A rather old school term “Radio Silence” strikes the question: how can a radio cause silence? Isn’t the machine which once grabbed attention from all for news, music, announcements, ads and much more (like Facebook today) meant to only be silenced if turned off? It turns out that “radio silence” is actually more befittingly used to describe something functioning, something on. In fact, it is possible to achieve “radio silence” on Facebook wherein one hears nothing from a normally communicative person or group. Here’s how to appear offline on Facebook, whether you’re trying to avoid unwanted attention or want to revisit an ex-lover’s profile late at night without their knowledge.

So, how do you make sure your friends and family can’t see if you’re on Facebook, even if you are? If you don’t want to be disturbed with chat requests as you get your fix on your Facebook News Feed, you can set your active status to unavailable and appear offline. You can go offline in 4 pages: Messenger and Chat on the Facebook web page if you’re browsing, as well as in Facebook and Facebook Messenger app on your mobile. 

  • Set up your Facebook Chat and Facebook Messenger statuses separately. 
  • Set your status individually for Facebook in a web browser and the Facebook mobile app. 

How To Appear Offline On Facebook

Appear Offline When Using Facebook.com Via Web Browser 

  • If you’re already logged in, navigating to your account will automatically open your profile. If you aren’t signed in, enter your email address — or phone number — and password in the upper-right corner.
  • Go to the chat tab in the lower right corner of the screen. 
  • Here you’ll see Contact, the icon for Video, the icon for search and three horizontal dots. 
  • Click on the three dot icon within the chat bar. 
  • Click on the third option on the bottom:  Turn Off Active Status.
  • Under Turn Off Active Status, you’ll find 3 options: 
  1. Turn off active status for all contacts.
  2. Turn off active status for all contacts except (you can choose who you exclusively want and select few people will be able to see your real active status)
  3. Turn off active status for only some contacts. (If there’s some or a lot of people like family members or nosy relatives whom you would rather not chat with, you can choose to “Turn off active status for only some contacts…” and enter those names)
  • To appear fully offline, go completely incognito with the first option: Turn off active status for all contacts. 

Appear Offline When Using Facebook.com on Your Mobile App 

  • Go to the Facebook App on your phone
  • If you’re already logged in on your phone, you can automatically open your profile. If you aren’t signed in, type in your email address — or phone number — and password in the upper-right corner. 
  • Tap the three horizontal dots in the top right corner 
  • Tap “Settings & Privacy,” and then tap “Settings.” 
  • Tap “Active Status” under the Privacy section. 
  • Turn off “Show when you’re active” by shifting the slider to the left and then confirm.

Appear Offline When Using Facebook Messenger Via Web Browser 

  • Head over to “Messenger” on the left side of the page. 
  • Tap on the Gear icon at the top left of the Messenger pane and then tap on “Settings.” 
  • Turn off “Show when you’re active” by moving the slider or the toggle to the left.
  • Tap on “Turn Off.” 

Appear Offline When Using Facebook Messenger Via Mobile App 

  • Go to the Facebook App on your phone
  • Tap your profile’s avatar at the top left of the screen. 
  • Tap “Active Status.” 
  • Turn off “Show when you’re active” by shifting the slider to the left and then confirm by tapping “Turn Off.” 

While being too indulgent in today’s overly connected world, it’s nice to have a break and sit back and enjoy yourself online without people constantly vying for your attention. Facebook may be responsible for putting the word “social” in social media, but there are times when you don’t want – or have time – to engage with friends or family. If you want to log into Facebook and not be worried that certain friends will see you and try to chat, you can easily change your “active status” so you appear offline to them. And now you know how to do it across all of Facebook’s platforms.