New Facebook Messenger Privacy Settings

New Facebook Messenger Privacy Settings

New Facebook Messenger Privacy Settings

I’ve been overwhelmed with questions in regard to Facebook Messenger, and the settings are changing all the time. Whilst I do try to help where I can, I don’t work for Facebook and put this post out to help folks with the settings. If you don’t see the answer to your question here, or in the comments below, it might be best to contact Facebook direct or check out their Messenger help FAQ’s Here:



November 2015 Update: No more strict filtering settings for Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger has no privacy feature to prevent non-Facebook friends from contacting you anymore. Anyone can put your name in Facebook Messenger search and if you have a Facebook account they can attempt to message you, by sending a “Message Request”. You will get a notification that there is a message request waiting for you, if you accept the request that person can message you or call you, if you decline they will be blocked.

August 2016 Update:

There is no longer access to your Facebook privacy setting via Facebook Messenger settings. The only settings you can restrict on F.B Messenger is not link your phone number or contacts with it. By not adding your phone number or contacts you can limit who can call you.


Set Your Privacy Settings In Facebook

The new Facebook Messenger doesn’t have any separate privacy settings as such, your privacy on Facebook Messenger relies on the privacy settings you have set on your main Facebook profile. To avoid having unwanted calls or messages to your phone or mobile device it is helps to have all the strictest privacy settings enabled.

Syncing Your Address Book

One thing that F.B Messenger is doing a little differently now, is prompting you to sync your devices/mobile phone contact/address book with the Facebook Messaging app in order to find other people you know on Facebook. Syncing F.B Messenger with your phone or mobile device’s contacts/address book will add your contacts who have a Facebook account to your F.B Messenger contact list. If you send a message to a contact who doesn’t have the New Facebook Messenger, it will prompt them to download the new app to accept your message.

Turning Off Address Book Syncing

Syncing your Facebook Messenger app with your address book will load your F.B Messaging up with suggestions of people to chat with. These will be people who are either friends of yours on Facebook or who simply have a Facebook account. You may not want to have all those connections within your app. It may also help to prevent some message spam if you avoid syncing with your address book which no doubt includes services and people you may have details for that are business connections.

To find out if you have synced your address book in the past, open the new version of Facebook Messenger and go first to the settings icon lower right. See instructions below to delete synced contacts. You won’t lose your previous messages or previously messaged friends.

Android: Go to the settings icon top centre and scroll down to “Synced Contacts” select off.


Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 1.44.08 PM


For Android Facebook Messenger Privacy: Go to the Facebook App and set them through Settings (looks like 3 lines) – Account Settings – Privacy and set all to the most private settings.

Blocking or Muting: On Apple Devices

Muting Message Conversations:

Muting a message thread only stops you from getting notifications (red alerts/sounds) from that message thread. You might be in a group chat for instance and no longer want to participate in it. You can mute notifications forever or for a period of time. It doesn’t block the messenger from starting another chat with you or block them from contacting you. You can also re-message the person you have muted as it only mutes a particular message thread, not the person.

On Apple Devices: Go to Recent – Slide the message to the left and select Mute – Select time, or “Until I turn it back on”

Muting Notifications In Facebook Messenger

Muting A Message Chat On Android: Go to recent messages and hold down the message with your finger until menu comes up. Select Mute notifications.

Are You Muted?

You won’t know, you will see below your last message a “sent icon” (blue circle with blue tick inside) but if your message thread is muted it may only say delivered (solid blue circle with white tick) not seen. If the person who muted your conversation then goes back to their message app, they can then find the conversation and continue with it. If they then see your last message you will see “Seen” under your last message when you tap it.

Blocking A Caller/Messenger

Blocking a caller or messenger on F.B Messenger doesn’t block them from your Facebook profile. You will still be friends if you are already and they can comment on your posts.

How To Block On Apple Device: To block someone who you have accepted a message from, swipe the message to the left in your recent messages list on iOS (Apple) This reveals options of “More”, “Mute”, “Delete”. Clicking the “More” option gives you options to Block, Mark as Spam, Archive or Mark as Unread, select appropriate action. You can also select “Block this person on Facebook” as an option her also.  Or open the message and hold your finger down on the name of the person/messenger top centre of the screen, scroll down to Block or Report . Another way to block them also on Facebook to prevent them interacting with you in any way, click on their profile pic next to their message within the open message thread on F.B Messenger – click “View Profile” which takes you to the person’s profile in the Facebook app. Then click the “More …” option under their cover picture, and select “Block”. Warning: If you only want to temporarily block them don’t delete your old messages with them. Some people are reporting it can be hard to unblock the other person if you have deleted all the old messages.

Blocking On Facebook Messenger
Blocking On Facebook Messenger Apple


To Unblock On Apple – if you still have a message from them swipe left/click “More” and then click “Unblock” swipe toggle to the right (green) If you don’t have a recent message, go to the “People” menu at the bottom of your screen and do a search for the person. Then click their name at the top middle of the messaging app screen and select unblock from pop up menu. You will now be able to receive messages from them. You can also try to message them you may get a pop up asking you if you wish to Unblock them. If the message icon is “dull” or not able to be clicked, it’s likely they have blocked you.

