Chrome and Firefox have begun to exhibit numbers on the YouTube tab. The numbers are enclosed in brackets and they change everyday. You might see a (2) next to YouTube in your browsers tab one day. The next day, it may be gone, or it might have turned into a (5). Users can’t figure out if this is a new browser feature or if an extension/add-on acting up. The number seems to be arbitrary and it doesn’t mean anything to most of them. The number isn’t arbitrary and your browser or an add-on does not generate it. It’s coming from YouTube’s notifications. Here’s how you can get rid of the number on the YouTube tab.
Open YouTube. Allow it to load and see if the number appears in the tab. If it does, look at the top right corner of the YouTube interface. You will see your profile badge. Next to it is a bell icon with a number badge of its own. This bell icon indicates new/unread YouTube notifications. If you have a lot of them, the number badge will read 99+.
The number on the YouTube tab shows the exact number of unread YouTube notifications that you have. To get rid of it, click the bell icon once. A small window will open showing you your notifications. You can go through them if you want but it isn’t necessary if all you want to do is remove the number on the YouTube tab. Click outside the window to close it. YouTube will mark the notifications as read and the number will disappear from the tab.
This isn’t a new Chrome or Firefox features. Facebook and Twitter exhibit this exact same behavior. A Facebook tab shows you the number of new notifications you have. A Twitter tab shows you the number of new tweets.
The change seems to be a change YouTube pushed in recent days. The website has had notifications for the longest time but only now has it added support for displaying them in the tab.
If you dismiss the notifications, the number in the tab will go away. This isn’t permanent. When you have new notifications on YouTube, the tab will show a number again. There’s no turning it off permanently. You could hunt for an add-on or extension that disables notifications in the tab but then you will have to forgo the notifications for other websites too.
Another solution is to turn them off for all channels and activity on YouTube. This only works if you find YouTube notifications useless.