The Anniversary Update for Windows 10 adds badge icons for universal apps pinned to the Taskbar. While you can’t turn icon badges on and off for individual apps, you can disable all badges if you want.
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Fire up Windows Settings by clicking Start and then clicking the Settings button (or by pressing Windows+I on your keyboard). On the main settings screen, click “Personalization.”
On the left-hand side of the Personalization page, click “Taskbar.”
On the right, scroll down a bit and turn off (or on) the “Show badges on taskbar buttons” toggle.
And voila! You can now enjoy your nice, boring taskbar icons once again.
While it would be nice to control badges for individual apps–and we’re guessing that will be added eventually–at least you have the ability to turn badges off completely if, like many people, you find them distracting.