Deleting Facebook messages doesn’t have to be incredibly difficult. Whether you’re deleting one thread or an entire history, there are options for you to do both with minimal effort.
S0me users may find it easier to delete their entire Facebook account. We have an article for that too!
How can you start cleaning up your inbox? – By following the steps in this article.
Archive Facebook Messages
Before deleting all of your messages, you may want to archive them instead of doing a full and permanent delete. By doing this you can hide the messages that you want to keep. Be mindful that following the steps below will remove those messages as well.
Start the process in Facebook Messenger:
- Hover over the conversation you’d like to remove.
- Three Menu dots will appear; click on those
- Click “Hide”
Following this step will remove your unwanted message without permanently deleting them. By visiting the Settings in Facebook Messenger you can click “Hidden Chats” to recover archived messages.
Deleting messages on an Android phone or tablet:
- Open Facebook Messenger
- Locate a message to delete
- Touch and hold on the message to open the context menu
- Tap delete
Deleting messages on an iPhone or iPad:
- Open the Facebook Messenger app
- Tap and hold on the conversation that you no longer want
- When the menu appears, select Delete
- Confirm the selection by tapping Delete Conversation
Smartphone versions of the Facebook Messenger App allow you to delete only one message thread at a time. If you are looking to delete more it may best to use a browser.
- Log into your Facebook account
- Click See all in Messenger
- Click on the options wheel next to a conversation
- Click Delete if you want to erase all the messages
But what can you do about multiple messages and multiple conversations? – For this, you have to install a third-party browser extension.
Extensions for Web Browser
Extensions become a part of your web browser and allow you to perform various functions on a website. To delete multiple or all of your Facebook message history, you will need to add an extension to your web browser. Whether it’s Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer you can begin by using Google to pull up the Web Store.
For example: Using Chrome, Google “Facebook Messenger mass delete extension” or something of that nature. You will see one of the top options is chrome.google.com. This is the web store for that browser.
Once you’ve clicked “Install” you will be prompted through various pop-ups until that extension is added. You will see the icon in the upper right-hand corner of your browser.
Fast Delete Facebook™ Messages
Log into your Facebook account on your browser after installing the extension. Click on the Extension icon on the extension bar. It should have a Facebook Messenger logo and a red X on top.
After that, it’s as easy as following the on-screen instructions.
- Click the “Open Your Messages” button when it appears.
- Click the new button
- Begin Deletion, once it appears.
- Select OK to confirm your action
This should automatically take care of all the messages in your inbox. If it doesn’t, it helps if you refresh the page and repeat the process. If you have too many conversations, it may not remove them all at one time so repeat the process.
Once you have deleted your Facebook Message history from a web browser you will NOT be able to retrieve those unless you have them backed up somewhere else. Android for example allows users to backup Facebook messages to the ES File Explorer.
This extension works best if you first scroll down to the very bottom of the message list. Once you load the extension, it will recognize all the messages as being selected for removal. You can also then pick individual messages that you may want to save.
Both extensions allow you to select multiple messages from different conversations and delete them all at once. However, you still have to select the ones that you want to delete. There isn’t a button or feature that creates an automated selection of all messages.
These extensions will permanently delete all of your Facebook messages if you’ve not backed them up. Assuming you selected “all” before clicking “confirm,” the only way to get those messages back is to ask the person who you sent them to for help or using data recovery methods to retrieve backed up information.
Deleted Messages Recovery
You can only recover messages that were saved in a backup file. For iPhone users a recovery from iCloud may bring those messages back. For Android users they may be saved in your system’s ES File Explorer.
When you’re using Facebook Messenger on an Android smartphone or tablet, all the conversations may be saved on your device. Just because you’re ‘deleting them’ in the messenger doesn’t mean they’re gone.
Here are some things to try:
If you use ES File Explorer, or any explorer that works for you, you can still access that information.
- Open ES File Explorer
- Go to Storage or SD card folder
- Select and open the Android folder
- Open data folder
- Scroll through the folders until you locate ‘com.facebook.orca’ (This belongs to the Facebook Messenger app)
- Open the folder
- Open the fb_temp folder
This is a cache folder that contains backup files for conversations in Facebook Messenger.
Keep in mind that this method may not always work. You can only recover deleted conversations if you had backed up your phone before you erased anything.
As an alternative, you can connect your device to your computer and browse the folders this way.
If you’re on an iOS device then you may have to use a third-party software to recover old messages. There are many data recovery apps available, it is recommended to pick the one that has better reviews. Dr.Fone, for example, is one of the most popular applications for data recovery.