the time of day, reversing the settings changed mentioned above to show Recent and Suggested apps will eventually begin to show these time-specific recommended apps in the iPad Dock.

iPad Dock app icons with an alarm clock badge icon on them

Finally, there are a few other type of recommended and suggested iPad Dock apps that will appear automatically. Another type of badged app icon that appears in iPad Dock is something with Handoff, which shows a little screen icon badge on the app, and that indicates the app can be ‘handed off’ to or from another iOS device or Mac that is nearby with the same Apple ID. Additionally, you may see a badged app icon appear in the iPad Dock randomly that shows a little arrow icon on it, and that indicates an app recommendation based on the physical location of the iPad and usage based on a particular location (for example if you use the Maps app every time you are at a specific place, that icon with the arrow may appear in iPad Dock automatically). Simply disabling the suggested and recommended apps should remove those app recommendations as well.

IF you have any other solutions, thoughts, recommendations, tips, tricks, or other helpful knowledge about the suggested iPad Dock apps with the various badges appearing on those app icons, share with us in the comments below!


Related articles:

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


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Melanie says:

    Thank you Pete!! The only thing that worked!

  2. Jill says:

    Thank you!!!!!

  3. Pete says:

    I have just one of these come up for a game and I find it really irritating. I followed the instructions here but it didn’t work so did some more digging and found this method, which has worked!

    On the iOS desktop swipe right until you get to the widget screen. At the bottom of the screen if you scroll down you will see a grey “Edit” button. Tap that and you will get a list of widgets with a red minus symbol on the left. Tap the red minus button next to Siri to remove it.

    and that should be problem (or irritation) solved!

    • phillip d says:

      thanks, worked like a charm

    • Mario says:

      Thank you so much! This worked after other. Solutions failed. Apple is starting to do stupid stuff without Steve to stop them.

    • MaryBeth says:

      Thank you so much!!! That did the trick!!!

    • Mel says:

      Finally, a solution (from Pete) that appears to have worked. The main article was of no use: no minus signs appeared anywhere and the annoying alarm clock-attached app remained seemingly glued to the “dock” box no matter how many Siri-produced solutions I tried. Of course, 12 hours from now the silly dock feature may return, in which case this satisfaction comment will have become as useless as the lead article proved to be!

    • Todd D says:

      Thanks very much! All the smart people’s methods failed.

    • Bryan Cox says:

      Yes! Thank you! I am finally rid of the annoying and downright hostile alarm clock badges. This kind of stuff is creeping into Apple products more and more. 😡

    • Ric says:

      Thanks Pete. A year after you posted your answer helped my wife.

    • Sharon says:

      Yay, it worked, thank you :)

  4. Paolo says:

    Moronic. These clocks suddenly appear without warning or notification. I don’t need a reminder that it’s 8.00pm and maybe time to look at the news. This is pathetic, patronising crap.

    • Kyle M. says:

      I had the same results as you….so I started poking around on my iPad…. NOTIFICATIONS under settings. The icon even looks like the problem alarm we all get. Find the app driving you crazy, and turn off ALL notifications and banners. My iPad has been alarm free for 2 days now. I hope it helps.

    • Pete says:

      Hi Paolo,

      I agree, it is really stupid to add features like this without explaining what they are or how to change them. I have posted a method to get rid of it permanently though, so hope it helps.

  5. SpinMove says:

    Did this months ago and worked but after last iOS update it came back and all the settings are still off!!! What next?

    • Jay frank says:

      Followed directions. All OK up to and including step where it says to move icon with badge to left side of dock. Then, when holding icon, a minus sign never appears on the offending icon. It is OK to move icon to main group of icons; however, it reappears in dock each day at same time with alarm clock badge.
      It is NOT Apples job to tell me what I like and what time to like anything. This is absolutely invasive and annoying.

  6. Wayne Poore says:

    NONE of the procedures in the article worked for me, either!! The noted Settings were ALL already OFF!
    I have NEVER seen a “minus” sign on any icon- EVER!
    Just the X. Moved the Chrome icon with clock, into the main Dock area. If I held, then tapped the “X” (again, no minus badge) I’m offered the usual option to DELETE Chrome!!? as is the norm. Everything Apple is so convoluted!! Developers,… take a vacation, please!

  7. Paul says:

    ..didn’t work for me either. I’d LOVE to know a sure fire way to eliminate this annoring behavoir…

  8. Wade Brorby says:

    The recommended procedure does not work for me. I carefully followed the recommended procedure, not once, but twice. Are there any other methods to rid an icon’s alarm clock?

  9. RA XA says:

    Hey Paul, thanks for great tips again!
    I didn’t find any alarm clock on my iPad Pro, but sometimes I see one App when I watch YouTube videos
    it looks like a little desktop 🖥, in Safari never have seen
    Alarm Clock. Maybe it was there, but after Updates have
    Moved or deleted?
    Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year 🎆🎊🎈
    Friendly regards from 🇦🇹

    • Paul says:

      You’re very welcome!

      The little screen icon that appears on some apps in the Dock indicates that “Handoff” can be used for that app. Essentially that feature lets you ‘hand off’ an app session and pass what you’re doing to another nearby iOS device, for example you’re watching YouTube on an iPhone but you see the little screen icon on the YouTube video on an iPad, you can tap it on the iPad to resume watching the YouTube video originally from the iPhone now on the iPad.

      Happy New Year!

  10. Dan says:

    There’s a similar function when you plug headphones in, with headphones icon.

  11. Gelphyn says:

    It should be a matter of User Choice, a choice that has to be opted into rather than a ‘dictate’ that then has to be manually altered at the time and expense of the User.
    The prime aspect involved is Users ‘pay’ for the privilege of using the Software, in the case of Apple the funds are extracted by the costs of the Hardware needed to run it.
    This is tantamount to abuse of Users.
    The time spent on this type of coding would be better spent on resolving existing irritations in the Apple System.
    E.g., Watch 4 Calendar reluctant to follow the system option chosen for ‘Day to begin week’, or the inability to set all Units to those of User choice. The latter including the inability of the User to change Wind Speed to Kilometres per hour rather than Miles per hour.
    Seems like the ‘Piper’ needs to remember who is paying for the ‘tune’?

  12. Sean says:

    I am so tired of all the “stuff” apple keeps throwing my direction.
    Between killing apps and other things.
    They have reached the straw count and the camel has had it.

    That said this is the last apple thing I may own or use.

  13. Carlos says:

    I don’t like the recommended apps appearing in the iPad Dock

    What I found works to get rid of these alarm clock dock icons is this:

    – Go to iPad home screen with all your icons

    – Swipe over from left to right to go to the Today screen

    – Edit the Recommended Apps and remove the apps from the Today list

    For the screen icons in Dock you have to turn off Handoff

    For the arrow icons in Dock you have to turn off location services

    • Jodi says:

      This worked! I already had everything turned off in Settings when I got the alarm clock badge, but your simple instruction to remove the Recommended Apps from the Today list did the trick! Thank you!

    • Dean says:

      Carlos not only gives a correct solution—unlike what appears to be a wholly made-up answer from the article (“minus button”?)—but explains two other appearing icon types.

      He correctly did in five short lines what the author of the article couldn’t do in 5× as many sentences.

    • Mike says:

      This worked for me… in the article above it didn’t work as it kept reappearing and was only giving option to delete the app when moving to the left.

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