Note: There seems to be a bug also where even if the other person has unblocked you, and therefore you have both unblocked each other, you still cannot message. This may be due to your or their privacy settings and Facebook trying to be vigilant. To make sure you can message each other again, make sure you both have your privacy settings set so that anyone can contact you, “Settings” “Privacy” “Who can contact me” “Everyone” You can change this back after you have successfully unblocked . Being friends on Facebook might also help click Messenger back into working again. If you cannot find the other person anymore in Facebook it maybe that they have blocked you also on Facebook or it might be a bug. Try searching for them via their email address registered with Facebook or their phone number. Try messaging them in the browser version of Facebook also if you are finding you cannot within the mobile app.

Blocking On Android:  To block a messenger from the Android Facebook Messaging app, mark their message as spam, which blocks them, or mutes them from your device.  To block them also on the Facebook app, go to their profile either through the message app, or via the Facebook app and click on the box with the arrow top right and select block.

Unblocking On Android: Go into your settings within the Facebook App (not messenger) and then scroll down to “Account Settings” – “Blocking” and remove their name from the list. 

Blocking On Facebook P.C Browser

Go to previous message and highlight. See settings icon top right and click. Select Block from the drop down menu. (See pic below)

Unblocking On Facebook P.C Browser

Search for previous message from blocked contact and click to open. Select unblock from linked text top right of open message window. (See pic below)

Note: If you have deleted all previous messages from the person you want to block you might not find it easy to unblock them. Sending them a message through the Browser Messenger may unblock them. You may still find old messages from them if you use the search bar in messages.

Blocking and Unblocking in Facebook Messenger on P.C
Blocking and Unblocking in Facebook Messenger on P.C

How To Tell If You Are Blocked?

If you are fully blocked in Facebook, both on messages and from their Facebook profile, you won’t be able to find the person you wish to message in Messenger Search or on Facebook Search through your profile at all. If you have been blocked only from Messaging after a previous messaging conversation, the next time you try to message or reply to the other persons last message you will get a message pop up saying. “Message Not Sent This person isn’t receiving messages from you right now” You may also get a red circle icon with a red question mark left side of your message, indicating a problem. When you click the red icon it will tell you there has been a problem connecting with messenger.

The profile icon in messenger of the person that is blocking you will also no longer show the Facebook Messenger badge, but will only show a grey Facebook Logo, indicating you cannot contact them via their message app, or that they may no longer have F.B Messenger app. Facebook users that have never activated Facebook Messenger on their mobile device, will have only the grey Facebook Logo on their profile picture that shows up in Messenger.

If you are blocked from contacting the other person via Facebook Messenger, you will not be able to text them, or audio or video call them, you will get a message saying they are not available to you right now. You might still be friends on Facebook however and you should be able to interact with them on Facebook through posting to their wall or via comments, but not through messaging.

Voice/Video Calling:

Facebook now has Message Voip or voice calling. Anyone can now voice or video call via F.B Messenger. To call others not on your friends list from your F.B messenger app, just do a search for them via their name/email or phone number. If they have privacy settings set up, you will have to send a request first before they will get a direct voice or video message. As soon as you engage in a F.B Messenger chat you can video or voice call each other.

Unwanted Calls

You can only disable voice/video calling on the browser version of the Facebook Messenger, you can’t disable it on the Facebook Messenger App. See instructions below: Click the settings icon and select “Turn Off Video/Voice Calls”  and then select for 1 hour etc…or “Until I turn it back on” Clicking back to the settings icon and selecting Advanced Settings allows you to turn off chat for some friends or all etc. You can’t set these settings on the mobile app from what I can find. Even if you have these settings set for the browser you can’t turn off video and voice calls in the Messenger Mobile app, you can only decline them. Scroll to the bottom of the open chat window on the far right side of your home view on Facebook. Go to the settings icon see below.

turning off voice and video Facebook messenger chat
turning off voice and video Facebook messenger chat

Turning Off Facebook Messenger Notifications

You could also turn off notifications in the Notification settings on your device for F.B Messenger for a time, but this would mean that you won’t be notified if anyone want to chat with you. Rendering the app less useful. iOS “Settings” – “Notifications” – “Facebook” More Settings for other phones/devices at this Link Android Settings – Applications – Notification Settings – Facebook Messenger – On/Off

Turn Off Location Services

To prevent others seeing what your location is when you have sent a message turn off “Location Services” for Messenger. If you forget to do this, all your receiver has to do is click a message from you and they will see where you are when you sent it, even your home location! For Apple devices go to your Apple Devices Settings/Privacy/Location Services – and then scroll down to Messenger and set to “Never” Do the same for Facebook as below.  For Android turn off Location within the Facebook Messenger settings. Click the settings icon top right of the app when open and scroll down to Location and untick.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 7.58.20 am

Review your privacy settings for your Facebook Profile, you need strict ones set up. Click Here To See my Advanced Privacy Settings Step By Step. Note: The strict message settings is mentioned in this tutorial but no longer exists.

For more privacy and safety settings look at my cyber safety step by step manual below.

I’ve been overwhelmed with questions in regard to Facebook Messenger, and the settings are changing all the time. Whilst I do try to help where I can, I don’t work for Facebook and put this post out to help folks with the settings. If you don’t see the answer to your question here, or in the comments below, it might be best to contact Facebook direct or check out their Messenger help FAQ’s Here:


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