Can’t Open Facebook Messages – How To Fix It

You see a ‘new private message’ notification on Facebook. You click on the link. It starts loading. You wait… You wait some more… You try again… And it still won’t open the damn message.

This somehow especially happens when you’re in a hurry and really need to read that message right now.

Below is the screenshot of what you see when you try to access your Facebook messages. The loading bar is moving constantly, but the messages never load and open. Even if you try to refresh the page, and try to access your Facebook inbox again, you see this irritating loading animation – again:

facebook messages inbox not loading

At first, I thought this only happened to me, and I discarded it as some kind of problem with my crappy internet connection. Because, after a couple of hours or so, it would start working again… But then I started seeing so many other people complaining on the same problem.

“My Facebook Messages Won’t Load”, “I can’t access my messages on Facebook”, “Can’t access private messages or chat on Facebook”, and so on…

Facebook tech support have even posted a short instruction (My messages aren’t loading) at their Help Center, but I’ve tried it, and it didn’t solve my problem at all. I’ve already been doing those things before they even told me to.

I started digging for some information on this problem, and I’ve found a quick and easy fix. It will only take you about 20 seconds to fix it.

And no, I won’t tell you to just use one of the other internet browsers to access Facebook. That works, but it’s not a fix, it’s just a workaround. No need for changing the internet browser you already use and love.

The solution to the problem is, as it turns out, to only clear your browsing data (cache, cookies – if you don’t know what this means, don’t worry, read on).

Here are the necessary steps you need to take, depending on the internet browser you currently use:

Google Chrome

1. Click  on the wrench icon on the right side of your address bar to access the settings (top right of the window).

2. From the menu, choose “Options“.

3. A new tab will open. In the sidebar menu to the left, find “Under the Hood” and click it.

4. Now you should be able to see “Clear browsing data” button. Click on it and a popup menu will show up (as in the image below).

How to clear recent history in Google Chrome

5. From the drop-down menu, choose “the past week“. That should free up enough space in the cache.

6. On the checkboxes, only “Empty the cache” and “Delete cookies and other site and plug-in data” boxes shold be checked. There’s no need for the rest of them.

7. And finally, click the “Clear browsing data” button.

Mozilla Firefox

1. Hold down CTRL + Shift + Delete buttons on your keyboard. The “Clear Recent History” menu should now pop up (as below).

How to clear recent history in Firefox

2. For the time range to clear, you can choose “Today“.

3. As with Google Chrome, only “Cookies” and “Cache” boxes need to be checked.

4. Finally, click the “Clear Now” button.

That’s it! Now when you try to access Facebook, you will see that (if you’ve been logged in) you’re now logged out, and need to enter your email and password again. After you login to your account, everything should work in amazingly perfect way!

Oh, and if you were expecting instructions for Internet Explorer too… Please… Do yourself a favor, and download and install Google Chrome or Firefox, and your life will be much easier. The best help I can give to Internet Explorer users is to give them one good piece of advice… Do not use it.

If you still have any problems with opening your Facebook messages, write in the comments below, and we’ll figure them out in no time.

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101 Responses
  • abhishek mandloi Reply

    Other quick method is to hold down shift key while clicking on refresh button in any of the browser. This will completly reload the page overwriting all cookies and cached files.

    • Ajnira Reply

      It’s not about the cache or a virus the ONLY fix for me was to allow Facebook to show me third party ads. Once I changed my settings, Firefox let me see my messages. Hope this clears up all the confusion out there.

      • Frank Reply

        Thanks! That was it, I cleared cache and cookies before, but the problem still showed up.

      • jojo Reply

        Hmm… i didn’t know about that one seems like a nice quick fix to this problem

        well done ‘ you’ve just written a comment that covers my whole post

        Thanks!

  • Dennis Reply

    Hmm… I didn’t know about that one. Seems like a nice quick fix to this problem.

    Well done Abhishek, you’ve just written a comment that covers my whole post. :)

    Thanks!

