How to Use Messenger Without a Facebook Account

Using a deactivated account is the key

What to Know

  • On the Messenger app, enter your deactivated Facebook account's phone number/email and password, then tap Log In.
  • Or tap Create New Account > Next > Sign Up to create a new Facebook account and Messenger account with it.
  • Then deactivate your Facebook account at or on the Facebook app while continuing to use Messenger.

This article covers how to use Messenger when you're not using Facebook, including how to set the Messenger app up on your device if you have a previously deactivated account.

These instructions assume you have Messenger for iOS or Messenger for Android installed on your mobile device.

Use Messenger With a Deactivated Facebook Account

Before December 2019, you only needed a phone number to create a Facebook Messenger account. Now, you need a Facebook account, but it doesn't have to be active. If you previously deactivated your Facebook account, you can use it to create a Messenger account without reactivating it first. All you need to do is log into Messenger using your deactivated account's credentials and click or tap Log in.

Use Messenger Without a Facebook Account

If you had a Facebook account that you permanently deleted, or you never had a Facebook account before, you can create a brand new one and then deactivate it after setting up Messenger.

  1. Open the Messenger app and tap Create New Account.


    A pop-up box might appear asking to use information from to sign in. Tap Continue.

  2. A browser window opens, prompting you to create a new Facebook account. Fill out the fields and tap Next on each tab until you get to the final one and tap Sign Up.

    Logging in or creating a new Facebook account.


    Make sure to use the first and last name you want to appear in your Messenger account. You're to verify your account with a code sent by text or email.

  3. Creating a Facebook account also creates a Messenger account, which you can start using immediately.


    Messenger automatically displays your Facebook profile picture next to your name. Unfortunately, you can't upload or change your profile picture within Messenger—you have to do it through your Facebook account via the website or the mobile app.

  4. Optionally deactivate your Facebook account and continue to use Messenger just like you would if your Facebook account was still active.


    Make sure you deactivate—not delete—your Facebook account. If you delete your account, it also deletes your Messenger account and all of your messages. A deactivated Facebook account is the absolute minimum you must have to use Messenger.

  • Can you contact someone on Messenger without being friends?

    Yes, you can send a message to someone on Facebook Messenger if you're not friends. However, your message may arrive in their message requests, and they will only see it if they check there. To add phone contacts to Messenger, select Phone Contacts > Upload Contacts.

  • How many Messenger accounts can you have?

    You can add up to five Messenger accounts provided they follow Facebook's name policies and Community Standards. To add a Messenger account, tap your profile picture in the Messenger app > Switch Account > Add Account > enter your information.

  • Can people find me on Messenger without Facebook?

    Yes. People can search for you by name, email address, or phone number in the Messenger app. To control your privacy settings, go to Messenger and tap your profile picture > Privacy > Message Delivery and choose who can send you message requests.

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