Have you ever messaged someone on Facebook, only for them to ignore your message for several hours? Then after you’ve confronted them about it, they claim they haven’t seen the message yet. If you’ve ever wondered why someone shows as active on Facebook even when they actually weren’t, here’s why.
Facebook’s active status is inaccurate because it shows people as online even when they’re not. If a Facebook session is left open on one device but closed on another, that user will still be shown active, especially when they get a message. The best way to avoid this is to close all active Facebook sessions across your devices.
However, even closing all active sessions doesn’t completely prevent Facebook from mistakenly saying “Active Now” when you’re not. There are no concrete solutions yet to this problem, so let’s take a look at its causes and the steps we can take to remedy it.
Why Does Facebook Say that You Are Active When You Are Not?
Facebook showing people as active when they’re not has been a problem for several years now. The company hasn’t offered or implemented any solutions to this problem, instead just pointing users to hide their Facebook status manually. But is there a way to get your status as accurate as possible?
The best way to remedy this problem is to close every instance of Facebook across all your devices. While it might be easier to minimize the application when not in use, Facebook still recognizes it as an active session. And every time you receive a private message, it will automatically change your status to active.
You can also take the proactive step and log all of your devices out and log back in through your current device. If this doesn’t solve your problem, go a step further and change your password to kick any potential hijackers out. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your social media accounts.
However, if you’re only logged in on one device and Facebook is still showing you as active when you’re not, there’s not much you can do. You can try clearing the cache of both Facebook and Messenger apps on your phone, but there’s no guarantee that it will work. Until Facebook officially recognizes this as a problem, the most you can do is try some remedies.
And before we forget, there’s one thing you must remember: there’s a delay between Facebook’s status indicator and the user closing the app. Even though the user has been inactive for a few minutes, Facebook will keep showing them as green for up to five minutes. This is an intended feature and not a bug.
How Accurate Is FB Active Status?
Facebook’s active status is not entirely accurate. People have been complaining over the years about how someone keeps showing as active even though they were supposed to be away. It can even cause arguments in relationships, as some people on Reddit admitted. 
Of course, Facebook status is not entirely wrong, either. If someone diligently closes all active Facebook and Messenger sessions on their devices, the status will be somewhat accurate. You’ll notice this when you talk to someone; their green dot accurately portrays their activity.
However, if someone shows up as active but doesn’t respond immediately, give them a few minutes. Facebook waits five minutes before showing a time stamp of how long ago someone was active. If, after a few minutes, you see “Active 5m ago” instead of a green dot, then the other person is currently away.
It’s also possible that someone may have been actively scrolling through their Facebook timeline but not their Facebook messages. Because the apps are separate on mobile devices, this explanation is plausible, especially when the other user only has limited time to use their phone. Be patient and give them some time to respond to you.
How to Change FB Active Status?
Unlike other chatting platforms such as Discord, Facebook does not have a way for you to change your status from active to something else manually. You’re either active or you’re not – there’s no in-between.
Unfortunately, this black-or-white approach causes people unintended consequences. People who are obviously away from their devices can still show as active, leading others to believe that they’re either slacking from their work or just downright ignoring them. It also doesn’t help that Facebook and other Meta apps, such as Instagram, have a separate status indicator from Messenger.
So how do you solve this problem? There’s not much you can do aside from just turning off or hiding your status completely. While that eliminates confusion about whether you’re genuinely active or not, that also prevents you from seeing other people’s statuses. It’s understandable if you keep showing your status anyway so that you can keep seeing other people’s statuses.
If you know you’ve closed all your Facebook and Messenger instances, and yet people still say you’re active, consider changing your password as a security precaution. Someone may have hijacked your account, so take some steps to change your password and secure your account. And even if no one else was in your account, at least you can be assured that you’ve made your account a bit safer.
How to Hide FB Active Status?
If you’re tired of having to explain your Facebook active status to someone, it might be time to hide your Facebook status. You’ll have to do it separately for both Facebook and Messenger, as each app shows your status separately.  Also, remember that if you turn off or hide your status, you won’t see other people’s active status.
If you’re okay with that caveat, then here’s how you can hide or turn off your status.
How to Hide Active Status on Facebook and Meta Apps?
These steps apply only to Facebook and other Meta apps, not Messenger. Follow these steps to hide your active status:
- On browser
- At the top right, click the Messenger icon.
- When the menu opens, click the icon with three dots.
- Click “Active Status,” and then another window will appear. You can turn your active status off entirely or keep it on or off for certain people. Once you’re done with your selection, click “Save”.
- On mobile (the exact wording may vary depending on your phone’s OS)
- At the top right, tap the hamburger menu below the Messenger icon.
- Scroll down and tap “Settings & privacy,” then tap “Settings”.
- Scroll down to the “Audient and visibility” section and tap “Active Status”.
- Tap the toggle beside “Show when you’re active” to turn it off.
Facebook should now hide your active status from everyone. Instead of a green dot or a time stamp, your profile picture won’t show anything. However, if you don’t do the same on the Messenger app, it will still show a status for you.
How to Hide Active Status on Messenger?
Just because you’ve hidden your Facebook active status doesn’t mean Messenger will follow suit. The two apps are somehow independent, so you’ll still show as active on one if you don’t turn both off. Also, remember that the Messenger app is for mobile devices and tablets only, so there won’t be any desktop/browser instructions.
Once you’re ready, follow these steps to hide your active status on Messenger (the exact wording on the menu may differ depending on your device’s OS):
- Tap your profile picture in the upper left corner.
- Tap “Active Status”.
- Tap the toggle beside “Show when you’re active,” then select “Turn Off” on the confirmation message that appears.
Now that you’ve turned off your status on the Messenger app, make sure you do the same on the main Facebook app. Not doing so will still make your status available on the other apps. If both are off, people won’t see any indicator of your activity.
Does Calling Someone on Messenger Make Them Active?
Calling someone on Messenger does not make them active as long as they’ve closed the apps on all their devices. Messenger will leave them with a message saying that they missed your call.
However, if any of their Messenger or Facebook apps are left open, the missed call will make them active. The automated message is enough to change their status to green again, giving the illusion that they may have ignored your call. However, this isn’t unique to just Messenger calls; this can happen when someone sends them a regular message.
If you doubt someone’s status, you can always call the person’s phone directly. They’ll be able to tell you if they truly were active or if they were busy with something else. Alternatively, you can also inform them that their Facebook active status is portraying them inaccurately and that it might cause them some issues.
On the other hand, if the inaccurate Facebook status is causing issues with your job or other people, take steps to either close all apps or turn off the status entirely. Your career and relationships with others are not worth losing over a false Facebook active status. You’ll just need to be patient with others as well since you won’t see their active status either.