How to Fix Facebook Chat Problems

Learn how to solve common Facebook messages problems

Facebook Messaging represented by message bubbles and two computer mice

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Facebook chat is a handy way to communicate with friends and family. Whether or not you are new to Facebook chat and its video calling features, you may sometimes find that chat on Facebook is not working.

Here we'll help you identify and fix the problem so you can get back to chatting or conferencing with friends.

Causes of Facebook Chat Problems

There are a number of reasons why Facebook Chat may not be working, ranging form hardware problems on your end to software glitches on Facebook's end. Whether or not you can fix the problem depends on the diagnosis and its potential solutions.

How to Fix Problems With Facebook Chat

Here are some common problems that users report along with their potential solutions. If your problem and solution is not listed here, contact Facebook by selecting the question mark in the top-right corner of a Facebook page, then select Report a Problem and follow the instructions on screen.

Problem 1: Unwanted Contact from Facebook Chat Users

Are specific users creating problems for you on Facebook Chat? By creating a block list, you can block individual users while allowing others to send and receive chat messages from you.

  1. Open Facebook and select the down arrow icon in the upper-right corner, then select Settings.

  2. From the menu bar on the lefthand side, select Blocking.

  3. Under the Block Messages section, enter the name of the person you want to block from Facebook Chat message. The people you block won't be able to send you chat messages or contact you in the Messages app.

Problem 2: Camera Isn't Working

One of Facebook Chat's lesser-known features is its voice and video-calling capability. You engage this feature by selecting the Camera icon in the chat window. If you are having trouble with your computer's camera during chats:

  1. Close any open applications on your computer that use the camera, particularly other chat or video programs.

  2. Restart your web browser.

  3. Download the most recent drivers for your camera.

Problem 3: No Sound on Video Calls

When the video is working, but the sound is missing, check the following:

  1. Check to confirm your microphone is not muted. Some microphones and headsets have mute/unmute buttons.

  2. If you use an external microphone, make sure it is plugged into the correct port on your computer.

  3. Close any programs that use a microphone, particularly video calling and chat applications.

Problem 4: Nobody Available to Chat on Facebook Chat

If all the names in your Facebook Chat sidebar are grayed out, then Chat is probably turned off or you are listed as unavailable. To turn it back on, select the Options icon (indicated by a gear) at the bottom of the chat sidebar, then select Turn On Active Status. If the names are not grayed out and there are no green dot indicators next to people's names indicating their availability to chat, they just aren't online right now. Try back later.

Problem 5: Cannot Close the Facebook Chat Window

If the Facebook Chat sidebar appears stuck in the open position, select the Options icon (indicated by a gear) at the bottom of the chat sidebar, then select Hide Sidebar. Selecting the Options icon again unhides the sidebar. 

Problem 6: Too Many Friends to Scroll Through on Facebook Chat

Users with more friends than the chat bar can accommodate may find Facebook Chat is difficult to use. You can turn off chat for some of your friends while leaving chat on for others.

  1. Select the Options icon (indicated by a gear) at the bottom of the chat sidebar.

  2. Select Turn Off Active Status.

  3. In the screen that opens, select the button next to Turn off chat for all contacts except...

  4. Enter the names of friends or groups for whom you would like to leave chat available. All others will be turned off. Messages from people for whom chat is turned off go to your inbox where you can read them later.

  5. Select Okay.

If you only want to turn off Chat for a few people, it is faster to choose Turn off chat for only some contacts... instead and enter those names into the field provided, leaving Chat turned on for everyone else.