How to Control Who Messages You on Facebook and Instagram
New settings make it easy to limit how certain people contact you
Messaging is a core part of social media, whether you’re chatting with Facebook friends or responding to comments on your latest Instagram story. Facebook Messenger is one of the main ways some friends keep in touch.
But the Message button on your profile is also an easy way for strangers to contact you. If you don’t like it that, some new privacy settings make it easy to control who messages you on Facebook and Instagram, and how those messages show up.
First, here’s a little background. (Or jump straight to the instructions, if you prefer.)
People you’re friends with on Facebook or people you follow on Instagram can get in touch anytime. When they do, their messages show up in your chats list and you’ll get a notification, unless you’ve changed your settings. The other person can see whether or not you’ve opened their messages.
How to Find the Settings
The settings show up in different places depending on which app you’re using.
On Facebook: Open the chat window in the top right corner > Click the three-dot menu icon near the top > Message delivery settings > Under “How You Get Message Requests,” select the various potential connections and choose how you want to be contacted.
(Those instructions are for the Facebook website. The steps are similar in the app.)
On the Facebook Messenger App: Tap your profile photo in the top left > Privacy > Message Delivery > Choose how you want to be contacted.
On Instagram: Go to your profile by tapping the icon in the bottom right > Tap the menu icon with three stacked lines in the top right > Hit the settings button at the bottom > Privacy > Messages > Choose how you want to be contacted.
How to Block, Mute, or 'Ignore' Messages
Of course, you might also want to stop hearing from people you are connected with on Facebook or Instagram. It’s easy to put a lid on messages you’re tired of by muting notifications for a certain chat. You can also ignore or block someone.
People you mute will still be able to send you messages; you just won’t get notifications. Choose ignore, and their messages will get sent to a spam folder. If you block someone, they won’t be able to contact you at all. You can choose to block just their messages, or you can block their entire account, which cuts off all contact and unfriends them.
On Instagram the options are different. You can block someone’s account or “restrict” them, which hides their comments on your posts from other users and sends their messages to your requests folder.
No matter which method you choose, the other person won’t be notified.
On Facebook: Open a chat with the person > Click their name in the top left > Choose “Mute conversation,” “Ignore messages,” or “Block.”
(Those instructions are for a web browser. You can also block someone by going to their page in the app.)
On Facebook Messenger: Open a chat with the person > Click the “i” icon in the top right > Choose “Mute,” “Ignore Messages,” or “Block.”
On Instagram: Navigate to the person’s profile > Click the three-dot icon in the top right > Choose “Restrict” or “Block.”