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How To Deactivate Facebook Messenger

Tired of Facebook Messenger? This messaging service is tied in with your Facebook account, so it can be confusing to know exactly what will happen if you deactivate Messenger.

There are two important things to know when you’re wondering how to deactivate Messenger: 1) You have to deactivate your Facebook account for this to work, and 2) technically, you can’t keep Facebook and deactivate Messenger (but there is a workaround).

In other words, you must stop using Facebook if you want to deactivate Messenger. Keep reading to see how this is done and why you might benefit from shuttering your Messenger account.

How to Deactivate Facebook Messenger

These steps detail how to deactivate Facebook Messenger. It’s a one-step process: Deactivating Facebook will also deactivate Messenger. Here’s how it works from the Facebook app:

Note: Deactivating Facebook is not the same as deleting Facebook. Deactivating can be undone at any time (just log in again); deleting removes your account for good.

  1. Tap your profile picture at the top.
  2. Select the gear icon.
  3. Choose See More in Accounts Center.
  4. Tap Personal details.
    Settings in the Facebook Android app
  5. Select Account ownership and control.
  6. Tap Deactivation or deletion.
  7. Select your Facebook account.Deactivation and deletion options in the Facebook app for Android
  8. Make sure Deactivate account is selected, then tap Continue.
  9. Press Continue.
  10. Type your Facebook password, then tap Continue.

    Facebook deactivation information in the Android app

  11. Pick a reason for why you’re deactivating Facebook, then tap Continue.
  12. Choose a duration from the drop-down menu for when your account should be reactivated. To prevent reactivation, select Don’t reactivate automatically, then tap Continue.
  13. To confirm, tap Deactivate my account.

    Facebook account deactivation confirmation on Android

How to Turn Off the Messenger App But Keep Facebook

Would you rather deactivate Messenger without deactivating Facebook? Fortunately, you can basically pause your Messenger account without affecting your Facebook account by suppressing notifications and hiding when you’re online. It’s not a perfect solution, but it can help, depending on why you’re leaving Messenger in the first place.

Follow these directions to see how to deactivate Messenger but keep your Facebook account active:

  1. Tap the three horizontal lines at the top of Messenger.
  2. Select the settings icon.
  3. Scroll down and tap Active status.

    Settings in the Android Facebook Messenger app

  4. Tap the toggle next to Show when you’re active, then tap Pause.
  5. Exit Messenger and open your phone’s Settings app.
  6. Search for Messenger, then tap it when you see it.
  7. Select Notifications.
  8. Tap the main toggle to turn notifications off.

    App info for the Android Messenger app

Alternatively, you could delete Facebook Messenger from your phone. The directions above are useful if you’re not fully ready to part. You should know, however, that there are lots of messaging apps you can use instead of Messenger. Most of the same Android messaging apps are available on iPhones.

Benefits of Deactivating Facebook Messenger

In today’s super-connected world, a Facebook Messenger account might feel like a must-have, always buzzing with messages that grab your attention. But what if pressing that “turn off” button could actually be a good thing? Deactivating Messenger, even if only for a while, can bring about some unexpected positive changes in how you feel and handle your online life.

  • Privacy Boost: We all know that Facebook collects a lot of our data. It’s why so many people are interested in stopping Facebook from tracking them. Turning off Messenger stops one way they gather info about your online habits and who you talk to. This can be a big step in taking back control of your privacy, especially if you worry about ads targeting you or leaks of your data.
  • Less Distraction: Those constant message notifications can be really distracting. Deactivating Messenger gives you a quieter digital space, free from the constant need to check messages. This helps you focus better on your work, hobbies, or spending quality time with loved ones without the constant alerts.
  • Improved Social Life: Ever feel a bit jealous scrolling through people’s perfect-looking lives online? Turning off Messenger can break that cycle of comparing yourself to others. Stepping back helps you see the value of real-life connections over online ones. I can attest that this can lead to stronger, more meaningful relationships with the people who truly matter.

Now you know how to deactivate Messenger, but remember what I said above: deactivating isn’t the same as deleting. You can always turn your Messenger account back on if you need to. Taking a break can help you understand your relationship with technology and how it affects your life. So, think about deactivating Facebook Messenger, not as a permanent goodbye, but as a mindful test to discover the benefits of being less connected and more present.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I delete my Messenger but not Facebook? 

No. However, you can delete the app, or turn off Messenger and keep Facebook by turning off notifications and hiding your active status.

Can I deactivate my Facebook and keep Messenger? 

Yes. When you deactivate Facebook, it’s only Facebook that stops working. You can still log in to the Messenger app or website with your Facebook account details even if Facebook is deactivated, and all your Facebook friends are still available for chats. This is called a Deactivated Except Messenger Account (DEMA).

What happens if I delete Messenger?

Erasing the Messenger app simply prevents you from accessing the service from the app. It will not remove or pause your Facebook or Messenger account. Your account is still active and can be used from a different device or again on the same device if you re-install the app.

2 Comments

  1. I’m trying to deactivate on my Iphone following your instructions. There is no deactivate under Legal & policies.

  2. I cannot deactivate messenger per this post. There is no ‘deactivate’ button available in legal/privacy.
    This is very annoying.

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