You may want to be invisible on Facebook sometimes. On Facebook and Messenger, we will clarify how to appear offline.
Facebook may be responsible for putting the word “social” in social media, but there are times when you don’t want — or don’t have time — to engage with friends.
If you want to log into Facebook and not worry that friends will see you and try to chat, you can easily change your “active status” so you appear offline.
There are no fewer than four places you can control your active status. There’s both Messenger and Chat on the Facebook web page if you’re browsing, as well as in Facebook and Facebook Messenger mobile apps.
Appear Offline on the Facebook Web App
You’re in the minority if you still log on to Facebook via a web browser. Nearly 90 percent of its regular active users now access the network on mobile devices, according to the company’s most recent collection of statistics.
Perhaps that is why the chat feature of the web app seems to have been overlooked by Facebook. It’s, actually, confusing.
Despite the Messenger brand name being part of the Facebook lexicon since 2013, Facebook still hasn’t managed to create a unified experience for people using browsers. There’s Facebook Chat and Facebook Messenger.
The two apps link to the same set of messages in your inbox, but they have slightly different sets of options and work in slightly different ways. One of the ways in which they differ is how to appear invisible.
Appear Offline on Facebook Messenger
First, let’s look at how to appear offline on Facebook Messenger.
To go invisible, click the Messenger shortcut in the panel on the left-hand side of your screen.
Alternatively, you can select the appropriate icon in the blue bar at the top of the Facebook home screen, then click on See all in Messenger.
Once you’re looking at your Messenger home screen, you need to locate the gear icon in the upper left-hand corner. Click on it and choose Settings.
A new window will pop up. Next, you need to locate the Active Status section and slide the toggle next to Show when you’re active into the Off position. Click on Done when you have finished.
Appear Offline on Facebook Chat
It’s also possible to become invisible on Facebook Chat by using the tools on the main home screen.
Oddly, Facebook chat actually offers a more granular level of control over your visibility. It seems strange given it’s the only place across the entire social network where Facebook still uses the Chat brand name extensively.
The chat feature takes up the panel on the right-hand side of the screen. To go offline, click the gear icon in the very bottom right-hand corner (next to Search).
This is where you can get specific. You’ll see two important options you need to pay attention to: Turn Off Chat and Turn Off Video/Voice Calls.
These are hopefully self-explanatory. You can disable one and leave the other enabled if you wish.
Interestingly, you can specify certain people for whom you want to appear online or offline. Click Turn Off Chat and a new window will pop up.
Selecting one of the bottom two options—Turn off chat for all contacts except or Turn off chat for some contacts only—lets you control who exactly can and cannot see you.
Just type the people’s names into the box and click OK when you’re ready.
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Similarly, the Turn Off Video/Voice Calls option also offers extra levels of granularity.
When you click on the link, you can choose to disable the feature for one hour, until 8AM the following day, or until you turn it back on manually.
Lastly, it’s also worth noting the Block Settings option. It lets you completely prevent certain people from contacting you.
Just go to Block Settings > Block users to set it up.
Appear Offline on the Facebook Android and IOS Apps
While there are still some very slight design differences between the Android and iOS Messenger applications, the functionality of the two apps is almost identical.
In both sites, the method for making yourself invisible when talking is the same.
Once again, the process is not clear if you do not know what you are doing. It is almost as if it does not want you to appear offline on Facebook.
Fire up the app, and you’ll see a list of all your most recent chats. In either the top right-hand corner (on Android) or the top left-hand corner (on iOS), you will see your profile photo. Tap on it.
Next, scroll down until you find a setting labeled Active Status and tap a second time. A new window will open. You can toggle your status on or off by using the slider accordingly.
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