How to Find Hidden Facebook Messages

Find your hidden Facebook inbox and read your lost messages

Man holding letters in envelopes

Arman Zhenikeyev / Getty Images

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 and contains hidden Facebook messages from non-friends the company believes you don't know.

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

If Facebook thinks you know a non-friend, based on connections with your current friends, Facebook will deliver a new message from this person to your regular inbox, as a friend request. If there's no evidence that you know the sender, Facebook sends these messages, like friend requests, in your secret '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 click the Messenger icon on the top right side of Facebook.

  2. Click Message Requests in the top left of the menu.

    The location of Message Requests in Facebook Messenger on the web.
  3. Click See filtered messages.

  4. From the list of messages, select the message and choose to either Reply to open the conversation, or Delete to remove the request.

If you delete a connection request, the message will be permanently deleted. If you send a message to someone who sent you a message you deleted, your message will go to their Connection Requests.

View Secret Facebook Messages on Your Phone

Since most people access Facebook through their mobile devices, it's also nice to know how to access hidden messages on Android and iOS devices.

Find 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. 

    Screenshot of Android phone showing people icon at bottom in Messenger app
  2. Tap your person icon with a plus in the top right corner.

  3. At the top of the screen, tap Requests.

    The Requests option in Facebook Messenger for Android.
  4. Tap on each message and tap Accept to open the conversation or Ignore to remove the request.

Find Hidden Facebook Messages With Messenger on iOS

  1. Open Messenger on your phone and tap the People icon at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Tap the Conversation icon in the upper right to open a new page that shows your requests.

  3. Tap each message and tap Accept to open the conversation or Decline to remove the request.

    Screenshots showing how to find hidden Facebook messages on Messenger 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.