How to go offline on Facebook Messenger App

One of the biggest concerns I keep hearing about the new Facebook Messenger App is that of privacy. People don’t want to appear online or “available” at all times. I happen to be one of them.

I resisted the app as long as I could, but when I began receiving messages that I was unable to access without Messenger, I had no choice.

On my phone, Facebook is almost always active, even when I am not – that was a problem. I am also one of those who has limited my “availability” to daytime hours. I like to spend my evening hours in a bit of a shutdown mode – or one that is reserved for FUN social media interactions or reading/learning on topics that are outside of my normal “work” related topics.

If you are anything like me and would like to use the Facebook Messenger App while remaining in “stealth mode” there is a way.

On the image provided below – you will see how to access the app and adjust your settings so that you always appear offline – as far as the app is concerned.

facebook messenger appear offline

Follow these steps:

1. Open your Facebook Messenger App

2. Click on People (item A)

3. Click on Active (item B)

4. Slide your switch to the OFF position (item C)

You will now appear offline on Facebook Messenger – you will still be able to receive your messages and replay whenever you like – you just won’t be readily available for chatting when it’s not so convenient for you.

Update August 26, 2015: This method does work perfectly and is the best way to list yourself as offline so you won’t show online/active in the Facebook chat app, nor will you show online in the FB app.

As long as you do not make a post or comment, people will not know you are on line. However, as soon as you do make a post comment, they will know you are online. There’s no way around that.

The only other option you have, when making a post, is to set the post to be seen by everyone except those you wish to specifically block from seeing the post. That will prevent them from seeing you are online.

I think that’s about as good as Facebook can do it. Investing more time into hiding your online status from certain people outside of the individual post setting/blocking and exclusions is just not possible.

As long as you follow the instructions above, you can read as much as you like and no one will know you are online. When I’m the messenger app, regardless of what your setting are, if you open and read a new messenger message, it will show the date and time the message was read. If you really want to appear offline, don’t open and read those messages.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments. I love digging in and researching this kind of thing.

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13 Responses to “How to go offline on Facebook Messenger App”

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  1. Jackie says:

    The thing is that active thing is not anywhere to be found on a lot of ppls yeah it was there before but not anymore sooo..

    • Gayla says:

      I will look into updating this procedure this week. This one was published 2 years ago

    • Leanne says:

      That’s strange as I have an iPhone5 which is 3yrs old and the active off switch still appears in mine so thank you this article was really helpful for me 😊. Maybe update it’s only certain devices, thanks Leanne

    • Pit says:

      I can see it, I switch it off but people say me they can see me online. Why is that?

      • Liesl says:

        Same with me dammit, why is that?

        • Heather Bahlke says:

          Hi Everybody… I have the same problem but then did some research and what you need to also do is… If you have a desk top and your on FB while on your desk top you need to turn off chat there also… or you can list in the advance settings only who you want to see you on line. If you dont want anybody to see you on line at all? then while on your desk top you have to turn off chat on your desk top too. Same goes for the FB app on your cell phone. log onto fb on your phone and then side swipe to your chat bar and turn that off too. then no matter what device you sign onto fB with your hidden. Hope this helps

          • Zoe says:

            Thank you so much for that, I’ve been nearly having a nervous breakdown from the people going at my exhausted throat for being online but not having the energy or time to respond.

  2. Anon says:

    I appreciate this. It worked 🙂

  3. rachael abas says:

    They can still see me online because there is an hour/minute provided. Even if I am offline its still appears above (1min) so they still know that you are active.

    • Anke says:

      YES! I have the same problem. Its causing so many problems for me IT IS FRUSTRATING! I want to get rid of it.

  4. Susan says:

    I just tried these methods. I hope they work! Ive been looking for a solution for awhile for my son. Thank you!

  5. Snady says:

    It doesnt load… It doesnt work anymore wtf is wrong with this app

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