Is Facebook Messenger Down... Or Is It You?

How to tell if the messaging app is having problems or the issue is on your end

If you're worried about Facebook Messenger not working, it's important to know if the service is down or if it's just you. Fortunately, there are some key ways in which you can figure out if the issue is you or if there are Facebook Messenger issues going on.

The instructions in this article apply to the Facebook Messenger service as well as the smartphone apps

How to Tell If Facebook Messenger Is Down

If you think Facebook Messenger is down for everyone and not just you, try these simple steps to check if you're correct. 

  1. Check to see if Facebook is down, too. As the services are interlinked, it's important to work out if the issue is with both or just Facebook Messenger.

  2. Search Twitter for #FacebookMessengerDown. If the service is down for everyone, it's likely that someone has already tweeted about it. Check for tweets to see if there have been issues. Make sure to pay attention to the dates attached to the tweets. Some of them may be old, so you want to check that the information you're reading is up to date and relevant to right now.

    Twitter search for #facebookmessengerdown

    Can't access Twitter? Try other major sites like Google or YouTube. If you can't view them either, then the problem is almost certainly on your end or with your ISP.

  3. Use a third-party "status checker" website. Popular options include Down For Everyone Or Just Me, Downdetector, Is It Down Right Now?, and Outage.Report. All of them will tell you if Facebook Messenger is working for everyone else, and if there have been any recent problems with the service.

    Down Detector page for Facebook Messenger

What to Do When You Can't Connect to Facebook Messenger

If no one else is reporting a problem with Facebook Messenger, then the problem is likely something on your side.

There are a few things you can try if Facebook Messenger seems to be working fine for everyone else, but not you.

  1. Make sure you're actually visiting Facebook.com and not a clone of the site. 

  2. If you can't access Facebook Messenger from your web browser, try using the Facebook Messenger app. If the Facebook Messenger app seems to be down, try using the browser on your smartphone or tablet instead.

  3. Try reinstalling the Facebook Messenger app on your smartphone. 

  4. Close all of your browser windows, wait 30 seconds, open one window, and then try accessing the Facebook Messenger site again. Do the same with the Facebook Messenger app if you're on a tablet or smartphone. Make sure you're closing the app down properly. Learn how to close Android apps and how to quit apps on iPhone using the full method, rather than simply closing them.

    If the app or browser window seems to be stuck and not closing properly, try restarting your device instead.

  5. Clear your browser's cache.

  6. Clear your browser's cookies.

  7. Check your computer for malware.

  8. Restart your computer.

  9. Occasionally, there can be an issue with your DNS server. If you feel confident enough to switch DNS servers yourself, there are many free and public methods. This does require more advanced knowledge, though.

If You Still Can't Access Facebook Messenger

If nothing has fixed Facebook Messenger for you, you may have a problem with your internet connection. One such issue can be when you have too many devices using up your network bandwidth eventually slowing down your internet so you can't use it, but it can be more complicated than that. Contact your ISP to gain further help. 

Facebook Messenger Error Messages

Facebook Messenger is able to display standard HTTP status code errors such as 500 Internal Server Error, 403 Forbidden and 404 Not Found. There's also one specific error code exclusive to Facebook Messenger that can be seen quite often. 

  • Error code 490: If you have trouble sending or reading messages, Error code 490 is one of the most likely messages you'll see. It means there's an issue validating your access token. In English, that means you need to log back in. If you see this while accessing the app, reinstall the app to fix it.

If the problem still isn't solved, wait it out and try again later. When Facebook Messenger is in heavy demand, it can throw up these error messages when the issue is on the app or website's end, not yours.