[Updated 2020] Viewing Facebook Messages Without Installing The Messenger App

UPDATE: I added some additional info to the end of this post based on all of the great comments from users. Be sure to read all the way to the end.

Over the last few weeks, there has been a lot of stink over the fact that Facebook is splitting its messaging functionality out into a new Facebook Messenger app.

Some fear-mongers have been spreading rumors that Facebook plans to use your camera and microphone to listen in on your private conversations, while Facebook has sent pretty clear messages that it has no intent to do so.

The result, however, has been quite a few conversations where friends and family have asked me whether they should avoid installing the Messenger app and whether there are options to open messages sent via Messenger without using the app. The quick answer is yes…and it’s a lot easier than you think.

The new Facebook Messenger app has been called Evil...is it?There have been a few changes to Messenger in the fact that there is a new app, but do you need it to view your Facebook messages?

TL;DR – For those who want the quick answer without having to read the entire post, you can read your Facebook Messenger messages by accessing Facebook through a browser, not the mobile app. Once you navigate to Facebook in your browser, you can open Messenger from within the Web view and read your messages. There is no special Messenger login that you need and there is no special Messenger login online. It’s just the standard Facebook.com interface. 

Do We REALLY Think Facebook Is Spying On Us Using The Messenger App?

My response has been pretty simple. Even if it were true, and Facebook were spying…is your life really that interesting? If you’re concerned with Facebook listening in on your conversations, maybe you should rethink what activities you’re engaged in.

No…Facebook is not really interested in your rants during your kids soccer game.

Surprise…they don’t want to hear you use the terms “ping”, “strategize” and “leverage” in your corporate meetings.

It’s true…Facebook is not interested in any of your embarrassing bathroom noises while you play Candy Crush Saga on the toilet.

Believe it or not, Facebook does not care that you're playing Candy Crush Saga on the toilet. Click To Tweet

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but installing the Messenger app isn’t going to place your privacy in any more risk than the already embarrassing photos and “woe is me” posts that you’re putting on Facebook yourself.

So calm down, don’t believe the fear-mongers….just relax.

Facebook Messenger Doesn’t Represent The End Of Our Personal Privacy

Installing Facebook Messenger is not the end of your privacy…unless we want it to be. You can still use the phone to call people. You can still text. You can still email.

If you choose not to use Facebook Messenger, great!

It’s one less communication channel that you need to check while you’re sitting at the stoplight holding everyone else up in line when the light turns green and you’re fixated on your phone.


But if you don’t believe me and you NEED your Facebook messages, yet are terrified that adding it to your phone will require you to wear a foil hat for the rest of your life so Facebook doesn’t steal your thoughts, then here are the instructions on how to get them.

NOTE: No…it’s not optimal. Yes, it’s kind of cludgy…but if you want the best experience, simply install the app and get over it.

Viewing Facebook Messages On Your Mobile Device Or Tablet Without Using The Facebook App

  1. Install Chrome on your device. If you are an Android user, it’s already on your phone.
  2. Open Chrome and navigate to http://www.facebook.com (don’t log in yet)
  3. Open the context menu within Chrome and check the box next to “Request Desktop Site”
  4. Reload the page and you should see the Facebook.com desktop site.
  5. Log in.
  6. Click the Messages link in the left nav under your profile photo to see your messages and respond to them.

Using Chrome, you can request the desktop version of FacebookYou can still view your Facebook messages on your mobile device by viewing the desktop version of Facebook in your mobile browser. Just be sure to use the “Request desktop site” feature in Chrome to make sure you see the desktop version of Facebook, not the mobile version.

Again, not the best user experience, but it gets you to your messages without ever having to bow to the privacy will of Facebook and their desire that you download their second, stand-alone Facebook Messenger app.

If you don't want to install the Messenger app, you can still view your Facebook messages on your mobile device. Click To Tweet

Except for the fact that you basically gave away all privacy expectations when you “Agreed” to the Facebook terms of use by creating your account.

Oh yeah…that small detail.

