Making sure your Facebook profile stays private is relatively straightforward, but there’s no way to stop other people from sending you messages using the service. That’s no bad thing for most people — social media is about keeping in touch, after all — but the way Facebook is organised may mean you’re not seeing every message you receive.
The problem stems from the fact that Facebook has two inboxes for messages — one for people within your immediate social circle and the other from friends of friends and spam.
If you get a message from someone Facebook thinks you might know (such as a friend of a friend) you'll get a Message Request sent to your regular inbox, which you can choose to Ignore or Hide.
However you won’t get a Message Request for all messages sent to you. Facebook filters out those it thinks might be spam, so you still might be missing some messages, which are sent to a ‘hidden’ inbox.
Here’s how to find filtered messages in the hidden inbox using Facebook on your computer. Scroll to Step 4 to find the inbox in the Facebook Messenger app on a smartphone.
You can also follow the steps by playing the video above.
Find the second Facebook Inbox on your computer
Step 1: Launch Facebook
Open your Facebook home page in your browser so that you can see the newsfeed and then click Messager in the list on the left of the page, just below your name and profile image.
Step 2: Check for new messages
This opens your main Facebook Messenger inbox, but if you look at the top-left of the page, you’ll see a cog icon. Select it, followed by Message requests, and then See filtered requests.
Any that have been filtered will be listed below. However, some older messages beyond a year may not open.
Alternatively, you can just open www.facebook.com/messages/filtered.
Step 3: Move messages to your main inbox
If you want to put the message in your main inbox area, click it to view it and click Accept below the text.
Viewing the hidden Facebook Messenger Inbox on your smartphone
Step 1: Launch the Messenger app
Step 2: Click People at the very bottom
Step 3: Click Message Requests. You can open any requests to see who is messaging you and choose to either Delete or Reply.
Check out our other Facebook features:
- Facebook Privacy - how much information are you giving away?
- How to block annoying game invites on Facebook
- How to take control of your Facebook News Feed
- Why you should think before clicking ‘Like on Facebook’
In the video below you can discover how to protect your Facebook profile picture and cover photo.
Did you know about Facebook's hidden Inbox? Let us know in the Comments below.