Windows has long had a notifications system. In Windows 10, it was finally unified with the Action Center panel. Action Center itself is a long standing feature of Windows but it has become a more recognized feature now that it can be accessed as a side panel. The Action Center is where all notifications reside. You can open it to view recent notifications and click a notification to take you to the app. Its System Tray icon shows a number badge to indicate the number of new notifications you have. When you have new notifications, this icon is filled out and if you think that is indication enough, then you have the option to disable the number badge on the icon. Here’s how.
Right-click the Action Center icon in the system tray. The context menu has options for customizing the Action Center. These options include a setting for turning Quiet Hours On or Off, hiding the app icons that appear next to a notification, and hiding the number badge that indicates the number of new notifications you have.
This last option is what you’re looking for. Simply click it and the Action Center’s System Tray icon will no longer show the number badge. It will still appear filled out when you have new notifications.
This option is available in Windows 10 Anniversary Update build 1607 and above. There’s a chance it might be available in older builds but unless you’re still running an old build, there’s no way to check.
The app icons option in the Anniversary Update either doesn’t seem to work or is buggy even in the Anniversary update. It had no effect on the appearance of the notifications in the Action Center. The quiet hours toggle is pretty useful; instead of adding Quiet Hours to the quick settings in the Action Center, you can turn them On or Off from this menu. It frees up space for a toggle you use more often.