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Does Facebook Messenger Show “Active” When You’re Not? (REVEALED! 2024)

does facebook messenger show active when youre not

We’ve all had people tell us that we were online on Facebook during work hours but didn’t bother messaging them. 

Or, “what on earth were you doing online at two in the morning?” 

You might have told your girlfriend that you’re going for a nap, only to wake up to complaints about how you’ve been online all this time and ignored them.

These problems may sound familiar to just about anyone who has the Messenger app installed on their phone. Despite being offline from Facebook, the Messenger app may show you online to all your contacts. 

This can occur for a variety of reasons, which we’ll try to help you figure out in this article!

How Accurate Is the Active Status on Messenger?

Despite being one of the most popular apps on Android and iPhone, Messenger experiences its fair share of glitches

In reality, Messenger’s “Active” status is not very accurate and will show you active even if your phone is on standby. 

This problem has been long-standing with the Messenger app and continues to exist in 2024. 

For instance, Messenger will show you’re active now and available for a chat if you put away your phone but leave the browser tab open on your computer. The same is true if you forget to exit the app properly.

Some users have also reported that Messenger will show you’re active even when you’re disconnected from the internet!

Even switching off your phone entirely may not work to turn off Messenger, and it may continue to show your online status as green. 

Additionally, Messenger is also notorious for rounding down the time you were online by a significant amount. For example, if you were online an hour and forty-five minutes ago, Messenger will say you were active one hour ago.

The accuracy issues that plague the Messenger app are nothing new. Before Messenger, Facebook chat underwent the same turmoil and was highly inaccurate in showing online status. 

You can run a live test yourself to check the app’s accuracy. Log into Facebook Messenger and then completely turn off the app – maybe even switch off your phone.

On good days, it will typically take Messenger around 5 minutes to update your status from online to “last seen 2 minutes ago”. Neither of these is particularly accurate!

Can You Be Active on Facebook Messenger Without Being on It?

As already explained in the previous section, you can be shown as active on Facebook Messenger without actually being on it. We’ll show just how grave this problem is in this section!

Facebook Messenger is only accurate in showing you active the moment you log on. The app’s algorithm focuses on keeping you online to generate more traffic so more users use the app to stay connected. 

However, that’s pretty much the extent of accuracy this app has. Despite logging off, the app will take considerable time to show you offline. Additionally, your “last active” timestamp will also be incorrect and show less offline time than actual.

Anyone who uses Messenger regularly will know that the app can show them as “active” at all times. 

As long as your phone remains connected to the internet, Messenger will show that you’re available. 

Furthermore, your mode of internet connection will also compound this problem. Whether you connect through Wi-Fi or data, Facebook Messenger will likely show you active throughout this time. 

This is far from a glitch in the app; Facebook Messenger shows you as active so more people can easily access you. This allows Messenger to push more notifications on your phone even when you aren’t actively using the app! 

However, the app does contain glitches and will sometimes show you online even when your phone doesn’t have an active connection. Although you can work around the first problem, tackling the app’s built-in glitches is obviously more difficult.

Why Does Messenger Show “Active” When You’re Not?

There are many reasons why Messenger may show you “active” even when you’re not. Many have easy solutions, although some do not. 

The first and most common reason is that most people do not completely shut down the Messenger app. 

The app subsequently keeps running in the background and continues to show you online. This allows the app to push notifications on your phone as soon as someone messages you.

As discussed above, there are also other reasons why Messenger may continue showing you active even when you aren’t. 

Although Facebook and Messenger are different apps, they unavoidably link to the same website and platform. 

So, whenever you’re randomly scrolling through Facebook, Messenger will also start showing you “active.” Additionally, your phone will share data with Facebook while you use the app. Messenger, taking this cue, will show you online.

Both Facebook and Messenger use an active internet connection to keep syncing with your phone. 

Other websites or social media platforms may also share your activities with Facebook. Any action on these apps will require your phone to sync with Facebook again and show you as active. 

Your phone and the Messenger app will behave like you’re actively using the phone throughout the syncing process.

A final major reason Messenger will continue to show you are active is when you use the platform across multiple devices. If you sign in from your desktop to use Facebook and don’t log out, you will remain active on Messenger. 

This is particularly true if you don’t shut down your computer but just put it on Sleep or Hibernate modes. Sometimes, even shutting down your PC won’t help unless you sign out of Facebook from the browser entirely!

Does Facebook Messenger Show That I’m Active When I’m on Instagram?

