How to Delete Facebook Messages

Use your phone, tablet, or computer

When seeking to clear your chat history on Facebook or Messenger, you must make a decision between one of two actions: removing a specific message or deleting the entire history of your conversations between you and another person on Facebook.

You may want to delete just one message (or a few) out of your entire history. Or you may want to clear your chat history to start a new conversation without the distraction of old text hovering above, or to hide the information from potentially prying eyes.

In either case, we'll show you what steps to take depending on whether you're working on a computer or a mobile device like your phone or tablet.

The instructions in this article apply to deleting messages using the Messenger app or Facebook through a web browser.

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How to Permanently Delete Facebook Messages

How Deleting Facebook Messages Works

Unlike some messaging apps, deleting Facebook messages doesn't always remove the message from the other person's account. If you've sent an embarrassing message to a friend and then deleted it from your chat history, your friend still has a copy. The only exception is if you delete the message within 10 minutes of sending it (see below for instructions).

The best bet is to never say anything via a message—or anywhere online—that you would not want as part of the permanent record.

If you're deleting Facebook messages to clear out the conversation list, keep in mind that you can always use the archive feature for that. That way, the messages won't be permanently removed, but they will be cleared away from the main list of conversations.

Permanently Delete Facebook Chat History Using a Computer

  1. Open Facebook.

  2. Click the Messages icon at the top right of the screen. It's the one between the plus and bell notifications.

    Screenshot of Messages button on Facebook web site
  3. Click the message thread you want to permanently delete so that it pops up at the bottom of the screen.

    You can also open all the threads at once with the See All in Messenger link at the bottom of the pop-up. If you do that, skip down to the Messenger.com directions below for further instructions.

  4. Select the person's name at the top of the chat.

    Screenshot of options button for Facebook messages on the website
  5. Select Delete conversation from that pop-up menu.

    Screenshot of Delete conversation menu item in Facebook messages menu item
  6. Click Delete Conversation to confirm.

    Screenshot of Delete Conversation button on Facebook website

How to Permanently Delete Messenger.com Chat History

Follow these instructions to permanently delete your entire Messenger.com chat history.

  1. Hover your mouse over the conversation you want to delete, and select the three-dotted menu button.

  2. Click Delete.

    Screenshot of Delete button in Facebook Messenger on the web
  3. Click Delete again when you're asked to confirm.

    Screenshot of Delete confirmation button in Facebook Messenger on the web

Remove Only Specific Facebook Messages

If you're interested in removing only specific messages you've sent, or messages someone sent you, follow the instructions below.

Here's how to remove a specific message from the conversation in the Messenger app:

  1. Open the conversation to view all the exchanges.

  2. Press and hold the item you want to delete.

    If you're using an iPad, you only to swipe the conversation from right to left to delete it.

    Removing a specific message from the conversation in the Messenger app.
  3. Tap Remove, and then Remove for You to confirm.

    If you're using an iPad, tap More to see the Remove button.

    You'll see Unsend if you're able to delete the message from the other person's account, too, but this is only true for messages that are less than 10 minutes old.

Use the Messenger App to Permanently Delete Facebook Chat History

Follow these instructions to delete an entire conversation in Facebook Messenger.

  1. Open the Chats tab from the bottom of the Messenger app to find your past messages.

  2. Press and hold on the conversation you want ​to delete.

  3. Tap the red trash can icon. If you don't see that, tap the Delete button.

  4. Confirm with DELETE.

    Deleting an entire conversation in Facebook Messenger.