  • Daisy Reply

    Still didn’t work. I have no idea whats happening, as I have followed three different methods and my messages will not open on my phone either! Very frustrating :/

    • Dennis Reply

      Ok, well I guess that has something to do directly with your Facebook account. It’s not a browser issue, or anything that can be fixed right on a computer, since you can’t access your Facebook messages from your phone either. Try contacting Facebook support, and see if they can get it fixed.

    • Jessica Reply

      I have an identical problem and unfortunately none of the above has solved it. Did you get yours fixed? What was the issue? Best wishes.

      • Ali Reply

        did you get yours fixed as well? im really stressing here

  • Tony Reply

    Wow! i was stressing for 2 days because my Facebook wasn’t working and then boom, i followed the steps and its working perfectly now! Thank you so much!!

    • Dennis Reply

      You’re welcome, Tony. I’m glad it helped you fix the problem.

    • jojo Reply

      Hmm… did you get your fixed as well! im really stressing here

  • Ali Muslim Bin Aqeel Reply

    Thank you so much. my Facebook messages are open and i am finally happy. God bless you :) thank u thank u thank u sO much

  • john russell Reply

    thankyou

    great, clear explanation for us not pc proficient

  • Ana Reply

    It appears that many people are having issues with their messages not showing up. I followed the steps here (to no avail) and contacted FB support 2 days ago. So far, nothing..

    https://www.facebook.com/help/community/question/?id=2148149

  • Kulsum Reply

    Thank you!

  • Thanks Reply

    thanks for this tip…i was going crazy with it :)

  • iamcielo Reply

    perfect. it worked! Thank you.

  • Kakhi Reply

    Have the same problem, but none of mentioned methods helped… Please help if you can.

  • TommyWillB Reply

    Its something deeper than that.

    The Firefox error console shows it’s encountering a security issue loading a bit of JavaScript… certainly the bit that renders messages:

    Error: uncaught exception: [Exception... "Security error" code: "1000" nsresult: "0x805303e8 (NS_ERROR_DOM_SECURITY_ERR)" location: "http://static.ak.fbcdn.net/rsrc.php/v2/yp/r/By-d_sQ7aUH.js Line: 55"]

    So this is not something that’s going to be fixed by simply clearing your cache/cookies… its a problem Facebook needs to fix.

    • Puck Reply

      I’m with you, on that.
      Like Jeremy, two comments below yours, when I enable private browsing in Firefox, all’s well. No problems whatsoever.
      Other than that: nothing works.
      Not emptying my cache, not deleting cookies, not even creating an entire new profile.
      So I agree: it’s something deeper.
      (To my frustration, no problems in Internet Explorer either… )

  • Hanz Reply

    Thanks for the great tips. I’m on Firefox. Strangely enough, the messages still didn’t load after following the steps, but did so ok with my mobile.

    Any ideas?

  • Jeremy Reply

    I just started having this problem a few days ago. Using Firefox 12.0 on Windows 7. I tried clearing cache, cookies, and everything else repeatedly, and it still doesn’t work. But … if I enable private browsing … it does! Clearly there is still something that isn’t getting cleared. I wish I knew what it was.

  • kiki Reply

    Thanks…finally my 2 stressfull days are over….it’s just perfect….

  • anno Reply

    I followed the steps, logged in again, but it still won’t load the messages. :(

  • Jeremy Reply

    I finally got mine fixed. I first did it by creating a new profile, and copying form history files and places.sqllite from the old profile. Worked for a while, then stopped again. I then realized I had Mozilla sync set up to sync preferences between several computers … so I turned off that option, deleted my prefs.js file, and it’s been working ever since. So if the other steps described here don’t work, try quitting Firefox, deleting prefs.js from your profile folder, and restarting. You will have to reset all your preferences, which turned out not to be too bad for me.

    • Kurt K. Reply

      The prefs.js thing did it for me as well.
      However, I didn’t want to delete all my settings, so I tried to delete selected settings and to my surprise, the first try already did the trick.
      I opened prefs.js in a text editor and deleted all lines beginning with
      user_pref(“app.update
      and
      user_pref(“browser.cache

      I suspect that the browser.cache lines did actually do the trick,
      but I’m not sure as I simply went top to bottom.

