How to use Secret Conversations on Messenger

Using Facebook Messenger’s “Secret Conversations” feature, you can ensure your messages and calls are end-to-end encrypted so that only the sender and the receiver can access them.

Messenger Header

RAYMOND OGLESBY @RaymondOglesby2
October 27, 2022

Using Facebook Messenger’s “Secret Conversations” feature, you can ensure your messages and calls are end-to-end encrypted so that only the sender and the receiver can access them. Let’s explore how to utilize this feature on your iPhone and Android phone.

Note: Facebook Messenger’s “Secret Conversations” feature is only available on iPhone and Android. You can not use it in Messenger on the web.

This is for iPhone and Android. screenshots are from iPhone XR running iOS 16+

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How Does the Secret Conversations Feature Work

When you enable the “Secret Conversations” feature with a user, Messenger encrypts your messages and calls as soon as you send them. Then, these contents are only decrypted on the receiver’s phone. This ensures no one can access your chat content, not even Meta without physical access.

That encryption is the difference between a regular chat and a secret one. If any bad actors gain access to Meta’s servers, they can not see your encrypted messages. Any of your regular chats might be visible, as they remain unencrypted on Meta’s servers.

However, Meta restricts who you can have secret chats with. At the time of writing in September 2022, you can not start such a chat with businesses, professional accounts, Instagram accounts from Messenger, and people you have not messaged before. Also, both you and your chatting partner need to be using the latest version of the app, so make sure you both update Messenger on your respective devices.

Additionally, certain features you might be used to will not work while in one of these chats. Meta states that group messages and money payments are not supported in secret conversations. If those limitations create problems for you, look into alternative secure communication methods that might offer the features you need.

Start a Secret Chat

First, launch the Messenger app on your phone. In the Messenger app’s top-right corner, tap the Edit icon. Refer to the below image:

Messenger 1
Accessing Edit mode

Next, in the New Message screen, at the top-right-hand corner, enable the “Secret Conversations” (the lock icon) option. See the below image:

Messenger 2
Selecting the Lock icon

Now, on the same page, in the To field, enter the name of the person you want to have a secret chat with. Then, select that person from the list. See the following image:

Messenger 3
Selecting a person to Chat with

Next, a new chat will start with your chosen person. Any messages or calls you make in this conversation will be end-to-end encrypted. You can start sending messages as usual. Refer to the below image:

Messenger 4
Sending your encrypted message

Now, to make a voice or video call, at the top of the chat screen, tap the appropriate icon. See the below image:

Messenger 5
Making a voice or video call

Delete a Chat

Next, to delete your secret chat with someone, tap the person’s name at the top. See the following image:

Messenger 6
Selecting a person to delete the Chat

Now, in the menu that opens, choose Delete Chat. Refer to the below image:

Messenger 7
Deleting the Chat

Quote For the Day

We take the highest and best of human faculties, and, exalting them in our imagination to an unlimited extent, endeavour to attain an imperfect conception of that Infinite Power which created everything around us.

Charles Babbage (1791-1871), pioneer of modern computer

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Author: Raymond

I am Raymond Oglesby, an Information Technology (IT) specialist with 30 years in the field. I have taught Microsoft Applications and troubleshot computers in 15 countries and many States. My career was focused on mainframes and desktops from application development to implementation. I have written hundreds of programs for various architectures. I decided to start a blog to share my knowledge and experiences with you. I plan on updating this blog at least twice a week about smart phone apps to Windows. Please feel free to leave a Comment or Tweet. I would love to hear from you. Do you have a computer tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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