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How to disable icon notification badges on the Galaxy S8

One of the features on Android that's requested frequently, particularly by anyone who's used an iPhone, is notification badges on app icons. That means that as notifications for that app pile up, a small circle with a number indicating the amount of unread notifications is placed on its icon. Listening to demand, Samsung includes this feature in the Galaxy S8 — but it isn't perfect.

So long as the app supports these notification badges, you'll see the number of unread notifications on that app icon. Unfortunately, unlike iOS this isn't a standard framework for Android apps, so only some of your apps have badges while others don't. That's annoying.

No matter which side of the issue you fall on, we can all agree that having a setting in the phone to turn off these icon badges would be a beneficial thing. Unfortunately, Samsung doesn't give us such a setting, so we have to go our own way.

To get this done, we have to start by installing an app from the Play Store. The app we've used with success is called Package Disabler Pro (Samsung) (opens in new tab) — it's $1.49 and worth every penny even if you just use it for this one task. There are many other package disablers out there, and some may even work for this purpose, but the one linked above is the one we've used and can speak to.

So with that app installed, here's the process you need to follow.

IMPORTANT: Before going through this process, you must clear all icon badges from your apps and make sure they stay clear until you disable the icon badge package. If you have unread icon badges at the time of doing this process, the badges will be stuck there until you start all over — it's not permanent, but it's annoying and wastes your time.

  1. With icon badges cleared, open Package Disabler Pro from your app drawer.
  2. The passcode is local to this device and doesn't have to match any other passcode you have on the phone.
  3. Remember the passcode!
  4. On the next screen tap Activate at the bottom of the screen.
  5. Scroll down and find BadgeProvider and check the box next to it.

Samsung Galaxy S8

WARNING: Do not check any additional boxes without first knowing what you're doing. Some of these packages are critical to the function of your phone.

And that's it! So long as you keep Package Disabler Pro installed and the checkbox checked, icons will not have notification badges on them. If you ever want to revert the process you can simply open Package Disabler Pro, revert your changes and uninstall the app — no damage done.

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

9 Comments
  • The only reason I stick with ios is because of those badges. Why? The flaw in android is there are not options for these badges.
    If you have a notification shade full of notifications lets say and you accidentaly hit clear all. Without the badges now you don't know what your missing and that's the point of the badges, No matter if you swipe away the notification shade entry the badges are still there. I don't like the fact that you lose all your notifications if you happen to hit clear all by accident. Until native android at least supports the option of having true badges on all apps I will never use android as my main driver. Even on Samsung which is almost doing it all, The apps that show badges don't swipe away like the fake badges on nova launcher that rely on the notification shade itself.
  • Nova launcher had solved that problem. And not just that, it's simply the best thing to show the customization power of Android.
  • I simply have never had this problem. Maybe I don't get as many notifications as you, or I am not as prone to hitting clear all by accident, but it has just never been an issue. That being said it looks like Android is fixing to gain native support for notification badges in the next major release so if you were holding off because of that one thing you are probably gonna be happy.
  • Thx had disabler for awhile and missed this one. So annoying to swipe away notification and badge stays. Plus for some appsi clear badge and it later returns.
  • If you don't mind badges on the icon within the app drawer, but don't want them on the icons on your home screen, it can be done using the app Awesome Icons. Just go into it, choose the standard icon for Facebook or Twitter or whatever, then make sure you tick the checkbox saying 'Protect Icon' before hitting ok.
  • Don't have an S8 but I do use Nova Launcher with TeslaUnread. Badge Counter for any application you'd like.
  • I wish i could select which badges would show up. by selecting this option none of them appear. im only annoyed by the FB and Messenger ones. Any assistance?????????????
  • How about unchecking apps under Notifications?
  • Exactly, Nova launcher along with TeslaUnread app. This is basically a non-issue. Btw, that package disabler mentioned in the article is no longer available in Google Play ( ⁠Sep. 2018 — 1½ years after this article went up ⁠). Not in Samsung Galaxy app store either. The internet is a live thing, you see :)