How to turn off active status on Facebook and Messenger to appear offline everywhere you're logged in

Dave Johnson
·4 min read
friends holding smartphones sitting outside texting
If you want to appear offline on Facebook, you need to change your active status settings everywhere you're logged into Facebook. Catherine Falls Commercial/Getty Images
  • You can turn off your active status on the Facebook website, Facebook mobile app, and Messenger mobile app.

  • When your active status is turned off, you will appear offline even when you're online.

  • You can also choose to appear offline only for certain people that you select.

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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 without your friends knowing you're online, you can easily turn off your "active status" so you appear offline.

There are three different places where you can control your active status: on Facebook in a web browser, in the Facebook mobile app, and in the Facebook Messenger mobile app.

How to appear offline when using Facebook in a web browser

To turn off active status and appear offline on Facebook:

  1. Open Facebook in a browser and log in, if you're not already.

  2. Click the circular Messenger icon in the top-right corner.

    fb
    Click on the Messenger icon in the corner. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider
  3. In the Messenger drop-down, click the three-dot icon at the top.

    active1
    Click the three-dot icon at the top of the Messenger sidebar. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider
  4. Click "Turn off Active Status" in the drop-down menu.

    active2
    Select the "Turn off Active Status" option. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider
  5. A pop-up will appear asking if you want to "Turn off Active Status for all contacts," "Turn off Active Status for all contacts except…," or "Turn off Active Status for only some contacts…" When you click the latter two options, a box will appear where you can enter the names of specific people.

    active3
    Choose who you want to hide your active status from. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider
  6. Click "OK" when you're done.

Quick tip: You can also access your active status settings by clicking the Messenger icon in the top-right corner, and in the Messenger drop-down, clicking "See all in Messenger" at the bottom. Then, on the full-screen Messenger page, click the three-dot icon in the top-left corner, choose "Preferences," click "Turn off Active Status" in the pop-up, and choose your active status. This accomplishes the same thing as the steps above, but does so in the full-screen version of Messenger versus the sidebar version.

How to appear offline in the Facebook mobile app

  1. Open the Facebook app on your phone.

  2. Tap the three horizontal lines (called the "hamburger menu") in the top-right corner on Android or the bottom-right corner on iPhone.

    active4
    Tap the icon of three horizontal lines. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider
  3. Tap "Settings & Privacy," and then tap "Settings."

    active5
    Tap "Settings" in the "Settings & Privacy" drop-down. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider
  4. Tap "Active Status" under the Privacy section.

    active6
    Select "Active Status" at the bottom of the "Privacy" section. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider
  5. Turn off "Show when you're active" by moving the slider to the left and then confirm by tapping "Turn Off" in the pop-up.

    active7
    After swiping the slider to the left, select "Turn Off" in the pop-up. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider

How to appear offline in the Facebook Messenger mobile app

  1. Open the Facebook Messenger app on your phone.

  2. Tap your profile's avatar at the top-left of the screen.

    activ
    Tap your profile icon in the upper-left corner. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider
  3. Tap "Active Status."

    activ2
    Select "Active Status." Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider
  4. Turn off "Show when you're active" by moving the slider to the left and then confirm by tapping "Turn Off" in the pop-up.

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