    • Dennis Reply

      Thanks for providing that additional step. For those who couldn’t make it work using the instructions in the post above, they might want to try this one too.

  • Spamme Reply

    I’ve been having the same problems with just firefox. It all started just a few days ago when FB was acting erratically. At first I tried all the usually stuff, clearing cookies and such, running firefix in safe mode. I have not made any changes to my system prior to this new glitch. It MUST be a FB issue. More research found this work around until FB can figure out what they did a few days ago. After you are logged in, use this url and FB messages will work….like a mobile device. I assume the “m dot” means mobile.

    m.facebook.com/messages

    It’s not a fix, and it still sucks, but you will be able to read and reply to your messages.

  • Kitty Reply

    Thanks for the advice, but it unfortunately didn’t work for me, either. Another user suggested using m.facebook.com/messages as a temporary workaround. Not ideal, but it lets me read my messages until Facebook fixes things – it seems like a LOT of people are dealing with this right now.

    • Dennis Reply

      This maybe won’t work for everybody, but it’s the first thing you need try, since it’s easy to do and cross off the list of potential problems.
      Your tip for using m.facebook.com/messages is a nice workaround too.
      Thanks.

    • Richard Reply

      Yep, m.facebook worked. Tried clearing cookies and the cache didn’t work. Haven’t tried the prefs.js fix.

  • Candi Reply

    Just a note: Chrome changed ‘Options’ to ‘Settings’ a few weeks back. (Don’t ask me why, it does exactly the same thing.) I haven’t had a problem with messages yet, but I’ll bookmark this for a quick fix. :)

    • Dennis Reply

      Thanks for noting that one.

  • Angelemerald Reply

    Ii have cleared my cookies a million times and wrote Facebook a zillion times and still nothing works. You would think Facebook would see the value of fixing their own system to work with the three major browsers in the world. You would think Mozilla actually cares enough to fix the problem with Facebook. Both companies are failing their customers in this situation that has gone on for at least a month now.

    If you have specific instructions on how to clear your Firefox profile, I would appreciate it. I have Firefox set so that I must approve cookies every time.

  • Steve Reply

    YOU ARE THE MAN! Thanks you!

  • Michael Horowitz Reply

    I tried this method, but the messages still won’t load. Interestingly, this only happens on one computer. On all other computers that I use, Facebook works fine. Any suggestions?

  • amina Reply

    thnx a ton

  • dirk chris Reply

    fix did not work in FF or Chrome. still cant read messages

  • Lejla Reply

    I tried this. My messages STILL wont open!

  • Bruno A Reply

    I tried clearing the cache and deleting the cookies but it didn’t work.

    What did work though, was that I disabled an extension I had installed called ‘Better Pop Up Blocker’. This is what had blocked facebook from showing my inbox messages.

    Hopefully this helps.

  • Much Appreciated Reply

    Was thinking to resort to firefox before this but you solved my problem thank youu ^^

  • J. Doe Reply

    Mine’s won’t work either. It’s been this way all week. It’s like one by one messages and notifications are blank. Everytime I click on ‘message’ I get a blank screen and I get redirected to this: http://www.facebook.com/ajax/metacomposer/attachment/timeline/status.php?targetid=100000938022479&xhpc=composerTourStart

    Sent Facebook the problem twice and all I get is an email stating they won’t be able to get to my problem. Why post a help section if you won’t help? I’m not into FB but sometimes when I get a message from my friends I would like to be able to respond back. It works on my tablet and I haven’t changed a thing. I just don’t know why this stopped working. Now I have to try to remember all of my doggone passwords b/c I erased my cookies…Thanks a lot.

  • Ryan Lancaster Reply

    I cant find options on my toolbar wrench thing XD

    • Dennis Reply

      Yeah, Google Chrome evolves very often through updates, so in the latest version they changed it to “Settings”.
      So, instead of options, click on Settings and the rest of the process should be the same.

