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How to Deactivate or Delete Facebook Messenger

Aug 19, 2020 · 3 min read

How to Deactivate or Delete Facebook Messenger

How do you deactivate or delete Facebook Messenger? It can be tricky, especially since deactivating your Facebook account doesn’t automatically deactivate or delete Facebook Messenger.

In the wake of Facebook’s massive data breach scandals, it’s no wonder users feel inclined to delete Facebook Messenger and their account; the harvesting of user data, and the Cambridge Analytica scandal have crushed Facebook’s stock price and left users fearing for their privacy. And if you thought deactivating your Facebook account was enough to protect you, it isn’t: Facebook Messenger holds exactly the same personal data and it can linger even after you’ve deactivated your Facebook account. The only way to permanently delete Facebook Messenger is to permanently delete your Facebook account.

Why you should also delete Facebook Messenger

Is Facebook Messenger private? Not really. It ranks poorly in our secure messaging app list because it tracks your behaviour, lacks a default encryption option, and doesn’t encrypt your past conversations. Moreover, it has access to your camera, microphone, and contacts.

Read about how to use social media cautiously and make your data as private as possible here.

How to deactivate Messenger

Deactivating Messenger is simple. However, if your Messenger account is connected to your Facebook account, you will have to deactivate your Facebook account first.

The following Messenger deactivation steps apply to both the iOS and Android platforms:

  1. Open Messenger.
  2. From Chats, click on your profile in the top left corner.
  3. Deactivate Facebook Messenger

  4. Tap Account settings. (Tap Legal and Policies for Android).
  5. Deactivate Facebook Messenger

  6. Below your Facebook Information, tap Delete Your Account and Information. (Android users: Move straight to step 5 to deactivate).
  7. Tap deactivate and enter your password.
  8. Deactivate Facebook Messenger

To reactivate Facebook Messenger, log in with your username and password.

Deactivating your Facebook account will not automatically deactivate your Messenger account as the app is separate from Facebook.

You can also create a new Messenger account using your phone number and name, not your existing Facebook account.

Can I deactivate Messenger without deactivating Facebook?

No, you can’t deactivate Facebook’s Messenger and keep your Facebook account. The only solution would be to turn your chat off by hiding your status and disabling notifications.

How to turn off Facebook Messenger

  1. Click on your profile picture in the top left.
  2. Deactivate Facebook Messenger

  3. Tap Active Status.
  4. Deactivate Facebook Messenger

  5. Use the toggle on top of the screen to turn your Active Status on or off.
  6. Deactivate Facebook Messenger

You will now be shown as inactive. You can also disable notifications by:

  1. Going to Notifications and Sounds.
  2. Deactivate Facebook Messenger

  3. Turn on Do Not Disturb status.
  4. Deactivate Facebook Messenger

How to delete your Messenger account

To delete Facebook Messenger completely, you will have to delete your Facebook account to remove all your data. Here's how:

  • Log into Facebook, and click on the small arrow in the top right corner.
  • Click “Settings”
  • Click “Your Facebook Information” in the left menu panel.
  • Click “Delete Your Account and Information.”

Once the deletion process begins, you won’t be able to reactivate your account or retrieve any of the content you’ve added to Facebook. Before confirming that you want to delete your Facebook account, however, you’ll be given the option to download your photos and posts.

If you’re using the stand-alone version of the app without having a Facebook account, you can deactivate messenger by following the points listed above or simply delete the app.

Choosing to delete Facebook Messenger is a great first step in securing your privacy on social media. However, if you use any other platforms, it's worth checking out our social media privacy tips to see how else you can secure your social life online.

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Paul Black
Paul Black successVerified author

Paul is a technology and art enthusiast who is always eager to explore the most up-to-date issues in cybersec and internet freedom. He is always in search for new and unexplored angles to share with his readers.


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