Is Facebook Hiding Your Messages?

After last Monday’s post filled with Facebook shenanigans, I guess I should have suspected that said shenanigans would continue until I got around to purging my friends list. I’ve been busy. Living. Working. Haven’t done that shit yet. And well, here’s the tasty nugget I woke up to in my Facebook Messages inbox on Monday morning:

Here’s a slow motion replay of my reactions:

  1. WTF?!
  2. WHO is this?
  3. HOW is this guy a Facebook friend since I don’t know who he is?
  4. WHAT on earth is this dude talking about?
  5. Thanks for insulting me and determining of what I am worthy. Saves me the time and effort. Cause apparently, I’m a BITCH. A bitch who has NO idea what you’re talking about.

So, owning the fact that I’m a complete, disrespectful Evil Lady Who Ignores Facebook Messages – especially ones from people I don’t know who are apparently (and unbeknownst to me) interested in me in some sort of social/romantic manner – I decided to dig into the issue.

As The Facebook Turns – No More Message Notifications

Since Facebook went through its gazillionth change in the past year, I found myself not receiving any notifications of messages and few relating to comments. I was actually pretty delighted for the decreased email volume. So, to see what Mr. Disgruntled was talking about, I took my Evil Lady Who Ignores Facebook Messages self over to Facebook.

Here’s what I see, probably like you when I click on my Messages icon:

I don’t know about you, but I see FIVE messages. If they appear to be unread, I click through and read the unread messages from this window. Given that I can receive up to 20 Facebook messages a day on occasion, if you’re not showing up in this “fast five,” I ain’t gonna see ya.

I scrolled up Mr. Disguntled’s message feed to me and, indeed, he had asked me on November 28 if I’d like to go grab coffee sometime. Prior to that, we’d even shared a 4 or 5 line Facebook chat conversation in early November regarding…the weather. Given that I am ice cube-chance-in-hell visible on Chat, it’s not surprising that I’d forgotten about this exchange. So yeah – he’d asked me to coffee. Sent me a few links. None of which I’d seen. He happened to be friends with a few of my close friends here in Denver, which could explain why he got through my Firewall of Friendship.

But more importantly – how many other messages was Facebook hiding from me with their new notification system?!

Digging Deeper – The “Others”

So, I posted something on my PERSONAL Facebook wall about not getting message and comment notifications and my dear friend Colleen chimed in with – ummm…do you know about “Other” messages?

I’m like – what OTHER messages?

And she showed me. Just like I’m going to show you.

Go to your Home Page on Facebook. Click on Messages in the left hand sidebar. When you do that, something mysterious happens…you’re introduced to The Others.

When I clicked on that Monday morning, I had 58 messages swimming around in there. People I’ve shown this trick over the past two days have had numbers ranging from the 20s to over 100, and some dating back to the beginning of the year.

Now, if you’re running a brand page and trying to figure out why responses to your Events are down, this is why. Most brand page events go into The Others folder, just like the shitty movie starring Nicole Kidman goes into the bargain bin of DVDs at the grocery store. (Who buys DVDs at the grocery store anyways?)

In those Other messages were notes from readers of my blog and invitations to events that I would have really liked to have attended. (There was also the unread/unseen invitation to join the gentleman above for coffee.)

How could I stop these messages from going into Facebook’s sneaky, inconvenient Information Purgatory in the future?

The Answer: Reclaim Your Facebook Notifications

If I’m going to have passive-agressive missives flung in my direction, I want to be fully in control and conscious of the behavior that’s inspiring said missives. I also want to be participating, dammit. So I went into the Facebook Account Settings and I’m going to guide YOU through how to get those Message and other notifications back that Facebook mysteriously took away.

Step #1: Top Right Hand Side of Your Facebook Page

Step #2: Top Left Hand Side of the Next Page


Step #4: Set Your Notifications

Scroll down the page until you see the Notifications section. You can click on each of the headings (Facebook – where you’ll find your Message notifications – is shown here) and set up the type of emails you want to receive.

No More Hide-And-Seek With Facebook Messages!

So, it would appear that I’m not necessarily the Evil Lady Who Ignores Facebook Messages after all. Facebook’s bogarted all of our notification settings and it’s up to us to reclaim them. And The Others? Hells bells. Go ahead and tell me how many messages you have in your Others folder. I have a nifty, wintery prize for the person with the most! Caveat: you have to upload a screen shot showing your profile name AND the message bubble to the right side of the Others line.

Now, this weekend, I’ll be doing that (apparently) much-needed Facebook Friends purge, as one of my true friends would have rattled my cage in other ways if I’d been ignoring them, as they’d know it was completely inadvertent. And for the record, the gentleman in question appears to have blocked me on Facebook, so I couldn’t even send him a message explaining the scenario.

The next time you assume someone is ignoring you, one of two things is most certainly true:

Option 1: They are ignoring your messages.


Option 2: They’re victim to Facebook’s definition of “important” and really have no fucking clue that you dropped them a line.

In my case? Option 2 prevailed.

Happy Facebook Notifications Reclamation Day!


292 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    You’re not the only one duped by “other” messages. I missed several newstips/press releases. I just sighed and cursed facebook again for changes that I find unnecessary and annoying. Facebook likes to control your facebook life in several ways. Facebook its going to give me an ulcer.

  2. Michael R Murphy
    Michael R Murphy says:

    D’oh. I followed your instructions while reading the post so by the time I got to the part about the prize, all my unreads were already read. Although I doubt I would have won with a paltry 47 unread messages anyway. I still appreciate the tip though, thanks! 🙂

  3. Wendy Sweet
    Wendy Sweet says:

    Wow, I have 53 “Other” messages, including one from RedeadWriting on 4-13-10.

    My problem with notifications is that I opt out of ALL email. When I log onto facebook, I only look at the red numbers. And I have noticed of late that I am no longer getting all notifications from messages or comments/posts to my wall.

