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What if I told you that you most likely have tons of messages you didn’t even know existed, stowed away in a little-known folder on Facebook?

While messages from your Facebook friends and Messenger contacts are delivered straight to your inbox, the system filters out those it deems spam and tucks them away into a hidden vault.

Some of those filtered messages could be from a distant family member trying to re-connect with you. Others might be vitally important. If you suspect Facebook is hiding messages you should’ve been aware of, this tutorial will teach you how to access a treasure trove of messages that you never knew you had.

About (Filtered) Message Requests

They are calling this feature Message Requests.

“Messages from friends will go to your inbox and messages we think are spam will be filtered out of your requests,” says the feature’s description. Message Requests from people you’re not connected to appear at the top of your inbox when you receive them on Messenger and Facebook. Message Requests which are classed as spam are buried in the Filtered Requests folder.

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A Message Request basically tells you that someone you’re not friends with on Facebook but might know has sent you a message. After opening a Message Request, you can choose Ignore to hide the conversation or select Accept to move the conversation to your inbox.

Sadly, you cannot disable this feature or elect to have each and every received message, even spammy ones, delivered straight to your inbox.

It’s solely your responsibility to check out Filtered Requests on a regular basis. You don’t want risk loosing a business over an important message that Facebook classed as spam or missing a message from a long lost friend, or many others you weren’t aware existed but might care about nonetheless.

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For those wondering, before Facebook launched Message Requests, there was a very similar feature named the Other Inbox though very few people were aware of it because Facebook did a lousy job communicating it to users.

After Message Requests were introduced, Facebook simply migrated any unread messages in the Other Inbox to the Filtered section of Message Requests. But as spammy messages end up in Filtered Requests, too, small wonder users never find out about those past messages.

How to see Filtered Requests on Messenger for iPhone and iPad

1) Open Facebook Messenger on your iOS device.

2) Within the app, tap Me → People → Message Requests.

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If you don’t have any Filtered Requests, you’ll only see regular Message Requests. If you want to see every message Facebook has filtered out on the grounds that they might be spam or you might not be interested in them, tap See Filtered Requests.

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You can now browse the treasure trove of hidden messages spanning years.

Tip: You’ll also see a banner on Messenger’s Recent tab letting you know if you have any new Message Requests. Tap the banner to view your Message Requests.

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How to see Filtered Requests on Messenger.com

1) In your web browser, sign in at messenger.com.

2) Click Settings (the gear icon) in the upper left, then select Message Requests.

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To see the entire archive of filtered messages, click See Filtered Request. Then, click Show Older at the bottom of the filtered message list to go back in time.

How to see Filtered Requests on Facebook.com

1) In a web browser on your computer, sign in at Facebook.com.

2) Click the Messages icon on the toolbar at the top.

3) Click Message Requests next to Recents in the popup menu

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4) Now click the See Filtered Requests link to browse a full history of messages from people who aren’t connected to you on Facebook, but who Facebook thinks you might know. To load more filtered messages, click the See All link at the bottom.

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Keep in mind that Message Requests are not available on the mobile Facebook app. That’s because Facebook has disabled messaging features on its mobile client, nudging users to download Messenger instead.

Mission: let your friends know about Filtered Requests

Filtered Requests uses Facebook’s spam detection algorithm.

“You’ll get messages in your inbox from people who you’re friends with on Facebook,” explains the company. “If you get a message from someone who we think you might know, you’ll get a message request. Spam messages are filtered out of your requests.”

Like many spam detection systems, it’s far from perfect. If the algorithm wrongly classes a Message Request as spam, it will be buried in the Filtered Requests section where it’s likely to end up unseen.

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Having said that, we’re asking you to please help us spread the word and let your friends and support folks know about the existence of Filtered Requests.

By doing this together, we can push people to open their Filtered Requests and hopefully find long overdue or otherwise important messages received over the years.

If you this article was useful to you, check out our full tutorials archive.

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