There are an alarming amount of reasons you'd want to deactivate or delete Facebook Messenger from your phone or desktop – you might not use the app anymore, you might fancy a social media break, or you may be more concerned about the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where the company was found to be collecting user data.
Either way, you can successfully delete Messenger by following along with the steps in this article.
[[post-object type="divider" /]]
Make sure that you're sure!
First thing’s first, you’ll need to deactivate and/or delete your Facebook account. Messenger is not automatically deleted when you do this, however, so you’ll still need to manually remove the app. Check out our how to delete Facebook guide for more information about how to do this.
How to delete Messenger
As we mentioned above, you won’t be able to deactivate Messenger unless your main Facebook account has been deactivated or deleted, too. Wondering what the difference between deactivating and deleting is? It’s pretty straightforward. Deactivating your account is a temporary measure, and deleting it is permanent – at least after a few days.
Deleting your Facebook account
Deleting your Facebook account is nice and easy. If you’re on a PC or laptop, follow the steps outlined below.
- Head over to Facebook and log in.
- Click on Settings & Privacy > Settings > Your Facebook Information (found in the left panel).
- Then, select Delete Your Account Information.
- You’ll be asked to confirm your decision and be given the choice to download any images previously uploaded to the site. Once you’re ready, confirm your choice and be sure not to log in to your account again – it’ll reverse the deletion process and reactivate the account.
Deleting your Facebook account via an iPhone or Android device is similarly straightforward.
- Navigate to your Facebook settings, then click Account Settings.
- Next, select Security > Account Deactivate.
- Confirm that you want to delete your account and – as above – don’t log in again!
How to Deactivate Messenger
So, you might think that deleting your Facebook account would also remove the Messenger app. The two are considered separate functions, however, and you’ll need to remove them both separately. Luckily, it’s not a complicated process.
Deleting your account isn’t enough if you want to remove your information from the Facebook database. Messenger will also store these personal details – just in case you needed another reason to remove both services!
To deactivate your Messenger app on an iPhone, follow along with these steps:
- Via the Messenger app, click on Chats, and then select your profile picture.
- Next, click Account Settings.
- You should see an option to Delete Your Account and Information beneath your Facebook info, so click that.
- Click Deactivate and confirm your login details.
- Click Submit and you’re done!
Android users have an equally easy time:
- Via the Messenger app, click on Chats, and then your profile picture.
- Select the Legal & Policies option.
- Next, click Deactivate Messenger and confirm your choice by clicking Deactivate.
- It’s that simple!
Just as with your main Facebook account, you shouldn’t log back into Messenger at this point unless you want to reactivate your account.
How to Delete Messenger
You could stop here and leave the app on your phone or desktop without using it. If you want to remove Messenger from your device completely, however, it only takes a few taps. Doing so will save you from the temptation of reactivating your account… and free up some space on your phone!
How to Delete Messenger on iPhone
- Navigate to the home screen and find the Messenger app’s icon.
- Hold down the icon until it begins to jiggle about.
- Then, tap the little "x" that’ll appear on the corner of the icon.
- Confirm that you want to delete the app – and you’re all done!
How to Delete Messenger on Android
- Open up your home screen and find the Messenger app’s icon.
- Click and hold the icon, and then tap the Uninstall option from the menu bar that pops up.
- Wait a moment for the uninstall to complete, and that’s it!
It only takes a few minutes to remove the Facebook Messenger app – you’ll just need to make sure that you’re comfortable deactivating or deleting your Facebook account, first.
At its best, Facebook messenger was poorly secured (don’t expect end-to-end encryption anytime soon, for example) and at its worst was used to harvest data from unassuming users. Luckily, plenty of secure messaging services do exist. If you’re after a safe alternative to Messenger, take a look at our top 5 most secure messenger services.
If you decide to stick with Facebook, we have advise that you use a VPN for Facebook – so you can increase your digital privacy online.