My device: I use Android 9 on samsung galaxy s9.

Background: I believe there was a feature before (or maybe currently still, but I turned it off) about showing number of unread messages on apps like whatsapp, viber or the SMS app (and i guess gmail or facebook) or at the very least there's some kind of dot or something on a corner of the icon of such an app that indicates there exists at least 1 unread message (so the dot is an alternative to a specific number of unread messages).

My situation: I do not have such number or dot on icons on apps on my device. If I get a message on whatsapp or viber or regular SMS but say I have to install some updates and so my phone has to turn off or restart, then the notification of this message is gone.

Question: How do I see number or existence of unread messages on icons of apps such as viber and whatsapp and the SMS app?

I have tried looking this up, but

  1. I wasn't able to find any articles specifically on Android 9 and Samsung Galaxy S9.

  2. The solutions proposed in articles I've found on Android 9 but a different phone or on different versions of Android have not worked for me.

  3. I've tried looking up some apps on the play store, but I haven't downloaded any because of the reviews.

  • 2
    You you are looking for is named icon "Notification Badge". Official Android got this feature very late, therefore a bunch vendor specific API extension exists to trigger such badges on devices that use Android before this feature was officially introduced. Not sure about S9 on Android 9.
    – Robert
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 11:36
  • 1
    Nova launcher supports this, don't recall if it is a paid feature
    – beeshyams
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 11:40
  • (part 1) @Robert Oh thanks. I found out, both online and even in settings, badges go away when you swipe...Guess I'll have to resort to...
    – BCLC
    Commented Jul 16, 2020 at 4:42
  • (part 2) @beeshyams nova or some other launcher. thanks!
    – BCLC
    Commented Jul 16, 2020 at 4:42
  • 1
    @BCLC nova does I don't know about others
    – beeshyams
    Commented Jul 16, 2020 at 5:00

2 Answers 2


I found out, both online and even in settings, badges go away when you swipe...Guess I'll have to resort to nova or some other launcher.

Some sources:

Source 1:

DudeThatsErin It goes by what is in your status bar. If you swipe them away the number will disappear.

dark_sage94 They notification bar disappears for me once I read one text

LoyalRoyal18 Nova launcher does what you want, I believe.


Source 2:

Eh can't find anymore right now


With an ASUS Zenfone do the following: Pinch-in at the Home screen, then go to Preferences > Home screen > App icon badges to complete the setting.

On other phones you may want to press a few seconds the homescreen and then 'home preferences' or similar

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