How to Delete Facebook Messages

Use your phone, tablet, or computer

Facebook Messenger app icon on a smartphone

Oliver Graumnitz / Pixabay 

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.


How to Permanently Delete Facebook Messages

One warning in advance, however: unlike some messaging apps, deleting Facebook messages or clearing your history does not remove the message from other people's history. If you've sent an embarrassing message to a friend and deleted that message from your chat history, your friend still has a copy. 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. Click the Messages icon at the top right of the screen. It's the one between the buttons for friend requests and notifications.

    Screenshot of Messages button on Facebook web site
  2. 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, but if you do that, skip down to item 2 below.

  3. Use the small gear icon next to that window's exit button (called Options if you hover your mouse over it) to open a new menu.

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

    Screenshot of Delete conversation menu item in Facebook messages menu item
  5. When asked to Delete This Entire Conversation?, choose Delete Conversation.

    Screenshot of Delete Conversation button on Facebook website

Use these steps to delete entire Facebook messages from or

How to Permanently Delete Chat History

  1. Click the Delete option.

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

    Screenshot of Delete confirmation button in Facebook Messenger on the web

If you're interested in removing only specific messages you've sent, or messages someone sent you, do this:

  1. Locate the message you want ​to be deleted.

  2. Hover your mouse over it so that you can see a small menu show up. What you're looking for is a button that's made up of three small horizontal dots.
    If you're deleting a Facebook message that you sent them, the menu will show up to the left of the message. If you're wanting to remove something they sent you, look to the right.

    Screenshot of Delete button in an individual Facebook message on the web
  3. Click the small menu button and then hit Delete once, and then again if you're sure you want it deleted.

Use the Messenger App to Permanently Delete Facebook Chat History

Follow this first set of instructions to delete an entire message in Facebook Messenger:

  1. Open the Messenger app on your mobile device.

  2. Tap and hold on the conversation you want ​to be deleted.

  3. Choose Delete from the pop-up menu.

  4. Confirm it with the Delete Conversation option.

    Three iOS screenshots showing delete conversation and confirmation buttons in Facebook app

Here's how to delete a single Facebook message from a conversation:

  1. Find the conversation and message you want to remove.

  2. Press and hold on the message to see a new menu show on the bottom of the app.

  3. Choose Delete once, and then again when prompted to confirm you want to delete the message.

    Screenshot of two iOS screens showing conversation Delete options for Facebook Messenger app