How to Find Hidden Facebook Messages

Find your hidden Facebook inbox and read your lost messages

One way Facebook protects your privacy is by creating two separate inboxes for messages. One is for regular messages from your friends and non-friends that send you messages to connect. The second inbox is similar to a spam folder. It contains hidden Facebook messages from non-friends the social media platform believes you don't know.

Facebook doesn't delete these messages. It will not send you an alert to let you know there are new messages in that hidden inbox, so you should periodically check it. Here's how to do that on your desktop and through the Facebook Messenger app for Android and iOS.

If Facebook thinks you know someone based on connections with your current friends, it will deliver a new message from this person as a message request. If there's no evidence that you know the sender, Facebook sends them to your spam mailbox.

Access Hidden Facebook Messages From the Desktop

The quickest way to check your hidden messages on Facebook on the desktop is by opening the specific links for Message Requests and Filtered Messages in your browser.

You can also check for these hidden messages on the desktop version of Facebook using the steps below.

  1. Open Facebook, and select the Messenger icon on the top right side of Facebook.

    The Messenger icon
  2. Select Options which looks like three dots at the top of the Messenger menu.

    The Options button in the Messenger window
  3. Select Message Requests in the menu.

    The Message Requests icon in Messenger Options
  4. From the list of messages, select the message and choose to either Reply to open the conversation, or Delete to remove the request.

  5. Select See All in Messenger to check for Spam messages.

    The "See All in Messenger" option
  6. Choose See Spam in the left pane. Any spam messages will appear in the main window.

    The "See Spam" command in Messenger

View Hidden Facebook Messages With Messenger on Android

  1. Open the Messenger app on your Android phone, and tap the people icon at the bottom of the screen. 

  2. Tap your profile picture in the upper-left corner of the Chats window.

  3. Select Message Requests.

    Navigating to Message Requests in the Messenger app
  4. Select You May Know to see message requests and Spam to see messages marked as spam. Choose to accept or delete the

View Hidden Facebook Messages With Messenger on

iOS

  1. Open Messenger on your phone and tap your profile picture in the upper-left corner.

  2. Select Message Requests.

  3. Tap Spam to see filtered messages.

    When you have message requests, select Accept or Decline to authorize or hide them.

    Message requests in the Messenger app for iOS

Facebook Message Requests and Community Standards

Facebook enforces Community Standards that cover bullying, harassment, threats, and sexual violence or exploitation. If you feel you have received a message that violates these standards, you can report the message to Facebook. Reporting a secret message will decrypt the encrypted message so the Facebook Help Team can review the message.

When this happens, Facebook does not tell the person who started the secret conversation. When you report a secret conversation, recent messages from that conversation will be decrypted and sent securely from your profile to Facebook for review. You also have the option to block anyone from sending you messages on Messenger. You can also block them on Facebook.