If you’re a regular user of Facebook Messenger, you’ll know that deleting conversations isn’t a primary feature of the app. They simply fall to the bottom when chats end, and the built-in delete function is painfully slow. Fortunately, there are some browser extensions that can help you bulk-delete Facebook Messenger messages.
Disclaimer: The Internet Is Forever
Unfortunately, because you’re not the only participant in these conversations, deleting messages on your side means very little. The other party still has it on their Facebook account, and even if everyone involved deletes the conversation, the records may still be living somewhere on Facebook’s servers. Because Facebook is not end-to-end encrypted by default (though you can enable this option), messages you exchange on it can potentially stick around in plain text for the lifetime of both accounts.
Do You Really Want to Delete These Messages?
If your main goal is just to make sure no one who gets access to your Facebook can pry into your message history, complete deletion is definitely the best option. However, if you’re just looking to clear up your cluttered inbox, you may want to consider the “Archive” option. On PC, hover your mouse cursor over the chat in question, click the three dots that appear, then select “Archive.”
You’ll have to long press on the message to bring up this option on a mobile device. This moves the chat to a separate folder where your old messages can live, safely tucked away from your new ones.
But if you don’t want to see these messages ever again, you have no other choice but to delete them from your inbox by following one of the below methods.
1. The Official but Slow Way
This method allows you to delete entire chat threads from Facebook on your computer or mobile device.
- Open Facebook on your PC and go to Messenger.
- Find a particular chat you’d like to delete.
- Hover over the conversation, and click on the three vertical dots that pop up.
- Select “Delete chat” from the drop-down menu that appears.
- A warning message will show up alerting you that if you decide to delete the conversation, it can’t be undone. Click “Delete chat” to confirm.
- On mobile: go to the chat thread in question and long-press on it.
- Select “Delete” in the menu that appears from the bottom.
- Tap “Delete” once again, and you’re done.
Unfortunately, this method still only allows you to delete one chat thread at a time. It’s important to note that should the person you were messaging respond back, a new chat thread will start. The other person will still have their chat thread with you intact and won’t be affected by your decision to delete your conversation.
2. The Faster Way to Delete Facebook Messages
Deleting Facebook messages one by one will undoubtedly feel tedious and, after a while, you’re just as likely to quit when it seems there is no end is in sight. That’s where the Google Chrome extension L.O.C. comes in handy. With this extension, you now have a true “one-click” option to nuke your entire message history once and for all.
- Start by downloading and installing the Chrome extension on your browser.
- Once installed, click the extension icon next to the address bar. You’ll be taken to its dashboard.
- On the menu on the right, click on “Tools” to make more options appear.
- Select “Message Downloader.”
- You’ll see a list of all your message threads. Tick the boxes next to the ones you wish to remove, and press the “Delete” button in the upper-right corner.
- Check your Facebook inbox to find that the messages have been deleted.
The best part about this extension is that it lets you delete select message threads and won’t delete ALL your messages (although that’s possible).
Just as with the method above, the deleted messages will disappear only on your end. If the other party were to send you a new message, a new conversation thread would pop up, though you won’t be able to see your older messages.
3. Try a Third-Party App
If you have an Android device, you can use a third-party app called Delete Messages on Messenger At Once to delete Facebook messages in bulk. While the service is free to install and use, it features ads, yet they are not too excessive. You can switch to the paid tier if that really bothers you.
- Once installed, open the app on your phone and tap on the “Delete Normal Conversations” card.
- Log in with you Facebook credentials.
- The screen will populate with your Facebook messages. Keep in mind that the app will list the most voluminous threads first, even if they are not the most recent ones.
- From here, you can easily select the message threads you wish to delete by ticking the boxes next to them.
- Once done, hit the “Delete Conversations” button.
- It will take a few seconds, but once you see the “All selected conversation is deleted successfully” message, hit the “Back” button.
- Check your Facebook Messenger. All the messages you’ve deleted should be gone.
4. Quick Delete From Messenger Web
While not necessarily a bulk option, you can quickly delete messages inside Messenger, whether you’re doing so on your PC or mobile device. This can be a solution if you don’t want to install an app or an extension. Yet, if you’re looking to delete many messages, it probably would be best to use one of the three other methods outlined above.
- Select the message you want to delete, then click on the three dots that appear to the left of the message.
- Click the option to “Remove.”
- This brings up two options: “Remove for Everyone” and “Remove for you.”
Note: if you do remove the message for everyone, the recipient will know that the message was removed but won’t be able to see the content of the message.
This option applies to messages you’ve sent. If you wish to get rid of certain messages the other party sent, they will be deleted solely for you and not them.
5. Quick Delete From Messenger Desktop
Like the browser, the Mac desktop app for Messenger has similar “Remove for you” and “Remove for everyone” options. The app doesn’t offer a bulk option, but in a pinch, removing individual messages one at a time can come in handy. Similar functionality is available for the Windows app, so consider the apps a fast way to quickly remove messages without deleting everything all at once. Just right-click on the message in question to bring up the options.
6. Quick Delete From Messenger Apps
Unfortunately, using the Facebook-owned Messenger app on iOS and Android won’t offer bulk delete, but the same options are added as website and Mac/Windows apps.
- Instead of right-clicking in the desktop apps, tap and hold on any message you want to remove/unsend.
- Select “Remove” from the options that appear at the bottom.
- Select the option to “Unsend” or “Remove for you.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I recover my deleted Facebook messages?
Your Facebook messages aren’t really gone forever once you delete them. You can retrieve them by requesting to download your Facebook information. Go to “Settings & Privacy -> Settings -> Your Facebook Information” in your browser. Click on “View” next to “Download your information.” If you just want your chats, click on the “Add” button next to “Messages” in the “Popular Downloads” section.
How can I encrypt messages on Facebook?
As noted above, Facebook allows you to encrypt your conversations, but this feature is not on by default as it is in other chat apps, such as WhatsApp. Instead, you’ll need to turn it on manually. Facebook calls this option “Secret Conversations.” If you wish to use it, you’ll have to enable it for each chat by pressing on the the tiny “i” button in the upper corner of a chat window, then selecting “Go to secret conversation.”
Will blocking someone on Messenger automatically delete their messages?
No. Even if you block someone on Messenger, your conversation will stay in Chats unless you archive or delete them. The people you’ve blocked won’t be able to send new messages. On the other hand, you will be able to message each other in shared groups unless you leave them. Note that blocking someone solely on Messenger does not mean you’ve blocked them on Facebook, so you will continue to be able to view their profile.
Image credit: Rodnae Productions via Pexels All screenshots by Alexandra Arici