How to remove the Facebook Chat sidebar

Facebook recently rolled out a change that now displays your “chat” menu across the right side of your screen. While lots of folks like the change, many don’t. This very brief tutorial will show you how to ‘hide’ that menu and revert to the previous style.

Note: the Facebook Chat Sidebar/menu will re-appear when you initiate a chat with one of your friends on Facebook. Repeat steps #2 and 3 to hide it again. Keep an eye on FB Purity updates – I expect they will create a much more elegant approach to reverting to the previous Facebook Chat layout.

  1. The image below illustrates the ‘new’ Facebook Chat sidebar.
  2. To (temporarily) disable this sidebar, scroll to the bottom of your screen and locate the “cog” icon (see image below) and click it.
  3. Select Hide Sidebar from the list of options.
  4. Now your “Chat menu” will revert to its previous state – at the bottom of your screen in a much more unobtrusive location.
  5. That’s it, you’re done! Do remember – when you click the “chat” box now at the bottom of your screen, the entire Chat Sidebar will re-appear. This isn’t a permanent solution, it’s just one that will remove the Chat Sidebar for your general Facebook surfing.
{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Cheryl July 19, 2011, 2:46 pm

    Soon as you click on it, it comes back.
    So how are you suppose to chat to people without the sidebar???????????????????????

  • Ross McKillop July 19, 2011, 3:06 pm

    Cheryl – correct. I mistakenly used the word “forever” when adding this post to the Simple Help Facebook page. If you what to chat with folks, just click on the (now smaller) chat box in the corner. That will bring up the sidebar again.

  • mohammed July 19, 2011, 3:54 pm

    you can also zoom in on your browser. :D

  • Mike July 19, 2011, 10:14 pm

    The new chat bar doesn’t list every one of my friends, so it often misses ones that are online. And I have very few friends, around 26. How can I revert it to show only those online?

  • Dan Ko July 22, 2011, 12:02 pm

    when i click hide sidebar, it simply does but when i click on chat(instead of being chat 45), it just comes up as the same thing…

  • chris July 26, 2011, 3:03 am

    I just press CTRL and scroll the mouse button. I dont want to read tiny font. Make it bigger and the chat bar automatically stays closes forever.

  • MISTERAMD August 28, 2011, 2:05 pm

    A) I’m using Ad Block Plus together with the filter “*=presence)” without the “. I have no chatbox because it’s been blocked by the filter I added.

    1. Install the browser plugin/extension “Stylish” which lets you modify the appearance of a website.
    2. Create a new style in Stylish and call it Hide Facebook chat
    3. Edit the style and add the following in the code-box: .fbChatSidebar {display:none!important;visibility:hidden!important;}
    4. In the box “Applies to” add the domain and hit Save.
    5. Reload the website in the browser and you should be good to go!

  • sandra sims July 2, 2019, 2:22 am

    need to chat with leftside of the screen

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