How to Fix Messenger When It‘s Not Responding or Keeps Crashing

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Hey there! Have you ever felt frustrated when Facebook Messenger suddenly stops working or doesn‘t respond? I‘ve been there too. As a long-time technology geek and avid user of messaging apps, I know how annoying it can be when Messenger crashes or simply hangs.

Not to worry – in this detailed guide, I‘ll walk you through exactly why Messenger can freeze up and show you how to fix it, step-by-step. Whether you‘re on an iPhone or Android, I‘ve got you covered with specialized troubleshooting tips.

By the end, you‘ll be a pro at getting Messenger back up and running smoothly. So let‘s get started!

Why Does Messenger Keep Crashing or Freezing?

Before we dive into solutions, it helps to understand what causes Messenger to stop responding in the first place. From my experience as a tech specialist, here are the most common culprits:

  • Buggy App Updates – With over 1 billion users, Messenger needs to release constant updates. Sometimes these contain bugs that lead to crashing.

  • Connection Issues – An unstable internet connection disrupts the communication between Messenger and Facebook‘s servers.

  • Server Outages – Occasional downtime on Facebook‘s end knocks Messenger offline for all users.

  • Too Many Notifications – Hundreds of unread messages can overload Messenger and cause slowness.

  • App Conflicts – Incompatible apps fighting for resources crash Messenger in the crossfire.

  • Outdated Device Software – Old iOS or Android versions have compatibility issues with newer apps.

  • Full Storage Space – No room left on your phone cripples Messenger‘s performance.

  • Needing a Restart – Over time, tech glitches creep in and a restart clears them out.

Now let‘s go through the top troubleshooting tips tailored for iPhone and Android, step-by-step.

Fixing Messenger When It Stops Responding on iPhone

Messenger is used by over 160 million iPhone owners in the US alone. Based on Apple‘s hardware and software, here are the best ways to solve Messenger crashes or lag on iOS:

1. Force Close and Reopen Messenger

This is the simplest fix that surprisingly works for minor hiccups. To quickly restart Messenger:

  • Double click the Home button to view your open apps.

  • Swipe up on Messenger‘s preview to force close it.

  • Open Messenger again from your Home screen icon.

Just like turning a computer off and on, this refreshes the app and clears any temporary glitches.

2. Check the App Store for Messenger Updates

According to data from Sensor Tower, Messenger is one of the most frequently updated apps. New versions often contain crucial bug fixes.

To update on iPhone:

  • Open the App Store.

  • Tap your profile icon in the top right corner.

  • Scroll down to see pending updates and install any available Messenger updates.

Staying on top of updates is key for smooth app performance.

3. Update Your iPhone‘s iOS Version

Outdated operating systems are a leading cause of app crashes. Ensure your iPhone‘s software is up-to-date:

  • Go to Settings > General > Software Update.

  • Install any iOS updates that are available.

Apple releases regular iOS patches to fix bugs, security flaws, and improve stability. Updates also optimize compatibility with apps like Messenger.

4. Reset Your Network Settings

In my experience, network issues like wonky WiFi or cellular data interfere with Messenger big time. Resetting your connections can help:

  • Go to Settings > General > Reset.

  • Tap Reset Network Settings.

  • Enter your passcode if prompted.

This wipes any problematic network settings so you can rebuild clean connections.

5. Delete and Reinstall Messenger

If other fixes aren‘t working, fully removing and re-downloading a fresh Messenger app often does the trick:

  • Hold your finger on the Messenger icon until the icons start wiggling.

  • Tap the X icon to delete it.

  • Open the App Store and download Messenger again.

  • Log back into your Facebook account in the app.

Reinstalling gives you a nice clean slate, removing any corrupt files.

6. Free Up Storage Space

iPhones are notorious for filling up quickly. Low storage space cripples Messenger‘s functionality. Make some room:

  • Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage.

  • Review recommendations for freeing space.

  • Delete unneeded photos, apps, and files.

Breathing room on your storage prevents those pesky errors.

7. Reset Your iPhone (Drastic Measure)

If you‘ve tried everything, a factory reset erases any problematic files as a last resort:

  • Back up key data as the reset will wipe your device.

  • Go to Settings > General > Reset.

  • Select Erase All Content and Settings.

  • Enter your Apple ID password when asked.

This restores your iPhone to factory fresh settings. Only recommended when all else fails given it erases your data.

