How to Be Invisible on Facebook

Social media doesn't always have to be so social

What To Know

  • On Select the Messenger icon > Options (three dots) > Turn Off Active Status. Choose a visibility level and select Okay.
  • In the Facebook iOS/Android app: Go to Menu > Settings & Privacy > Settings > Active Status and toggle off Show when you're active.
  • In the Messenger iOS/Android app: Go to Chats > profile picture > Active Status. Toggle off Active Status, then tap Turn Off to confirm.

This article explains how to appear offline while using Facebook and Facebook Messenger so you can browse without others knowing you're around. Instructions cover Facebook on the desktop as well as the Facebook and Messenger iOS and Android apps.

How to Appear Offline on Facebook Using a PC or Mac

When you're on Facebook or Facebook Messenger, friends may notice that you're online and think it's a great time to send you messages. Here's what to do if you prefer more privacy.

  1. Navigate to and select the Messenger icon.

    Go to Facebook on the desktop and select the Messenger icon
  2. Select Options (three dots).

    Select the Messenger Options menu
  3. Select Turn Off Active Status.

    Select Turn Off Active Status.
  4. Choose Turn off active status for all contacts if you don't want to be disturbed by anyone.

    Choose Turn Off Active Status for All Contacts if you don’t want to be disturbed by anyone.
  5. Select Turn off active status for all contacts except if you don't want to be disturbed by most people, but want to be available to a select few. You can designate friends who can see your online status.

    Choose Turn Off Active Status for All Contacts except to allow some people to see your online status
  6. Choose Turn off active status for only some contacts if there are only a few people to whom you prefer to remain incognito.

    Choose Turn off Active Status for Only Some Contacts if there are just a few people you don’t want to know you’re on Facebook.
  7. Select Okay when you've made your selection. Your active status remains off until you turn it back on.

How to Appear Offline on Facebook Using an iOS or Android Device

You can manage whether you show as online or offline using the Facebook apps for iOS and Android.

  1. Tap Menu (three lines) in the lower-right corner (iOS) or upper-right corner (Android).

  2. Scroll down and tap Settings & Privacy.

  3. Tap Settings.

    Tap Menu, Settings and Privacy, then Settings
  4. Scroll down to the Privacy section and tap Active Status.

  5. Tap the toggle next to Show when you're active to turn it off.

  6. Tap Turn Off to confirm.

    Active Status settings in the Facebook app

In addition to being invisible to your Facebook friends at times, there are ways to block people from finding you on Facebook.

How to Go Offline on the Facebook Messenger App

Turn off Active Status directly from the Messenger app for iOS or Android, as well.

  1. From the Chats tab, select your profile picture.

  2. Tap Active Status.

  3. Toggle off Active Status, then tap Turn Off to confirm.

    Turn off Active Status on the Messenger App

After you turn off Active Status, you can still send messages and participate in conversations you already had going.

  • How can I tell if someone is making themselves invisible on Facebook?

    Look at the timestamps of someone's Facebook activity; if it's incredibly recent, but they appear offline, they might be going invisible. Also, if you're friends with the user, send them a message and check to see if their profile image appears next to your sent message indicating they've opened your message. (And please respect peoples' boundaries!)

  • How do I turn off my Off-Facebook activity tracking?

    On Facebook, select your profile image > Settings & privacy > Settings. Then, select Your Facebook Information > Off-Facebook activity > Disconnect future activity. Next, turn off Future off-Facebook activity and select Confirm. The process is similar on the mobile app.

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