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How to Tell if Your Facebook Messages Have Been Read

by on March 23, 2022
in Facebook, Computers and Software, Software & Games, Phones and Mobile, Mobile Apps, Tips & How-Tos :: 60 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.

Woman holding iPhone showing a conversation on the Facebook Messenger app

Read receipts on and

The best way to tell whether a message has been read is to log onto Facebook with a web browser (or access the Facebook Messenger website by going to instead of 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. 

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 gray 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 gray checkmark, which means the message has been sent, but not yet delivered.

If you mouse over the miniature version of their profile picture, a popup will show "Seen by [Name of person]" along with the date and time it was seen. The website version of Messenger is the only way to see the time and date the message was read.

Facebook Messages read notification showing it was seen by Josh Kirschner at 6:11PM.

Read receipts on the Facebook Messenger app

Messenger uses small, circular icons that show up in the lower right the message window. 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

With the app, you can't see the time and date stamp. Tapping the icon or message will just reveal the status as "Seen."

Facebook Messenger app showing a message was Seen.

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

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. 

Updated on 3/23/2022 with new instructions for revealing read receipts.

[Image credit: Facebook Messenger app on iPhone via Techlicious/Smartmockups, screenshots via Techlicious and Facebook]

Elizabeth Harper is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience covering consumer technology and entertainment. In addition to writing for Techlicious, she's Editorial Director of Blizzard Watch and is published on sites all over the web including Time, CBS, Engadget, The Daily Dot and DealNews.

Discussion loading


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

I would like to go on Facebook


There is nothing good about

From Jeremey Hustman on March 03, 2021 :: 5:26 pm

There is nothing good about Facebook.  It’s a liberal shithole.  They remove everything they don’t agree with, which is most of it.  Smart people don’t use Facebook any more.


Nothing good about insurrection

From Rome on July 07, 2021 :: 9:14 pm

What do dumb people that still listen to old petulant baby wannabe dictators use?



From Hajiazula on November 11, 2021 :: 1:14 pm

“wannabe dictators” says the man who we are left to presume thinks that biden, an arms dealing peado who has been owned by china, a literal fascist dictatorship since the early 2000’s is a good “leader”?

The same man who brands other people racist, yet bidens name and money alone pushed a bill in 1994 that allowed america to arrest and imprison minorities en masse without probable cause.

You can like who you want, you can agree with whatever policies you want, but you cannot be a complete hypocrite about it. Either you have literally zero knowledge about the things you run your mouth over or you know the facts and choose to ignore them to inflate your own ego

I completely agree with what

From Janis on April 17, 2022 :: 11:59 am

I completely agree with what you wrote. I commented on a dear friends post and Facebook put me into Facebook prison for 3 days. She had written that her illness was getting worse and that a cloud was waiting for her. I replied back “you’re not going anywhere right now so you better not say that. I’ll kick your butt if you do lolol” exactly like that. I went to FB prison for bullying. OMG really? Yep. I reported so many accounts that had very sexual content as their profile pics and FB said that “it didn’t go against their standards”. The day this happened I broke up with Facebook for forever! I HATE FACEBOOK!!


Software security

From Paul bloomfield on June 30, 2022 :: 12:50 pm

I think you will find that software security picks up certain words, you’ll be able to tell how the wordings, English grammar with the reply, if you find it’s not common English, in a way like layman’s terms, you have a case to answer


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?


Sent vs delivered

From Brenda on March 04, 2020 :: 2:00 pm

What is difference between “sent” and “delivered”. I sent a message to a non-friend and it still shows “sent”


When a message is "sent,"

From Suzanne Kantra on March 04, 2020 :: 2:49 pm

When a message is “sent,” that means the Facebook servers received your message. When a message is “delivered,” it means that the person’s account has retrieved the message, but it’s not read. If the person isn’t logged into Facebook, the message won’t show as “delivered” until they login.

After blocking

From Jen on January 01, 2021 :: 4:35 pm

If I never read their last message before I blocked them then accidentally opened it when checking to see if the block was fully successful, or even choose to read it at a later time, will they be able to tell if I read their message?


Time changed from before

From Narayan bhakt on March 14, 2021 :: 12:39 pm

I messaged a girl and it was immediately seen, it was like seen 8th march 10:52. After 6 days, I again opened that chat and it was 11:22 without date. I guess she visited that chat again. I know that she opened once again. Don’t know your case!


Fb circle guy

From Yee on August 17, 2020 :: 12:47 pm

No, it only pops up once. You can read the message as many times as you want. But if you are going to stay in the chat to look at stuff, it might be wise to turn off activity (the part where it shows your active) because if the person comes into the chat (on the messenger app I think) they can see that you’re in there because the video call icon at the top will pulse.


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!


Message deleted or not

From Linda on March 07, 2020 :: 1:29 am

I recently found that with the continuing change you can delete a message or photo from view if it’s done within the first few minutes of posting but after a bit of time it’s there until they delete it at their end. When Messenger first started you could not delete anything. Good luck hope this helped


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…???


Hoping your feeling more comfort

From Renee Wiggins on August 03, 2020 :: 7:28 am

Hi Terri, so sorry for the fear you’ve been experiencing. Words of comfort. God knows just where you are he sees your fears. Sweetheart find a good loving church bible teaching church. Talk with a minister about your concerns and if you feel confident ask them to pray for you? Oh right now I pray your protection over Terri mentally, physically let them he/she know you care and love them. Lord bind that spirit of fear,confusions,loneliness,dismay. I bind those spirits that have incapsilated this lovely person and cast them onto the pit never to come to them again. Put your loving arms around them and show them which way to turn help them find comfort in you I pray thank you Lord it is done!!! Amen!!!