  • kal Reply

    I HAVE FIXED IT!!! YAY! I think I just fell lucky but try it, it may work for you too. I opened an app, in my case I input ‘fortune cookie’ into the search and when it came up I was going through the usual accept page when I suddenly realised that my ‘chat’ box’ had miraculously appeared. I clicked on the chat box and I was amazed to see that I could now see who was on line. I went to the top of the chat box and opened the options. I had blocked two people from the chat so I simply unblocked them. I don’t know why it worked but it did!! Obviously something wrong with FB’s coding that when I they changed things it read it that I wanted most of my account blocked. Anyway, I do hope this works for you all as I know only too well how frustrating it is! Good luck! x

  • Wildcat Reply

    It worked!! Thank you!!!

  • Dana Reply

    This so worked

  • Binh Nguyen Reply

    Thank you. I was stuck with this “loading” message for hours. Then finally I decided to find solution on Google, and got yours. Now I can get in FB message again. Your solution work great :)

  • W Reply

    Go into Firefox Tools->Options Privacy tab, and on the Cookies Exceptions settings dialog, make Allow exceptions for:
    fbcdn.net
    facebook.com
    fbsbx.com

    See:
    https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/928524

  • Sam Reply

    Hi I have an iPhone 4Gs and I have followed ur instructions, I went into the settings> safari > clear cookies and data I click on that then log back into Facebook and my inbox messages still don’t show up it still says unable to connect. Hope you can help thanks

  • Sue Reply

    Tried deleting cache, cookies, etc…still does not work. I am not busting my butt to try to get my message, will just have sender email it to me. As far as I am concerned it is one of Facebook’s multitude of issues that have long been convincing me to drop my page completely!

    • Dennis Reply

      I totally agree that Facebook has many, many annoying issues that affected me in the same way as you describe. Here’s hoping they’ll start fixing things fast, instead of just adding more buggy unfinished and unpolished features.

  • Zejan jay Reply

    wow!! it works..now i can open my facebook messages & my chatbox thanks for reminding..^__^

  • Kendra Reply

    DEAR LORD, YOU ARE A LIFE SAVER! xD Thank you so much for posting this.

  • Linda Reply

    Thank you so much! :) It really works!

  • Susan Reply

    Another tip: After clearing your cache,make sure that you delete any old bookmark or desktop icon that you used to use to access Facebook and make a new one. Otherwise, you may not see the fix.

  • Laura Reply

    I was so frustrated with this problem on Chrome. Thanks for the fix!!

  • shaharyar Reply

    really it worked……thanx thanx and thanx……awesome…….

  • Kevin Reply

    It really worked……..thanks for the help…..!!!

  • Caleb Reply

    Thanks for the guide…..its fixed. I tried the facebook troubleshooting it was waste of effort, hell with this bug. Thanks again

  • Caitlin Reply

    This was so helpful! It worked! YAY!

  • Dany Reply

    I unblocked the chrome addon pop up blocker and its working….

  • Samantha Reply

    I am only having this problem on my computer with internet explorer. I am using google chrome to get around it, but I could view my messages on my husband’s computer using internet explorer, so I’m a little confused.

    I cleaned up the cookies and such on my computer, even did some windows updates in case and it’s still not working. Any suggestions (sorry, I’d prefer to stick with internet explorer for now.)

  • Denise Reply

    Oohhhh you are amazing!!! lol :) Thank you so much. I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t read them!
    Thank you thank you thank you :)

  • Angelica Reply

    It woooooooooorks! Thank you!!!! :D

  • Ashrita Reply

    Thanks a lot!!! fixed it!!! :) :)

  • inam Anwar Reply

    its not working on mozilla plzzz help me………….

  • Rhubarb Reply

    How about Internet Explorer? How do you fix the problem using that browser?
    Thanks.

    • Dennis Reply

      You don’t. You simply download a normal internet browser such as Firefox or Google Chrome.
      Internet Explorer only gives you headaches anyway.

  • katyrhn Reply

    well, this really works. so thankful!!!!!!! *relieved with a big smile :D

  • Courtney Reply

    I’m using Safari, so how can I make this work without Google Chrome or Mozilla?

