How to Disable Chat Heads in Facebook Messenger (Because It’s Evil)

Chat heads are one of those things that I can only assume Facebook created to make sure they could sufficiently annoy you when not using the app to go back into it. There is never a time that while I’m using my phone I need a notification and a floating head of my friend messaging me over what I was originally trying to do. AMIRITE?


It’s pretty easy to figure out why Facebook added this feature to the messenger app–the longer you spend in the app the more time for you to be shown ads and the more revenue Facebook can make. And, of course, thanks to the psychology of notifications (long story short, most people get anxiety when they don’t check them, but that’s an article for another day), the more in our face a notification is, the greater the urge for us to need to answer it as fast as possible.

Now, if you’re as turned off by this feature (which is, of course, on by default), there is hope. Here’s how to turn off Chat Heads in Facebook.

  1. Open the Facebook Messenger app.Facebook Messenger
  2. Tap on your face at the top right to get to settings.Messenger Settings
  3. Scroll down and turn off Chat Head.Disable Chat Heads

Now, you’ll just get normal notifications like every other messaging app on the planet. Hope that helped some other people who might have been frustrated. Let me know in the comments below or reach out to me on social.

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59 thoughts on “How to Disable Chat Heads in Facebook Messenger (Because It’s Evil)”

  1. Thank you! Was driving me nuts – latest upgrade turned all that crap on. I hate when they change things that you have previously set.

  2. For some reason, I was just blessed with these this evening. Conversations and “stories” from weeks ago were popping up and I could NOT get rid of them despite bailing out of every app and turning everything I could find to “off.”

    Finally got the chat heads to disappear by swiping all of the heads down and off my Galaxy S9+ but had to come web surfing to find out how to make them never come back. How utterly creepy!

  3. Christopher Fowler

    Thanks! Hate crap like this – thanks helping improve the user experience buy turning crap off!

  4. Oh thank you! I got rid of them a few years ago but I had forgotten how and today I had to do a factory reset on my phone which lied to me and didn’t really back up my apps. I found this and it was so easy!!! The best thiing that happened today!!!

  5. fantastic. This is THE most annoying app feature since I switched to Android from iPhone last week. Expecially because you end up accidentally hitting it when you’re in another app. Go Facebook, make all your user-base hate you!! I was ready to throw my new shiny OLED-screened XZ3 phone against the wall.

  6. Someone explain to me how Chat Heads are a bad thing, it’s the major reason i use Messenger over everything else – if Discord or WhatsApp had these, Messenger would be my last choice of those

  7. Thank you so much I was about to uninstall the whole app. I now remember doing this 2 times before when those bobbleheads started popping up on my screen. I don’t know why messenger does that it gives you the feeling that some virus took over your device. They’re not very clever

  8. Thanks a LOT!
    I have been searching in settings-notification ……
    Disabled notification to get rid of shit………yet it was on…..????????

  9. Thank you. I hate any app that insists on being a pop-up and covering a portion of another app… and that is what these god dam “chat heads” are. Perfectly happy with them being banished to the notification drawer.

  10. Mike Critchley

    I freaking hate those things. And the thing that is annoying with facebook (besides, like, everything) is that when they push an update, they often force reset your preferences. Because…assholes. Thanks for the help turning that crap off.

    1. Omg. The updates turning this crap back on like they think we’ll just all of a sudden be okay with it? Idiots ?

      Glad I could a little! Thanks for leaving your thoughts about it!

  11. I did as you said re the chat heads on messenger to deactivate it. The slide is to the left indicating it is off, however it is still active and messages pop up on my top screen bar all the time. How can I fix this please?

    1. The top screen bar as in your notifications? That isn’t chat heads that’s just how you receive all your notifications. If you want to turn that off entirely, go to Settings > Apps and tap on Facebook and turn off Notifications, then do the same for the Messenger app. Or you can uninstall them as well.

  12. Thank you, my screen is cracked and sometimes it was impossible to get rid of the chat head thing, I didn’t know where the option to turn it off was. Btw, the changed the picture from the right side to the left now.

  13. I have had mine turned off for months and I still get Chat heads, not only do I get one chat head, but I GET TWO! And so I get two really loud PINGS when it happens. Any ideas how to fix this?

    1. Make sure you followed the steps above to turn it off. Sounds like it might have been turned back on by an update or something. Post the screen shot here if the chat head option turned off on your phone and the chat heads still coming up if it’s still happening.

          1. Interesting. Do you have multiple Facebook accounts on the phone?

            If so, make sure that you are viewing each account when you go to settings to turn off chat heads individually for each one.

            If not, I’d maybe suggest just going to Settings > Notifications > find facebook and in there you can manually turn off notifications for Facebook based on what they are (or kill them entirely).

            Also, try uninstalling and reinstalling Facebook as well.

          2. I only have the one facebook account, but I do manage 3 pages, but these are all on my private facebook account. I have shutdown ALL notifications, I never get facebook notifications, never have as I shut them down years ago, but with everything shut down, I still get this chathead pop up….I HATE it!

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