Fixing Non-Responsive Messenger on Android

With over 2 billion active Android users, Messenger crashes are common on Google‘s operating system too. Here are tailored tips for Android:

1. Force Stop Messenger in Settings

Like on iPhone, force stopping Messenger restarts it:

  • Open your Settings app.

  • Tap Apps or Application Manager.

  • Select Messenger.

  • Choose Force Stop.

  • Relaunch Messenger normally.

This refresh often resolves temporary issues.

2. Update Messenger in the Play Store

Buggy updates cause many Messenger crashes. Be sure to install the latest:

  • Open the Play Store.

  • Tap your profile icon.

  • Go to Manage Apps & Devices > Updates available.

  • Update Messenger if any are pending.

Recent versions likely have critical patches.

3. Restart Your Android Device

As a long-time Android user myself, I know a full device restart solves countless app glitches:

  • Hold down the Power button for a few seconds.

  • Tap Restart when prompted.

  • Select OK to confirm.

Rebooting your device resets everything and clears out problems.

4. Wipe Messenger‘s Cache & Data

Over time, too much cached data bogs Messenger down. Here‘s how to clear it:

  • Go to Settings > Apps.

  • Select Messenger.

  • Tap Storage.

  • Choose Clear Cache and Clear Data.

This removes temporary files and gives you a fresh start.

5. Fully Uninstall and Reinstall Messenger

Still having issues? Uninstalling and reinstalling Messenger often works when other fixes fail:

  • Tap and hold the Messenger icon.

  • Select Uninstall.

  • Confirm you want to delete.

  • Open the Play Store and re-download Messenger.

Reinstalling gives you a clean app without any corrupt data.

6. Check Facebook App Manager Permissions

The Facebook App Manager allows communication between Facebook‘s various apps. Verify its settings are correct:

  • Go to Settings > Apps > Facebook App Manager.

  • Tap Permissions.

  • Ensure all permissions are allowed.

  • Select Notifications and enable them.

With open permissions, Messenger can talk to Facebook‘s infrastructure.

7. Update Your Android OS Version

Having an outdated Android version is asking for app troubles. Check for any OS updates:

  • Go to Settings > System > System Update.

  • Follow the prompts to install available updates.

The latest Android release fixes bugs, improves security, and boosts compatibility.

8. Factory Reset Your Device (Last Resort)

If you can‘t fix Messenger crashing despite other steps, a factory reset gives you a blank slate:

  • Back up photos and files as a reset erases everything.

  • Go to Settings > System > Reset.

  • Tap Erase All Data (Factory Reset).

  • Select Reset Phone.

This returns your device to day one condition, removing any problematic files.

Preventing Future Messenger Freezing or Crashes

Okay, hopefully I‘ve given you plenty of handy tips to stop Messenger from crashing going forward. Here are some bonus best practices:

  • Keep Messenger updated to the latest version.

  • Limit background apps when using Messenger.

  • Disable notifications in busy group conversations.

  • Close inactive apps you aren‘t using.

  • Restart your phone weekly to clear junk files.

  • Don‘t let your storage fill up.

  • Ensure your WiFi or cellular data connection is strong.

  • Adjust Messenger settings to reduce data usage if needed.

Following app management best practices prevents instability down the line.

When to Call in the Experts

Alright, hopefully with this guide, you‘re now a pro at solving Messenger not responding errors yourself. But if crashes persist even after trying all troubleshooting, it may require help from Facebook support experts:

  • On an iPhone, open Settings > Help & Support in Messenger.

  • On Android, tap your profile icon > Settings > Help & Support in the app.

  • Explain your issues and any error messages in detail.

  • Take screenshots to illustrate the problem visually.

The support team can investigate technical issues server-side that are impacting Messenger for you. They may also recommend advanced troubleshooting specific to your situation.

Now Go Fix Messenger!

There you have it! As a techie myself, I hope I‘ve given you an in-depth look at why Messenger can freeze up and actionable steps to get it responding again fast.

Whether you‘re on iPhone or Android, resetting the app, updating software, freeing storage, reinstalling, or wiping data should have you messaging again in no time. Just follow the guide closely for the options tailored to your device.

And if tricks don‘t do the job, the pros at Facebook support are standing by. Here‘s to smooth sailing Messenger from here on out! Let me know if you have any other tech issues, I‘m always happy to help out a friend.


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.