  4. Justin Premick
    Justin Premick says:

    Holy crap! Thanks for pointing this out. I just looked at my “Other” messages and am pretty salty right now.

    Question for the class: so I went to Account Settings, then Notifications, then just as I was ready to spring on that little checkbox… I realized that it’s not there! (for me, anyway)

    Anyone else not seeing the checkbox? Did Facebook move it on (some of) us?

      • Justin Premick
        Justin Premick says:

        Definitely personal (switched to page & back just in case… no dice in either one).

        Did the checkbox area disappear once you unchecked it? Maybe I did so some time ago & have just been missing the emails from Facebook (unlikely but who knows).

        P.S. Liked for the Bueller reference. 🙂

        • LeahM
          LeahM says:

          I believe that if you don’t have the checkbox that means you haven’t edited any of your notifications to begin with, so it’s sending you everything you’re supposed to be getting. If you edit any of the notifications for the myriad categories, that checkbox should appear (because it will now bundle the messages you don’t want to get on a regular basis into the “Other” folder).

        • Nicole Tatlock Ploehn
          Nicole Tatlock Ploehn says:

          The first checkbox was there and checked, and when unchecked and scroll down to each type of “notification” you could receive (you should see a stream of “edit” links). You click the edit next to the envelope and it will give you the checkboxes 🙂 

  5. Bryce Alan Katz
    Bryce Alan Katz says:

    1) +1 to the list of “OMFG, thanks for this, you totally ROCK!” comments.

    2) How in Hell does FB continue to manage to fuck with its user base like this … AND STILL REMAIN VIABLE?! Yeah, I know I’m yelling into the wind on this, but it never fails to amaze me.

  6. Rick Ramos
    Rick Ramos says:

    “Other” messages? What the hell is that about?

    Thanks to your post today Erika, I found out a 9 News producer wants to do a story about my website…Last September. #headdesk

  7. Wayne
    Wayne says:

    Thanks for the time you put into researching this as well as the information. I’m very appreciative because I had quite a few unseen messages.

  8. Michael
    Michael says:

    Ahha! I see. So, the ‘OTHER’ box under Messages is where all that Spam is housed. I had 220 messages in there, 200 of which were “yer hottie come play me” or “starbucks cards for you.” Facebook always knows how to make you comfortable about security, don’t they?

  9. Colleen Lindsay
    Colleen Lindsay says:

    OH, and that settings thing doesn’t work. My settings were set to allow Facebook to email me everything. I get virtually nothing, no matter how I tweak the freaking settings. So the moral of this story is, kidz, USE EMAIL FOR IMPORTANT SHIT.

  10. Bradley
    Bradley says:

    Wow. 31 for me. Dating back to 2008? How did that happen?

    Most of the messages are things I might have liked to have responded to. Like the networking event for creative professionals in our city. :/

  11. Anachronista
    Anachronista says:

    ARRRGGG. This cost me paying gigs. 42 unknown messages dating back to March. Now I have angry strangers who’ve blocked me since I ‘couldn’t be bothered to reply.’ Thanks, Erika! Now at least I can do damage control.

  12. The Bitchlorette
    The Bitchlorette says:

    Holy Crap. Thank you so much for posting this! I have missed out on a shitload of events I had no idea even existed. I went from feeling completely neglected to uber popular. And it’s not even 10am! You rock.

  13. Pali_La
    Pali_La says:

    Just to let you know, I have that box unchecked, and I have all the notification boxes checked, and there were still messages in my “other ” box?! So I would continue checking it if I were you!

  14. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    ah yes, the dreaded “others”… I discovered this about 2 weeks ago and I had- no word of a lie- HUNDREDS of messages dating all the way back to 2008 in that stupid “others” box. I was shocked. #facepalm

  15. Amanda
    Amanda says:

    Discoveries abound! I’m just glad I didn’t completely slip away into FBFog. And, frankly, Ms. Napoletano, FB did you a favor with that guy, and I thank the mysterious FB Gods for making his lack of worthiness so obvious you didn’t have to waste too much time. 🙂 May the next man who asks you for a cup of coffee be a just right, follow through, human being. Kiss, kiss.

  16. Josiology
    Josiology says:

    I had 50-ish! Nope, you’re definitely not the only Evil Lady Who Ignores Facebook Messages, that’s for sure.

    3 of mine were from people not on my friend’s list. So does this mean that any message I’ve sent to someone NOT on my friend’s list went into their Others file, probably unread???!!! That’s some CRAZY shit.

  17. Ed Mahoney
    Ed Mahoney says:

    Useful enough info Erika that I shared it.  Nice detective work.  Now would you please look into why FB displays how many messages and notifications I have pending – as illustrated in your graphic – before I even log the fuck in?

  18. Sinner Ella
    Sinner Ella says:

    Thanks, Erika. I totally had that box of “thanks for checking this here box of facebook fucks up again”ness checked. Luckily, I had exactly ZERO “others” to deal with. Do I win for being the least popular and desired facbookhookerHoe out here? If the prize is a high five to the face, that’s fine, but can we do it with a car moving at a high speed? 
    Thanks so much! 

  19. ✿ڿڰۣ(̆̃̃ღ Amy
    ✿ڿڰۣ(̆̃̃ღ Amy says:

    I had 67 (going back to November 5, 2009) that I apparently missed out on.

    I actually just got unfriended not for responding to someone’s message, but for posting my opinion on the CU and 4/20 issue that’s going on.  Apparently I was (my subconscious is apparently quite devious) directing it right at him…And one (that I had read and apparently don’t even recall) saying:”Can l get to know you betterYou are beautiful.l will be waiting for your response!!!”And one from someone in HS who I don’t recall ever really knowing all that well…:Boo! did i scare you?Hey kiddo! i don’t know if you even remember me, but i sure remember you! Hows life going for you after 8 years?I have now been taken down an amusing memory lane.  I thank you for that!

