How to see all the unread message notifications on your iPhone, all at once, all in the same place

Instant Messaging (IM) — and the notifications that come with them — are horribly fragmented. iPhone users have iMessage built-in, but if you use Facebook then you likely also have Facebook Messenger, if you use Google you likely also have Google Hangouts, if you come from BlackBerry you likely have BBM contacts, and depending on what part of the world you're in, you likely also have WhatsApp, Line, WeChat, Telegram, Viber, and more all locked and loaded. That's an awful lot of beeping, buzzing, and badging to deal with. If you handle notifications the instant they come in, then it may not be a problem. If you need to go back later, hunting for little red dots all over your Home screen can be a hassle. So what's the answer? Unify them all in one folder!

Many of you might already do this, either simply out of organizational obsession or for the notification benefit that comes with it, but if you don't, give it a shot.

  1. Touch an hold a messaging app icon on your Home screen until it jiggles.
  2. Drag it on top of another messaging app icon and hold it there until it creates a new folder.
  3. Label the folder whatever you like (I use "Messaging").
  4. Drag all your other messaging app icons into the same folder.
  5. Click the Home button to finish

That's all there is to it. From now on, all your messaging apps are not only all in the same place, but the folder itself will show you the sum total of all your unread messages in one handy badge all its own.

Let me know how you organize and label your messaging apps, and if you have any other IM tips, let me know about them too!

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.