The instant messaging Chat component is a key part of the Facebook experience, integrating closely with the Facebook Messages system, and the Chat functionality has spilled over into the official mobile apps too. If you don't want to be available on Facebook Chat when using the Android app, this feature can be disabled. If you also have the Facebook Messenger app installed, remove it from your device to disable push notifications and communications from your friends.
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Launch Facebook for Android and tap the menu icon (three horizontal lines). Scroll down the list of options and tap "Account."
Tap "App Settings" and untick the box labelled "Chat Availability." You will no longer appear as available to your friends using Facebook Chat (any messages sent to you will go to your Messages inbox instead).
Launch the Settings app from the all apps screen to remove the Facebook Messenger application (a separate app to Facebook for Android which you might have installed at the same time).
Tap the "Apps" option and select "Messenger" from the list of downloaded apps. On the subsequent screen tap "Uninstall" to remove the program.
Tips and warnings
- Facebook Messenger runs independently of the main Facebook app and shows you as online whenever it is running, irrespective of the Chat setting in the other app. You can safely uninstall Messenger if you don't want real-time chat functionality on your Android device while leaving the main Facebook app in place.
- If you are logged into Facebook in a Web browser at the same time as using the Facebook for Android app you might still appear as online to your contacts. However messages won't be delivered instantly to your phone or tablet if you have disabled the Chat function.
- Several third-party instant messaging clients are capable of integrating Facebook Chat and if you have any such apps on your Android device you should uninstall them or disable the Facebook capability to prevent your friends from chatting to you.
- The instructions above cover the latest versions of Android and the Facebook app as of April 2013. If you are using different versions of the software or a modified version of Android the process may differ.
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