  20. Kellie Brooks
    Kellie Brooks says:

    Only 18 for me, but when I investigated, I recalled realizing this once before, pre-2011 FB upgrade. But this time they went back to summertime, and yes, I missed a few events I would’ve loved to attend.
    Of course, I responded to the more personal messages, with my regrets, but wonder if people won’t discover them until 2013…Ha!
    Thanks for the heads up – reposting your post on my page to spread the good word.

  21. Jeff Anderegg
    Jeff Anderegg says:

    I only had 27, so I am out of the contest. However one was from Redhead Writing, so clearly I must adjust my settings. Thanks for the info!

  22. Carissa Garrard
    Carissa Garrard says:

    Thank you so much! I had hundreds of neglected messages, mostly crap but I missed out on two potential project opportunities. As a freelancer, I’m a bit irked about that. At least I know from here on out!

  23. Kellie J. Walker
    Kellie J. Walker says:

    Thanks for this post, Red. I’ve been trying to tell my friends that FB has been ‘eating’ notifications since the last upgrade. They’ve all just looked at me like I sprouted a 2nd head – because I didn’t know where to send them to fix the problem. Now, I do.

    The sad thing for me is: I’ve had my notifications set properly and STILL had messages from non-friends go into the Other bucket – without getting any notification they were there at all. No email. No number showing up next to Messages. I’ve just gotten into the habit of checking it.

    So much for making it EASIER to stay connected. Sigh.

  24. John Heaney
    John Heaney says:

    107. Holy crap. And a number were important events that I would have attended, invitations from professional contacts (I use FB 97% for professional pursuits) and messages that I was blissfully unaware of. Of course now I look like an asshat for ignoring all those who reached out to me during the past year.

    And I thought I knew how FB worked. I taught classes on how to use FB for business. Unfortunately I corrected the situation before I saw your invitation for screen captures. Thanks for pointing out the Facebook douchebaggery and making me feel nauseated.

  25. Venkat Rao
    Venkat Rao says:

    This aspect of Facebook has put me in some very awkward situations. I make sure to check my “other messages” on a fairly regular basis now (and that’s why I cannot win the nifty, wintery prize 🙁 ).

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous says:


      Hi Ash, How are you doing? Sometimes when I type A in my search bar I see your name, and yesterday I caught myself checking your new picture  .Anyway, I really liked to read your blog posts, you are a good writer. But at some point I felt that you made your posts highly personal, and of course that is your right to do so, but for me that took the ‘good’ out of some of your writing. But this is just my opinion, and others may think the opposite. I share this to make you think, because I assume you take your art serious. I had it on my mind some time ago but got reminded about it when I saw your pic. I know it’s a bit awkward to get a message like this, but at least I got it off my mind… Have an excellent day.

  26. Jason Kintzler
    Jason Kintzler says:

    Ridiculous. Not to mention EdgeRank is killing any growth you’ve had for your Brand Pages. About 10% of your fans actually see your posts…not exactly inspiring us to grow our networks. I get that it’s for revenue generation, but this should be OUR audience. After all, we built it!!

  27. Bentley McGrath
    Bentley McGrath says:

    thanks for this!  i’ve been trying to connect with family i didn’t know i had – another story for another day – and discovered that they messaged me in july!!!  i’m so embarrassed.  cheers!

  28. Celtcraft
    Celtcraft says:

    Now if anyone can tell me how to get notifications for all the pages I’ve liked I’d be MOST greatful! What the crap, FB?

  29. Ashleysh22
    Ashleysh22 says:

    I have THIRTY!!!! What on earth??? Who’s brilliant idea was this anyway? Dear Facebook, facebook was great like a year ago. STOP changing things!

  30. Claire Boyles
    Claire Boyles says:

    OMG!! I was reading thinking, yeah so what that only five show on the drop down list, I still don’t manage to miss any mails… 

    then I read on… 

    and discovered the “other” folder…. 

    OVER 100 MAILS WAITING FOR ME!!!  Some from genuine people who I’ve known online on other websites for years, that had just reached out to me on Facebook!!!   (yes there were social networks before facebook, and no, not my space!!) and I too, have been ignoring them!!  not a happy chappy right now, I’ve lots of replying to get done!!!

  31. Heidi Price
    Heidi Price says:

    I second Celtcraft’s request! *How* do you get FB to spit out all the page posts? Believe it or not, I “liked” those pages because I actually wanted to see the posts!

    • AudnZaxMom
      AudnZaxMom says:

      I created a list for the pages I like and also my own newsfeed of all of my friends. Click on Lists and then Add a List. Then you can select pages and/or people to add. Then you have to remember to add people and pages to these lists when you add friends or like more pages. Hope this helps! (I named them My Newsfeed and My Pages.)

  32. Lost in Suburbia
    Lost in Suburbia says:

    So glad I got a link from ShitMyKidsRuined to this blog post because I checked my “other” messages and there were NINTEY-NINE of them. WTF???  Thanks so much for calling this out. FB is a freakin nightmare!

  33. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I knew about the “others”, but I always, always forget.  I only have a personal account, so what goes in there tends to be updates from pages. I have missed out on info from friends who have pages for their bands, and only got the info because they posted on their wall.  I’ve also missed updates from events I’m attending (apparently a friend’s event will go to messages, but a non-friend or group’s event will go to “others”.   I also miss the updates from “Facebook Site Governance” page, since they all go to “others”.

  34. ThinkBannedThoughts
    ThinkBannedThoughts says:

    The bad news is that even with the email notifications, I am still seeing messages punted to the “others” area, and I’m not getting emails or other flags about them. As much as I’d like to be able to use FB to reach people, most of the time it just makes me scream.

  35. @keithprivette
    @keithprivette says:

    Why thank you very much Erika…I knew about the other, but the settings I had no idea about.  This situation is why I always do this type of ASK publicly.  The reply can be private or public does not matter to me.  Thanks again Erika!

