Block "Seen" messages on Facebook

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 13, 2014
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Facebook, Google Chrome extensions

Whenever you receive a message on Facebook and read it, a notification appears in the sender's chat box that you have seen the message. It states "seen" followed by the time that the message was displayed to you on the Facebook website or Facebook application.

While that may be useful at times, some users may prefer to block seen notifications on Facebook for messages. Maybe they don't want to feel pressure to answer right away, don't have time to answer or have other reasons for not wanting the sender of the message to know that they read it already.

Facesnoop is a new browser extension for Google Chrome that blocks "seen" notifications on Facebook. While you can still read all messages like before that y0u receive, senders don't receive a read notification anymore when you do so.

The extension blocks the read communication on Facebook basically to achieve that goal. It is interesting to note that this prevents Facebook and the sender from knowing that you have read the message.

The Google Chrome extension Facesnoop works out of the box. Just install it and it is enabled right away when you are on Facebook.

Note that this only affects Facebook in Chrome with the extension installed. If you access Facebook in another way, for instance on your mobile, read receipts are still sent.

A similar extension that is also available for Google Chrome is Facebook Chat Privacy. It blocks any "seen" and "is typing" status messages.

A cross-browser extension is Social Reviver. It is available for Firefox, Opera and Chrome and can be used to customize Facebook. One of the features that it offers is to block read receipts on the site. It may be overkill just for that but if you are a regular on Facebook, you may find some of its features quite useful as well. The extension is updated regularly and supports features such as switching to a classic layout, disabling the chat sidebar or to use friend lists in chat.

Mobile Devices

If you are using Facebook on a mobile device, you may find the following apps useful.

Privy Chat for Facebook is an Android application that provides you with options to read Facebook messages without them being marked as read to prevent that the sender sees the "seen" status.

Unread is a comparable application for Apple's iOS. It offers the same functionality so that you can read messages without revealing to the sender that you have read them.

Manual way

If you are using an adblocker or extension that supports custom filters, you can block the url which is used by the social network for read receipts and thus the seen message status.

Facebook itself offers no option to disable read receipts on the site.

Closing Words

It is quite difficult to test if the extensions are working as you need two accounts for that. Since Facebook may change the way it detects and submits that a message has been read, it is recommended to run tests right after installation at the very least to make sure that the selected solution works as advertised.

Now You: Read Receipts: useful or not?

Article Name
Block "Seen" messages on Facebook
The article discusses several options to block read receipts on Facebook so that senders don't see "seen" whenever you read a message.

Tutorials & Tips

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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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