How to Find and Recover Deleted Facebook Messages

Facebook app on a tablet

If you’re a Facebook user, you’re likely familiar with the social network’s awesome messaging system. Facebook Messenger makes it so easy to communicate with your friends, through private or group messages. However, if you use Messenger a lot, you might find yourself wanting to clear out your inbox once in a while. What happens if you accidentally delete the wrong conversation?

Looking for a way to retrieve deleted Facebook messages? You’re in luck – we’re here to help you learn how to view deleted Facebook messages! Here’s what we’ll be covering in our tutorial:

Let’s begin with the basics – can you really recover a deleted conversation on Facebook?

Can you retrieve deleted Facebook messages?

In some ways, yes, you can recover deleted Facebook messages. If you archived a conversation to remove it from your message inbox, it can be easily found and retrieved. However, if you permanently deleted a string of messages on Facebook, they are gone for good, and can’t be recovered.

Essentially, archived messages are hidden from your inbox, while permanently deleting it erases that conversation from your inbox entirely. If you’ve fully deleted a conversation, you can try contacting the person(s) who were on the other end of the conversation to see if they still have a copy of it in their own inbox. Want to find a conversation you’ve removed from your main inbox?

We’ll show you the steps for how to find deleted messages on Facebook and recover messages next!

How to find and recover deleted messages on Facebook:

1. Open your browser and go to

Using whichever browser you prefer most, navigate to

2. Sign in to your Facebook account.

Now that you have the homepage open, enter your email address or phone number and your password to log in to your account.

Facebook account sign in screen

3. Click the Messenger icon.

Once you’ve logged in to your account, click on the Messenger button in the top menu bar to access your inbox.

Facebook Messenger icon

4. Then click See All in Messenger.

When the message window opens, you’ll only be able to see a preview of your recent conversations. To access all the rest of your conversations, click See All in Messenger at the bottom of the window.

See All in Messenger button

5. Click the gear icon in the top left corner.

Now you should be able to see all your messages in your full browser window, instead of just in the small Messenger pop-up. To access the Messenger menu, click on the gear button at the top left of your screen.

6. From the drop-down menu, select Archived Threads.

Below the button you just clicked, you should see a small menu appear. From this pop-up menu, click Archived Threads to access conversations you’ve removed from your inbox.

Archived Threads

7. Look through the list to find the conversation you want.

You will see a list of all your archived conversations on the left side of your screen. Scroll down through the list to check them out. If you’d like to read a conversation, simply click on it where it appears in the list on the left. Your conversation will open in the larger window in the middle of your screen, and you can scroll up to read older messages in the thread.

Find archived conversations

That’s all you need to do to restore deleted messages on Facebook. Now that we’ve shown you how to retrieve deleted messages, we’re going to show you how to archive a conversation on Facebook so it’s easier for you to find it again if you ever want to sometime down the road.

Tips to make it easier to retrieve messages in the future

1. Go to and access your full inbox of Facebook messages.

Access your message inbox by signing in to your account, clicking on the Messenger icon, then selecting See All in Messenger.

Facebook Messenger icon

2. Scroll through the conversation side panel on the left until you find the conversation you would like to archive.

Look through your list of active conversations on the left of your screen. You can scroll through the list to see more conversations.

Choose conversation

3. Hover over the conversation with your cursor, then click the gear button on the right.

When you find the conversation you’re looking for, move your cursor over the tile where the conversation appears in the list. You should see a small gear icon appear on the right side of the tile. When it pops up, click on the gear to access the message menu.

Gear icon

4. Finally click Archive.

When the small menu pops up beside the gear icon, select Archive to move the conversation out of your inbox and into your list of archived threads.

Archive button

If you happen to accidentally click “Delete” from the menu that appears instead of hitting “Archive,” don’t worry! A small window will pop up asking if you’re sure you want to delete the conversation. If you don’t want to delete it, you can click “Archive” to remove it from your inbox without permanently erasing it from your Facebook Messenger history.

Cancel | Archive | Delete options

That’s everything you need to know about Facebook message deletion and archiving. Now that you’ve learned how to see deleted messages on Facebook, you’re all set to start reading through your old conversations with your friends. If you’re looking for other chat websites and apps to try out, check out the messaging and chat category of our site!