If you are a regular user of Facebook Messenger, you will know that Facebook doesn’t make deleting conversations a primary part of its messaging feature. They just naturally slide to the bottom as chats stop, and the built-in delete function is painfully slow. Luckily, there are some browser extensions that can help you bulk-delete messages from Facebook Messenger.
Disclaimer: The Internet Is Forever
Unfortunately, because you’re not the only participant in these conversations, deleting 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.
Are you sure you want to delete?
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. You can reach this by hitting the gear icon that appears when you hover over a conversation and clicking “Archive.” This moves it to a separate folder where your old messages can live, safely tucked away from your new ones.
1. The Official, but Slow Way
Open Facebook messages through Facebook.com or through Messenger.com. Either way, the “slow” way will work. In order to delete individual messages, you need to hover over each conversation on the left side bar where the three dots are located.
Once you click on the three dots, go ahead and click Delete. You don’t have to open up any conversations. You just need to be able to see the chat you wish to delete.
Unfortunately, this method still only allows you to delete one chat at a time, and it is not removed permanently. Should the person you were messaging respond back to you, the entire conversation will resurface. Can you consider this method a true bulk deletion option? Sure, as you can delete multiple messages, just not all at once. It’s time consuming but does work just as well as the faster way.
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 “Facebook Fast Delete Messages” comes in handy. With this extension, you now have a true “one-click” option to nuke your entire message history once and for all.
Warning: with this extension, you cannot pick and choose which messages to save – it’s all or nothing.
1. Start by downloading and installing the Chrome extension from the Chrome store.
2. Once the extension is activated, a shortcut should appear next to the omnibox so you can quickly access it.
3. When you click on the icon, two options appear. The first is to open messages in the event you do not have Facebook or Messenger open. The second will delete all messages.
4. Click to delete all messages, and your entire Messenger inbox will disappear. Done!
It’s worth remembering that even as this extension opens the door to bulk delete, it does have a caveat. The hiccup here is that messages only disappear on your end. If someone were to send you a message using a conversation they still have on their end, it will automatically bring up that message’s entire history.
3. Quick Delete from Messenger Web
While not necessarily a bulk option, one quick way to delete a message inside Messenger is to do so right after a message is sent. Generally speaking, if it has been less than ten minutes since a message was sent, you can still remove the message for both yourself or everyone.
Select the message you want to delete, then click on the three dots that appear to the left of the message where Remove and Delete will appear. Click on Remove. This brings up two options: “Remove for Everyone” and “Remove for you.”
Note that if you do remove the message for everyone, the recipient will know that the message was removed, but they won’t be able to see the content of the message. Beyond ten minutes, if you remove a message, the content of the message will still be available to the recipient, though it will not be available to you.
4. 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 also 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.
5. Quick Delete from Messenger Apps
Unfortunately, using the Facebook-owned Messenger app on iOS and Android won’t offer bulk delete, but they will add the same options as website and Mac/Windows apps. Instead of right-clicking in the desktop apps, you will tap and hold on any message you want to remove/unsend and follow the on-screen instructions. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to bulk delete messages on iOS or Android, so it’s a bit of work to remove your entire conversation history.
The good news is that no matter which method you choose, you can clean up your Messenger inbox. The bad news is that everything remains one sided, and Facebook may keep your conversations stored on its servers. The only real “permanent” solution is to agree to delete the conversation with the other party (or parties) who are also part of the conversation. That “deletion pact” is likely the best chance you have to keep things off Facebook Messenger permanently.