  36. Sheilasthinkerings
    Sheilasthinkerings says:

    Wow! Who the heck knew! Thank you for enlightening me of yet another FB wonder! Here is my screen shot, but no number…why? Cos there has never been a number next to my “other”, therefore I never paid it any attention. Oh the things I missed! 

  37. tcabeen
    tcabeen says:

    I love how easy whiny bitches make themselves to ignore. They just run off in a huff and you never have to be bothered with their incessant need for validation again. Bonus!

    Congrats, thanks for the lesson, and to hell with Facebook.

  38. Ginger
    Ginger says:

    Thanks, I did this a while ago, but for some unknown reason Facebook can not send me e-mails all of the sudden.  I have updated it numerous times and no confirmation e-mail in my inbox or my spam folder…annoying annoying annoying.

  39. Sheilasthinkerings
    Sheilasthinkerings says:

    Crikey! I forgot to tell you I stopped counting at 90…now I get the pleasure of going through a three-step delete phase for them!

  40. Kelly Decoteau
    Kelly Decoteau says:

    My first other message was from a kind stranger who found my license a few days ago! Another one was from 3 months ago from a potential new client who probably thinks I completely blew her off.

  41. Christy Payne
    Christy Payne says:

    wow. 35pages of 8 = 1080 unread “other” messages – going back to January 2010.  Mostly page announcements or updates regarding events – but the most recent ones are from random men… hi beautiful, hey pretty, etc etc.   these seemed to have increased dramatically in the past couple of weeks as my status shifted from “in relationship” to not being listed at all.  I’ve heard other women complain about such messages – but I had not experienced – thought it was that my status said I was in relationship.  Sorry that I’ve been missing out on all announcements of events that I was actually interested in – but not on all the creepy “other” random messages.

    • Lipshon1097
      Lipshon1097 says:

      My family had the same problem so we created a private group.  Just click “create group” on the side of your homepage, and make it “private” and then add/invite the members of your family.

  42. Cham
    Cham says:

    Erika, you are a scream, this blog is FABULOUS – thanks so much for the info… believe it or not, when i followed your instructions, lo and behold a message from October!! that i didn’t receive and it was from a journalist and i had to send a thousand apologies for my apparent rudeness 🙁 I’m mortified, i have to say. Thanx again for the heads-up. And FB, thanks for NOTHING!!

  43. Katherine Michaud
    Katherine Michaud says:

    I don’t know how people didn’t already know about the Others. How do you miss seeing such a large number right there on the left of your homepage? You can also click “See All Messages” in the screen shot you posted above to get the old school view of your inbox. 

    • Caren Knox
      Caren Knox says:

      I usually click the little speech bubble to get my messages – there’s no notification of “other” there. And you have to actually click the word “messages” to see the “other” with that large number. Silly me, I thought clicking the “messages” icon would allow me to “see all messages”. That’s how I didn’t already know, I don’t know about the many others here who didn’t already know.

  44. Kate
    Kate says:

    Why should I rely on getting emails to another account in order to find out about messages in facebook, though? That is one of the most frustrating things to me about facebook. I got it to get messages there, not to get messages there, check my email, then go back to get more messages.

  45. Katherine Michaud
    Katherine Michaud says:

    Scroll to bottom of the News Feed and click “Edit Options.” Choose “Manage Subscriptions.” Click “Subscribe” on any you want to see and then choose the level of updates you want to see. Same goes for those people you wish you weren’t seeing so many posts from — Click Subscribed and choose either to unsubscribe or to lower the level of posts by importance.

    • Lipshon1097
      Lipshon1097 says:

      You can also create something like the “favorites” bar, on the left hand side it says “Lists”.  Next to it is a lighted word that says “More” click that, and you’ll see “+create lists”, and you can add pages that you’d like all the notifications from.  Then just check it whenever you’d like.

    • Hannah Wingert
      Hannah Wingert says:

      Even for the pages I don’t have posts hidden from, I’m still missing their posts from my newsfeed (and I do have it set to Most Recent First).  I’ll see them in my ticker (what a stupid idea..isn’t that what the NEWSFEED is for?!?), but they never show up on my wall.  

      • The Redhead
        The Redhead says:

        This had to do with EdgeRank – how Facebook rates the “importance” of fan page posts and thereby determines if they’ll show up in your feed. Unless you actively visit their page on a regular basis, they’ll still go to purgatory.

  46. Katherine Michaud
    Katherine Michaud says:

    There is also this method if you want to see just those that are hidden without going through your whole list: 

    Unhide stories from a person, Page, group, event or appFrom your home page, hover your mouse to the left of the left side News Feed menu.Select EditA list of people, apps, Pages, and groups you’ve hidden or unsubscribed from will appear in a pop-up box. Click the X next to each one you’d like to remove from this list. Removing someone or something from your list of hidden stories means those stories can appear in your News Feed again.Click Save.

  47. T Spahme
    T Spahme says:

    IS ANY ONE ELSE having the problem of not seeing the “email frequency” tick box and text to the right in “notification settings” shown above???

  48. Tomekha
    Tomekha says:

    This “Other” message thing is STUPID – I went into my messages the other day and saw it – thee are a gazillion messages that I’ve received that I hadn’t known about. *kmt* FB’s becoming increasingly annoying.

  49. Sunrise_overme
    Sunrise_overme says:

    Good grief! I only had 23, but they dated back to October of last year!

    You know, a guy who will make such a drama about such a small thing, especially without finding out a reason, is pretty scary.  I think you just skipped right over the awkward stalker-gets-angry stage without even knowing it.

