How to Archive or Get Rid of a Facebook Private Message Now that Facebook Removed the Option in Messenger

how to archive remove private messages facebook
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Recently, in one of their many, many updates to the Facebook and Facebook Messenger apps, Facebook took away one’s ability to archive a Messenger conversation. While ‘archive’ had always been an option previously, now the only options for dealing with a received message in the Facebook Messenger app are ‘Mark as Unread’, ‘Ignore Messages’, blocking the sender, or deleting the message. Ignoring the message is the closest message option to archiving it, however that moves the message to “Message Requests”, which is not at all what you want to do.

It’s no better in the Message interface on the Facebook website:

how to archive facebook messages

how to archive facebook messages messenger

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Now, why would Facebook do this, removing the option to move a Facebook message thread that you want to save, but don’t want in your message inbox?

Of course, we are not privy to Facebook intelligence (is that an oxymoron?), but we have to believe that this is one reason:

Ads in Your Facebook Messenger Message Inbox
ads in facebook messenger

If you can’t archive messages that you want to keep, then you will keep them forever in your message inbox. That means that whenever you want to find that message thread, you will be scrolling..and scrolling…and scrolling down your Messages inbox – giving Facebook more opportunity to sell that inbox real estate to their advertisers. More scrolling = more eyeballs on ads.

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Facebook offers no explanation whatsoever for the change on their website, and within the Messenger app here is what they have to say about changes to the app, ‘simplifying’ the app into 3 sections, Chats, People, and Discover:

Welcome to the new Messenger

A simpler, more fun way to stay connected.

1. Chats is where your conversations are front and center.
Reply to friends, jump back into ongoing group conversations, make audio and video calls, and more.

2. People is your place to connect.
Find your friends, catch up on their Stories and se who’s currently active – try saying hello with a (wave emoji inserted here) to start a conversation.
{Editor’s note: the wave is the pictograph equivalent of a ‘poke‘ – anybody who sends me a wave or a poke is automatically blocked because..they waved at or poked me.}
3. Discover is for finding businesses and games.
Chat with businesses {advertisers} to learn about their latest deals and get customer support, book your next vacation, play Instant Games {advertisers}, and keep up on the news {advertisers} that interests you.

4. And there’s more to explore…
Try the new chat colors – you can find them in your settings – and stay tuned for other features we’ll soon be adding to personalize your conversations.

So, seeing as Facebook has not only not deigned to share whether you can still somehow archive your Facebook Messenger messages (you can), let alone how to do it, we figured it was our duty to tell you. :-) Here’s how.

How to Archive a Facebook Private Message Now that Facebook Removed that Option in Messenger

You will need to be logged in on the Facebook website to do this.

In Facebook, on the website, go to your full message list. You can get there either by opening the Messages drop-down and going to the bottom where it says “See All in Messenger”:

see all facebook messages website messenger

OR by going directly to

Either way, you will end up here:

how to archive messages on facebook

Now, hover over the message you want to archive, and you will see the gear icon:

how to archive a facebook message

Click on the gear icon and…

how to archive instant messenger facebook messages

To get rid of a message that you don’t want to save, simply choose the Delete option, which you can do from within the Facebook Messenger app. To get rid of a person messaging you that you don’t want to hear from, choose the Block option (ditto).

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