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The new Messages beta app (based on iChat) is stuck with one incoming message.
Can I somehow reset the badge?

Messages app with a badge

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You may try to send a test message to everyone you've ever messaged through that software. It'll pull up the previous conversations and may kick off that "unread" message. –  cksum Feb 26 '12 at 1:18
@cksum: This. Exactly. Thanks. Would you mind posting it as an answer so that I could accept it? –  Dan Feb 26 '12 at 1:32
Done. Glad it worked. Personally, I found that sometimes when I load Messages, it pulls up previous conversations. Other times I get a blank window. Can't seem to isolate the bug or reproduce it all the time. Hopefully Apple will fix these issues because on a whole, it seems very rough, even for a beta release. –  cksum Feb 26 '12 at 2:13
Yeah. I experience these glitches with Jabber account, mostly. –  Dan Feb 26 '12 at 11:17
Have the same issue. Thanks for asking this question! –  daviesgeek Mar 16 '12 at 18:51

5 Answers 5

up vote 36 down vote accepted

The correct answer to this issue isn't to message all your contacts.

First close the Messages app.

Then simply open up Activity Monitor and quit the Dock process to restart it.

Here's how it looks:

Quiting Dock in Activity Monitor

Your badge count should be reset after that.

PS: You can access Activity Monitor from Spotlight ( Space) by simply typing its name and pressing Enter.

Edit: update thanks to @JjP and @Toland H

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I suppose you're right. Thanks for the tip and welcome to Apple.SE! –  Dan Mar 27 '12 at 15:05
Thanks for the edit and the welcome, Dan. –  Olivier Lacan Mar 28 '12 at 1:01
Since this was the accepted answer, there's 1 additional step that you have to do before you restart the Dock process. And that is to quit the Messages app. (thanks to @JjP below) –  Toland H Jan 5 at 8:58

Before you kill Dock you need to close Messages to make it work. I had this issue on Mountain Lion (Mac OS X 10.8.2). When Messages was open and I killed Dock it didn't help. But when I closed Messages and then killed Dock, the badge was gone and after opening Messages the unread messages appeared so I could read them.

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Applies to Yosemite (OSX 10.10) as well. Had this issue receiving notifications for an SMS message received on iphone and could not mark it as read. –  Pablo Alsina Nov 21 '14 at 16:55

Try to restart the dock. In the Terminal located at /Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app type:

killall -KILL Dock
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Works perfectly, thanks! –  richarddas Mar 19 '12 at 11:50
Worked, thanks. –  CousinCocaine Oct 16 '13 at 7:24

Sometimes you may miss reading a message from a friend. And sometimes Messages may not pull up the previous conversations as it should (it is still in testing and I hope those bugs are worked out for the final product).

I would suggest sending a test message to all the previous contacts you've IM'ed. It'll pull up the respective conversation thread and hopefully kick off the unread message from your notification badge.

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See user20228's response: restart the Dock. –  richarddas Mar 19 '12 at 11:49
@richarddas Don't down vote because the solution that worked for you was different. That's actually pretty arrogant. It solved the issue for the original poster and there is no law that says there is only one answer to a question. This isn't math. –  cksum Mar 20 '12 at 4:58
I merely did that in order to indicate that it was not the best answer. Sending a message to every contact is hardly an optimal solution when fixing the problem on your local machine (without disturbing anyone else) is possible. I take your point though @cksum, thanks –  richarddas Mar 21 '12 at 17:07
@richarddas Voting down is not to be used in such a way. Especially in this case as it actually solved the original posters problem. If you find short answers (e.g., "just reboot dude") or false information, or something that is sloppy or not adequately researched, then mark it down. But marking down an accepted answer is just poor form. You can leave a note on the answer that worked for you (as you did) and up vote it, but down voting is not to be misused (or abused). It's a strong statement to down vote a question or an answer. Not voting is often sufficient. –  cksum Mar 21 '12 at 19:29
thanks for the clarification @cksum Will be noted in future! :) –  richarddas Apr 4 '12 at 17:25

I'm not certain how the badge works, but I suspect the bug isn't on your computer, it's on apple's iMessage server somewhere in the cloud.

To fix it, you would have to have access to their servers, which you don't have.

Basically, the solution is to stop using beta software if you are worried about glitches like this one.

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This is an abysmal answer. And not what this community is about! Don't berate people for using beta software. If you don't know, then just move along and help those you can! –  cksum Feb 26 '12 at 1:19
Very true, but this isn't a much better piece of "constructive" criticism either. –  stuffe Mar 16 '12 at 22:25
"I'm not certain…" >> "To fix it you would have to…" > "Basically, the solution is" — please only post an answer if you know the answer. (I don't mean to sound harsh, just trying to be constructive.) –  richarddas Mar 19 '12 at 11:48

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