Hmm, so you sent someone an inappropriate message on Facebook two years ago and now it’s coming back to haunt you? Well, this is Facebook! They will save everything you have ever clicked or entered on their website.
From the moment you start Facebook posts, you can view your chat / message history from the beginning. Most of the time this is great, but there are times when you really need to get out of the conversation in order to be saved.
Update: Facebook has updated its interface to make deleting messages and conversations a little easier than before.
When you log into Facebook, go ahead and click on Messenger in the left pane. The new messenger interface will load, which has three sections: the conversation list on the left, some options on the right, and the message content in the middle, as shown below.
From here, you can manage the conversation or individual messages within a conversation. To delete an entire conversation, hover your mouse over the conversation and a gear icon appears.
If you click on the gear, you can turn off the chat, archive or delete the conversation. If you want to delete an individual message in a conversation, hover over it and you will see three small dots.
Clicking on these three dots will provide the only option to delete the message. There is no way to archive, so it is permanently deleted.
Finally, in the right pane, you can click the gear icon next to the person’s name and select Delete from there.
If you click Delete in the left or right pane, you will still receive a message asking if you really want to delete the conversation or just archive it.
The old way:
By default, when you want to delete a post on Facebook, it just archives it. Yes, they do their best to make it difficult for you to delete anything from their huge database. Let’s say I look at a message and click on the little cross to the right:
As you can see, a large archive appears at the top, indicating that it will not actually be deleted. For example, archive the message. Note that this will delete your entire conversation with that person, even if it lasted for weeks, months or years.
However, you can easily view all your archived messages simply by clicking the small “More” link at the top of the left sidebar.
Go ahead and click on the Archived option and now you will only see archived messages. They are still there! So the point is, archiving a message is not the same as deleting it.
Fortunately, it’s pretty easy on Facebook to delete a thread or message, recent or archived. Just click on a conversation and then on the little gear icon above the conversation.
You will see several options, but we are interested in two items: “Delete Conversation” and “Delete Messages”.
Delete conversation will delete all chat history that you had with that person. Be careful when using this option because the entire conversation will be deleted and cannot be recovered.
If you only want to delete certain parts of the conversation, select Delete Messages. After that, you will see little flags next to each message in the conversation. Select messages and click “Delete”.
Now messages and conversations are truly gone, not just hidden! Well, I’m sure Facebook keeps a backup for a certain amount of time, but you will no longer be able to see this message in your account.
Facebook Messenger app
Update: The latest version of the Facebook mobile app also changes the way you delete a post. I will list both methods below if you are using an older version.
To delete an entire Messenger conversation on your iPhone, you need to click the Home tab at the bottom and then Message at the top.
You will see a list of all your conversations. Now force click or click on the message until the preview window appears. Basically, you need to make a 3D touch to the conversation.
When the preview appears, quickly swipe up before it downloads the entire message thread. Sometimes you may have to do this several times before you get the hang of it.
To delete one message, click on a conversation to download the entire message history. Now 3D click on a specific message and you will see a pop-up list of reaction icons.
Also, three options will appear at the bottom: Copy, Delete and Forward. Of course, this only works on Apple devices. For Android, the older method below will work.
The old way:
You can also delete messages from your phone using Facebook Messenger. Just swipe right to left over the conversation and you’ll see the option to delete the conversation.
When you click Delete, you will see another popup asking if you want to delete or archive the conversation.
Finally, you can also delete individual messages within a Messenger conversation by long pressing on an individual message. A small menu will appear with the “Delete” option.
Basically, you have the same functionality in your web browser and in your application, so that’s a good thing. If you have any questions, please leave a comment. Enjoy!