I hope this helps. I also hope this post gets zero traffic because people aren’t silly enough to Google “how can I view my Facebook messages on my phone without installing the Messenger app”.

We’ll see….



Update – I am astonished by the responses to this post…AND I apologize for being a snarky SOB.

Wow…just wow.

First, let me apologize to my readers for the high-level of snark in this post. I probably went a little overboard and if it offends folks, sorry. Not my intent.

Second, I cannot believe the traffic this post is generating.

What that means to me is there are lots of real, legitimate reasons that people want to view Facebook Messenger messages without installing the mobile app. If you read the comments below, you’ll see that my readers have (once again) done a great job chiming in and sharing their reasons.

Some of them include:


Not wanting to give away all of your private information, although I don’t see how viewing the messages in the desktop version vs the mobile app makes any difference on that front. Facebook still has all your messages and can still read them, regardless of the platform.

Resources, mainly storage on your phone

This one is SUPER valid.

On my Samsung Galaxy, the Facebook Messenger app is a bloated whale on an app.

The current version of the app takes up 408 MB of storage.  That’s nearly half a gig of storage for a single app.

By comparison, What’s App Messenger only takes up 19MB of storage and is a very similar type of messenger app. If you’re short on storage or your phone doesn’t allow you to move apps to your SD card, I can see why you would be unhappy with Messenger.

A loathe for chat applications

If you hate chat apps, then you should love the fact that Facebook split Messenger out, so you don’t have to install it. I completely get it.

Battery Life

Again, a very fair and valid point.

Now, instead of one app checking for Facebook messages, you have two. Two apps essentially performing a very similar function on a similar schedule could really impact your battery life.

The solution? Look at the settings for both the Facebook and Messenger apps and adjust how frequently the apps are searching for new messages or data.

Data Consumption

Not everyone has unlimited data on their mobile phone plan, I get it.

But in the single Facebook app that included Messenger, you didn’t have a choice as to whether you wanted to get messages on your phone or not. You either installed the Facebook app and got the messages, or you didn’t install the app and got nothing.

With the division of Facebook the app and Facebook Messenger, you can save data by choosing not to install the Messenger app. For those that want the best of both worlds, Facebook even included a “Data Saver” feature in Messenger to reduce the amount of data that the app uses by not automatically downloading images and videos.

To access the data saver feature, open Facebook Messenger and then click your profile photo. There should be a “Data Saver” menu item in the options that appear.

The Facebook Messenger data saver feature can limit the automatic downloads of images and videosThe Facebook Messenger data saver feature can limit the automatic downloads of images and videos

The Facebook Messenger App Crashes

It has gotten better, but at the beginning, Messenger was a hulking piece of $hit. I certainly expected more from Facebook (which I probably shouldn’t have). I feel like it’s a lot more stable, so maybe this has been worked out. That is, until they try to add more advertisements in 😉

So, there you have it. An apology and an update. Just like every other human blogger out there, I sometimes let my opinion and snark get in the way of the fact that my goal is to actually help folks navigate social media.

If my sarcasm got in the way of doing that, sorry. But keep the great comments coming. I can take the criticism, it’s okay  😉

Just to show you that I try not to take myself too seriously, here’s me with my foil hat. Yes, I understand that it will now live on the Internet forever.

I try not to take myself too seriouslyI try not to take myself too seriously



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Tips on how to read your Facebook Messenger messages without ever installing the app
Did you know you can read your Facebook Messenger messages without ever having to install the app? Here's how!
Reading Facebook Messenger messages without installing the app

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Comments And Reactions

  1. Thanks for sharing this information

  2. Priya johnson says

    Can u help me to login in messanger

  3. Just joekeen says

    Wow, people keep giving you a lot of crap for being an ass or snarky in your post. I thought you were only being slightly snarky and most of what you said was true. No matter how interesting someone’s life is (or how interesting they think it is) most people don’t care enough to sift through hours of general conversations for some private information.
    Messneger isn’t the only app that invades your privacy, every app you install has access to a lot of the functions on your device. Most people don’t look at what permissions an app has, but will go on and on about some app invading their privacy just because that is what everyone is talking about at the moment.
    Don’t get me wrong, I would never recommend messenger, but I am not a fan of facebook in general. This turned out to be a long rant so I’ll end it with some free advice and a couple questions to think about. The free advice is that you should always find a reputable source of information to research every app and program before you instal it. After reading these questions, think about how many times you have done it. How many times have you agreed to the terms and conditions of something without reading the entire thing first? Do you know exactly what you are agreeing to in these documents?

