It can be puzzling when someone appears unavailable on Facebook Messenger. This guide discusses the possible reasons the “This person is unavailable on Messenger” message appears when you open a Facebook conversation, and what you can do about it.
Good to know: learn how to download your Facebook chat history for later reference.
1. They Blocked You
Perhaps the most common reason you can’t send a message to someone is that they blocked you. Others can block either your entire Facebook account or only your Messenger profile.
Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t tell you explicitly when that happens. There are multiple signs that you’ve been blocked that you can watch for, however, including:
- You can’t see their profile on Facebook search, but your mutual friends can.
- Their profile picture isn’t visible.
- None of that user’s posts shows up on your feed.
- They’re missing from your Friends list.
- You can’t add them to a Facebook group.
If the above signs are true in your case, try to fix the issue outside the Facebook Messenger platform. Contacting them face to face and using another messaging app to clarify your situation remain viable solutions.
FYI: learn where to find your drafts on Facebook to make good use of them.
2. You Blocked Them
It’s also possible that you’re actually the one who blocked the other person. Maybe you accidentally clicked the block feature, or maybe you did it on purpose and forgot about it. To check whether you really blocked their Facebook profile, follow these steps:
Sign in to your Facebook account. While you’re on the home page, click your profile photo, and choose “Settings & privacy” from the menu.
Select “Blocking” in the left pane of the Settings interface.
Click “Edit” for the “Block users” option.
Choose “See your blocked list.”
Check whether the user to whom you’ve been trying to send a message is included in the list. If they are, select their profile, and click “Unblock.”
Note: the list includes people you've blocked via Facebook as well as Messenger.
Click “Confirm” in the displayed dialog box to save your changes.
Launch the Facebook app on your phone, and tap the hamburger menu (☰) on Android. On iOS, you'll need to tap your profile picture in the lower-right corner instead.
Tap the gear icon to open your Facebook settings.
Scroll down to the “Audience and visibility” section, and choose “Blocking.”
Check whether their name is present on your blocked list, and tap the "Unblock" button to remove them.
3. Your Friend Deactivated or Deleted Their Account
Facebook users can deactivate or delete their accounts at anytime, so maybe your friend did too. If they deactivated their profile:
- You won't see their profile on Facebook
- You will, however, still be able to see and connect with them on Messenger, so make sure you check both apps.
On the other hand, if they delete their account, you won’t be able to contact them anymore on the apps. To verify this, try searching for their name on both Facebook and Messenger. If you can't find them, it means your friend may have decided to leave Facebook.
Tip: if you would rather have a separate Facebook and Instagram experience, learn how to unlink the two.
4. Account Suspension
You should also consider the scenario that the person you've been trying to reach on Messenger has had their Facebook account suspended. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including:
- Sharing content that violates Facebook’s Community Standards
- Harassing other users
Regardless of the reason, account suspensions can last up to 30 days. Facebook can also suspend accounts permanently in cases of severe violations.
If you want to reach out to your friend during this time, consider using another communication tool, like Viber, Snapchat, or Skype.
5. Outdated Messenger App
If your Messenger app is outdated, there may be bugs causing the “This person is unavailable on Messenger” prompt to appear. These issues usually disappear after installing the updates.
On mobile, check the Google Play Store or the App Store to see if there is any update. Alternatively, access your messages via Facebook's Web version, and see whether the problem still manifests there.
6. Poor Internet Connection
If your connection is poor, your browser or app may not be able to access Messenger properly. The same goes for the mobile app version – it may not load correctly.
Try connecting to a better network, and check whether it solves the problem, or try some troubleshooting tips if your Wi-Fi is not working on Windows. If you're trying to access Facebook on the mobile app, check out our post on what to do if mobile data is not working on Android or iOS.
Tip: don't want some apps to go online? Learn how to prevent them from connecting to the Internet.
7. Facebook Might Be Having Problems
Finally, you should consider the possibility that Facebook is having issues. Check a website like Downdetector to look for any recent Facebook shortages.
If there have been numerous reports of Facebook being down, there's nothing to do but sit back and wait for Meta to fix the issue.
Connecting With Your Friends and Family
Once you've re-established a channel of communication with your friend or family member, return to using Messenger. If you're a frequent user, it may be worth it to get up to speed with how to bulk-delete messages on Messenger and clean up your inbox. Alternatively, check out how to disable read recipients on Messenger and reply on your own time.
Image credit: Pexels All screenshots by Princess Angolluan.
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