How to remove or disable the Facebook Desktop plugin

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 1, 2012
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Facebook, Firefox, Opera

If you have installed Facebook's Messenger program for the desktop recently you may have noticed that your web browser is now listing a Facebook Desktop plugin under plugins. After installation I have found the plugin listed in Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and the Opera web browser. Only Microsoft's Internet Explorer did not list the plugin as installed. If you are using Thunderbird as your email client, you will notice that it too picked up the plugin.

When you look at the plugin listing, you will notice that it contains no information about the purpose of the plugin, only the name, description and version are listed. Google Chrome and Opera furthermore list the location of the plugin on the hard drive.

  • Name: Facebook Desktop
  • Description: Facebook Desktop Plugin
  • Version:
  • Location: C:\Users\Martin\AppData\Local\Facebook\Messenger\2.1.4590.0\npFbDesktopPlugin.dll

So what is the plugin used for? I tried to find an answer on the Internet but I did not find a single explanation detailing the purpose of the plugin. Even more puzzling: if you disable or remove the Facebook Desktop plugin, you won't notice any ill-effects in the Messenger application itself which continues to work just like before.

facebook desktop plugin firefox

Since it is not clear what the Facebook Desktop plugin does, nor apparent that it limits the functionality of Facebook Messenger in any way, it is recommended to disable or remove the plugin from your programs for the time being.

Remove Facebook Desktop

To remove the plugin locate its path on your system first. You can either check it in one of the browsers installed on your system, or simply replace the username under location above to follow that path. Keep in mind that the path may be different depending on the operating system used. The above example is valid for Windows 7.

If you want to be on the safe side, move the npFbDesktopPlugin.dll file into a different directory on your PC, or backup the complete Facebook Messenger folder. You can however re-install the application at any time to install the plugin again.

Disable the Facebook Desktop plugin

Disabling blocks the plugin from being loaded on browser start. The advantage here is that you can enable it again at a later point in time if the need arises.

Firefox: Type about:addons in the browser's address bar and hit enter. Switch to plugins, locate Facebook Desktop, and click on disable. Firefox users can furthermore take a look at the following helpful articles (may also work in Thunderbird and other programs based on the same core)

Google Chrome: Type chrome:\\plugins in the browser's address bar and hit enter. Locate the Facebook plugin and click on the disable link next to it to turn it off.

Opera: Type opera:plugins, scroll down until you find the Facebook Desktop entry there, and click on the disable link.

Thunderbird: Open the email program and click on Tools > Add-ons. Switch to plugins and click on the disable button next to Facebook Desktop to disable the plugin.

Closing Words

I'm puzzled why browser developers like Mozilla or Google do not implement a feature that blocks plugin from being run by the browser until the user actively accepts it first. And Facebook should really put up a page on its website and a better description that is displayed in the browser so that users know what it does. (via Techdows)


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  1. The Dark Lady said on July 9, 2023 at 11:19 am

    Martin, I would appreciate that you do not censor this post, as it’s informative writing.

    Onur, there is a misleading statement “[…] GIFs are animated images …”. No, obviously you don’t seem to have take much notice of what you were told back in March regarding; Graphics Interchange Format (GIF).

    For example, (if you had read my replies within that thread, you might have learnt something useful). I even mentioned, “GIF intrinsically supports animated images (GIF89a)”.

    You linked to said article, [Related: …] within this article, but have somehow failed to take onboard what support you were given by several more knowledgeable people.

    If you used AI to help write this article, it has failed miserably.

  2. KeZa said on August 17, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    AI is stupid, and it will not get any better if we really know how this all works. Prove me wrong..

  3. Database failure said on August 18, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    Martin, [#comment-4569908] is only meant to be in: []. Whereas it appears duplicated in several recent random low-quality non relevant articles.

    Obviously it [#comment-4569908] was posted: 9 July 2023. Long before this thread even existed… your database is falling over. Those comments are supposed to have unique ID values. It shouldn’t be possible to duplicate the post ID, if the database had referential integrity.

  4. Howard Pearce said on August 25, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Don’t tell me!

    Ghacks wants the state to step in for STATE-MANDATED associations to save jobs!!!

    Bring in the dictatorship!!!

    And screw Rreedom of Association – too radical for Ghacks maybe

  5. Howard Allan Pearce said on September 7, 2023 at 9:13 am

    GateKeeper ?

    That’s called “appointing” businesses to do the state’s dirty work!!!!!

    But the article says itself that those appointed were not happy – implying they had not choice!!!!!!

  6. owl said on September 7, 2023 at 9:50 am

    @The Dark Lady,
    @Database failure,
    @Howard Pearce,
    @Howard Allan Pearce,

    Note: I replaced the quoted URI scheme: https:// with “>>” and posted.

    The current is owned by “Softonic International S.A.” (sold by Martin in October 2019), and due to the fate of M&A, has changed in quality.
    Many Authors of bloggers and advertisers certified by Softonic have joined the site, and the site is full of articles aimed at advertising and clickbait.
    As it stands, except for articles by Martin Brinkmann, Mike Turcotte, and Ashwin, they are low quality, unhelpful, and even vicious. It is better not to read those articles.
    How to display only articles by a specific author:
    Added line to My filters in uBlock Origin:,.home-posts,.home-category-post:not(:has-text(/Martin Brinkmann|Mike Turcotte|Ashwin/))

    By the way, if you use an RSS reader, you can track exactly where your comments are (I’m an iPad user, so I use “Feedly Classic”, but for Windows I prefer the desktop app “RSS Guard”).
    RSS Guard: Feed reader which supports RSS/ATOM/JSON and many web-based feed services.

  7. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 6:41 pm

    We all live in digital surveillance glass houses under scrutiny of evil people because of people like Musk. It’s only fair that he takes his turn.

  8. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:31 pm

    “Operating systems will be required to let the user choose the browser, virtual assistant and search engine of their choice. Microsoft cannot force users to use Bing or Edge. Apple will have to open up its iOS operating system to allow third-party app stores, aka allow sideloading of apps. Google, on the other hand, will need to provide users with the ability to uninstall preloaded apps (bloatware) from Android devices. Online services will need to allow users to unsubscribe from their platform easily. Gatekeepers need to provide interoperability with third-parties that offer similar services.”

    Wonderful ! Let’s hope they’ll comply with that law more than they are doing with the GDPR.

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