Facebook Messenger sent but not delivered? Common reasons

If you are of a certain age you will remember using MSN Messenger to directly message friends and family free of charge.

Since then, various different platforms have launched which largely offer the same service with varying degrees of success.

One of the best platforms out there at the minute for online instant messaging is Facebook Messenger, which has used Facebook’s popularity to become the third most used instant messaging service on the planet.

The beauty of Messenger is that you don’t need anyone’s mobile phone number or email address in order to message them – all you need is for them to be part of your Facebook friends list and you’re good to go.

Sadly, Messenger isn’t a faultless app and does throw up the odd hiccup from time to time. One common issue that stumps a lot of people is when their messages send but don’t deliver.

Messenger sent but not delivered on Facebook – The reason

The most common reasons for Facebook messages sending and not delivering is all to do with the internet connection on your end.

If you are running with a weak internet connection then the Facebook message will take longer than usual to get past the ‘sent’ stage and on to the ‘delivered’ stage.

To find out if this is the issue then you are first of all going to want to check how you are connected to the internet and then check your internet speed.

To check how you are connected to the internet on an iOS mobile device, follow these steps:

  1. Head to your phone’s settings.
  2. Select ‘Wi-Fi’. If you see a tick next to one of the available networks then it means you are connected to a wireless network.
  3. If you don’t see a tick then head back to your phone’s settings and select ‘mobile data’.
  4. If the toggle next to mobile data is slid to green then check your phone’s header bar to see whether it is showing a 3G, 4G, or 5G symbol. If it is then it means you are connected to the internet via your mobile data.

Once you have established how you are connected to the internet, you are going to want to check your internet speed to establish whether you are running on slow speeds or not.

We would recommend using a site such as speedtest for fast and clear results to let you know whether you have a poor internet connection.

If it turns out that your internet speeds are fine, then the following things may have happened to result in your messages sending but not delivering.

The person you have messaged isn’t logged into Messenger

It seems crazy but not everyone will be logged into Messenger at all times on their mobile device.

In fact, if they don’t have the Messenger app then they will only be ‘logged on’ while browsing the main Facebook website or app. As a result, messages will not deliver to these people until they open up Facebook, which means your message won’t be delivered instantly.

The only way to get around this problem is to be patient or to use a different messaging platform that they do have on their phone to guarantee quicker replies and instant delivers.

Facebook could be down

Despite having a team of tech experts, Facebook is far from bulletproof and does go down from time to time. The Messenger server may be having issues, which can cause a delivered message error.

When it happens the main Facebook app and Messenger will start behaving oddly, if you can gain access to them at all.

Messages not delivering is a common issue that crops up all the time when Facebook is down, so it is definitely worth obtaining a service status update to check if this is the cause of the issue.

Again, the only solution here is patience or to use a different messaging app if you want to get hold of someone urgently.

Messages dropping into the other user’s requested messages section

If you are trying to message someone who you aren’t friends with on Facebook then your messages will automatically be placed in their ‘message requests’ folder.

These messages won’t register as ‘delivered’ until the user physically goes into the folder and opens up the message.

If you are messaging someone that you thought you were friends with, then it is worth checking your friends list to see if they have removed you as a friend.

The only way to get around this issue is to go back to the main Facebook app/website and to add them as friend. This way, your messages will land in their main inbox.

Once sent, you can’t unsend a Facebook message, so make sure that the message you’re writing is correct before hitting the send button.


To conclude, there are a number of different reasons why your Facebook messages might be sending and not delivering.

We would recommend you taking a trial and error approach to getting to root of the problem by going through our suggestions within this article.

As you can see, there isn’t always a fix to this problem meaning that in some cases you will just have to be patient and wait for the problem to resolve itself.

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Andy is a Professional Content Editor with expertise in a whole host of areas (or so he tells us anyway). His main interests are sports, tv/film and social media. He has reviewed over 100 apps so far for Apps UK.

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