Note: This post has been updated *multiple* times and new tips (thanks to all the commenters) have been added to the bottom of the post. For both the Facebook desktop app and the mobile apps.
If you have tried the original fixes and they don’t work, try the new tips ALL THE WAY at the bottom of the post. There are about six different things to try, so don’t give up if the first one doesn’t solve it.
Also, if you’re found this article because you are searching for ways to report a fake Facebook friend request due to the recent Facebook Messenger Hoax, click here to read my article that will help you report those fake accounts.
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Grrr. Facebook Messenger KEEPS saying that I have 1 unread message!
Whether you use Facebook for personal or business marketing purposes, this is one of those strange little glitches that keeps popping up in the Facebook Messenger mobile app. Basically, when you open the Facebook app, it shows you the icon that you have a new message in the Messenger app.
When you click on the Messenger icon, it sends you over to the Messenger app, but….there’s no unread message. It’s kinda like being stuck in the movie Groundhog day where the day just repeats over and over.
- Open my phone, see that I have a new message in Facebook Messenger
- Open the Messenger app to see I don’t have any unread messages
- Close the Messenger app and the notification still says I have a new message.
Hmmm…that’s strange. I know I don’t have any messages, how do I find and delete notifications on Facebook Messenger when I can’t find any that are unread? What does that Facebook Messenger symbol even mean?
Wait 15 minutes and guess what? That annoying little Facebook Messenger new message icon is back. Press it and…NO UNREAD MESSAGE!
This happens to me about every 6 months and I have to figure out why it’s happening and that message notification keeps coming back. Sooo…for both your sanity and mine, I thought I would write a quick blog post reminding myself how to fix it and, hopefully, helping all those Google searchers out there who are looking for:
- Why does Facebook keep showing me a new message when I don’t have one
- Facebook Messenger new message icon won’t go away
- How do I clear the Facebook Messenger icon when I don’t have a new message
- Facebook shows a new message, but I don’t have any unread messages
- Messenger bug keeps showing that I have a message when I don’t
- Clear the Messenger glitch that keeps showing that I have a new message
If ANY of these sound like you….read on, here’s how to fix it. It’s not like you could pick up the phone and contact Facebook support and get help…right?
Putting A Stop To The Facebook Messenger Icon Madness
First, after experiencing this issue about 5 times in the last couple of years, here’s the first thing to realize. Even though the Facebook Messenger app doesn’t show you a new or unread message, you probably have one.
Yes…you have one. Somewhere, in all the various messaging capabilities of Facebook, a notification or message has been sent that Facebook Messenger thinks you need to read. The trick is going to be to find message requests on messenger that are causing the Facebook app icon to continue to show an unread message.
For me, each time this happens, the mobile app doesn’t display any new messages, but when I switch to the desktop site, I do see one.
Fix #1- Try This First
So, to clear the Facebook Messenger notification:
- Open a browser on your desktop (not on mobile)
- Navigate to Facebook.com and log in to your account
- In the left navigation, click the “Messenger” link
- You should see the unread message in the left indicated with the text in bold font
- Click the message and Facebook Messenger will mark it as read
- Log in to the mobile app and you should no longer see the unread message icon
PRO TIP – Look For Messenger Invitations Or Connection Notices. These can be particularly problematic in that they are just notifications and not a message that you need to open or respond to. Unfortunately, Facebook Messenger will treat them as unread unless you open them.
Other Facebook users can send you Messenger requests to connect and when you do connect, Facebook will send you a confirmation message that your accounts have been connected and you can send messages to each other.
I have found that the most common unread messages are these types of messages. When you review your messages, be sure to pay careful attention to those and mark them as read.Clearing the Facebook Messenger notification can be a pain, but here are several tips on how to do it. Click To Tweet
In the image below, the messages with the white background are those that are read and the one message with the grey background is the unread notification from Facebook that is causing the issue.
In most cases, I have found that this irritating issue is caused by the use of Facebook emoticons, sentiments, and feelings. When someone replies to your message with a “thumbs up” or a smiley face, Messenger registers it as a reply…which is now an unread message.
Even this simple thumbs up emoticon can create an unread message that will trigger the unread message badge in the Facebook mobile app
When you switch over to the conversation in mobile, however, viewing that sentiment doesn’t register as having read the message, which causes the sentiment to remain in unread status, causing the new message icon to recur over and over.
Pro Tip – If your kids use your phone or tablet for entertainment, sometimes they might like things on Facebook that can trigger notifications. Don’t ask me how I know this. One option to consider is getting them their own device to play with. The Amazon Kindle Fire tablets are small enough for kids hands and robust enough to take their abuse. There is even a Facebook Messenger app for kids that has some additional safety features.
Fix #2 – Using The Mobile Browser And Desktop View
If you are really frustrated and you don’t have access to a desktop machine, you can also open Facebook.com in your mobile browser and choose “Show Desktop View” or “Request Desktop Site” from your browser drop-down menu.
This will force Facebook to show you the desktop version of the site and allow you to navigate to Facebook Messenger within the browser, instead of within the mobile app, and clear this issue.
Another article that might help: Viewing Facebook Messages Without Installing The Messenger App
I hope this helps someone out there! If you have experienced this issue and have a better way to clear the message, I’d love to hear about it in a comment.
