Harry R. Schwartz

Software engineer, nominal scientist, gentleman of the internet. Member, ←Hotline Webring→.

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Removing the “New Messages” Badge from Slack

Removing the “New Messages” Badge from Slack

Published . Tags: unix, web.

I need a quiet space to concentrate. No distractions. Not too much motion around my peripheral vision. That’s an inconvenient way to work, especially in a world of open offices, but that’s kinda just how I am.

I disable pretty much all notifications, of course. Unless someone directly messages me, it can probably wait.

Unfortunately, Slack doesn’t really encourage that way of working. In particular, when anyone writes anything that I haven’t yet read, it’ll add a little badge to my taskbar icon:

slack unread badge

I can’t not see this, and, having seen it, I can’t not clear it. It’s a compulsion. And as soon as anyone on any Slack account says anything, it’s back. This is infinitely distracting for me.

Slack, as far as I can tell, doesn’t provide an option to disable this. However, since it’s an Electron application, we can just break it ourselves:

$ cd /usr/lib/slack/resources/app.asar.unpacked/src/static
$ sudo mv slack-taskbar-unread.png slack-taskbar-unread-backup.png
$ sudo cp slack-taskbar-rest.png slack-taskbar-unread.png

Run those commands, restart Slack, and you’ll find that the little blue gem has been removed for good. O frabjous day!

The red badge indicating direct messages will still appear. I want that one, personally, since I do care about direct messages, but you can remove it if you’d like:

$ cd /usr/lib/slack/resources/app.asar.unpacked/src/static
$ sudo mv slack-taskbar-highlight.png slack-taskbar-highlight-backup.png
$ sudo cp slack-taskbar-rest.png slack-taskbar-highlight.png

Note that updating the Slack application will probably revert these changes. I’ve copied these commands into a shell script so I can easily re-run them when I update.