There are a few reasons why someone might want to hide their Facebook messages from prying eyes. The primary issue might be over concerns of privacy. What is said between you and a Facebook friend is your business and yours alone. It’s incredibly important to keep your chat messages private, especially when discussing something confidential.
Facebook allows you to hide any chat messages specific to selected friends of your choosing. It’s a rather simple process and you can just as easily un-hide them at a later point if you wish. However, if you’re overly concerned with hiding your messages, as what is being discussed is too private to get out, the best way to go is to delete them completely. Even if it currently isn’t a risk, it is best to clean out your messages completely every once in a while.
The same can also be said about your the Facebook Messenger app on your mobile device. They are no less private than those on the actual Facebook platform, seeing as they are the same messages. But if you only have access to Messenger from a mobile device, I’d like to go over how to hide them there as well.
Privatizing Your Facebook Chat Messages
In order to get your Facebook chat messages hidden from view you’ll have to follow a few different procedures. I’ll be going over how to hide them on the browser version of Facebook, the Facebook Messenger app, and even how you can delete them efficiently.
Let’s begin with Facebook on the desktop.
Hide, Unhide, & Delete Your Facebook Chat Messages From The Site
For those of you who prefer visiting the actual Facebook site to hide your messages:
- Head to facebook.com/messages and log in with your credentials.
- Alternatively, you could just log in as normal and, from the list on the left side, click on Messages (or Messenger if you have it set up).
- You can also click on the Messages icon at the top-right of the screen to open the drop-down. At the very bottom you will see See All. Click See All. If Messenger has been set up, it will instead show as See All in Messenger.
- Select the conversation from the list on the left side of the screen. This will open up the full chat history for you to view.
- At the top-right, in the rightmost panel, you’ll see a Cog Wheel icon. Click on it to pull up a list of options.
- From the list, click on Archive. This will move all of the messages currently in chat history to a hidden folder that only you can access. However, once that person contacts you again, the archived messages will appear in your inbox and you will have to redo all of the above steps.
- To once again access the hidden messages, click the Cog Wheel icon above the contacts on the left side. Click Archived Messages and all of the conversations you’ve had archived will appear here.
- The only way to have these reappear in your normal inbox is to receive a new message from the contact.
You can also archive messages without the need to open them by hovering your mouse cursor over them:
- Just hover the cursor over the conversation you want to archive in the left-side panel.
- Click on the Cog Wheel icon that appears to the right.
- From the list, select Archive.
Deleting messages or full conversations can be done directly from the main page. Understand that deleting a message or conversation from your end will not do the same for the recipient. To delete a message or conversation permanently on your end:
- Click the Messages icon at the top-right of your screen and select a conversation.
- This will open up the conversation at the bottom of the screen.
- To delete a message, hover over the message you want to delete and click on the … to pull up a menu.
- From the options, select Remove.
- To delete an entire conversation, click the Cog Wheel icon in the top-right corner of the message window.
- From that menu, select Delete conversation.
Hiding Your Facebook Chat Messages On Mobile
Chances are pretty good that after setting up Messenger on your mobile device, you have it set to not require a password for login. This is pretty standard fare for most people. I mean, you have your phone on you at all times, right?
Android and iPhones can easily be misplaced, lost, or stolen. If this happens, then all of your personal business is now likely in the hands of a stranger. It pays to plan ahead for such a disaster. So, aside from being smarter about how you handle your phone, you can also be smarter about hiding your messages.
You can begin protecting your Facebook Messenger privacy by ensuring that your Facebook and/or Facebook Messenger app is always up to date with the latest version. This helps protect your privacy from hackers a bit better as it contains the newest safety protocols and patches.
To hide Facebook Messenger messages for Android users:
- Open up the Facebook Messenger app.
- Tap on the Messages icon displayed as a pair of speech bubbles.
- Select the chat conversation you want hidden.
- Hold your finger down on top of the conversation to produce a few options.
- Tap the Archive option to move your unprotected chat to a hidden folder in the Facebook archive.
To hide Facebook Messenger messages for iPhone or iPad users:
- Launch the Facebook Messenger app.
- Tap on the Lightning icon to pull up your messages.
- Select the conversation in need of hiding.
- Swipe left to display a list of options for the conversation.
- Tap on More from the options provided.
- From the menu that appears, tap on Archive to send the chat messages to a hidden folder.
By archiving your messages, you will no longer be able to access them through your mobile device. You’ll need to go to your account by using the browser option on a PC or Mac. This may seem a bit annoying but think of it as an extra layer of security. Anyone else with access to your phone will now not be able to view the hidden conversation.
You can also choose to go through the browser on your mobile device to access Facebook directly. If you’d rather not use Facebook Messenger, open the browser on your mobile device:
- Head to Facebook.com and log in with your credentials.
- Tap on the Messages icon, which appears as two speech bubbles.
- Find the conversation you want to hide and swipe left on it. This will provide you with some choice options.
- Tap on Archive to hide the messages.
- You may also need to tap on Apply if prompted.
Hopefully these tips will help you secure your messages in the event that you want to keep your communications private. Do note that even if you delete a message or conversation on your end, the other person still has it. If it is that important to you, the best way to get rid of it is to contact them and ask them to delete it. Also keep in mind that all conversations are saved by Facebook itself, and you can request access to a folder of everything you have ever done on the social media platform.
Your privacy is very much in your hands, and by using some of the tips in this article you can take steps to prevent information that you want hidden to keep from leaking out.