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How to Tell if Your Facebook Messages Have Been Read

by on June 20, 2018
in Facebook, Computers and Software, Software & Games, Phones and Mobile, Mobile Apps, Tips & How-Tos :: 19 comments

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Read receipts aren't everyone's favorite thing — after all, they can let friends know we've read a message when we would rather pretend we hadn't — but they're handy for keeping up with online conversations. And Facebook Messenger has read receipts, if you know where to look.

The appearance of the read receipt depends on how you're accessing Messenger. This can make telling if someone has actually read your message a bit confusing. The easiest way to tell whether a message has been read is to log onto Facebook with a web browser. Clicking on the Messenger icon reveals a list of the people you've communicated with. Selecting a person pop-ups a small window over your Facebook timeline. Under the last, the message will say "Seen " with a time and date, or, for group conversations, "Seen by " if they've been read. Nothing will appear if the latest message hasn't been read. It's as simple can be.

Facebook Messages read notification

However, if you're reading from the mobile app on your smartphone or accessing Facebook Messenger the website (by going to instead of, it's a little less obvious. Instead of a text "seen" message, Messenger uses small, circular icons that show up in the lower right the message window. They're more subtle than a straightforward text, and even if you see them, you may not know what they mean.

If a friend has read your message, you'll see a miniature version of their profile picture. If they haven't, you'll see a blue icon with a white checkmark indicating the message has been delivered, but not yet read. You may also see a white circle, which means the message is sending, or a white circle with a blue checkmark, which means the message has been sent, but not yet delivered.

Facebook Messenger read icons

Timestamps do exist where these icons are used, but to reveal the time and date stamp you need to select the text if you're using the mobile app (see below).

Facebook Messenger app read message

For the browser-based version of Messenger, hover over the text (see below). 

You won't always be able to see if a message has been read

But a message being unread doesn't necessarily mean the recipient hasn't read it. Message notifications — which your friend may have pop up on their desktop or smartphone — let friends read your messages without read receipts. You'll only get a read receipt when your friend opens Messenger to read your message or views Messenger messages through Facebook. 

[Image credit: Facebook Messenger app via BigStockPhoto, Facebook]

Discussion loading



From jean penny on January 20, 2019 :: 4:12 pm

I would like to go on Facebook




From Sharon galo on February 08, 2019 :: 7:40 am

Will a circular prompt keep appearing if I want to read the message again? I don’t want the sender to know I’m reading it again



The sender won't know if

From Suzanne Kantra on February 08, 2019 :: 10:18 am

The sender won’t know if you’ve read the message more than once.

The icon changes on the mobile app once the message is read for the first time and the message is time stamped when it’s first read but not subsequent reads.




From Sharon galo on February 08, 2019 :: 2:42 pm

Thank you for your reply. My messenger messages come via email, and it prompts the senders profile pic every time I open the same message. Do you know if they get the same prompt on their end every time?



Hiding messenger

From Misty on February 27, 2019 :: 5:21 pm

Hello I know how to tell if my messages have need read, however this is different. Under his last message it has his profile pic as read NOT mine (which it should be). Me reply still hasn’t been checked.  Has he turned off messenger since my reply and that’s why it shows his pic instead of mine?



Changed from seen to sent

From Pj on February 28, 2019 :: 2:46 am

In a particular conversation I saw the seen icon on the messages and now those same messages changed from seen to sent. What does that mean?



Messenger: time message was read

From Rob on March 20, 2019 :: 10:52 pm

I sent someone a message, and Messenger (desktop) displayed the exact time they read it. We have since exchanged more messages, and the exact time the first message was read is no longer visible, and I have forgotten whene it was. It is important that I know the exact time - is there a way I can recover that informaton?



Notified of message

From Ryan on March 31, 2019 :: 9:01 pm

Just wondering, if the message has been delivered but not read, will they continue to get notified of the message? I know that when I get a message and don’t read it, it will continue to appear in bold until I click on it.



FB msg issue

From Stephanie on May 26, 2019 :: 12:56 am

Hi, so if someone doesn’t have the messenger app downloaded and are not using it, but someone sends that person a message, how is the sender showing a read receipt that the message has been read?



