How to Turn off Facebook Messenger

Go dark on Messenger by turning off your active status

The Facebook Messenger instant-messaging service has many handy features, including the ability to see which friends are online and available to chat. These friends and contacts can also see that you're online. If you'd rather lay low and not make yourself available for communication, it's easy to go dark by turning off your active status.

Here's how to turn off your Messenger active status using Facebook.com on a desktop computer or mobile browser, from Messenger.com on the desktop, or in the iOS or Android Messenger app.

If you have Facebook or Messenger open on another device, you'll need to turn off active status there.

Facebook Messenger iPhone app icon
Corbis / Getty Images

Turn off Messenger From Facebook on the Desktop

If you're logged in to Facebook on your Mac or Windows PC, it's easy to change your Messenger active status.

Since Facebook and Messenger are connected, you can access Messenger through Facebook or by itself.

  1. Log in to Facebook on your computer and select the Messenger icon in the upper-right corner.

    The Messenger icon in Facebook
  2. Select the Options icon (three dots) in the upper-right corner of the chat sidebar.

    The options menu in Messenger
  3. Select Turn Off Active Status.

    The Turn Off Active Status option
  4. In the Active Status window, select Turn off active status for all contacts if you don't want your online status visible to anyone.

    The Turn off active status for all contacts option
  5. Select Turn off active status for all contacts except if you want to allow only certain contacts to see your online status. Enter the names of anyone you want to allow.

    The Turn off status except option
  6. Select Turn off active status for only some contacts to prevent certain people from seeing your online status, then enter those names.

    The Turn off active status for some contacts option
  7. Select Okay.

    The Okay button
  8. Depending on the option you selected, you appear offline to other Messenger users.

To make yourself visible to would-be chatters again, go to Options and select Turn on Active Status.

Turn off Active Status on Messenger.com on the Desktop

If you're logged in to Messenger.com on a Mac or Windows PC, here's how to turn off active status.

  1. Sign in to Messenger.com and select the Settings icon (the gear) at the top.

    The Settings icon in Messenger for web
  2. Select Settings from the drop-down menu.

    The Settings option in the drop-down
  3. In the Active Status section, toggle off the Show when you're active option. Your friends and contacts won't see if you're on Messenger.

    The Show when you're active switch

Turn off Active Status on the iOS or Android App

It's easy to turn off your Messenger active status while you're on the go using the Messenger iOS or Android app.

When you use Facebook or Messenger somewhere else, such as on the desktop, you still appear active until you turn it off there.

  1. Open the Messenger app on your mobile device and select the Chats icon at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Tap your profile picture in the upper-left corner, then tap Active Status.

  3. Tap the Show when you're active toggle switch to turn off active status. (On an Android device, use the toggle at the top of the screen to turn off your active status.)

    Turning off active status in Messenger for iOS
  4. Tap Turn Off to confirm. Other users now won't be able to see if you're on Messenger.

Turn off Messenger From Facebook in a Mobile Browser

If you're logged in to Facebook using a browser on your mobile device, here's how to turn off your Messenger active status.

  1. Log in to Facebook in a mobile browser and tap the Messenger icon at the top.

  2. Turn off the Show when you're active toggle switch.

  3. When the confirmation box appears, tap Turn Off. Other users now won't be able to see if you're on Messenger.

    How to turn off active status in Messenger