How to hide the Favorites and Active Now sections in Facebook Messenger app

By , Jul 22, 2016


I have a big gripe with the Facebook Messenger app ever since Facebook decided to launch a major UI change without letting me know in the change log first. And now, I’m stuck with an annoyance right smack in the middle of my conversation list when I open the app.

Fortunately, there is a way to hide these annoying ‘Favorites’ and ‘Active Now’ sections, even if temporarily, and we’ll show you how in this tutorial.

An annoyance that seems forced…

Ever since a couple of updates ago, the Facebook Messenger app has been showing sections for your Favorite contacts and those that are Active Now right in the middle of the conversation list. It makes it annoying and more cumbersome to use the Messenger app as a whole, because you have to scroll down to see the rest of your conversation history.

And of course, do you think Facebook mentioned this in one of their change logs? No! Of course not! Facebook loves shoving unwanted updates and features down your throat, and that’s probably precisely the reason they never mention these changes in the change log despite promising to “highlight new features as they become available.”

So, how do you hide those annoying sections? Well, I can tell you it won’t be permanent. It’ll last a few days, maybe up to a week, before you have to do it again, but it certainly is possible to hide them.

Hiding the Favorites section

To hide the Favorites section from the Facebook Messenger app’s conversation list view, follow these steps:

1) Launch the Facebook Messenger app on your iPhone, and make sure you’re in the Home tab.

2) Tap and hold on any person’s profile image inside of the section, then release, and you’ll see an Action Menu appear. Tap on the Hide All button.

Hide All Favorites in Facebook Messenger

3) In the next pop-up you see, Facebook even warns you that the change will only be temporary, so just tap on the Hide button.

Now the Favorites section will be hidden from the Facebook Messenger app, but it will return in a few days. You might just have to keep going this over and over. I know… it’s stupid.

Hiding the Active Now section

Hiding the Active Now section is a little different in execution, but still possible. Here are the steps:

1) Launch the Facebook Messenger app on your iOS device and make sure you’re in the Home tab.

2) Swipe to the left on any person in the Active Now section until a gray Hide All button appears.

Hide Active Now Section in Facebook Messenger App

3) Tap on the Hide button that appears in the pop-up prompt that tells you the change will be temporary.

And now you’re good… at least for a few days until it returns. Just like the Favorites section, you can count on having to do this again in the future. Nevertheless, at least you can see your whole conversation list without interruptions now.

Wrapping up

I don’t know if it’s just me or what, but I really hate this new feature Facebook implemented in a recent Messenger update, and I wish there was a permanent way to disable these sections from appearing in the Facebook Messenger app.

If you had the same gripe, I hope you found this short guide helpful. Pay no attention to all the blurs I had to make in the screenshots, I just like to respect the privacy of my Facebook friends.

Also read:

Do you love or hate this feature? Share in the comments!

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  • NolesFan

    Thank you for the tips!

  • Fede777

    My home is different, I only have the ongoing conversations.

    • Agneev Mukherjee

      Same here, old UI

    • CAIO MARIZ®

      The same, i want the new one

  • Saudor

    I can’t remember the last time I updated. I’ll stay on that lol

  • David Ruiz

    man I love you <3

  • Jake Whitaker

    Thanks for this, iDB.

  • sorrento

    Thks… Really helpful !
    And BTW, since the FB update like 2 days ago: version 60.0 I believe, my FB app crashes every time I need to open it so the only way now to open it is through Safari 🙁
    Any recommendation ?
    Thks guys.

  • Just Wondrin

    I hate this. All I want to see are recent conversations. I had to turn off chat on FB except for close friends and because suddenly I was getting unwanted calls from strangers (“friends” on FB doesn’t mean I want them calling me), and I don’t want strangers asking to “message” me.
    Thanks for the tips. I used this on Android, it’s a little different. Unfortunately, when I turned on the “Hide” option, it said that although I had turned the favorites banner off, that it would turn back on if new notifications came in. What a crock.
    I’m at the point of uninstalling Messenger altogether.

  • Elena

    Yes, it’s really helpful. I have one more question. My “favorites” actually are not my favorites. The first 5 are, but the rest? With some of these people I didn’t chat three years ago.. So how’s that possible?

  • Bence Kundla

    Facebook should give an options menu where we can set these things off forever. Cause its ****in’ annoying !!

  • Lauris Olups

    Thank you, works on Android as well!

  • dreambit

    I HATE both the active now/favourites bars and the change they made to messenger emojis. The emojis just arent the same now and dont express the emotions as good as before imo :/ I wish they would at least let me CHOOSE. Would it really be that hard to add an option in the settings tab to let me pick which emoji style I want and make the favourites/active now not visible? But as usual, facebook thinks they know whats best for ALL their users. Really starting to dislike messenger now because of all the useless and annoying UI changes. I dont know who’s thinking up all the ‘brilliant’ ideas but it worked perfectly before. Please for the love of god change it back and leave shit alone! 🙁

  • ChasNorrisJr

    While I haven’t reached that threshold of pain using Messenger — yet!
    I was actually trying to ‘unhide’ the list of people active on Messenger
    So I guess I’ll ‘patiently’ wait for it to return…

  • Martijn Beemsterboer

    How can I unhide my favorites? Anyone?

    • Ahmed Radwan

      Please advise how can I unhide my favorites back again ??

    • Ahmed Radwan

      Valid point.. please advise how can we unhide the favorites list back ??

  • Ahmed Radwan

    Please advise how can we unhide the favorites list back ??

  • Yaya2012

    I really hate most of the features in messenger. For example: Why do I get notifications every time I end a video chat? That is very annoying and pointless. Why must I receive a notifications every time I add someone as a friend? They are overloading us with pointless notifications when all we want is a simple inbox with video.

  • Trafalgar

    oops.. I want to bring active section back. How I do it?