RE: Terri, who is living in fear.

From Brenda Oldham on September 01, 2020 :: 9:08 am

How refreshing to see someone not judge or make fun of someone who is in need.  Thank you for praying for her as you not only helped someone in need, but you also uplifted me also. It made me smile and I felt my heart do that little thing it does when the subject of the Lord comes up.  In the world today, we need more people like you.  God bless you Renee Wiggins.  <3


Are u alive??

From Daniel on July 06, 2021 :: 3:49 am

Are you okay???? Message back please



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 Leigh Ann Waldroop on January 02, 2020 :: 12:35 pm

I don’t see



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?


Group chat

From Ryan Wiggs on November 27, 2019 :: 7:17 am

In a messenger group chat, can it happen that I only see read messages that I write, or from (my facebook) friends read too?
Here it goes, I post a message in a group chat, and after some time I see many of the group members have read it, which includes my friends and non-friends.
But if other people are posting messages after, I only see it’s being read by (my facebook) friends, I don’t see any of (my facebook) non-friends reading it.


Viewed but profile pic not showing up

From DR on January 02, 2020 :: 12:14 pm

I sent a message, it was read (has a date/time stamp) but the receiver’s profile pic doesn’t show up. It has with all the other messages sent. What could cause that? Have they blocked/snoozed/de-friended me?


They don’t know

From Leigh Ann Waldroop on January 02, 2020 :: 12:36 pm

Well obviously the ppl that think they know Facebook for a fact have actually no clue about it


Yeah, they do.

From Josh Kirschner on January 02, 2020 :: 3:22 pm

The article above provides a pretty clear overview of how to tell the read status of your Facebook messages. I just checked again and it’s still up to date. Did you have a specific question that you wanted answered that wasn’t addressed?


Is "read" retroactive

From Joanne on January 16, 2020 :: 12:14 am

If I check the box on a Mac Messenger that I want to see whether messages are READ. Will this be retroactive for old messages? That is, can I tell whether old messages were read.


Messenger chat

From Jackie on January 21, 2020 :: 10:58 pm

Two days ago messenger chat app was working fine.  Now I send a message and it just says sent.  Never says delivered or read anymore. What’s the problem?


Also I know it’s been

From Jackie on January 21, 2020 :: 11:00 pm

Also I know it’s been read as the person has told me so


Clear the cache of the

From Molecular on February 05, 2020 :: 12:15 am

Clear the cache of the app. Also, clear your phone’s cache.


Audible Sound

From Molecular on February 05, 2020 :: 12:02 am

Not sure if anyone is aware of this, but, FBM actually makes a “click” sound when someone has read your message while you’re not using the app. This is even when your phone is locked (screen blank) or when you’re not in the app and on the home screen of your phone. It’s a subtle sound but you’ll be able to hear it very clearly when it’s quiet. It never fails, when I hear that “click” sound, I either get a reply right after that or I open the app and see someone has indeed read my message and are in the process of typing a reply. Check it out. smile


what if the smile icon

From zullay on March 05, 2020 :: 12:29 am

what if the smile icon appears quickly to the left of your text but then disappears? does that mean it was seen or just delivered? Thank you.


Facebook Messenger hack

From Kidochukwu Ezieshi on March 12, 2020 :: 12:34 pm


Messenger problem

From Jhie on April 11, 2020 :: 10:45 pm

I was sending messages to my bf just tonight and he never open it. And when i called him after the long rang of his messanger, my messages appears as read.. so i was really mad that hes only reading it.. then i message him again and call him again but then same thing happened. Then i repeat it a lot of times until not at almost 6am. But i also put interval like 30 minute before i message again then ring again but same things happen. And the last i tried was i just rang once his messenger then still my message appears as read. Now im confused if he is really reading it( because supposed he is sleepin already at 6 am) or its a messenger problems?


I had send a photo

From Clueless on May 07, 2020 :: 6:41 am

I had send a photo to a friend on messenger weeks ago he finally saw it .why didn’t it show the stamp .I’m just curious when did he see the photo


Secret conversations Facebook messenger

From Ashley on May 27, 2020 :: 12:11 am

Question…if I had turned my boyfriends secret conversations off lets say 6months ago and now I noticed it was back on and it said by the encryption that last seen date was recently like may 16th 2020 recent does that mean he has been currently active on it? Or could that be from the last time he had one which was a few years ago and when an update happened it was stating that date of when the update occurred


Mini profile pics not showing up

From Kim Bergman on July 05, 2020 :: 3:18 pm

I run a group that has around 70 members. Up until yesterday, the screen looked normal, ad in it would show people’s profile pic as they had read it etc. 
Yesterday I added someone and have done something wrong, as now the chat group will only show “seen by Grace, Bill,  Mandy and 9 others”, with no profile pics on the right hand side, as they used to be.

It’s very irritating, as I am running this group.
Are you able to tell me what I might be able to do to change it back to the way it was?

All of my other groups are normal, it is only this one


Message to a non Facebook friend

From Jane on July 07, 2020 :: 6:34 pm

I sent a message to someone I admire. He isn’t my Facebook friend, but we have friends in common. The message has a blue circle and a blue tick (not a filled in circle.) I can see from reading the other comments on this that that means that the message has been sent. I fear that it will have gone into the other box where soam etc goes and he won’t see it. Cos I know that that has happened to me before. How will I know if he ever reads it? Is there a way I can make sure it goes to his ‘chats?’


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