Fix #3 – Search For All Unread Threads
When you log in to the desktop site on Facebook and click over to Messenger, you can click the gear icon in the upper-left corner and choose “Unread Threads” to find anything that Facebook thinks is unread.
Just click on any of threads that show up to mark them as read.
Fix #4 – This One Is For The Mobile Devices
If you are getting notifications from the Facebook Android mobile app on a Samsung Galaxy device, try long-pressing the Facebook mobile app icon and choosing “Clear Badge”.
If you are on an iPhone:
- Open the “Settings” app.
- Tap on “Notifications”
- Scroll down and select the app you want to disable the badge notifications for.
- Swipe “Badge App Icon” to OFF.
- Repeat to disable for other apps.
NOTE: This will turn off all badge notifications for the Facebook app on iPhone.
Not ideal…but it will turn off the notifications.
Fix #5 – Using The Mark All As Read Command
There is a VERY hidden “Mark All As Read” link on the desktop side of Facebook.
To see it:
- Log in to Facebook DESKTOP via your browser (not on your mobile app)
- Click the Messenger icon in the top-right navigation of Facebook desktop (see the image below)
- At the very bottom of the drop-down that opens, click “Mark All as Read”.
Fix#6 – Be Sure To Check The Message Archive
Great tip from one of my readers, Mike.
He let me know that the offending message that was triggering the mobile badge icon glitch had actually been archived by Facebook so it wasn’t visible in his main view of Messenger.
To find messages in your archive, click the Gear icon in the upper-left corner and choose “Archived Threads”.
This will show allow you to review the archives and find any unread messages.
Be sure to check the Facebook Messenger archive that might be causing the unread messages badge to trigger on the mobile appArchived messages might be causing the Facebook Messenger app to tell you that you have an unread message when you don't. Here's how to clear the icon. Click To Tweet
Fix #7 – When Facebook Stories Triggers A Notification On Messenger
Ok…this one is SUPER annoying. Apparently, Facebook is now triggering Messenger notifications when your friends post a Facebook story. Let’s not even get into whether Facebook should have incorporated stories, but they did…so we have to live with it.
Now, when a Facebook friend posts a story, Messenger triggers a notification and you have two choices. Either watch the entire story or hide the story. Nothing like Facebook forcing us to watch content before we can clear the notification badge, right?
To get rid of the notification:
1) Open Messenger on your mobile device
2) Long-press the new story at the top of the app
3) Choose to either watch the story or hide the story
I REALLY hate that we have to clear the message badge by either watching the story or hiding it, but Facebook never asked me.
Fix #8 – Try Sending Yourself A Message And Then Reading It
One of the commenters below made a good suggestion that seems to work for a couple of people. If you have tried everything up to this point and Facebook Messenger just keeps telling you that you have a new message….try sending a new message.
The trick is…send it to yourself.
Then, when you read it Facebook may reset your message count back to zero.
Give it a shot. If anything, it might clear that annoying unread message icon.
Fix #9 – Uninstall The Facebook Messenger App And Then Re-install
I know it’s a pain in the you-know-what, but quite a few readers have mentioned in the comments below that uninstalling Facebook Messenger and reinstalling it has solved the issue of the Facebook messenger check mark not going away from the app.
Fix #10 – Check Your Messages From The Facebook Marketplace And Mark Them As Read
Another solution that comes from a reader who posted this fix in the comments below (so be sure to read them). Head into the Facebook Marketplace by doing the following:
- On the desktop Facebook site, search for “Marketplace” or just click this link https://www.facebook.com/marketplace. Click on both “Notification” and “Inbox” and be sure to mark any messages in those mailboxes as read.
- On the mobile app, click the three bars that represent the menu (often called the hamburger menu) and find the Marketplace icon and press it. At the top of the Marketplace, see if there are any notifications for you. If there are, press on them to view them. Once you view them, Facebook should mark them as read and communicate that to the Messenger app.
Have another tip for hiding a messenger notification, keep on sharing them and I’ll keep updating this post.
Side Note: Solutions To Other Frustrating Facebook Problems
Quite a few people have emailed me or reached out to me via comments/social about other frustrating issues with Facebook.
If you’re experience any of the issues below, here are the links to the articles to help solve them:
- Getting Rid of The Messenger Popup Notifications On Facebook Desktop/Browser version
- Organizing Facebook Photos Located In a GROUP Photo Album
- Downloading My Facebook Personal Data
- Figure Out Who Is Following You On Facebook
- Adding Symbols To A Facebook Post
- Sharing A Facebook Post To Twitter
- Posting A Tweet On Facebook
- Switching Your Facebook Feed To Show Most Recent Chronological Posts, Instead Of Top Stories
- Searching Your Facebook Feed For A Specific Post
- Viewing Facebook Messenger Without Installing The App
- Organizing Your Photos Located In Your Personal Albums
- Changing Your Facebook View From Mobile To Desktop On A Tablet
If you have questions about how to get things done in Facebook, feel free to leave a comment below or reach out via my contact form.
I’m always glad to help figure things out. PLEASE do not EVER send me you Facebook credentials…yes…people have done that.