There can be many reasons from privacy to personal issues when a user may want to deactivate Messenger. Facebook has reported data leaks which are a nightmare for privacy or receiving 1000s of messages daily on Messenger may not be a pleasant experience for many users.
Messenger is integrated deep into a user’s Facebook account and currently, it is not possible to deactivate Messenger without deactivating the Facebook account. If a user does not want to deactivate his Facebook account, then he may change Messenger’s online status (discussed later).
Also, there can be cases, where a user deactivated his Facebook account but is astonished to find that Messenger is still active and he may want to deactivate Messenger as well. Although, there may be some users who may think uninstalling the Messenger app may do the trick but as the user is trying to deactivate, not delete his account, means that the user may return to Messenger, and if his Messenger account is not deactivated, he may be bombarded with messages when reinstalling the Messenger app.
Effects of Deactivating Messenger
Once a user’s Messenger is deactivated, his profile will not be shown in the search results of Messenger or Facebook and other users will not be able to send him messages. However, the user’s messages, comments, chats, pictures, videos, etc. will still be visible to other users.
Deactivate Facebook Account
So, the first step in deactivating Messenger, a user must deactivate his Facebook account (if already deactivated, a user may skip the part). The process to deactivate the Facebook account on an Android phone and iPhone is nearly identical (as discussed below). Keep in mind in the case of a business Facebook account, admin-level access would be required to deactivate the Facebook account and Messenger.
- Launch the Facebook app and open Menu by tapping the three horizontal bars.
- Now expand Settings & Privacy and select Settings.
- Then open Personal and Account Information and tap on Account Ownership and Control.
- Now select Deactivation and Deletion and when asked to, enter the account’s password.
- Then select Deactivate Account and tap on Continue to Account Deactivation.
- Now select a reason for the account deactivation (like This is Temporary. I’ll be Back) and tap Continue.
- Then select the time duration of the deactivation or may select Don’t Reactivate Automatically.
- Afterward, tap on Deactivate My Account, and the Facebook account will be deactivated.
Once the Facebook account is deactivated, the user may continue to deactivate Messenger.
- Launch the Messenger app and in the top left, tap on the user’s profile icon.
- Now open Legal and Policies (or Privacy & Terms) and tap on Deactivate Messenger.
- Then enter the account’s password and tap on Continue.
- Now tap on Deactivate and Messenger will be deactivated.
If the Messenger’s deactivate button is not shown or working, make sure the Facebook account is deactivated and if so, you may reinstall the Messenger app to enable the deactivate button. Afterward, a user may follow the steps outlined above.
If the Deactivate button is not shown or working even after reinstalling the Messenger app, then a user may use a PC browser and head to the Settings page of Facebook. Now steer to the devices tab and make sure to disconnect everything (phone, PC, etc.) except the device used to access the Facebook website. Then deactivate the Facebook account through the website and make sure to deactivate Messenger as well by unchecking Keep Using Messenger in the process.
If a user only used his phone number to create a Messenger account, he must first create a Facebook account with the same phone number and then follow the instructions above to deactivate Messenger.
In the case of Messenger Lite, a user may deactivate it through the website.
Disable Active Status in Messenger
Some users may not be comfortable deactivating their Facebook account to just deactivate Messenger. These users may disable Show When You Are Active.
- Launch the Messenger app and tap on the user profile picture.
- Now open Active Status and disable Show When You’re Active.
- Afterward, confirm to disable the Active Status.
Also, these users may limit their time (if time consumed on Messenger is an issue) on Messenger by using Screen Time (iOS) or Digital Wellbeing (Android).