How to Disable Read Receipts on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp

Just because you see your friend’s message doesn’t mean you’ll have time to reply immediately. The message could be very important, so you at least look at it. Some friends just can’t understand that their message simply has to wait for a reply.

There are ways you can read your messages without the sender knowing. That way you can pretend you never saw their message and avoid any unnecessary explanations. With the following tips you’ll have plenty of time to prepare your answer.

How to Secretly Read WhatsApp Messages

To read WhatsApp messages without the other person knowing, you can disable the app’s read receipts feature. Go to “Settings -> Account -> Privacy -> Uncheck read receipts.” Keep in mind that if the other person can’t see your read receipts, you can’t see the other person’s read receipts either.


Before going into detail on how to create the widget, make sure you have enough space for it. If your home screen is full of app icons and adding a widget is impossible, you can always create a new page. You can do this by long-pressing anywhere on your screen and tapping on the plus sign. To confirm your creation, tap an empty space one last time.


If you don’t want to create a new page on your home screen, you can always make the screen grid bigger. This is a great option if you need just a little more space. You can create the grid by long-pressing on a space on your home screen and tapping on the screen grid option.


You’ll see options such as 4 x 4, 4 x 5, and 5 x 5. Choose the one that you think will give you enough space for the widget.

Once you have the free space on your phone’s home screen, long-press on that free space and tap on the “Widget” option at the bottom of the display.


Swipe until you find WhatsApp and tap on the 4 x 2 option. Long-press on the widget and drag it to the free space you created. Tap anywhere to place the widget permanently.

These options work great if you’re using WhatsApp on your phone, but you’ll need to use an extension when you use WhatsApp’s web app. ShutApp is a Firefox extension that will disable read receipts, keeps status unavailable, and also enables a toggleable private mode. It’s only available for Firefox, but hopefully Chrome users can enjoy it soon.

How to Secretly Read Messages on Facebook and Messenger

Just like with WhatsApp, you can also read your Facebook messages by swiping down from the top of your device’s display. It doesn’t matter if it’s a short or long message, you’ll still be able to read it. Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t have a widget like WhatsApp does.


You can also pretend you never saw your friend’s message if you’re using Facebook or Messenger’s web app. You’ll need to install a Chrome extension called Unseen. Make sure it’s enabled before you log into your account.

If you’re using the web app and your friend is on the mobile app, by having this Chrome extension on, the ball with your profile picture in it won’t drop indicating you saw the message.


Having to give an explanation for every message you can’t answer immediately can be exhausting. With these methods you can read your messages and not have to think of a plausible explanation. How do you secretly read your messages? Leave a comment and let us know.