How to Control Your Privacy on Facebook Messenger

Facebook’s Messenger app is a smooth messaging and calling platform with an attractive interface. Users can synchronize their contacts on Instagram and Messenger in a single place to create a virtual space for all messaging activities.

Since random people can contact you on Messenger, you’d want to create a safe space to message others with confidence and privacy. Users can make various changes to the app to become more cautious of spam.


Here, we discuss the essential ways to maintain your privacy on Facebook Messenger.

Controlling Privacy on Messenger

From time to time, Messenger updates its privacy policy and adds various features that contribute to a safer and more convenient experience. Here are the most important tips to take control of your privacy on Messenger.

Tweak Your Message Delivery Settings

Message delivery settings help you better control your Messenger account (and Instagram if linked) by allowing who can send messages directly to your inbox. Other people are not notified when you change delivery settings and can continue to text without knowing.

To change your Facebook Messenger’s delivery settings:

  1. Open the Messenger app and click your profile picture on the top left of the screen.
  2. In this menu, different settings are available that help you customize the Messenger app according to your convenience. Select Privacy from the menu.
  3. In Privacy, the first option you’ll see will be Message Delivery. Tap it to make your desired changes.
  4. Change your settings accordingly. For instance, if you wish to transfer a close friend to a different folder, tap People With Your Phone Number and change the option from Chats to Message requests or Don’t receive requests.

These changes are automatically made on your phone and applied from the very next message you receive.

Similarly, users with connected accounts can also control their Instagram delivery settings from their Messenger accounts.

Restrict a Facebook Messenger Account

The Restrict feature is a bonus for people who use Facebook Messenger as you can restrict each contact individually. It is a great way to avoid a specific person without blocking them from your account. Also, there is no limit to how many contacts you can restrict.

To restrict someone on Messenger:

  1. Open the chat of the person you wish to restrict.
  2. Tap their username on the top.
  3. From the menu, scroll down until you see Restrict and tap it.
  4. Select Restrict User.

The other person won’t know you restricted them, but it moves the chat from your main inbox folder to Message Requests. You can access the Message Requests folder to unrestrict a person and access their chats.

You will not be notified of any messages or calls from that person. Still, if you want to take extreme measures, simply block them on your Messenger account.

Turn On Messenger’s Security Alerts

Chats on Messenger are end-to-end encrypted. This layer of security ensures your conversations are only between you and that particular contact. Adding security updates the chat with changes in E2EE when someone installs Messenger on a new device, resets the phone, or reinstalls the app.

To turn on security alerts on Messenger:

  1. Tap your profile photo in the top left corner.
  2. Navigate to Privacy.
  3. Select Security Alerts.
  4. Toggle the Contact’s Keys Change tab to enable security alerts.

It is worth remembering that a change in contact key is not always dangerous, which is why you should confirm with that person before taking any further steps.

Limit Your Messenger Story Audience

Messenger Stories have an Instagram-like interface and similar features. We highly suggest not sharing your stories with a public audience unless you are comfortable or are using the Messenger app to promote something.

To limit your Messenger Story audience:

  1. Navigate to Story from your profile picture in the chat section.
  2. Select the settings between Public,Friends, and Custom.

By selecting Custom, you can choose the contacts you want to show your story to. If you wish to hide it only from a few users, tap Hide Story From and choose the desired contacts.

Hide Your Facebook Messenger Active Status

Not everyone needs to know whether you’re active on Messenger or not, as they might attempt to disturb you. To avoid the hassle, consider hiding your active status:

  1. Tap the Active Status option from the main Messenger menu.
  2. Toggle one or both the tabs depending on how you want others to view your status.

Turning off active status doesn’t mean you won’t be shown when using Messenger. Your contacts might be able to see the last time you opened the Messenger app or the term Active Now but without that green dot or your name in the list.

Delete Your Messenger Search History

Clearing your search history is always a good idea. It limits any third person with access to your account from knowing your account activities. Messenger allows users to delete search history with a few simple steps:

  1. Tap the search bar on top of the screen.
  2. It opens a new page with all your recent searches.
  3. Tap Edit to make changes in the history.
  4. Tap the cross to delete that search from the list or tap Clear All to remove all of them.

Delete Your Messenger Messages and Conversations

One of the easiest ways to control your Messenger privacy is to delete your conversations. To do that:

  1. Long tap the conversation you wish to delete. It will open a new menu.
  2. Select Delete, and your conversation with that person will be deleted permanently.

You can also remove individual messages from the chat by opening the conversation and long-pressing the message.

Choose one message at a time and press Unsend or Remove for you if it’s yours and Remove if it was sent by the other user. Remember that the remaining conversation will still be available.

Enjoy Facebook Messenger Without Compromising Your Privacy

Messenger is a great platform to engage with people you know. It is possible to improve your privacy by taking a few additional measures.

You can control Messenger privacy by changing the settings for delivery and security alerts, your active status, and removing conversations. Apart from that, clearing your browsing data keeps you safe even if someone gets access to your account.

Apply these changes now for a secure and safe messaging experience with minimum risk of privacy invasion.

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