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Use this trick to check Facebook messages without downloading the Messenger app


Recently Facebook decided to require users to download the separate Facebook Messenger app in order to read and send messages. Facebook Messenger is actually a really nice app, but for anyone that doesn’t send or receive a lot of messages on Facebook, this is annoying. You don’t want to download yet another app just for the few random messages you get. Luckily, for now, there is a loophole.

In order to keep your messages in the regular Facebook app, there are a few things, you need to do. Here’s how:

  1. Navigate to the Messages tab from within the main Facebook app
  2. You should see an alert that says messages have moved
  3. Tap the “Get App” button which will take you to the Play Store
  4. Start installing Facebook Messenger, but cancel the download before it finishes

Now when you go back to the messages tab you should be able to see them all. Conversations will open inside of the main Facebook app as normal. This trick worked for us, but it’s not working for everyone. We’re not sure how long this loophole will stay open, but for now, it’s a nice little trick. Did it work for you? Do you use the Facebook Messenger app? Do you use Facebook at all?

Joe Fedewa
Ever since I flipped open my first phone I've been obsessed with the devices. I've dabbled in other platforms, but Android is where I feel most at home.

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  1. Or access the Facebook site using a mobile browser…

    1. Best thing I have done to my phone in months, It works just fine from the Chrome browser if I absolutely need to look at it…

  2. Why the hell do you care downloading this app? It’s a great, simple and light.
    Taking just a few MBs of your card.

    1. Yeah OK. I guess you like keeping your phone plugged in? That app is way too big of a battery hog for me. Also this app doesn’t install on an sdcard it uses internal memory. A non issue for me but it is for others.

      1. Then something must be wrong with your phone, because for both me and my friends this app doesn’t even get close to the top “battery drainers” on the list.
        It takes less then WhatsApp…

  3. I just uninstalled Facebook altogether. I tried out the messages app, but I thought it was pretty shady that you can’t permanently turn notifications off within the app. It only allows you to turn them off for a certain length of time. Yes, I know that I can drill down into the Android settings to turn them off, but I doubt general Facebook user knows about this feature of Android.

    I really only use Facebook for a chatroom that I have going with my buddies. When they took it out of the app, there was no reason for me to keep it on my phone. I can check the chatroom from a Chrome tab that I keep open.

  4. Worked for me. .. but I am also thinking about just using the browser

    1. The mobile web version? LoL!! No lie, I may just move to that. It works. It’s pretty not good looking, but it just works.

  5. Or just use a 3rd party app….

    1. I’ve been wanting to do this. What do you recommend? The Facebook app kills my phone just to use it. =.[

      I looked at Friendcaster and I’m seeing some no-no’s in the reviews. Meaning I won’t have much of a different experience.

      1. I’ve been using Freindcaster for quite a while. I like it better than the stock app. Sharing posts isn’t as simple as it is on the browser page. I jumped on the “pro” version of it when I bought my Nexus 10 and had the $25 Play store credit. It has its moments but overall works fine for me.

  6. I’ve recently turned off all the notifications in the Facebook app and my GNex has had an unbelievable performance boost. After they made a big deal about how they made the app better after sending their developers to Africa to learn what it’s like to have slow hardware and expensive/slow data connections I couldn’t believe how bad it still was. Tempted to just uninstall it altogether.

  7. Didn’t work for me.

  8. But do you have to do this all the time? Personally I don’t have an issue with having the extra app, but I do understand the annoyance from other peoples POV. What I dont like is how Facebook is still so buggy and immature as an app. I still get notifications from post I checked for stop getting notifications. I do it on the PC and app itself and I still get a notification when someone else I don’t even know comments on a post I commented on. I tell myself just don’t leave comments anymore or like comments or photos, but I genuinely like certain post and I forget .

    1. You have to mute the post. You can now mute posts from the app. There should be a little upside tiny triangle in the very top right. This means scroll to the top of the post too see this triangle. You click it and you should see an option “Mute Post”. That will stop the random comments once you’ve added your two cents.

  9. I have started just using the browser most of the time still works great in Chrome. But half the time in the FB app it will let me skip the “download messenger” app and interact with my messages. Not all the time but some.

  10. Why is everyone so against Messenger?

    1. i’m against it because i only keep my facebook account alive for the rare contact who still uses it. 99% of my social network interaction is done elsewhere (e.g. Google+).

      FORCING us to use the messenger app, even when we have just one message to read in 6 months time, is just poor taste.

      i don’t want more crap on my phone, i want less. i want only what i intend to use on a regular basis. for webservices that i rarely use (e.g. facebook) i ought to be able to use them like i do from a PC.

    2. Because there is no good reason why we should have to use 2 separate apps for Facebook. The wakelocks for the messenger app are absurd. Even if you don’t use it, it’s the biggest battery hog on my phone according to gsam.

    3. If your device ever gets laggy, kill the fb processes and you’ll fly after that. That’s why I got rid of it. In the 3 weeks that I had it installed my cpu monitor kept reporting the stupid app using excessive cpu, contacting the mother ship even when fb is not running. You can tell how poor the software from fb is. Even their websites is a telling sign. The is no consistency between the full site, mobile site and mobile app. It’s full of bugs that keeps reappearing. Even Zuckerberg had criticized their offering. A company with their resources shouldn’t have these issues. Aaaaand I drive pass their office daily and their employees don’t have a frigging clue on how to drive their expensive cars.

    4. It’s pointless to have two apps, it’s too large, it drains CPU, it requires permissions to basically get any information from your phone it wants…better question is why aren’t more people against Messenger.

      1. Actually the FB app took up 273mb on my phone , messenger app only is taking up 33mb . SO it is much smaller. Also I am sure most people are sick of the constant dumb updates from their “friends” . So glad I removed FB in favor of much lighter and faster messenger.

        1. Dude… Go to your app settings and wipe data for Facebook. 273MB is ridiculously large. You probably have cached data from when you first got your phone.

    5. The reason is simple. FB is FORCING people to change. That is the only real reason. People don’t like to be forced to do anything. IMO messenger is a lot better, I made the switch weeks ago.

  11. Hahahaha, thanks :D

  12. Uninstalled because of all the private data the app wants to access and/or use.

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