Messenger chat group

From Gigi on June 07, 2019 :: 7:44 am

I was on FB the other day and unknowingly shared a video to a chat group I was added to in messenger about a year ago. I was never active in the group. I removed myself from the chat when added. I thought I was sending the vid to myself as my pic and name appeared the same.  When I realized it was the group I had sent it to I deleted the conversation immediately in a panic. Did they receive it? Please help!



Messages appears to be read

From Jesper Fjord on June 20, 2019 :: 7:55 am


I have had the experience that messages have been sent to me and they appeared to be read by me on the senders phone, but I know for a fact that I didn’t read them since I was sleeping at the time. How can that be?




I can't recreate this

From Josh Kirschner on June 20, 2019 :: 4:24 pm

I tried a few things to see if I could recreate this, with no success. Are you sure the other person is accurately representing their message as having been read by you?

One possibility I thought of is that if you have an open Messenger tab on your computer, maybe it would register messages that come into that tab as having been read. It didn’t do that when I tested it, but perhaps over a longer period or if some other sequence of events takes place, Facebook registers the message in that tab as read.



I really scared...

From Terri on June 30, 2019 :: 3:01 am

Its not just facebook, I see tiny glints of light often in my home, im afraid if the see me find it they would just remove the source before I can catch them and prove anything…......the light fixtures in each of my rooms have no covers, the units are older than my grandma, there are multiple holes and some wires that seem incorrect…......there was a family of three above me (normal toilet/bedroom/kitchen/and normal general behaviour), they have moved two units along now, they park in the same place, they have keys and still go into the unit above me, there is a tv up there but is has the sound of emptiness…......a few weeks ago they were up there drilling and cutting something, four nights, all night, no daytime activities…!

Ive been stalked about 8 time, all by different people in different times through life…......they have all scared me and for years now im in constant hightened state of “fight or flight”...!

Im tied of running,..
Im so far away from my family…
I cant trust anyone…
The only real friends I have are via phone calls…
The social media app I was on, I have deleted as they are some kind of group with full intentions to carry out their dark fantasies, they all know each other it seems…
And many questions I had were answered only two weeks ago, i dont look right, and I dont feel right…
That bubble that is meant to keet us in a safer place was ripped away and I feel naked and watch in all room this unit has, so I look at the walls a lot and pretend im deaf, I do have OCD so that painful in itself, but that leaves the doirs open to become paranoid, and yhis is the most pain ive ever felt… feels different this time, so much harder to prove, and I have a zero support network…!

So getting back to facebook, I keep it open exclusively for the messanger app, so its always just open, bit I looked at my activity logs not long ago and there are multiple and crazy looking IP address’s…

I dont know what to do…......
And im not ready to leave this world just yet…......
But it just keeps happening…!

There is so more I could tell u, but im sure this will come across crazy enough for now…!!!

Do u have any thoughts on this…?

are there any words of peace I can take for comfort…?

Kindest regards

I am Terri…
(Im dazzled to know that the meaning of my name is “true freedom”)

What can freedom really mean when its forever being violated…???




From Leigh Ann on August 16, 2019 :: 8:26 pm

No you are wrong because I have proof of a way that some can read your message and it show you that it hasn’t even been delivered.


I sending messenger's to my

From Candelaria Bento on September 07, 2019 :: 2:35 am

I sending messenger’s to my friend but no see he been reading no respond to me for long time



Sent but not delivered

From Daniel on September 24, 2019 :: 1:33 am

I get an empty circle with a check (meaning it has been sent), but NOT a filled-in circle, meaning that it wasn’t delivered. It’s been a couple of days already since it was sent. Why do you think wasn’t it delivered?
And is there anything I can do about it?

Thank you




From Mike on November 02, 2019 :: 11:41 am

Thanks, Elizabeth. A clear and concise answer.



From Chris Mistak on November 07, 2019 :: 7:53 am

What does it mean if a message appears as seen (all day) then appears as sent (the next day)


What does it mean if

From Coral Ross on November 18, 2019 :: 1:53 am

What does it mean if you send a message on fb messenger to a non friend and it doesn’t show as sent or delivered or seen just the time you sent it and now the message icon for that person is greyed out so I can’t send would they have read it then blocked me?


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