Facebook now owns multiple social media apps under the umbrella of Meta. Meta is the new name of the entire Facebook corporation, which owns Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. 

All these apps are interconnected and share data by regularly syncing together. There are chances that you have these apps on your phone simultaneously with your accounts linked together.

You have nothing to worry about if you still haven’t linked your Instagram account to your Facebook account. Despite being under the ownership of one corporation, these two platforms are still very distinct. 

If you’re scrolling through Instagram, Messenger will not show you online! You’ll even have the option to keep yourself offline on Instagram itself.

However, it’s an entirely different story if you have taken the time to link your Facebook and Instagram accounts. The two accounts will continuously sync over your internet data despite being different social media networks. 

Subsequently, Facebook will show all your activities from Instagram. Although you can choose whether Facebook posts your actions from Instagram, your Messenger will continue to show you are active. 

As long as both accounts are syncing, you inadvertently permit Messenger to depict your availability while you’re on Instagram.

However, there is an easy workaround for this problem. Once you restrict permissions to Facebook through Instagram, it will no longer keep peeking into all your activities. 

This will also restrict Messenger from showing you as Active whenever you browse through Instagram.

Does Messenger Show Active When Playing Games?

The answer to this question depends on the kind of games you’re playing and the platform you’re using to play them.

If you’re playing a game that links through Facebook, you will undoubtedly be shown Active on Messenger. 

This is because Messenger syncs to your Facebook account and shows you are online whenever you use Facebook. Moreover, if you’re playing a game through Facebook, you’ll receive pop-up notifications from Messenger if someone messages you.

Alternatively, if you’re playing a game that requires data, you automatically grant internet access to the Messenger app. 

Although you will not be signed in, Messenger will sync in the background and show you are active. This will be regardless of whether the game you are playing is through Facebook or any other platform. 

Since your phone has an active internet connection, Messenger will show you as online. Some games also update your progress to Facebook and therefore sync to your Facebook account. 

Even if your Messenger app is off and has minimal permissions, it may still show you active when these games sync to Facebook.

However, Messenger will not show you online for games you play offline and those that do not link your progress to social media. These games are not able to access Facebook’s database or otherwise sync your progress. 

Can You Stop Messenger From Showing “Active” When You’re Not?

Although Messenger is a tricky app to control, you can stop it from showing as “Active” when you’re actually not. There are multiple ways to go about this. 

Firstly, from the app Settings on your phone, you can disable the permissions that are granted to Messenger. 

If you restrict the app’s ability to continuously sync with your phone and remain online, it will automatically start showing you are offline when you aren’t using it.

Another method is to exit the app completely whenever you’re not using it. Use the multitasking window on your phone to exit the app whenever it isn’t in use. 

Not only will this save your phone’s RAM and battery, but it will also help show you’re offline. Also, keeping the app’s cache memory clear helps keep it free of glitches!

However, the surest way of getting Messenger to show you offline is by using the settings in the app itself. 

You can choose to remain offline even when you are active so that this problem never occurs. Alternatively, you can stay offline for specific people you add to a list. 

These settings are accessible in the Facebook and Messenger apps, as well as on the Facebook website itself. We recommend you disable active status on both Facebook and Messenger apps separately for additional certainty!

Can You Tell if Someone Is Checking Your Status on Messenger?

You can tell whether someone else is online on Messenger simultaneously as you. Similarly, you can also see the last active timestamp of other users. 

However, there is no clear way of checking whether someone is looking at your status at any particular point in time. This goes against Facebook’s policies, and at present, no third-party apps exist which can help you with it.

The most indication that someone can get is whether a message has been read or not. If you see the gray circle, the other person is offline. However, if the gray circle has a tick next to it, it means that they have read your message. 

This is particularly helpful in identifying individuals who may have set their Messenger status as offline permanently. 

One important thing to note is that whenever you set yourself as permanently offline, you will also be unable to see other online individuals as well. 

For example, if you have set yourself as permanently inactive for specific contacts, they will also appear inactive to you at all times.

Key Takeaways

With the social media revolution, privacy is fast becoming a thing of the past. Everyone knows what you’re up to in your free time, and this can be quite the nuisance!

Even more than a nuisance, it can become much worse when misunderstandings occur because of glitchy apps. 

Facebook Messenger may show active when you’re not, but there are still workarounds and solutions for the problem.

Make sure you read social media websites’ privacy and security policies before you sign up. Responsible internet use will keep you and those around you safe and secure. Just try not to snoop on other people too much either!

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