  50. Melinda VanLone
    Melinda VanLone says:

    Wow, thanks for this post. I had 19 messages I’d never seen, but luckily nothing I couldn’t live without. I had found the notification settings a few months ago, so all the messages I missed were from before that. There was no number next to “messages” so I had no idea it was a drop down menu. I thought it matched the messages drop down at the top of the screen and never clicked on it. Facebook geek programmers could really use some real life people testing their user interface…

  51. Malcolm Daly
    Malcolm Daly says:

    I had 43 dating back to Feb 2010. I think it actually did a decent job of filtering. There we no messages from friends. Not a single one. They we all from brand pages or events that I chose not to attend.

    • Deoll
      Deoll says:

      I was going to make exactly the same observation as sunrise, but (s)he beat me to it.  See?  There’s your silver lining right there.  😉

  52. Caren Knox
    Caren Knox says:

    Oh – just clicked. *Well over* 100. And get this – a message from the ex-wife of a friend who had recently passed. Yeah, I’m the asshole who won’t even reply to a grieving woman. Lovely. And how I felt like such a loser for not being invited to a birthday party when I saw all the pictures and posts? The invitation was there. And that time a few months ago when were down to ramen and rice? A job offer. I stopped counting at 314; there were many, many more.

    • TerranRich
      TerranRich says:

      It’s very likely that this “feature” of Facebook has royally screwed up many a missed opportunity for many, many people. I mean, I only had a handful of messages from non-friends inviting me to groups, or inviting me to respond to an opening for a friendly debate (which I LOVE, so I was pissed that I didn’t get them at the time they were sent), and the rest were from groups, dating back to mid-2009, but still.

  53. Kara
    Kara says:

    I have known about the “other” inbox for a while and the email notification thing does not work for messages you receive there.  In fact, it barely works for messages you get from friends.

  54. Rob Richards
    Rob Richards says:

    I didn’t pay attention to the number, and then it went away, but it must be over a hundred messages sitting in there going back to June 01, 2010. 

    Including one from October from a cousin I haven’t seen since I was a kid, trying to message me to reconnect. Thanks to FB, I just ignored a long lost cousin!

  55. KF
    KF says:

    My most favorite message lost in the Others box:

    March 25, 2010
    Facebook Site GovernanceProposed Updates to Facebook’s Privacy Policy and Statement of Rights and ResponsibilitiesWe’ve
    proposed updates to our Privacy Policy and Statement of Rights and
    Responsibilities. We encourage you to read through the updates and
    offer your comments by 12:00 am PDT on 04/03/10. You can access them
    from the “Documents” tab on the Facebook Site Governance Page:
    In the future, all notifications of proposed changes will come through
    the Facebook Site Governance Page. To receive future updates to
    Facebook’s site governance documents, become a fan of the Page.

  56. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Following step two going to step 3 I do not have that window showing under notifications.  No such window so i can’t uncheck anything. 

  57. Gina Taylor
    Gina Taylor says:

    I had already know this about 9 months ago, but I read this great article anyways just to make sure if I needed to know anything else!! lol When I had found it I had 73 messages in my OTHER folder. And a lot was either BAD messages like yours and a few was things I had won 🙁 and then there was a few FB scams.

    Really loved this blog! Shared it with my friends because I KNOW people who do not know about this and this is easier to show them then to have to tell them lol


  58. tonyknuckles
    tonyknuckles says:

    Oh..we all know that you’ve been hiding from “my messages”…lol. Great catch for “The Others”. Noticed this was happening to me a while back too. I had on occasion used my facebook email address and was curious as to what the hey was going on. Lo, and behold there was a magical setting that I too overlooked.

    See ya around the Blog Frog…take care.

  59. tonyknuckles
    tonyknuckles says:

    Oh..we all know that you’ve been hiding from “my messages”…lol. Great catch for “The Others”. Noticed this was happening to me a while back too. I had on occasion used my facebook email address and was curious as to what the hey was going on. Lo, and behold there was a magical setting that I too overlooked.

    See ya around the Blog Frog…take care.

  60. Cat0007uk
    Cat0007uk says:

    Great post – thank you for sharing.

    One of my hidden other messages was from FB telling me about their New Privacy PolicyPrivacy Policy update: It’s important that you understand how information is used and what your choices are!How ironic!Cat x

  61. malixe
    malixe says:

    “Shared” this on Facebook.  I had 52, including an invite to a July birthday party from a gal I’m interested in.  Guess I missed it. >:(   My friends who responded to my posting of it?  So far we’re at 134, unmentioned but as a writer and performer she apparently missed several submission opportunities, and 88.

    Grrrrr!   And thanks so much for spreading the news!

  62. Colleen McKeon
    Colleen McKeon says:

    I knew FB was different and I wasnt getting any messages from my acquaintances; I didnt know there was a way to fix it.  I went to the Others, I never saw an exact # where I could post a screen shot – where would that be and how would I post that pic?  anyway, I counted my Others and I have 556!!!!  that’s 556!!! 109 from Brett Michaels and 200 from ClickAway or something, that leaves almost 300 important messages from people I’d have like to seen.  I won 2 prizes that I didnt claim, now I lost them.  What a sad, frustrating day!!!

  63. Renae Grizzle
    Renae Grizzle says:

    So, two things. 1. Doing what you described isn’t going to get you notified of the messages in the ‘other’ folder. I did all of the above as soon as the new changes came out and I still had 80 unread messages in the ‘Other’ folder, which brings me to 2. My message count only showed one as being unread, when I had 80. :-/   But, thanks for posting this because I had forgotten about the ‘Other’ folder and a message was sent to my by someone who wasn’t a friend on Tuesday that I really needed to respond to.

  64. Renae Grizzle
    Renae Grizzle says:

    So, two things. 1. Doing what you described isn’t going to get you notified of the messages in the ‘other’ folder. I did all of the above as soon as the new changes came out and I still had 80 unread messages in the ‘Other’ folder, which brings me to 2. My message count only showed one as being unread, when I had 80. :-/   But, thanks for posting this because I had forgotten about the ‘Other’ folder and a message was sent to my by someone who wasn’t a friend on Tuesday that I really needed to respond to.

