4 Tips To Find a Friend Whose Chat is Off on Facebook


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Facebook chat was once considered as the most worst chat of all but today, they have become a great tool for communicating with friends and clients. Earlier in 2009, when I joined Facebook, the site didn’t contained a chat history feature. All chat messages were not recorded for people to view them later. The Inbox feature and Chat feature was a separate things as per Facebook. Private messages worked just like an email and a chat included a window which just appeared as an interface for people to communicate. Today, all the conversation we do in a chat window is recorded and the Messages work together with it. Let us see how to find a friend whose chat is off on Facebook.

It’s ironical when your close friend turns off his or her chat. Is it that, he or she doesn’t want to chat with you? Or, he or she have some important work? As a friend, we used to question them for the reason to turn off the chat. Trusted friends reveal the truth while it’s not the same with few other people.

It is much interesting to tell your friend that he or she is online while his or her chat is off. You can find this in three different ways.

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#1 Last Active Time

Mobile site gives the exact time of when a user has been active on Facebook. When you want someone whether they are online or not, land on mbasic.facebook.com or m.facebook.com; go to messages and look at the last active time. If you suspect in this, then refresh the page after a minute, you can notice that the last active time should be updated to most recent.

The below picture shows when their chat is turned off.

Find Friends whose Chat is Turned Off

After a refresh of the same page, the last active time shows as the picture shown below.

Just now on Chat off

If the user had  a mobile icon near their name, you can also find the last active time on the desktop site. If they don’t you may need to depend on mobile site only.

Desktop Site Last Active timeThe desktop site shows the 1m period as a minimum time for last activity whereas a mobile site shows the exact time with seconds.

#2 Use Ticker

Ticker on Facebook reveals the real-time activity performed by your friends. Though they turn off the chat, they forget that their online presence might be revealed if they like or comment on any post. Ticker might be helpful to find a Facebook addict whose chat is off.

#3 Chat Seen Feature

Some people just read the message sent by you. They won’t be aware of the “Seen” feature which exists on Facebook. Send some message to a friend whom you are suspecting to be online. While they read the message, you get a notification that they have seen the message. You can now catch them red-handed.

#4 Using PHP scripts

Edit: Feels like I escalated much? Thank you LondonNoodles! A Reddit user noticed that this method is advanced for a noob. Yes, of course it is advanced. Using PHP scripts require Apache server. This method may find easier who has experience already working with web hosting. If you are puzzled about this and trying to make this trick work, you need following prerequisites.

  • A free web hosting

You can sign up for free hosting with 000webhost.com or GoogieHost.com or similar free web hosting company. Once you sign up, you will be getting a sub domain for free. Go to file manager and upload the file that we will be creating in the public_html directory.

Still, this is a killer method that works!

It is not much important to suspect a person whether he or she is online or not but in cases, you might really want them to complete a work. In that case, you may create a file called visit.php on your server and copy this script to it.

<?php
$i = "Visited";
$file = fopen("log.txt","a");
fwrite($file,$i);
fclose($file);
echo "<center>Thank you!</center>";
?>

After uploading, whenever a user visits the page visit.php, the text file will contain a text called “Visited”. If the page is visited twice, it gets recorded twice. So, be careful with this. After testing the script, you may delete the log.txt file which is created or remember the times, the text “Visited” has repeated.

Tip: To make them click the page you’ve uploaded, you may share the link on Facebook with the privacy setting so that only the person you want to find online could visit them. Add a catchy link description to make anyone click.

Would you like to share any other trick to find a friend whose chat is off? Please comment below and be nice. Do share this article if you have liked it.

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  • This is awesome, it will be more helpful to catch some girls red handed 😉 That 4th tip is too tricky 🙂

    • Arjun says:

      Yes Mothi, Even, I got the idea of making this post when one of my female friend didn’t care to reply as she thought I won’t me knowing her online presence while her chat was off. The PHP trick worked well for me. 🙂

      • Dagar says:

        I don’t know what that girl uses she remains completely offline
        her messages come even her Last Active Time is 2 day ago or is completely blank.

  • Varun says:

    The first 3 are the known one’s but the 4th one seems complicated, where can i find the “visit.php” file ???
    And the new option which shows from where the user is online “mobile” or “web” is also a welcome feature

  • Akshay says:

    Thanks for sharing this article, Arjun.

    Can you please tell me how to a create that ‘visit.php’ file?

  • vivian robles says:

    What app that can help me locate the address of my husband in other country.is it possible in facebook during chat even if the map is off or itmay it be possible on his android phone?…need help really..

  • fay says:

    i would like to ask you something.I did not find an aswer via your site. I choose to be offline to some friends on desktop.Will they see me via facebook mobile(the app) or i need to custom that too? thank you

  • Anonymous says:

    hm, “active just now” including they are chatting ??

  • rajesh bajaj says:

    Why does the mobile icon next to the name disappear sometimes.

  • patrick says:

    I am confused. I have a friend on facebook that I can see their name and icon. I can not see that they are ever on fb only when they make a post or like. Is there anyway to see they are actually online physically ? You can not see them in chat either. I actually feel offended due to the fact I don’t see the point of being friends if you don’t or wont interact socially on the site.

  • manikanta says:

    can i know whether iam in chat on or off with friend

  • vicky says:

    Hello, thank you for the information, I would like to kindly ask you if there is a way to find out, when a fb user ( not a friend), was on line last? And if he saw my profile since? Thank you), Arjun

  • vicky says:

    If the mobile icon disappears, therefore the person has signed out of messenger, does it concerns non fb friends, just fb usrs as well? Thank you

  • Sumit says:

    Thanks for the tips. I see the mobile icon in front of the name but when I hover the mouse it doesn’t show a last active time. Its doing so for other friends, however for only one that I actually wanted to check, it is not. What would that mean?

