In Windows 11, taskbar icons can include tiny red notification badges that show the number of unread messages in an app. By default, this might be disabled. Here’s how to turn icon notification badges on.

First, open Windows Settings. You can use a link in the Quick Settings menu or press Windows+i on your keyboard, or you might find it pinned to the Start menu.

When Settings opens, select “Personalization” in the sidebar, and then click “Taskbar.”

In Taskbar settings, select “Taskbar Behaviors.”

When the list of options appears, check the box next to “Show badges (unread messages counter) on taskbar apps.”

Place a check mark beside "Show badges (unread messages counter) on taskbar apps."

After that, close the Settings menu. The next time you open a messaging or social media app with unread messages or notifications, you’ll see a red numbered badge right above its icon in the taskbar.

If you ever get tired of seeing the badges, just revisit Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Taskbar Behaviors and uncheck “Show badges (unread messages counter) on taskbar apps” to turn them off.

RELATED: All the Ways Windows 11's Taskbar Is Different

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Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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