  65. Vivian
    Vivian says:

    Oh, my! I love your writing! I had no idea that this was happening, but reading your blog made me laugh out loud instead of screaming when I found NINETY FOUR messages. 94!!! Now where do I send my photo? And by the way, keep up the funnystuffs!

  66. The Redhead
    The Redhead says:

    Post a new comment on the blog and in the bottom left hand corner of the comment entry box, you’ll see a +IMAGE button. Click that and use it to attach your photo to your comment. Holy shit. 94?! G’dang.

  67. Sarah Quillian
    Sarah Quillian says:

    Oh my god.  I left a comment earlier but I’m leaving another one.  My friend Kelly posted this story on her Facebook page.  I’m so glad that you made this, because if you hadn’t I wouldn’t have discovered for a long time that someone had broken into my PayPal account and stolen $1400 from me.  There was a message from way back in October from a girl who received a random payment from me of $83.  She had searched me on the web and found my Facebook and sent me a private message about it.  I didn’t receive her message until I read this article and discovered “the others” messages.  Hers was hidden in there.  I couldn’t figure out who she was so I logged into my PayPal, certain if I had paid her I’d have made a note on the payment for what it was for, and discovered 17 payments of $83 to random people on Oct 7th.  I freaked out.  Started sweating bullets.  I’m in the hospital right now and my monitor that’s keeping track of my heart rate went ballistic.  I called PayPal and they are now launching a complete investigation and should be able to get my money back in 7-10 business days.  Thank you so much for posting this.  

    • The Redhead
      The Redhead says:

      WOW. Sarah, I’m glad, too! Now get your heart rate back down! 🙂 Paypal is good about stuff like that – they helped me out big time when something similar happened, too. Good luck!

      • Radiophonic Fretless
        Radiophonic Fretless says:

        But the point is – Paypal is NOT GOOD. 

        If Paypal WERE any good, its security would prevent this sort of thing from happening in the first place!

        It’s some consolation that they are prepared to make such efforts to reclaim your money, but, in the end, the fault is down to inadequate security at Paypal.

        Mind you, the same is true with all the big banks – hence the reason we get ripped-off so badly with charges [id we borrow from them] or with credit/debit card handling charges [if we’re a business].  Credit cards are the worst – and [sadly] most customers are unaware of how much the shops are stung for every credit card purchase – yet this is all, ultimately, reflected in the price we pay – it has to be passed-on to the consumer in the end.

  68. Miss Lynx
    Miss Lynx says:

    I forgot to count them at first, and started archiving or deleting the ones related to past events and such. Eventually I remembered to count, and had 78 left. I think I’d probably deleted about a dozen by that point. And in amongst those left were a ton of event invites I’d never gotten (including one for a good friend’s birthday party), a couple of old friends trying to get back in touch, friends trying to tell me about pages they’d created for projects they were involved in (some of which I would have happily added if I’d known about them), etc… Joy. 

    And alas, I have no “E-mail frequency” box in my notification settings – but obviously, I’m still not getting e-mails for everything. 🙁

    • The Redhead
      The Redhead says:

      Go to the top of your feed. Make sure you’re displaying updates by “Recent Stories.” Go to a post in your feed by Glee page. Float your mouse out to the right of their name in your feed (far right) until you see a dropdown arrow. Click Hide 🙂

  69. Runnrrrgirrl
    Runnrrrgirrl says:

    Well, I know I’m not going to win your contest because I only had 46 hidden messages but they went back almost two years!  Hol-eee crap!  Thanks for the tips!

  70. Hannah Wingert
    Hannah Wingert says:

    Does the notifications page send you emails or just notifications on Facebook if you select some of the options?  Because I really don’t want my inbox flooded with facebook junk.

  71. Talamorgan
    Talamorgan says:

    I have 300 hidden messages!  I can’t believe this – but what really doesn’t make any sense is that the “email frequency” box is unchecked!  WTF?!?!

  72. Miss Jane
    Miss Jane says:

    Wow. I had stuff in there going back to 2008, including a message from last summer from a local store that I liked on FB. My daughter had left her wallet there and they messaged me to let me know, and it went to Others. 

    I enjoy FB, but some of their decisions baffle me.

  73. Wells Jacqueline2
    Wells Jacqueline2 says:


  74. Erin Jackson
    Erin Jackson says:

    I had over 100 unread messages — some from people who had attended my shows and had such nice things to say… People who probably think I’m a huge jerk. Thanks for this post I’ve changed the settings and begun the process of responding to each of them. What a pain Facebook can be!!!

  75. Winonayvette1
    Winonayvette1 says:

    wish I had read your info on how to get a screen shot with the number of messages bubble in it!  I ended up with “100+”!  Some of them were discounts/coupons that are now expired that I would have loved to use.  Some of them were from people trying to contact me about our 30th yr class reunion (I was in charge of finding people) and our reunion was in October so it is WAY too late!  There are a LOT of other ones!

  76. Joann Woolley
    Joann Woolley says:

    I was flabberghasted that I had over 100 messages that never got to me – what a jerk I’ve looked like – thanks a lot FB!

  77. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Thank you, excellent article. I went through the steps and found my hidden messages also. I am and sharing this on my FB and blog.

  78. C W
    C W says:

    Hrm, interesting. I haven’t found anything useful in the messages.

    What a “shame” you missed the comment from that douchenozzle. You could have been emotionally abused by a “nice guy”! Instead, he reveals himself for who he is.

    I can only imagine how common those messages are on dating sites…

  79. Mungo181
    Mungo181 says:

    Mine said “200+” and i even had all my settings correct. And I did have one non-spammy email in there asking about a font I used in a book. So annoying!

