How to Clear Stuck Message Icon Counts

Dear Apple Tech Talk

I am a loyal Apple user and have a MacBook Pro, an iPad and an iPhone.  I love the iMessage app because I can see and respond to my messages from any of my devices.  Recently I noticed that although I have deleted all of the iMessages from my iPhone, and removed all of the conversations from my MacBook Pro, my Messages icon on my computer still shows one unread message.  I have deleted the icon from my Dock, and restarted the Finder but nothing seems to work.  Is there any way to clear the stuck message icon?

Thanks for your note.  Although all Apple products work great together, sometimes things can get out of sync.  In your case, the Messages app in Mac OS thinks you have an unread message even though you don’t.  Fortunately, this is an easy problem to fix.


First, make sure that you completely close out of the Messages app.  That means that you have not just closed the active window but the app is completely closed.  You will know it is closed if the black dot under the icon is not showing. We actually suggest that you close all apps before you go to the next step.

Next, open a Finder Window and go to Applications > Utilities and open the Terminal application.

Once in terminal enter the following command:

killall Dock

Press the Enter key.

You will see the Dock disappear for a few seconds and then pop back up to its original location.

The message count should now be gone.

This problem is not limited to the Messages app.  We have also seen this happen to the icons for Mail and Calendar.  You can use the same process to correct them all.

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