Facebook Chat Problems & Solutions

Learn how to solve common Facebook messages problems

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg prepares to speak at a news conference at Facebook headquarters
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Facebook chat is an incredibly handy way to communicate with your friends and family members. Whether or not you are new to Facebook chat and its video and voice calling features, you may occasionally encounter some problems with your chat experience.

Here are common chat problems that users report along with possible solutions. If your problem and solution aren't listed here, contact Facebook by clicking the question mark in the top-right corner of a Facebook page, select Report a Problem and follow the instructions on the screen.

Unwanted Contact From Specific Facebook Chat Users

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

  1. Click the Options icon in the chat sidebar.
  2. Select Block Settings.
  3. Go to the Block Messages section and 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.

Having a Problem With Your Camera

One of Facebook Chat's lesser-known features is its voice and video-calling capability. You turn this feature on using the Options icon at the bottom of the chat sidebar. If you have trouble with your computer's camera during a chat:

  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.

Having a Problem With Video Call Sound

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

  1. Some microphones and headsets have mute/unmute buttons. Check to confirm yours isn't set on mute.
  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.

Nobody Is Available to Chat on Facebook Chat

If all the names in your Facebook Chat sidebar are grayed out, Chat is turned off. Turn it back on by clicking the Options icon and selecting Turn On Chat. 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.

Cannot Close the Facebook Chat Window

If the Facebook Chat sidebar appears stuck in the open position, select the Options tab on the chat panel and select Hide Sidebar. Clicking on the Options icon again unhides the sidebar. 

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 turned on for others.

  1. Click the Options icon at the bottom of the chat sidebar.
  2. Click Turn Off Chat.
  3. In the screen that opens, click the radio button in front of Turn off chat for all contacts except...
  4. Enter the names of friends or of groups you want to leave chat turned for. 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. Click 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.