Is it possible to quickly remove a notification badge from an app in the Dock? I'm looking for a solution faster than opening the app itself and performing whatever task is required to mark the notification as read.

In some apps, clearing the badge is quick and easy, but others require a bit more persuasion or actual action. For example, the App Store badge is useful as it tells me that updates are available, but once I'm aware of this, I don't need the badge any more. Unfortunately, clearing the badge requires installing/ignoring the updates, which I may not want to do immediately. A quick way to remove just the badge would be very useful.

I would prefer something scriptable, but GUI scripting is not out of the scope.

3 Answers 3


I'm not aware of anything available to remove the badge from the app. However is is simple enough to turn off the notifications. For example in Mail:

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Note the checkmark next to Badge App Icons in Notifications -> Mail. That will prevent the badge icon and if you have the sound on you will be notified when a new message comes in without the annoying visual distraction of the badge.

  • Indeed, I am aware of completely disabling badges and this will probably what I end up doing, but I was looking for something more temporary as the badges can be useful but clearing them is difficult.
    – grg
    Dec 25, 2014 at 12:51

The badges populate when certain conditions are met. In most cases an action needs to be performed before the badge is removed/updated.

Badges can be cleared easily if the developer who wrote the app adds an optional action to ignore the current conditions and clear the badge. Acting like a kind of reset.

So you are limited to the developers actions or using the apple supplied disable badge in the notifications settings.

  • Yes, but on iOS (jailbreak) there are numerous tweaks which let you (for example) swipe on an app icon to immediately clear the badge without developer cooperation or disabling the badge in Notification Center settings. I was hoping for something similar on OS X.
    – grg
    Dec 28, 2014 at 10:18
  • I am not aware of being able to do the same in os x.
    – markhunte
    Dec 28, 2014 at 10:24

In general, it depends heavily upon the App in question.

OS X Mail for instance has the ability to select one folder for the dock count. It also has hooks that allow a third party developer to heavily customize the dock icon for Mail app based on multiple criteria.

Dockstar Icon Preview

  • I was hoping for a canonical badge-removing solution for numerous apps in the same vein as iOS badge-clearing tweaks (jailbreak), but if that's not possible, I'll look into solutions for specific apps.
    – grg
    Dec 30, 2014 at 12:36

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