How to Make a Read Message Look Unread on Facebook

The pop-up menu disappears after you tap "Mark As Unread."
Image Credit: millann/iStock/GettyImages

Facebook Messenger will show the other party or parties involved in the conversation the moment a message is read. The round profile dot will drop to the last message read, indicating the readers current placement in the conversation. You can read messages without notifying the other party by making use of custom settings.

Mark as Unread Facebook

The reasons for leaving messages in an unread format are often for practical reasons. Leaving the message as unread means you will see the unread status later. This serves as an easy reminder to respond. If the message shows as read, it becomes easy to forget about responding when a later response is the best course of action.

Leaving messages unread also serves personal functions when the messages are best left alone. If another user is overly aggressive or abusive, showing the messages as unread can help to calm the situation. The read message function can serve to antagonize users in difficult and emotionally charged conversations.

Marking Messages as Unread: Web

The process for marking messages as unread is simple but it does differ between the mobile and browser versions. Luckily, both processes are very easy and it takes a matter of seconds to change the status from read to unread. The change is made to specific threads as well so the changes are only focused on the desired conversations.

In the web browser version, access the round messenger symbol located in the top right corner. Click the icon to generate a list of recent conversations. Navigate to the desired conversation and hover the cursor over the small dot adjacent to the most recent message. It will show the Mark as Unread text and you simply click to change the status of the conversation to unread.

Marking Messages as Unread: App

In the mobile version, open the Messenger app to display a list of conversations. Scroll to the desired conversation and use your finger to select and hold the conversation. This will generate a list of options with the ability to delete, mute, ignore and even block the conversation. Choose Messenger's Mark as Unread option to change the status of the conversation.

When the conversation is marked as unread, it will highlight the conversation in your Messenger feed. This will make it easy to locate the conversation while acting as a reminder to respond. After opening the conversation, it will automatically revert to the read status.

Other Shortcuts

Reading messages without actually showing them as read is possible using a few basic workarounds, which do not require changing the status after reading the message either. When a new message comes through, open Messenger on your phone, laptop or tablet but make sure to not select the actual message. Next, switch the device to airplane mode or simply turn off the WiFi on a laptop. Select the thread to open and read the messages while offline. In most cases, the most recent messages will load and display plain text normally.

Exit messenger before returning cell or WiFi service to the device. A failure to exit will ultimately show the messages as read the moment service returns. This technique is ideal for reading the most recent messages but it does have limitations and older messages or messages with media attached may not load or display.

Lastly, reading a recent message without actually opening Messenger is possible on mobile devices. Simply access the notification and it will display the latest message. Do not click the notification and it will not show the message as being read.

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