How To Turn Off Read Receipts for Facebook Messages

Using Facebook messenger is a simple way to access anyone who has a Facebook page. Whether you’re using it at your sole source of messaging or a way to connect directly to friends and family, the ability to customize your privacy within the application is limited.

Facebook Messenger has a lot of benefits to other messaging applications, unfortunately users can’t turn off read receipts. This can be a cause for concern for many users as they don’t have time or they don’t want to respond to a message.

Facebook Read Receipts

Any time you open a new message using Facebook Messenger, the sender is notified via a change to the recipient’s icon. Unread messages have a grey circle with a check mark, read messages will display the recipient’s profile image.

Facebook developers have not added software to the application that allows users to turn off their read receipts. This is because they want users to feel obligated to respond.

Although you aren’t able to turn off the read receipts there are workarounds available. To check the content without notifying the sender that you’ve read the message means you can respond later when you have more time or not at all.

Workarounds to Hide Read Receipts

Tech savvy individuals always find ways around barriers set by app developers. Although workarounds take more time and energy, the user who really wants an application to work a certain way will benefit from the following options.

Airplane Mode

The simple and most user-friendly option for reading a message without alerting the sender is using the Airplane Mode method. Every phone, laptop, or tablet should have this option in the quick settings menu.

Airplane Mode shuts down the network on your device. If someone has sent you a message and you’d like to check the content without responding you can follow these steps:

  1. Don’t open the message; Put the device in Airplane Mode
  2. Once it is in Airplane Mode (the icon at the top or bottom should reflect this) open the message and read it
  3. Close the application or exit out of the web browsing tab the Facebook message is in
  4. Turn Airplane Mode back off

This is a tried and true method of reading Facebook messages without the read receipt. Although it takes an extra step, it’s worth it if you don’t want to respond.

Pull Down Notifications Bar

This one is common sense but not very effective if the message is more than one sentence long. You can pull down your notifications bar and read a preview of the message sent. Reading the message through your notification bar will not send the read receipt.

If you choose to use this method take care to not open the message, the alert will send and you will be obligated to reply.

Chrome Extensions

Chrome Extensions allow desktop users to do a lot of bypassing on developers barriers. Adding the “Unseen” extension to your Chrome browser may take a little more leg work but is effective at removing read receipts.

First of all, if you were to turn off read receipts, it would not prevent others from keeping theirs on and getting notifications about your messages. Turning off read receipts would only stop you from getting your own notifications about other people’s messages. And to be honest, Facebook won’t even let you do that much.

  1. Visit the Chrome Web Store to download the extension
  2. Click Login.
  3. Click Continue As (Your Name).
  4. Check your messages.

Unfortunately, this extension only works as long as you are using it. It will not be effective on for the app on your mobile device.

Mobile Applications

For Apple and Android smartphones you can download the Unseen – No Last Seen application to hide your read receipts on Facebook Messenger.

Visit the App Store or Google Play Store to initiate the download. Once the application is downloaded and launched follow the setup process.

The Unseen application houses all of your messaging apps data in one place. When a message is received it will forward to the application allowing you to read through your messages undetected.

The following messaging apps are included:

  • Facebook Messenger
  • WhatsApp
  • Instagram
  • Viber
  • Telegram
  • Line
  • KakaoTalk
  • Imo

You will have to allow this application to have access to all of your information and messages within the apps listed above to use Unseen. Once setup, all of your messages can be read inside of this application meaning you won’t be sending read receipts through Facebook Messenger.

Last Option – Disable Facebook Messenger

Although this isn’t an ideal option, some users have decided to stop using Facebook Messenger because they aren’t able to control read receipts.

You can’t deactivate your Facebook messenger anymore without deactivating your Facebook Page. If you’d like to delete your Facebook page we have an article for you. For most of you, there are options to keep your Facebook Page up without having Messenger.

Option 1:

The first option is to simply delete the application off of your phone. Although friends and family will still be able to send you messages you won’t be bothered by them.

Option 2:

Go to settings in Messenger and toggle off the “Show Active” option. This will deter people from messaging you on Facebook.

If you’d like to bypass developers inability to hide read receipts on Facebook Messenger there are a few ways to do this. Unfortunately, like most workarounds there’s a little more work that you will have to put in to achieve this.


One thought on “How To Turn Off Read Receipts for Facebook Messages”

Stephen Langton-Riley says:
Link doesn’t work 2018/02/21. Have facebook disabled it the they say link is broken.

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