  • Jasmine Reply

    It worked perfectly thank you very much

  • rush Reply

    thank u………..its working now

  • Lawrence Reply

    Your method of telling everything in this post is truly nice,
    every one be capable of without difficulty understand it, Thanks
    a lot.

  • nitin kash Reply

    messaging problem not going aur coming either.. I followed all steps given above.. help me.. :( google chrome..

  • Debbie Reply

    hi my facebook msgs wouldnt appear on my laptop or my fone but once i did wat u suggested they appeared on both straight away thanks…

  • nitin kash Reply

    Got it… And it works like charm! Thanks bro.. :)

  • Arind Reply

    It started working , thanks very much for the solution.

  • zandile Reply

    I have problem to my facebook I can’t make comments,likes and chat to ather people but only uploade photos and status that I can do can you help me I restart my facebook several times I delete n start new one but still continuing do the samething

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  • jane Reply

    My friend told me tht all the pics I downloaded were appearing on her fb about 50 times and she asked me to delete them, so I did, now i can’t leave a comment or download a pic at all. it tells me an error occured and try again in a few minutes. I don’t know what to do??

  • Lorence Reply

    Thanks woooohoooo…

  • Rena Swift Reply

    it works ! thanks you very much :D

  • Anitha Rasaliyan Reply

    Really you are a brilliant.. God bless you

  • Oscar Martinez Garcia Reply

    I can’t get messages on my Facebook accounts. I think my girlfriend put a code or lock,block on it. How can I fix it.Can someone help me fix my problem.

  • ravi Reply

    I cant see my messages sent from my friends pls help me………….:( ?????????

  • Raju prasad (chandrapura) bokaro, JHARKHAND. Reply

    If u r using in mobile phone then 1st u report to facbook about the problm 5 times..after..u just open in oper mini ..clear cache, history, cookies and all..now unstall yor fb app and messanger…switch off your mobile..then on ..u just open fb in opera mini…..login to yor fb id and den again logout…..clear all the things….finally now open oper mini and login to your profile…you will see message option opened……….

    else using in pc/ laptop…then the above mention trick will work….

    Dont forget to say me thanks…if my tricks..work..ok..friends..

  • tuesday Reply

    Thank you so much sir.. you saved my day.. my FB day!!!!

    I need FB for some business transactions and messaging and chat are 2 of the most important to me..

    but thank you so much!

    thumbs up to you Sir!

  • Lec Zorn Reply

    For me, I can get into all of my messages except one. Are you familiar with such a problem happening before and how to fix it? Any help is much appreciated!

  • ushari Reply

    THANK YOU SO MUCH BUDDY> IT WORKED OUT :D

  • cristina Reply

    what kind of OS do you have?

  • montague tomlinson Reply

    Trying to get into Facebook on tablet but Facebook won’t accept my email

  • artemis Reply

    Hi! I don’t if it’s my edition or because I’m using a Mac, there’s no wrench icon on right side of my chrome browser. But I was able to find the clear browsing data button under settings, so I followed your instructions 4-7, but I still can’t read my message. I later tried on my phone, still can’t read. This facebook message thing is killing me……

  • garima Reply

    yiippeeeeeeeeeeeeee… thank you so much @dennis and @abhishek for the solution..it worked!! and i’m surely gonna note your website for future problems..thanking you again.. :)

  • ily Reply

    wow!! it really works. thanks a lot! :)

  • Kay Reply

    thanks for you tips on how to get facebook to open. I followed your advice and still facebook does not open. I can open mobile facebook on my laptop but don’t like the format.

    I use chrome and windows 7.

    Do you have any suggestions?

    Thanks.

  • Wynter Reply

    Opening a Firefox Private Browsing window worked for me!

  • brian Reply

    thanks, your a life saver

  • Jean Reply

    I have tried this and it still doesnt’ work. Cleared all cache and hsitory from beginning of time from all my browsers and still can’t access. Can not access on ipad or iphone either. Do you have any suggestions? thanks!!

  • divya gupta Reply

    i have a tablet and on its keytype m not having shift, alt etc keys so how can i remove cookies from it

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