How to check Facebook filtered messages and message requests
If you enter competitions on Facebook, you should be checking your message inbox (or Messenger app) regularly in case you get a winning notification! But it’s not as straightforward as it seems – there are also Message Requests and Filtered Messages to check.
- If you get a Facebook message from a friend (or a page you’ve messaged), it will go into your regular Messenger inbox at www.facebook.com/messages
- If a message comes in from someone Facebook thinks you might know, it will appear as a Message Request at the top of your inbox at www.facebook.com/messages/requests
- Messages from non-friends, assumed by Facebook to be spam, are sent to your Filtered Messages at www.facebook.com/messages/filtered
A Facebook page (company) can only message a fan directly if they have commented on their page – OR they can message if the fan has previously sent a message. Sometimes though, a notification about a competition you’ve won will come from a page admin, who has to use their personal account to send that message – and it may well go to your Filtered Messages folder!
Find your messages on facebook.com
Go to www.facebook.com and click the speech bubble icon at the top of your browser window to get to your messages – it shows Recent by default, but you can click the Message Requests tab (this will show a number in brackets if you have unread messages). Click to view a request – if you don’t want to respond, you can either leave it in your inbox – or choose I don’t want to hear from this person. if you want to delete the message, or block the sender.
Scroll right down to the bottom of all your Message Requests and you should see a link to see Filtered Messages (see screenshot below) – if you have any! You can tell Facebook if you don’t want to hear from that person, and delete the message or block them.
If you Reply to a message request or filtered message, it will move to your main messenger inbox.
Find your messages on messenger.com
If you click See All in Messenger from Facebook, or go directly to messenger.com, your inbox has a slightly different format. Click the settings icon in the top left of your browser and choose Message Requests. Scroll down past all the message requests and you can click to see filtered messages.
Find your messages using the Messenger app (new version)
In late 2019 the Messenger app was updated – if you still have the old version, see the next section!
To find your Message Requests on mobile, open Messenger. It will show you a list of your current Chats (your regular inbox). Tap your profile photo at the top of the screen. Then tap Message Requests from the menu.
Scroll down past all the Requests and you’ll see a Spam icon – this is where your filtered messages are (if you have any!)
Tap your message requests or filtered messages to to view each one – if you don’t want to respond, tap I don’t want to hear from this person. Tap this, and you can delete the message, or block the sender. Some spam accounts will be deleted by Facebook, and instead you will see ‘Facebook user’ as the sender (see above screenshot).
Find your messages using the Messenger app (old version)
To find your Message Requests on mobile, open Messenger and tap the People icon at the bottom (2 people), then on the next screen tap the Messages icon (speech bubble) to see your Message Requests.
Scroll down past all your requests and you’ll see the Filtered Messages heading (if you have any!). Tap to Show all.
Tap Accept to move the message to your regular inbox. Tap Decline to delete it.
If you pick up an old winning message and find you’ve missed the claim date for your prize (or there was no claim date!) don’t despair. Send a polite message back to the promoter explaining that you didn’t know about the Filtered Messages folder – they may be sympathetic!
If it’s a UK promotion you could also point out that the Advertising Standards Authority recommends that only contacting a winner once is NOT sufficient, and more attempts should be made if there’s no response (read more on this here).
Don’t forget to check your message requests on Twitter and Instagram too!
What’s the most exciting message you’ve found in your hidden Facebook folder? Tell me in the comments!