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How to find your hidden Facebook messages

Photo via JaysonPhotography/Shutterstock (Licensed)

You may have unseen messages in your Facebook inbox.

Facebook is like an onion. You can take its features at face value, but if you dig a little bit, you can find things typically hidden in your day-to-day interactions on the social network. One such example: Messages. “I use Facebook Messenger and check my inbox regularly,” you may say. However, you may not realize that you have some hidden messages waiting for you here.

When you normally check your Facebook Messages, you’re only seeing chats from bonafide friends. That isn’t actually all of your messages. Facebook filters messages from folks you aren’t friends with. Usually, this is good—many of these messages are pure spam. However, every once in a while, a legitimate message from a not-yet-Facebook-friend ends up in this no man’s land.

How to find hidden messages on Facebook

To check for your hidden messages, open up Facebook on the desktop. Then, tap the Messages icon in the upper right. In the menu that pops up below, you’ll see that “Message Requests” is grayed out next to “Recent.”

hidden messages on facebook, Screengrab via Facebook

Select Message Requests. Here are messages from Facebook users wanting to chat with you, but aren’t yet your friend. You can also tap “See Filtered Requests” at the bottom of this menu for potentially more missed messages.

You can also access these messages from Facebook Messenger. In the app, go to Settings in the bottom right (it’s the icon that looks like a list), then tap “People.”

how to find hidden messages on facebook Screengrab via Messenger

Similarly to on the desktop, tap “Message Requests,” then “Filtered Requests.” This will show you all the messages Facebook deemed unworthy of your time.

facebook secret messages Screengrab via Messenger

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Once you know about this secret inbox, it’s a good idea to check it every month or two, just to make sure nothing important slips through. I, unfortunately, did not heed this advice. After not checking this inbox in more than six months, I found a message from an old work colleague sitting ignored…and I felt like a huge jerk. Don’t be like me.

Christina Bonnington

Christina Bonnington

Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.