What does the green dot on Facebook Messenger mean?

12 Oct, 2021

Facebook Messenger is one of the instant messaging social media platforms. It is a great way to connect and chat with friends, family, and other people you may know. The green dot or icon that appears beside the name of a person in Facebook Messenger indicates that the person is online or currently active on Facebook.

However, many people have often claimed that this ''green dot'' or status indicator appeared even when the person is not active on Facebook. According to some people, the green dot simply appears when your mobile data or WiFi is on. Also, a notification of a message sent to your Messenger can cause you to appear active on Facebook messenger. So, there is a possibility that you may be seen online even when you haven't opened Facebook on your device.

Does the green dot on the Messenger app mean that someone is chatting with another person or just active on Facebook?

As mentioned earlier, the green dot is your online Messenger status indicator. Still, it's also important to know that being online does not always mean that you are using Facebook. As long as your phone has a stable connection to the internet, a green dot or light will be shown beside your name on your Facebook Messenger account.

If you've been sending messages to friends and they are online but don't respond, it's because they don't have their phone or device with them. You must switch on your data connection and leave your phone if you wish to check your online status. Then verify if you're online using someone else's phone and account.

Even if you haven't accessed Facebook or Messenger, you will notice that the green dot still appears beside your name.

How can I turn the green dot (active now) off on Facebook Messenger?

You can quickly turn your active status off or on (the green dot) in the Messenger app. In only a few easy steps, you can take complete control of your online status:

  1. To access your profile, open the Facebook Messenger app on your mobile device or website and tap your profile picture (available in the top right corner).

    How to turn the green dot on Facebook or Messenger off (Step 1): Access your profile in the app

  2. Now from the menu, select "Active Status" from the profile segment.

    How to turn the green dot on Facebook or Messenger off (Step 2): Select "Active Status"

  3. You'll see a slide-bar icon beside the "Show when you're active"-option. All you have to do is tap on the slide bar to turn it off.

    How to turn the green dot on Facebook or Messenger off (Step 3): Open the "Show when you're active"-option

  4. Once you do that, the Messenger will ask you, "Turn off Active Status?" Now tap the "TURN OFF" button to confirm.

    How to turn the green dot on Facebook or Messenger off (Step 4): Change the settings and confirm "Turn off Active Status?"

You have successfully turned off the green dot (Messenger status indicator) once you complete these steps. You can also reactivate your online status by following the same process.

Why is Facebook constantly changing the active status of the people you are chatting with?

Many people have experienced these kinds of issues recently. If you are continuously accessing the Messenger app and opening someone's chat without exiting the app, it will show "active now." Before switching back to "active now" at random, it will show active 1 minute ago, active 2 minutes ago, active 3 minutes ago, and so on.

This can simply mean that your app is malfunctioning, and you need to clear its RAM and cache to get it to work usually.

What does 6m mean on Messenger next to the green dot?

It indicates the last active status time (when the person was last online on Facebook Messenger), so 6m meant 6 minutes ago. Let us look at more symbols like 4m used by the Messenger:

  • m = minutes ago

  • h = hours ago

  • d = days ago

If you switch off the green dot feature, this active status time indicator will also disappear.

A person claims to be asleep, but their online status is constantly changing. What could this mean?

This type of issue could be arising due to a variety of reasons, but in most cases, there could be 3 main reasons behind it:

  • Yours or their Facebook or Messenger is glitching. This appears to happen more regularly than you might expect. Potentially, "it's a feature, not a bug" too.

  • They faked being asleep for whatever reasons. Now they're on Facebook Messenger or Facebook, liking posts, commenting, checking their messages, and so on.

  • Someone else is snooping, looking around, or pretending to be them on Facebook (hacking). Someone could be using their account/profile in some other way, such as messaging someone while the person whom the account belongs to is sleeping. This is very unlikely tho.

Nevertheless, it is better to clear out the confusion with the person you were chatting with.


Being available to chat all of the time can be exhausting, and some of us prefer more privacy. In such cases, simply turn off the "Active Now" status and avoid conversations when you feel too drained to reply to people. These tips will help if you don't want others to know you're online on Facebook.