How to Deactivate Facebook Messenger

Well, you can't. But you can hide your status if you are online

What to Know

  • You cannot completely deactivate Facebook Messenger without deactivating your Facebook account.
  • Hide status: profile pic > Active Status > toggle Show when you're active / Show when you're active together.
  • Delete Facebook Messenger app, usually by tapping and holding the app icon, but exact instructions vary by device.

This article will explain why you can't deactivate Facebook Messenger and will show you the steps to make sure no one knows when you're using it.

These instructions apply to the Messenger app on your mobile device.

Can I Temporarily Deactivate Messenger?

Unfortunately, there is no way to temporarily deactivate Messenger. You can't even turn Facebook Messenger off. The only way to deactivate Messenger is to deactivate your Facebook account.

Hide Your Online Status From Inside Messenger

If you want to use Messenger without getting messages from people who see that you are online, you can change a setting in the Messenger app so it doesn't show you online when you're using it.

  1. Open the Messenger app and tap your profile picture.

  2. Select Active Status.

  3. Toggle Off the options for Show when you're active and Show when you're active together.

    Screenshots showing how to turn off Active Status on Messenger.

With those options toggled off, when you open your Messenger app on your mobile device, it won't show you're online.

An alternative to deactivating your Facebook Messenger app is to completely uninstall it. You can use this guide to uninstall the app from Android, or this one to uninstall the app from iOS.

One caveat is deleting the Messenger app from your phone will not delete it from your Facebook account. So, you can still access all your messages online when accessing Facebook through a web browser from a desktop or laptop computer.

Why Can't I Deactivate My Messenger?

Messenger is a part of Facebook. It was originally only available as part of Facebook, but in 2011 it was released as a standalone app and in 2014 the app was cut away from Facebook, so you could have Messenger without a Facebook account. If you have both, however, the Messenger features of Facebook will be connected, and even though you delete the Messenger app from your mobile devices, your messages will live on in the web-based version of Facebook.

  • What is Vanish Mode in Facebook Messenger?

    Messenger's Vanish Mode makes the app work like Snapchat's chat mode. Messages and photos in one-on-one conversations (not group ones) disappear once you've seen them and closed the window. To enable it, open the conversation and swipe up.

  • How do I delete messages in Facebook Messenger?

    To unsend a message before the recipient sees it, on iPhone: tap and hold in the mobile app > More > Unsend. Online: click the three-dot menu to the left of the message > Remove. On Android: Tap-and-hold > Remove > Unsend. Browser: Three-dot menu > Remove > Unsend for everyone.

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