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What happens when you restrict someone on Messenger?

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  • 5 min read

We all come across individuals that can be annoying and muting or restricting them seems to be the only option when you don’t want to seem to rude. They can be your friends, colleagues, family, or acquaintances. Thankfully, social media apps like Facebook and Instagram provide us with this option.

In this article, we will discuss what happens when you restrict someone on Messenger and if you should block them instead.

Also read: What does Bump mean on Facebook Messenger? 

Facing the consequences

Facebook has evolved tremendously, so much so that I could not figure out how to log out of the Facebook app last week. If you are a millennial, a boomer, or an early Gen Z then you may recall that Messenger was initially a part of Facebook. They also have various tools to help lower your profile’s outreach if you want to keep your account private.

Now, there is a separate app for it as well and has been developed with many more features. If you believe that restricting someone is better than blocking then you should also know what consequences you may face by restricting someone.

No messages

If your notifications are turned on then you usually receive a message if someone texts you on a social media app. However, if you have restricted someone on Facebook Messenger, you will receive no notifications. For other unrestricted contacts, you will be able to receive messages and get notified about them.

No calls

If the restricted person tries to call you, they will be able to reach you however, you will not be notified. Facebook will not notify you about the call. This way you will not be disturbed by any task that you had been doing. If the restricted contact has your phone number, you can block them normally or place your phone on DND mode (AKA Do Not Disturb; Not Dungeons and Dragons).

Previous or new messages

None of your previous messages will be deleted so you can rest assured. However, Facebook will hide the restricted contact from your Chats list. So if you want to un-restrict them or look for their messages, be they previous or new, you can search for their username in the search bar on the top.

Additionally, the restricted account will not be able to see if you have read their messages. Similarly, you will not be able to see if they have read your messages unless you un-restrict them.

Also read: What happens when you mute someone on Twitter?

Activity status

Facebook will not show your online status to your restricted account. This way they will not be able to see when you come or go. You can even switch off your activity status for all contacts in the settings. Again, this is a two-way street, you will not be able to see the restricted person’s activity status as well.

Facebook will always inform you when you are forming a new group or entering a group chat which includes someone that you have restricted.

Facebook notification

Keep in mind that Facebook never informs a user if their account has been restricted. Similarly, even if you were to mute or block someone, Facebook would not inform them.

Contact boundaries

Facebook does not let you have any contact with someone that you have restricted. This includes messages and calls. You cannot do either of the two unless you un-restrict them. So if you notice that they have messaged or called you, in order to respond to them, you will have to un-restrict them.

Also read: Why is this story unavailable on Instagram?

Restricting: Sole option?

The decision to cut contact varies on the intensity of your reason. If you would like to cut off a person entirely, you can unfriend them or you can block them. Blocking someone will remove your presence from their Facebook account. They will not be able to see your account, message, or call you.

If you want to mute someone, you can mute their calls and messages. You will not be notified when they try to contact you. Their messages, posts, stories and calls will be visible to you. Facebook will allow you to message or call you as well without un-muting them. Hence, restricting someone falls in between blocking and muting on the severity scale.

Facebook Messenger featuresMuteRestrictBlock
MessagesMarked as seen when opened;
No notification
Marked as unseen when opened;
No notification
CallsMarked as seen when opened;
No notification
Marked as unseen when opened;
No notification
Activity StatusVisibleNot visibleNot visible
Facebook notificationNot informedNot informedNot informed
Contact boundariesOpenClosedClosed
Previous/new messagesStay/ReceivedStay/ReceivedStay/Not received
Friend statusRemain as friendsRemain as friendsUnfriended

Also read: Does Grindr notify if people take screenshots?

Sania Usmani

Always curious, calm, and a little crazy, you can find me daydreaming or studying. An avid reader, traveler, and graduate of Aviation Science, I love gaining new experiences in life and star gazing. You can contact her here:

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