What is a Badge App Icon on the iPhone 6?

Last updated: December 20, 2016

Badge app icons are a type of iPhone notification that you have probably seen on your iPhone at one time or another. They are one of several different types of notifications on the iPhone 6, and different people will prefer to enable or disable different combinations of them. Whether you want audio notifications, alerts on your lock screen, or banners at the top of your screen, there is a combination that will suit almost anyone.

The badge app icon is somewhat different from the banners and alerts, however. If you have adjusted your notification settings before, then you probably noticed it as an option, but you are probably wondering what it does. A badge app icon is the white number in a red oval at the top-right corner of an app’s icon. As an example, we have pointed out a badge app icon on the Mail app in the image below.

badge app icon identified



The badge app icon notification that appears on many of your apps can indicate several different pieces of information. For example, a badge app icon on the Messages app will let you know how many unread text messages you have. A badge app icon on the Settings icon will let you know that there is a software update that is available for you to start. A badge app icon on the App Store icon lets you know that there are apps on your device that need to be updated. So while, in a broad sense, badge app icons are typical notifications, the app on which the badge appears will dictate the meaning of the number in that circle.

Turning Off a Badge App Icon on an iPhone 6

While notifications are often useful, the persistent presence of badge app icons can be problematic. I know several people that specifically dislike seeing the icon on the Mail and Messages app, for example, and they always go in and clear out those notifications. You might find the badge app icons to be distracting, so fortunately it is possible to turn them off for most apps. You will still continue to get other types of notifications, provided that you do not elect to turn those off as well. Below is an example of how to turn off the badge app notification for the Phone app.


Step 1: Open the Settings menu.

open the settings menu



Step 2: Select the Notifications option.

open the notifications menu



Step 3: Select the app for which you want to turn off the badge app icon. In the example below, I am selecting the Phone app.

select the phone app



Step 5: Tap the button to the right of Badge App Icon. You will know that it is turned off when there is no green shading around the button, as in the image below.

turn off the badge app icon



Summary – How to enable or disable a badge app icon on an iPhone

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select the Notifications menu.
  3. Select the app for which you would like to enable or disable a badge app icon.
  4. Tap the button to the right of Badge App Icon to turn it off.


Additional Notes

  • What does a badge app icon mean? – This question can be tricky to answer, since the badge app icon is used differently by each app. A badge app icon on the Mail app means that you have unread emails, while the badge app icon on the Settings app means that you have an iOS update available.
  • If you elect to turn off the Allow Notifications option at the top of an app’s notification menu, this will turn off every type of notification that the app can produce.
  • There isn’t a way to disable them all at once. You will need to adjust the setting individually for each different app on your iPhone.


These steps are the same for almost every app. One of the only exceptions can be the Mail app if you have multiple email accounts set up on your device. If that is the case, then you can read this article to see how to customize the notification settings for the Mail app.


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