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You might feel like you need a Facebook account to exist on the internet. It sometimes seems like you’ll have no way to keep in touch with friends without it. But that’s not true. In fact, you can actually use Facebook Messenger without an active Facebook account.

There was a time when Facebook only required a phone number to use Messenger. However, around 2019, the social giant started cracking down on security and privacy. Features that used to not require a Facebook account were removed.

Facebook Messenger, however, still doesn’t require an active Facebook account. “Active” is a very important word here. You do need to have had an account at one time, but it can be deactivated and you can still use Messenger. We’ll show you how.

RELATED: 6 Things You Should Never Share on Facebook and Social Media

Note: “Deactivating” your Facebook account is not the same as deleting it. You will be able to come back to the social network at any time and all of your profile information and content will be restored.

To get started, open the Facebook website in a browser such as Google Chrome and make sure you’re logged in. Click the down arrow in the top-right corner.

Click the arrow in the top right on Facebook.com.

Select “Settings & Privacy” from the menu.

Select "Settings & Privacy" from the menu.

Then choose “Settings” from the next menu.

Select "Setting" from the next menu.

In the left column, click “Your Facebook Information.”

In the left column, select "Your Facebook Information."

Scroll down and select “Deactivation and Deletion.”

Scroll down and click "Deactivation and Deletion."

Here’s where you’ll want to make sure you choose the “Deactivate Account” option instead of “Delete Account” and then click “Continue to Account Deactivation.”

Select "Deactivate Account" and then click "Continue to Account Deactivation."

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You’ll be asked to enter your Facebook account’s password and select “Continue.”

Enter your password and click "Continue."

Next, Facebook will ask you to select a reason for deactivating. You can also choose to opt out of emails from Facebook. After you deactivate, your friends can still invite you to events, tag you in photos, and ask you to join groups.

Select a reason for deactivation and choose if you want emails.

The last section of the page finally has to do with Messenger. It explains that your Messenger account will remain active unless you deactivate it from the Messenger app. Click “Deactivate” to finish up.

Click "Deactivate."

That’s all there is to it! Your Messenger conversations will be totally untouched. You can do everything you were doing before, but now you don’t have a Facebook profile page. This is a nice way to keep in touch with Facebook friends without actually being on Facebook.

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Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has close to a decade of experience covering consumer technology and previously worked as a News Editor at XDA Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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