Android – Stop ‘Facebook’ Messenger Hijacking Your SMS

KB ID 0001222 


Just because Facebook changed the name to simply ‘messenger’ then had it as a separate ‘app’ to confuse the masses into thinking it was nothing to do with Facebook, does not mean I want it to handle my SMS messages!

I already have something to handle my SMS messages, MY PHONE! Yes it’s running Android so I’m slowly giving my soul to Google, but that doesn’t mean Facebook can get in on the act, and serve me adverts based on whats in my text messages.

After a recent update, it decided to jump in and intercept my SMS messages then keep prompting me to change my default SMS app to Messenger, which if you are in a hurry you can inadvertently do.



From within Messenger > Profile > SMS.

001 - Facebook Messenger Settings

TURN OFF the toggle switch at the top for ‘Default SMS app’.

002 - Facebook Messenger Disable SMS


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Author: PeteLong

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  1. You can turn it off in messenger but the next time someone writes to you in messenger you have to say ok to make it your default before you can view there text. Then going back to phones sms you have to go in and select default. Really frustrating.

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    • Yeah, it’s awful! Sometimes I accidentally turn it back on because of that and it’s just super aggravating and unnecessary.

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    • Just uninstall the messenger app. When someone sends you a message via messenger, you can reinstall Messenger Lite to read their message directly through Facebook

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      • I can’t uninstall it. That annoying message, saying Setup not complete etc. stays on the screen.

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  2. I think this may require a class action lawsuit to get Facebook to change their ways.

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    • I’d support that. How can they be allowed to hi- jack another program and then make it so difficult to switch off? NO should be an option right on the first page.

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  3. I just got my first Android (S8), and this is driving me absolutely bonkers!! I am so frustrated and ready to go back to Apple!!! Finally, after going back and forth, back and forth for over a week, I just now deleted the ANNOYING Messenger app. I hope this solves this stupid issue.
    Not a good way to start my Samsung experience at all.. >:(

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  4. I found that if you go into the app configurations, App permissions. The go to the Android message app, and turn off the permission for messenger. There were two different permissions for two different versions of messenger. Turn them both off.

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    • Do you mean:
      Settings – Privacy – Permission manager – SMS – Messenger – Allow/Deny SMS access for this app?
      Do I still need to change default to Messages?

      Thanks in advance for your help!

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    • I couldn’t find the 2 different versions you talked about. But I did the process in my previous reply and it worked. Messenger is back to normal!!!
      Thanks again!!

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  5. Why do we have to choose between one or th he other? Cant we use both?

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    • Yes don’t disable it in messenger?

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  6. If you are having issues with your home screen and the “messenger lite default sms’ message, and maybe even a new covid tracker icon, go to you settings, apps, the three dots menu in the upper right, default apps, Home app. You will see the messenger lite home screen. Change it to the UI app and it will go back to normal. You can then go into your apps and unistall Messenger Lite for good.

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  7. after reading some of these responses I got my answer. I’ve wondered about messenger Light. I’m thankful for the answer that was shared about her experience on what she thought about messenger light. Thank You. Smiling

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