I can’t message someone on Facebook

Sep 9, 2015   //   by Raylene   //   Blog, Facebook, Personal Social Media  //  Comments Off on I can’t message someone on Facebook

In an older post – Why can’t people send me messages on Facebook? – we first dove into this issue.

Facebook messaging settings have changed a bit since that post, so the fix we discussed before doesn’t always apply.  (DANG!) We’ve had a lot of requests for the new solution.  This is not an official “Facebook fix” but seems to remedy the issue for most Facebook users.


There’s no Message option for who I want to contact on Facebook

Most frequently, this issue comes up when someone tries to message a non-friend, usually in Buy & Swap or other Sales type groups on Facebook.

Facebook User 1 needs to message Facebook User 2 for some reason, but User 1 and User 2 aren’t friends.  The “Message” icon isn’t available when User 1 tries to message User 2, so User 1 can not directly contact User 2 via Facebook Messages.

Message icon button on Facebook

Desktop Version (This is what it looks like when the Message icon/button IS visible)

facebook Message icon - mobile

Mobile Version (Message icon/button visible)


Facebook User 2 may not have it set up to receive messages from people who aren’t their friends, or friends of their friends. Facebook User 1 can’t fix the issue.  Facebook User 2 must change a setting to receive messages from non-friends.

This setting is actually found in a weird place – in the “Followers” settings, rather than the Privacy settings (where you might expect it to be).


No Message Button – Option 1:  If the person you are trying to message does not have the Message option available to you, they will need to message you first, and then you can reply. (Their message may show up in your “OTHER” mailbox rather than directly in your Inbox.)  Presumably, you are conversing with them in a comment thread or other public venue so you can relay this information to them via a comment.

No Message Button – Option 2:  If the person you are trying to message does not have the Message option available to you, they will need to change a setting in their account in order to receive public messages.  (You can let them know how to do this, or simply share the link to this article – I can’t message someone on Facebook – with them! 🙂 )


Change the “Followers” setting to receive messages from everyone on Facebook

DESKTOP:  To change the setting, if you’re accessing Facebook from a computer/desktop –

(click an image below to view it in more detail)

 1.  Click the dropdown arrow in the top right of your Facebook account screen, then select “Settings”.

Facebook - How to Get to Account Settings


2.  Select “Followers” from the menu options on the left side of the screen. Then set “Who Can Follow Me” to “Everybody”.

Facebook Followers set to Everybody to receive messages


If “Who Can Follow Me” is not set to “Everybody” then non-friends may not be able to message each other.


MOBILE: To change the setting, if you’re accessing Facebook from a mobile device:

1.  Tap the “More” Icon at the bottom of the app, then scroll all the way to the bottom of the screen and select “Settings”.

Facebook MORE options - mobile


2. Select “Account Settings” from the options dialog that pops up

Facebook Account Settings - options - Mobile


3.  Scroll down to the bottom of the Account Settings screen and tap “Followers”.

Facebook Account Settings - Mobile


4.  Set “Who Can Follow Me” to “Public”.

Facebook Follower Settings - Mobile


If “Who Can Follow Me” is not set to “Public” (on the mobile app), you may not be able to receive messages from Non-Friends on Facebook. 

Changing the “Who Can Follow Me” setting to Everybody or Public should turn on the Message option for everyone.


NOTE:  Changing the Setting makes your profile Public

It also allows the public to see any post that you create with a Public audience.

Keep in mind that you can set your audience to be something different by default (Facebook Settings > Privacy > “Who can see my stuff”) and you can change the audience on every single post before you publish it (click the Arrow by “Public” and select the audience of your choice).

Facebook Post Audience Settings - individual post

Change the audience setting on each individual Facebook post


Change the Followers setting as needed

If you routinely need people to be able to contact you through Facebook messages, setting your Followers to “Everyone” (or Public) should ensure that you can receive messages.

The Followers setting can be changed at any time, so if you have a reason to be receiving messages for a time you can set the Followers to “Everybody” for that time, and then change it back to “Friends” whenever you like.


I’m having an issue with Facebook Messages, but this isn’t it.

If this doesn’t solve your issue with Facebook Messages, or you are having a different issue, you can contact Facebook directly with this link: I can’t Send a Message – Facebook Message Help

I also find that sometimes Facebook help itself can be a very useful place to search for various issues, including other Message problems you might encounter:  https://www.facebook.com/help/

Hopefully, this will get you back into contact with whoever you need to talk to you Facebook!  Happy Messaging!


For more tips and information on Facebook for personal and business use, LIKE our Facebook Page – Off the Wall Social Media.

Comments are closed. Feel free to contact Off the Wall Social by email if you have questions or comments regarding this post.

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Raylene and Jeff Wall
Raylene Wall - Off the Wall Social - Lethbridge, AB

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