Security Social Media

How to Deactivate Facebook Messenger

Dan Price Updated 10-12-2019

Most people are aware of the difference between deleting and deactivating a Facebook account. If you deactivate Facebook you’re temporarily deleting your account, and can reactivate it at any time. If you delete Facebook you’re permanently removing your data.


However, you might not realize that deactivating your Facebook account does not deactivate Facebook Messenger. People will still be able to see you and can attempt to contact you. With that in mind, here’s how to deactivate Facebook Messenger.

How to Deactivate Facebook Messenger

Before you can deactivate Facebook Messenger, you need to deactivate your Facebook account. We’ve previously explained how to deactivate your Facebook account How to Deactivate (or Delete) Your Facebook Account If you need a break from Facebook, or if you want to stop using it altogether, here's how you can either deactivate or delete your account. Read More . If you’ve not yet done so, you need to go and do it before continuing.

Remember that deactivating Facebook and deleting Facebook mean different things for your privacy What Deactivating or Deleting Facebook Really Means for Privacy Thinking about quitting Facebook? Here's how deleting or deactivating Facebook can improve your online privacy. Read More . If you want to learn more, read the linked article before proceeding. Also, remember that you can still appear offline on Facebook Chat without taking the drastic step of deactivating your Facebook account.

Once you’re ready to move forward, follow the simple step-by-step instructions below.

  1. Open the Messenger app
  2. Tap on your profile picture in the upper left-hand corner.
  3. Scroll down and select Legal and Policies.
  4. On the next screen, choose Deactivate Messenger.
  5. Enter your password.
  6. Tap on Continue.

To reactivate Facebook Messenger, just log back into the Messenger app using your username and password.


What Happens When You Deactivate Messenger?

Now that you know how to deactivate Facebook Messenger, no one will be able to see your profile in the app, or send you messages in existing conversations.

Reactivating Messenger will also reactivate your main Facebook account. If you only want to keep the Messenger service, you will need to deactivate your Facebook account for a second time.

And keep in mind that if you delete your Facebook account completely, you will lose access to Messenger as well. Sadly, there is no way to keep Messenger without maintaining a Facebook profile. But there are alternatives you can consider to replace the Facebook ecosystem 9 Alternative Apps You Need to Quit Facebook for Good Want to quit Facebook for good? Here are the alternative apps you'll need to replace Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Read More .

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  1. Rain
    May 8, 2020 at 4:38 am

    The "Deactivate Messenger" is not working. How's that?

  2. Chris
    October 15, 2019 at 3:42 am

    You must deactivate your Facebook account first. If you have the Facebook app running on a phone or other device, you need to go into the app on your device and deactivate the account there (not just on your web account). Once you've done this, the option to deactivate should appear under "Legal and Policy" option in your Messenger app.

  3. Sylvia C
    July 24, 2019 at 10:52 am

    As of July 24, 2019, there is no "deactivate messenger" option under "Legal and Policies". FB needs to fix that NOW.

  4. marcellemieux
    June 15, 2019 at 3:05 am

    Why deactivate messenger..useful more millions of folks,,easy learning curb..Skype sucks since its been bought by Microsoft.

    • Billy Butter
      January 16, 2020 at 5:22 pm

      Why do you give a shit if someone wants to deactivate it? Idiot.

  5. Qwwertyuui
    September 20, 2018 at 5:31 am

    I think this is not updated. Incorrect information

  6. Charlene
    May 22, 2018 at 1:24 am

    This "solution" is driving me absolutely nuts. There is no "privacy and terms" option in the drop down menu!!! And I have clicked on every single option in the drop down menu after tapping on my profile pic - within those options there is no option to deactivate. Please look at this again. I can't figure this out!

    • Mary Lola
      June 13, 2018 at 12:26 am

      I had this problem too, it was aggravating. Go to the very bottom and click that link. Something with policies. After you've clicked on that, than there should be the option to deactivate. It took me a long time to figure this out. You've got to deactivate Facebook first in order to deactivate messenger. grrr...idk why it was so difficult to find this out. These blogs need to change/update their step by step because I couldn't find the 'privacy and terms'