  4. B. Lodermeier says

    All this said by someone who is probably paid by FaceBook/Zuckerberg to say all this. I am having fun watching him in squirm in the hot seat for a second time. This time for letting the Russians use facebook to interfere with the last American presidential election (and like he didn’t know).
    I agree with the above, you are an idiot.
    It doesn’t matter if your life is interesting or not, you are missing the point. What two people say to each other online via Messenger or any other social media, it SHOULD BE PRIVATE!

  5. Oliver Martinez says

    Here’s a great and easy way to read facebook messages anonymously. It’s called NoSeen for Facebook available on Google Play for free: NoSeen for Facebook https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.stackwares.android.noseen.facebook&hl=en

    It also has a lot more cool features
    ☆ View and Read Messages Anonymously without being seen
    ☆ View and Download Stories Anonymously
    ☆ View Stories that are hidden by your friends
    ☆ Dark Themed Facebook Experience with Color Scheming Customizations
    ☆ Send and Reply to Messages with Stickers
    ☆ Multiple Accounts Support with Easy Switching
    ☆ Prevent Accidental Likes/Clicks
    ☆ Beautiful and Intuitive UI
    ☆ Block Facebook Ads and Sponsored Posts

  6. How can I remove all the apk apps and updates from my phone… My girlfriend put them on there and is stalking everything I do

  7. Oh! Very Nice Information.

  8. I went out of my way to get rid of fb and opt for the desktop version, not because of any of the above, but because of how invasive messenger is. The constant pings (or buzzes if you keep it in silent with me), most phones having some type of blinking light beside the camera for every message you get, I could go on, point is, there constant in your face reminders to reply to people who, realistically, aren’t a priority (made worse if you suffer from anxiety or BPD or similar mental illnesses).
    Desktop version is a pain to use, but that’s partially the point. Less incentive to be excessively vigilant over messages, and I have to go out of my way to see if I have messages, which frees me up to actually use my time effectively and without the constant suffocation of intrusive reminders to reply to people. It’s peaceful, I’ve missed it.

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  10. ThatOneOverThere says

    Was a decent article from the parts I read. Only thing I disagree with was the nonchalant part about how Facebook doesn’t care about you so it’s not a big deal. Which totally misses the point of privacy. Facebook has shown they do care about all of us and constantly use our information for their benefit. Mostly for our manipulation in advertising but again that’s still proof in and of itself.

  11. Thank

  12. Thanks

  13. valleriey says

    too can we chat as time goes by we will get knowing each other

  14. My iPhone is a problem all network

  15. Monica Regina says

    I was delighted to eventually be ending up with the man of dreams. Only for me to receive a reality check when he started acting funny during my 2nd trimester. Initially, i thought it was the becoming a dad fever but he grew cold romantically and emotional towards me. He complained and flared up at any given opportunity. Eventually, i decided to employ the services of a private investigator which made me realize he had a mistress at work. Apparently, asking for a divorce was a bitter pill to swallow but i had to. I’m in a better place now and my baby gives me all the joy i want and need. You can contact the private investigator via on [email protected] and you can text or call him on +1-470-300-5492 or on WhatsApp +1(470) 777-2098

  16. Tucker Daugh says

    I don’t like it because I don’t like the pop ups and heads and the noise and the crap you have to opt OUT of

  17. Darius Perry says

    Yes Log it in with my youtube view link acheivements with info stats complete✔.

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