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Kill Facebook Messenger clutter without deleting your message history

It's easy to clean up your Messenger inbox while still keeping messages for future reference. Here's how.

It's easy to clean up your Facebook Messenger inbox. Here's how.
Angela Lang/CNET

Trying to practice inbox zero for your email? Bring that clean mindset to your Facebook Messenger, too. Easily get rid of message bloat with an archive feature that removes messages from your main Chat inbox, while saving them to access later. 

Use of Facebook Messenger skyrocketed during the pandemic, as more people turned to the internet to stay connected. While the archive feature has been around for a while, it may be time to actually use it if your inbox has become clogged with chats you don't really need to see every time you open the app. 

Here's how to archive your Facebook Messenger chats to view later. 

1. Open the Messenger app. 

2. In the main Chats inbox, find a message you don't want to keep in this pane. Swipe left on the message. 

3. Tap the purple tab that says Archive. (If you tap the gray More tab, you'll see options to mark as unread, mute, ignore, delete or block.)

That's it! To find your archived messages, here's what to do:

1. Open the Messenger app. 

2. Tap your profile picture in the top left corner. 

3. Tap Archived Chats

You'll see all of the chats you've saved there. You can then swipe right on each chat again and hit unarchive, or tap More to mark as unread, ignore, delete or block. 

Messenger has added a few new features this week, including new Star Wars and Selena: The Series chat themes, stickers that celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and read receipts to messages in the inbox view, so you can see at a glance that your message was received. 

For more, check out how to completely delete your Facebook and how to transfer your Facebook photos and posts to other platforms