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Wondering how to deactivate Facebook Messenger but can’t find the option? You’re not alone. Facebook has made it somewhat difficult to disable Messenger without disabling other Facebook services first. Here’s how it works.

You Can’t Disable Messenger Alone

To disable Facebook Messenger, you’ll have to disable your Facebook account, too. There’s simply no option to deactivate Messenger without deactivating your Facebook account first.

Deactivating your account is different from deleting Facebook. If you deactivate your account, you can reactivate it at a later date by simply logging in. You won’t be able to use Facebook at all while your account is deactivated, including Oculus services.

If you want to continue using Facebook as a social media platform without Messenger, you’ll have to just ignore it. The best way to do this is to simply delete the app from your device. You’ll still see communication requests in the top-right corner of your Facebook feed on the desktop website.

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You’ll also still be discoverable to other Messenger users. Your friends will see that you’ve signed up for the service and that you’re contactable. You might want to disable your “Active Status” under Messenger settings to hide when you’re online.

How to Disable Facebook Messenger

Before proceeding, make sure that you’ve logged in to Facebook Messenger on a device, whether it’s your Android smartphone, iPhone or iPad, or the Facebook Messenger for Desktop app. You’ll need to deactivate Messenger using one of these apps.

If you’ve decided that you’re ready to disable Facebook Messenger, first, you’ll need to deactivate your Facebook account using the Facebook website or app. Once you’ve done that and you’re logged out, return to your Facebook Messenger app of choice.

Regardless of whether you’re using Messenger on Android, iPhone or iPad, or Messenger for Desktop, the instructions for disabling it are the same.

On the Chats tab, tap on your profile picture in the top-left corner of the window or screen.

Facebook Messenger Profile

Tap on “Legal & Policies” at the bottom of the screen.

Facebook Messenger Legal & Policies

Tap “Deactivate Messenger,” followed by “Deactivate.”

Deactivate Facebook Messenger

Enter your password, followed by the “Continue” button.

Facebook Messenger Enter Password

Use the big blue “Deactivate” button to deactivate Facebook Messenger.

Deactivate Button for Facebook Messenger

How to Reactivate Facebook Messenger

You can reactivate your Messenger account at any point in the future by logging back in to Facebook Messenger with your username and password. Simple!

Alternatives to Facebook Messenger

If you’re leaving Facebook Messenger for privacy reasons, you might want to look into encrypted messaging apps. There are some great privacy-focused alternative messaging apps.

Signal is a great choice for messaging that’s encrypted on both ends. Follow our guide to securing your Signal chats for ultimate peace of mind.

Tim Brookes Tim Brookes
Tim Brookes is a technology writer with more than a decade of experience. He's invested in the Apple ecosystem, with experience covering Macs, iPhones, and iPads for publications like Zapier and MakeUseOf.
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