How to Turn Off Facebook Chat

Go dark on Facebook or Messenger by turning off active status

Facebook Chat isn't a prominent feature, but it's handy. Located in the bottom right-hand corner of the Facebook website, it displays your friends who are online and available and enables you to chat instantly with them. But if you'd rather not communicate with anyone in real-time while logged into Facebook, simply turn off chat and change your status from active to inactive. If you are using Facebook or Messenger on other devices, you’ll need to change your status to inactive, as well.

Here's how to turn off chat on Facebook on a computer, on the Android app, on the iOS app, or in a mobile browser.

Facebook Chat is tied to the Messenger app. If you start a chat on Facebook on the desktop, you'll see the messages in Messenger on your mobile device.

Turn Off Facebook Chat on the Desktop

If you are logged in to Facebook on your computer, turn off chat using the Facebook Chat menu.

  1. Log into Facebook on your computer.

  2. Click the gear icon in the lower right corner of the screen to open the Facebook Chat menu.

    Facebook Chat menu
  3. Select Turn Off Active Status. The Active Status window opens.

    Turn off active status on Facebook Chat
  4. Select Turn Off Active Status for All Contacts if you want to turn off the Facebook chat option for all your contacts. 

  5. Select Turn Off Active Status for All Contacts Except... if you want to allow certain contacts to chat with you. Type in the names of the people you want to be able to chat with you.

  6. Select Turn Off Active Status for Only Some Contacts if you want to prevent only certain people from chatting with you. Type in those names.

  7. Select Okay.

  8. You'll now appear offline to other Facebook users in the chat window. They can still send you messages, but the message will not automatically open or display a popup notification. However, you'll see red numbered notifications at the top of the page. 

To turn chat back on again, click the Turn On Active Status link at the bottom of the Facebook Chat sidebar or click the gear icon in the lower right corner of the screen and choose Turn On Active Status

Turn Off Active Status on the Android or iOS App

You won't appear active to other users.

  1. Open the Facebook app on your mobile device. 

  2. Tap the three horizontal lines or menu button.

  3. Scroll down and tap Settings & Privacy.

  4. Tap Settings.

    Turn off Facebook Chat on a mobile app
  5. Tap Active Status under Privacy.

  6. Tap the toggle next to Show When You’re Active to turn it off.

    Show when you're active Facebook Chat
  7. Tap Turn Off on the Turn Off Active Status notification window and exit. 

Turn Off Facebook Chat in a Mobile Browser

If you are logged into Facebook using a browser on your mobile device, here's how to turn off the chat feature. 

  1. Make sure you are logged into Facebook on your device’s mobile browser, such as Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.

  2. Tab the hamburger button in the upper-right corner of the screen. 

  3. Tap Settings.

    Facebook mobile settings
  4. Tap Active Status under Privacy.

    Active status Facebook mobile
  5. Tap the Turn Off Active Status link. 

    Turn off active status Facebook Chat on mobile

Turn chat back on by repeating the steps and tapping the Turn On Active Status link.

Turn Off Messenger Active Status

To truly go incognito on Facebook, you'll need to turn off active status on the Messenger app, as well. To do this, open Messenger and tap your profile picture. Scroll down and toggle off Active status.