How to See Restricted Messages on Facebook: Everything You Need to Know

how to see restricted messages on facebook

At the beginning of 2023, Facebook changed some of its Facebook Messenger settings. For example, the Ignore Messages option disappeared. Thankfully, it was replaced by Restrict within the app. At first, this was only available on Facebook web and the Facebook app, but it’s now available on Facebook Messenger too. Essentially, this means you limit sharing with people on your Restricted list. In this article, we’ll explain all about how to find restricted messages on Facebook and what the settings mean.

Restricted Messages on Facebook: What Is It?

Facebook Messenger’s Restrict function is the new version of Ignore Messages. This is a step towards blocking someone without actually doing so. You will see less of them but won’t have to pull the plug entirely. With Restrict, you can move a message chat away from your main Chat page. You can also disable messages and calls, and any notifications.

It’s also possible to hide when you were last active too so whomever you restrict can’t see if you are online or when you were last online. The beauty of Restrict means you can unrestrict them whenever you want. This is unlike blocking, which means that you remove them from your friends list entirely—you can unblock but they won’t be on your friends list again.

How Can You See Restricted Messages on Messenger?

Whenever a message is sent to you from someone you don’t know (someone who isn’t a friend on Facebook), you’ll get a notification. However, not all messages by unknown people are sent this way. If Facebook thinks the message is spam, it will be sent elsewhere.

To check restricted messages on Facebook, open up Facebook Messenger and log in, if you’re not automatically logged in. You should see all of your messages and chats. In the top corner, you’ll see an icon that directs you to other areas of the app. Click on this and you’ll see four icons plus a section with ‘communities.’ The four icons are Chats (where you’ve just come from), Marketplace (where messages from selling items go), Message requests, and Archive. The ‘Message Requests’ option is where you need to head to.

In this folder, you’ll see two sections you can toggle: ‘you may know’ and ‘spam’. Wondering where do restricted messages go on Messenger? In the ‘you may know’ section, you’ll see messages from people who aren’t on your friends list. You can view these messages without the person who sent them knowing you’ve read them. If you choose to reply, the person can then see your Active Status and see you’ve read messages from them. There is also the option to delete messages or block the person.

How to Restrict Messages: Step-By-Step Guide

The Restrict option isn’t just for people you don’t know. If you want to restrict someone on Facebook Messenger, you can do so. You’ll need to make sure you have the latest version of the app, otherwise, you won’t be able to use this feature. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Make sure you have the latest version of the Facebook Messenger app.
  2. Open the app.
  3. Long press a chat in your list. 
  4. Choose ‘Restrict’ from the list.
  5. You will see a message pop up saying, ‘see less of [person’s name] without blocking them’ and information about what Restricting them means.
  6. Select ‘Restrict [person’s name]’ to confirm.
  7. The person will be restricted, and their messages will disappear from your chat.

It is possible to undo the Restrict option. You need to do this in the Privacy and Safety section of the Facebook Messenger settings.

how to see restricted messages on facebook

Want to View Restricted Messages? Here’s How!

A lot of people struggle with knowing how to find restricted chats on Messenger.

If you want to know how to view restricted messages on Facebook, it’s easy. You’ll need to open up the Facebook Messenger app and then find the menu. This is located at the top of the screen on the left and looks like three horizontal lines.

Next, find the settings icon (the cog) on the top right-hand side of the screen. After this, scroll down to find Privacy & Safety and then select ‘Restricted Accounts’. Here, you’ll be able to see the Restricted chats and can open them to read the messages they contain.

This, however, is the only way to see message chats you’ve previously restricted. It isn’t possible to find them using the Messenger search function, for example.

Steps to Remove Restricted Messages

If you want to get rid of an entire chat that you’ve restricted, it’s easy to – if a bit long-winded. Here are the steps to take:

  1. Open the Facebook Messenger App.
  2. Tap the icon with the three lines at the top of the screen. This brings up the menu.
  3. Click the settings (cog) icon.
  4. Tap on Privacy & Safety.
  5. Select ‘Restricted Accounts’ and open the conversation you’re wanting to delete.
  6. Go to the info icon. This is located at the top right-hand side of the chat.
  7. Select the three dots aligned vertically to the right.
  8. Select ‘Delete Conversation’.

You’ll be asked to confirm that you want to delete the entire conversation. To confirm, tap ‘DELETE’. This will get rid of it permanently and is a step that can’t be reversed.

Your Messages Are Restricted on Messenger. How to Know?

If you want to know who has you on Facebook Restricted Messenger, there are ways you can find out. For example, if you send them messages and don’t get a response or a read receipt, it could be that they have put you on their restricted list. If you can still see their Active Status (whether they’re online or when they were last online), however, it’s likely that they just haven’t read your messages.

If their Active Status isn’t visible, then you could be on their restricted list. This isn’t a confirmation, though, but a likelihood.

If You Restrict Someone, Will They Be Able to See Your Active Status?

Fortunately, restricting someone on Facebook Messenger means they cannot see that you’re online or when you were last online. Your Active Status simply isn’t visible to them at all. To summarize, they won’t get read receipts for any messages you send to them. However, by restricting someone, you also won’t get notifications that they’ve messaged you. To see these restricted messages Facebook makes you go through the falling steps:

  1. Go to Messenger
  2. Tap the Menu
  3. Go to Settings
  4. Go to Privacy & Safety
  5. Go to Restricted Accounts.


Hopefully, now you know how to see restricted messages on Messenger. Getting to grips with this function isn’t always so obvious but you now know how to use Restrict well. Whether that’s just giving you the confidence to Restrict people knowing they won’t know about it, or it’s because you want to read messages from people you’ve already Restricted.

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