  80. Ambrav
    Ambrav says:

    wow..I didnt know this! thanks for the post!…I have to say that the 100 Other messages were all kind of spam…so it’s not too bad!

  81. Tyler Hackney
    Tyler Hackney says:

    I found something analogous in the next catagory of the list under events there are friends events and I had eight of them there that I had no clue about.  Only four other messages but 3 of them were from July 2010. Good tip. Thanks.

  82. Meg Nugent
    Meg Nugent says:

    wow – 31 for me. But I’ve grown tired of keeping up with the micro changes to FB that seem endless. If it weren’t for thoughtful (and amusing) insights like these I probably wouldn’t be very FB literate now. And I thought I was pretty savvy to this stuff too – I met my husband via a dating website, after all!

  83. Shannon W.
    Shannon W. says:

    Asshattery abounds. In Facebook’s programming model that determines the most prolific Facebookers are the people/brands that are important to me, and in dudes who send passive-aggressive messages assuming crap about the core of who you are. Down with asshattery! 

  84. Andra Zeppelin
    Andra Zeppelin says:

    JESUS M. CHRIST! There are tens of emails in my ‘other’ box! Some that I would have loved to consider – like would you like a short segment on our cooking show – from a credible source that tried to contact me in MAY! Wow. Thank you. 

  85. Beanjeepin
    Beanjeepin says:

    Ok, I have tons of messages there – but nothing after Aug 28 this year.  3-4 a day up till then.  Is there possibly a way the ones from then till now are still hidden??  Wait, don’t answer that, this IS face book.

  86. Marissa Berlin
    Marissa Berlin says:

    Jesus christ. I’ve got 86. Most of them being derby things that I either really wish I’d known about, or was all butthurt about not knowing about. Thanks a million, Facebook. Slugs n kisses.

  87. Kartos
    Kartos says:

    Thank you for posting this! I think I have hundreds and hundreds of messages, but once in a while I would click an event notification email, and it would reset the count. The list with the number only said a handful, so I can’t win your contest. lol

  88. Tonya Collier
    Tonya Collier says:

    omg this seriously happened to me too! I just checked my ‘other’ folder and this is what i find… so far!  what the crap facebook! and btw i seriously have no clue who this is LOL!!!
    facebookhey, i don’t really use facebook… i’ve been trying to delete this account but it won’t go away. my phone number is 618-***-****, you can text me sometime, i’m on nights right now but i’m likely to text than check facebook.

  89. Melshouldstudy
    Melshouldstudy says:

    hey thanks — i normally don’t share this kind of article on fb, but i did for this one, cos it’s true — i had 20 unread messages.  Most of them were spam, messages from pages i ‘like’ or love letters from random strangers, but there were one or two that i would have liked to get — and there was no guarantee that a genuine message wouldn’t have landed in there. Thanks so much, that was very helpful!

  90. Katy Tafoya
    Katy Tafoya says:

    It looks like they’re in the process of doing the Timeline profile switch so they’re denying access to the check boxes part of things.  Thankfully, I only had 38 hidden messages.  FYI, you also have hidden messages if you admin a FB page as well.

  91. Arsenic
    Arsenic says:

    Okay… this explains the whiney, ‘Why have you been avoiding me?’ messages. Is it just me, or is facebook becoming so nefarious that we’re going to have to start using something else, soon?

  92. Louise Henrie
    Louise Henrie says:

    thank you, I didn’t know about this “feature.” but I do have my notifications set up the way you show, and they still did not e-mail me about a message from someone important that I’ve been ignorant of for 7 months.

  93. Bobby Newlyn-Jones
    Bobby Newlyn-Jones says:

    Thanks for your blog about hidden facebook messages. I had 44 messages that I was unaware of. Many I would have deleted without reading anyway, but there are others in there that I would also have liked to read when I received them the first time around, several months ago!

  94. Share Ross
    Share Ross says:

    Thank you Erika! Indeed, there was a boatload of ‘other’ messages! Who knew? You rock for making it known! Love your blog. Love your tweets. In fact.. I just downright lurv you! LOL. Ya always keep it real.

  95. Susan Tippett Braithwaite
    Susan Tippett Braithwaite says:

    I just checked my “other” messages a couple of days ago and found a message from my dad (via his friends account), telling me he has terminal cancer.  He sent the message 2 weeks ago, fortunately I had called him several days before finding the message.  

    Sometimes FB is the only way to get in touch with someone (especially family members you haven’t shared your new number or address with :D) and if you’ve not friended them the messages end up in “other”

    I think that would have been a horrible message to have found 6 month from now.

  96. Morgan Barnhart
    Morgan Barnhart says:

    I’m kind of pissed right now after reading this. I looked at all my ‘other’ messages and some were from people from several months back about actually important things!!! Ugh! Most of it, is junk, though. It’s from Facebook Pages spamming me with their shit. But a lot of them were actually important. 

    Thanks for telling us how to fix it! 🙂

  97. jem
    jem says:

    Anyone that would waste time messing with facebook doesn’t have anything important to do anyhow. Its a good way for kids to find out where the party’s are and for people to feel they have lots of friends !!

  98. Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2
    Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2 says:

    Uhm, yeah, I’m pretty sure I’d consider being blocked by this guy a blessing.

    Yeah, it make things a tiny bit weird with the people you know being that you couldn’t smooth things out with him but I’m sure you’d rather have that as opposed to having ultra sensitive Psycho-Dad (no clue if he’s a dad or not, just felt the urge to include the Married With Children reference here) create a scene at a coffee shop because you were 15 minutes late, or get all butt hurt because you didn’t laugh at his jokes, or blow up your phone with calls and texts when you don’t reply immediately to his calls and messages.

    Very interesting what petty little slights reveal about a person. Almost makes you think it’s a good idea to do them on purpose to weed out the dick holes like this.

