How to Turn Off Facebook Chat

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Facebook Messenger: Great Tool for Staying in Touch

Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family. Facebook

Facebook Messenger is a great tool for staying in touch with friends and family, but sometimes you may want to prevent interruptions from incoming messages. If you are concentrating on a project, in a class at school, or just want some quiet time uninterrupted by the bells and whistles announcing that a message has been received, you may want to modify your Facebook settings to make incoming messages less intrusive.

While you can't actually turn Facebook Messenger off, you can do a couple of things to prevent or reduce interruptions from messages arriving in Facebook Messenger.

Next: How to turn notifications off in Facebook Messenger

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How to Turn Notifications Off in Facebook Messenger

Facebook Notification Settings
Notifications can be suppressed in the Facebook Messenger mobile app. Facebook

One way to prevent interruptions from Facebook Messenger is to turn off notifications. This can only be done within the Facebook mobile app. 

How to turn off Facebook Messenger notifications:

  • Open the Facebook Messenger application on your mobile device.
  • Tap on the "Me" icon at the bottom right of the screen
  • Tap the "Notifications" option
  • Swipe the "Do Not Disturb" option to "On"
  • You will then be presented with several options which control how long notifications from Facebook Messenger will be turned off. The options are: 
    • 15 minutes
    • One hour
    • Eight hours
    • 24 hours 
    • Until 8am
  • Tap your option of choice and notifications will be suppressed for the period of time that you've chosen.
  • Bonus Tip: If you'd rather not schedule a time when notifications will be turned back on, here's a work around which provides another option
    • ​Open Facebook Messenger
    • Tap the "Me" icon
    • Tap "Notifications in Messenger"
    • You will see an option each for "Sound" and "Vibrate." If you'd like to suppress sound, turn that option to the "Off" position. If you'd like to suppress vibration, turn that option to the "Off" position. If you'd like to suppress both, turn both options to the "Off position." Modifying the settings will suppress sound and vibration until you turn them on again.
  • Note: You can only modify the notifications settings in the Facebook mobile app. This feature is not available on the web version of Facebook.

Next: How to mute an individual conversation

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Mute an Individual Conversation on Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger conversations
Individual conversations can be muted in Facebook Messenger — both in the app and on the web. Facebook

Sometimes you may find yourself wanting to turn "off" a particular conversation in Facebook Messenger. Fortunately, Facebook provides a way to mute individual conversations. You will still receive all of the messages in the conversation, but you will not be notified each time a new message is entered. Muting a conversation will result in the chat window will stay closed and you also will not receive push notifications telling you that you have a new message on your mobile device.

How to mute an individual conversation on Facebook Messenger:

  • On the mobile app: 
    • Open Facebook Messenger
    • Locate the conversation that you'd like to mute (don't OPEN it - just locate it)
    • Swipe left on the conversation. This will expose some options: 
    • You will see an option that says "More" - tapping on this will allow you to block the user sending the message, mark the message as spam, archive the message, or mark it as unread.
    • Next to the "More" option you will see the "Mute" option. Tapping this will expose several options for how long you'd like to mute the conversation for: 15 minutes, an hour, 8 hours, 24 hours, or until you turn it back on
  • On the web:
    • Click on the "Messages" icon at the top right of the screen which will display a list of your conversations. Select the one that you'd like to mute and click on it.
    • This will result in the conversation being displayed in the chat window. Click on the gear icon on the upper right side to expose options. You will be able to choose from:
    • 1 hour
    • 8am
    • Until you turn it back on
    • Tap your preferred option to select it

So, while you can't log out of Facebook Messenger, there are ways to suppress notifications so that you're not interrupted. Another option of course, and one that is the best choice if you are in an important meeting, class, or other event which requires your full attention, is to turn your phone off temporarily. This will ensure that you're not interrupted by Facebook messages, or any other notification from your phone.

Updated by Christina Michelle Bailey, 8/30/16