  • Anonymous guy says:

    Dude please help me….
    Well i just want to ask that.. is there any way on mobile, to get notifications when a certain friend of mine come online.

  • arjun says:

    fb shows active as .. mins but as soon as i send msg it shows as seen but seen timing is not shown.

  • Nish says:

    Hey Arjun,
    When I am on fb mobile app or android messenger, I don’t like to be seen as active or last online or active 1 minute ago. Is there a way to turn that off in android? Thanks.

    • Arjun says:

      Unfortunately, Facebook hides only the active icon (green) to other users. The active time is not hidden. But still, this is much of a issue with people like us who want to protect our privacy. Facebook should fix this issue soon.

  • Rick says:

    Hey Arjun

    Is there a way to see last active time for a friend, with whom you do not have any chat history?

  • Amjay says:

    If 2 person on Facebook with mobile device appear with the message ” last active X minute” i.e that both person last active with the same exact minute or 1 to 4 minutes difference, does that mean both of them is chatting with each other on messenger? Also they are also active on the same moment or few minutes apart. This pattern also repeat few times for the same party.

  • Judy says:

    When I am on fb on Desktop , I don’t like to be seen as active or last online or active 1 minute ago. Is there a way to turn that off to specific friends specially if they are using mobile App .

  • Wil says:

    What does it mean when your friends name at the top of messenger is black?…..also after this person has been off-line for over 24 hours it does not give me no type of time considering the last time they were active?

  • hey it’s nt working anyone tricks plz help me who i find who turnd off his chat

  • Donna says:

    My question is: If a FB Friend shows Active Now, but not listed in the Chat List with the green light on and without any indicator ever showing of Mobile or Web, does active now mean they are just on FB or involved in a back and forth conversation on Chat, meaning really chatting? And b because the green indicator light is off when Active, does it mean they really have chat off?

    • Arjun says:

      Hi Donna,

      1. They are on Facebook with chat OFF if it shows “Active Now”
      2. Active Now doesn’t mean that they are chatting with someone. They may be scrolling news feed or checking out other profiles.

      • Catherine says:

        I am wondering the same thing Donna was wondering but didn’t get complete clarification from your response.
        I have four questions…
        1. When I am on the messenger app, a friend says “active now” but she is not listed in the active list on messenger and she also does not have a green dot. Does this mean she is scrolling through facebook or does it mean she is on the messenger app?
        2. On the messenger app, same as above (active now but not listed in the active now list, and also no green dot) but it says “1 M ago” beside their name on Facebook app. What does this mean? Are they on Facebook or on messenger? Why are the times conflicting?
        3. On the messenger app, same as above, it says “active now” one minute, then the next minute it’ll say “1 minute ago,” then it will say “active now” again immediately after, almost as if they are logging on and off FB over and over again, which I know isn’t the case. Why would it do that?
        4. If someone has their chat off on the Facebook app, how would I know?

  • Marjelyn Palabay says:

    HOW CAN I KNOW IF THIS NAME Ljv Enitsirk Valdez is online on facebook but ofline in chat?

  • Claire says:

    I use Facebook mobile website on android chrome browser. There is a friend of mine whose chat shows “just now” or “active secs or minutes ago” does this means they are online? Or chatting

    • Arjun says:

      Yes. That means they have opened Messenger or Facebook but that doesn’t means they are chatting.

      • Donna says:

        Hi if my partner has not been on Facebook for 3 months (do he says) why when I go to messages it said last active 12 hours ago but when I showed him it’s gone and just says Facebook. Has he been on there or not??

  • alessia says:

    my friends say that my status on facebook chat or messanger never changes from 1m or active now even if i m.not using it at all. My chat is turned of so the time there should change (ex. 23m,6h) but is not. Any idea why?

  • gaurav says:

    heyyy friends..
    i can’t see the last active time of my nearest friend …his last seen is completely blank….what can i do to see his last seen …i am sad please help me..

  • Vvishal Reddy says:

    Yes what you told i follows that. I done chat off for all frnds only for 4 people i on my chat sound but i have a issue that is a girl last seen doest appear on my screen what the tick she done i wants to know so that i too can use it that.

  • Farahnajiehah says:

    Hello.. 1. May i know WHY if i go to check when was the last time he/she were online or it should’ve seen as ‘active xx ago’ on messenger BUT currently when i go to check on them, it just appeared as ‘on mobile’? 2. Related to question 1.. Somehow if i used to see them through my friend’s account, i could see them appeared as ‘active xx ago’.. Did they turned off chat off on me?

  • niat says:

    i found your tips awesome and i want to turn off chat on android app of Facebook,, is it possible with out messenger.

  • Zara Barber says:

    On the messenger page. If I click on some people, underneath them it will say facebook or messenger. Why is that?

  • Brandon Torres says:

    Why does fb messenger show someone as active when they were previously inactive as soon as I send a message thru messenger? I have an Android and they have the latest iPhone. They say they phones are out of their hands and they are sleeping when this happens but sometimes it doesn’t do that. I’m confused and would appreciate an answer. Thank you

    • Arjun says:

      Hi Brandon,

      This happens for users who use Messenger for iPhone. When the notification shows up on iPhone, it triggers the Messenger app and their status is changed to Active Now even though they are not using their iPhone. This is probably a bug and many users have noticed it. Even my friends have noticed and reported this to me. Facebook should provide a fix as soon as possible.

  • Emma says:

    What it means has icon green dot under name in active friend list but not active on