    Oh, and thank you so much for showing me how to fix this problem – the Psycho Dad one and the Facebook one. 🙂

  99. Debi Davis
    Debi Davis says:

    OMG. This has been a lifesaver and heartbreaker. Found over 200+ messages in the ‘other’ box I never knew existed, and many private emails, some from students I’d mentored who wrote heartfelt thanks, and must have thought I was ignoring them. I am so grateful for this information so I can now contact all those people and explain why I did not respond to their lovely letters. 

  100. Janet Swarey
    Janet Swarey says:

    This is totally annoying. I found out that I had a message from my friend a long time ago, somewhere in mid July 2010 and I have not seen it. Next time I’ll tell her to just email me than message me through Facebook.

  101. Mallorie
    Mallorie says:

    For the record I have had email notifications on for months now, as far as I can tell it still wont email you when you get an “other” message.

  102. Tim Lewis
    Tim Lewis says:

    I’m sure that your contest is already over, and my Inbox only ever showed me as having “1” message in my “Other” Inbox, but I just spent over an hour cleaning out messages from the “Other” Inbox that dated back to late 2007…Just wanted to pass on my empirical data… 😉

  103. Amy Swanson
    Amy Swanson says:

    Holy crap, thank you so much for this! I checked mine and found out that a woman my parents graduated high school with was trying to reconnect with them. She only sent it on Nov. 8, so I’m sure it won’t look funny that I’m emailing her back now 😛

  104. Expat Doctor Mom
    Expat Doctor Mom says:

    Dear Erika

    So glad you are not really an “Evil Lady”.  And seriously what is up with this guy?  Even if you didn’t respond.  He should have assumed that you “just were not that into him”  even if it was not your fault.  Life is too short.  So this time, Facebook did you a favor.  The rest of the messages and events well we were all F%$^3D!

    I am reading this offline and as soon as I am online I will let you know how many messages I have in the other category!  I had 16 messages, 2 of which it was rude not to respond to: Another physician and a former patient who wanted my opinion… Then 2 messages from 2 random guy which were creepy!   

    Best in the New Year!

  105. Jmputt
    Jmputt says:

    thankfully, i stumbled upon this page.  freakily, i followed your instructions, and that “email frequency” box wasn’t even checked.  and i’m still not receiving notices on “other” messages.  WTF, FACEBOOK?!?!?!

  106. Mangelo
    Mangelo says:

    The email frequency checkbox is gone!!! Now there is no way to get all notifications… The Facebook Help says it’s still there but it’s not, verified trying 3 different web browsers, at least on Mac. I’ve been missing dozens of very important messages ;(

    • Erika Napoletano
      Erika Napoletano says:

      You can’t adjust this. It’s Facebook. If someone send you a message and they’re not your friend, it will go into “other” messages. You can control Notifications in your account settings, however.

  107. Rick Pratt
    Rick Pratt says:

    I want to share this with ALL my friends but unfortunately when I click share. Many won’t ever see it because of Fb’s greed. I do believe this is happening to push the “Pay To Promote” button! It’s that simple and it pisses me off! When I signed up for Fb it was to stay in contact with friends and their activities and such. Unfortunately, Fb leads one on to believe that you will be able to receive every post and every post of yours be seen by ALL your friends.After all. If I wanted to restrict who sees it they have so nicely provided tools to do so. Therefore giving the impression that ALL would see my posts and I would see ALL post by friends. Not so much the truth! Even to this day when I have my settings wide open to get ALL notification and am subscribed to every friend, I STILL find posts that I was not notified of or did not show up in the “Newsfeed”.

    • Rick Pratt
      Rick Pratt says:

      Could you look into the above as well? Fb limiting what posts my friends make that show up in my “Notifications” and “Newsfeed”? I have all my settings wide open for friends posts and still find many that I never get notified of.

  108. andylou
    andylou says:

    I have been trying to contact an old friend of mine on facebook, her privacy settings are set so that I cannot just click ‘add friend’ I have sent her a message, that she obviously has never seen, probably gone into her ‘other’ messages folder.  I have also sent a message to her daughter who obviously hasn’t seen it either, so frustrating!!

  109. karenmoore68
    karenmoore68 says:

    Just wanted to say thank you…I did have hidden messages. Thanks to you. I was very upset though my first message was a friend trying to get up with my husband to do some work for them…this was in June…lost money. My second message was from a very old friend that had become very sick & the outlook was looking very grim…this was in Jan…now I’ve tried to contact him but cannot…all I can do is pray he’s ok. So from a new fan of yours thank you ! 
    Your fan, Karen

  110. karenmoore68
    karenmoore68 says:

    I was rereading my comment and notice that were I said thanks to you I was very upset. I do apologize…I was trying to say thanks to you they were found. Tried to edit for some reason it wouldn’t let me. Thanks again.

  111. Bible Brooke
    Bible Brooke says:

    Hello to the people of this forum< Am Brooke Campbell from Texas and i can say that am the happiest person on earth since last week with what DR ABULU has done for me , it all started last year October when my fiance left me in Texas and travel to see his parents in Ohio at first him was still calling me and show love even when him was away , but it gets to a point when he no longer gives a shit about me , and i noticed it so when i tried to confront him , he told me that he dose not love me again that he feel like being alone i was shocked and heartbroken when i tried talking he will hang the phone on me i was so heart broken and i was frustrated about this , but on a second thought i was not convince that he was on his right senses so i discuss this with my elder sister who lives in California and she directed me to DR abulu of saying that the man has helped her friend in such case before so i said to my self let me tried i contacted this man and explain everything to him and behold dr abulu said to me what am to do and i did exactly what he and he said after three days my fiance will call me and once he calls me i should pick the calls and he gave some other instructions . so i said okay , but to my best surprise on the 7th of November my fiancee called me and started saying on the phone am sorry it was like a dream to me , with this i said i will tell the world of his dr abulu goodness in my life , so if any one is out there and needs help in his or her relationship can also contact him today via


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