How to protect access to Facebook Messenger on your iPhone or iPad with Face ID or Touch ID

The Messenger app for iPhone and iPad includes a handy security feature that allows you to secure your chats from prying eyes. You can protect all your Facebook messages with Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode.

Follow along as we show you how to lock Facebook Messenger on your iPhone or iPad and adjust how quickly Messenger locks after you close the app.

Lock Facebook Messenger chats on iPhone

How to lock Facebook Messenger on iPhone or iPad

  1. Open the Messenger app and tap your profile picture from the top left.
  2. Select Privacy & Safety.
  3. Tap App lock.
  4. Enable the switch named Require Face ID or Require Touch ID.
  5. Tap OK on the “Do you want to allow Messenger to use Face ID or Touch ID?” popup and authenticate using your face or fingerprint.
Lock Facebook Messenger on iPhone with password or Face ID

By default, Messenger will automatically lock itself after one minute of leaving the app. But you can change it by selecting the appropriate option under the Require Face ID heading:

  • After I leave Messenger
  • 1 minute after leaving
  • 15 minutes after leaving
  • 1 hour after leaving

Do you need the strongest available protection (at the expense of convenience)? If so, then select “After I leave Messenger,” which will lock the app as soon as you leave it. But if you do a lot of back and forth with your friends over Messenger on any given day, you may want to consider selecting a very short lock window, like “1 minute after leaving.”

Note: Even when the Messenger app is locked, you can still reply to messages and answer Facebook calls from the iPhone Notifications Center or the Lock Screen. But when you try to go inside the main Messenger app, it will ask you to authenticate via Face ID, Touch ID, or your iPhone/iPad passcode.

Overall, this optional feature gives you the confidence to know that if a friend or family member needs to borrow your phone, they won’t be able to access your FB Messenger chats.

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