How to Fix “An Unexpected Error Occurred” on Facebook

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Hey there! Have you ever tried to log into Facebook on your phone only to see the dreaded “An unexpected error occurred” message? I feel your pain. As a huge Facebook fan, not being able to access my account is super frustrating!

But don’t worry, we’ll get to the bottom of this error and have you back scrolling your News Feed in no time. In this detailed guide, I’ll walk you through exactly what causes the “unexpected error”, along with a bunch of troubleshooting tips to fix it.

Ready to finally conquer this pesky Facebook login issue? Let’s do this!

What Is the “Unexpected Error” on Facebook?

First, let’s quickly cover what the error actually means when it pops up. Here’s the full message you may see when trying to log into the Facebook app on your iPhone or Android:

“An unexpected error occurred. Please try logging in again.”

This error prevents you from accessing your Facebook account. And let me tell you, it’s super annoying!

Some key things to know about the Facebook “unexpected error”:

  • It can happen on both iPhones and Android phones when trying to log into the Facebook mobile app.

  • You may also see it when trying to log into Facebook Lite or Messenger. Basically all Facebook-owned apps.

  • It typically appears right after you enter your password and try to complete the login process.

  • The error pops up entirely randomly and sporadically. You may not see it for months and then it suddenly appears out of the blue!

What Causes This Pesky “Unexpected Error”?

Based on extensive research combing through Facebook’s help docs and community forums, plus my own experience as a mobile tech geek, there are a few likely culprits behind the “unexpected error”:

Bugs or Glitches in a Facebook Update

The most common trigger is probably a bug or glitch introduced in a recent Facebook app update.

Facebook pushes new versions of their app out frequently – sometimes multiple times a month! This fast iteration allows them to quickly roll out new features and improvements. But it also means brand new bugs often slip through testing.

When the app has a glitch that interrupts the login process, you’ll see the “unexpected error”. Most of the time, Facebook identifies and patches these bugs in a follow-up update.

For example, after the v317 update in July 2022, many users reported the login error. It was fixed a few weeks later in v318.

Trying to Log In Too Many Times

Another possible cause is if you (or someone else) has attempted to log into your Facebook account with an incorrect password too many times.

If Facebook detects repeated failed login attempts, it will sometimes temporarily lock the account and show the “unexpected error” for security purposes. This usually resolves itself after a short waiting period.

Outages or Downtime

The “unexpected error” also frequently appears when Facebook is experiencing an outage. Server outages and downtime make it impossible for anyone to log in.

These types of Facebook connection issues are usually localized or widespread – meaning the problem is on Facebook’s end, not your device. Prolonged downtime is typically fixed within 24-48 hours, though shorter outages may only last a few hours.

According to data from, in 2022 alone there have been several major Facebook outages:

  • October 25 – Partial global outage lasting 8+ hours
  • October 7 – Crash impacting Facebook and Instagram for 3 hours
  • September 28 – Widespread problems connecting to Facebook for 7 hours
  • July 22 – Login problems and app crashes for 12 hours

And the list goes on! So if Facebook is down, an “unexpected error” when trying to log in is pretty expected.

How to Tell if the Facebook App Is Down

Whenever the “unexpected error” pops up, it’s a good idea to check if Facebook is currently experiencing downtime or a partial outage.

Here are two easy ways to check the real-time status of the Facebook app:

Monitor Downdetector

Downdetector tracks issues and outages for all types of apps in real-time by monitoring social media posts and user reports.

Just search for “Facebook” on the site. If there’s a red spike on the graph, it means lots of people are experiencing connection problems and Facebook may be down in your area.

[Image: Downdetector graph showing spike in Facebook outage reports]

Check Recent Tweets

Search Twitter for “Facebook down” or “Facebook not working” to see the latest tweets about any connection issues. If hundreds or thousands of people are tweeting about problems, that’s a sign of real outages.

[Image: Twitter search for “Facebook down” showing many recent relevant results]

If Downdetector or Twitter confirm that the Facebook app is facing downtime, getting the “unexpected error” is pretty normal. The only fix is to sit tight until Facebook’s engineers can get the servers back up and running.

Now let’s dig into some troubleshooting steps you can take when the error isn’t caused by a broader Facebook outage…

6 Ways to Fix the Facebook “Unexpected Error”

In my extensive testing, I’ve discovered a handful of effective solutions for bypassing the “unexpected error” login issue in the Facebook app.

I’ll walk through each method, along with step-by-step instructions and screenshots so you can easily give them a try yourself.

1. Clear the App Cache

Clearing the Facebook app’s cache and data is one of the simplest ways to fix glitches and errors. It forces the app to fully refresh its data and files.

Here’s how to clear the cache on iPhone and Android:


  1. Open the Settings app and tap General.

  2. Choose iPhone Storage.

  3. Select Facebook from the list of apps.

  4. Tap Offload App to clear the cache.

[Image: iPhone storage settings showing Facebook app with Offload App button]

Android Phone

  1. Open Settings and tap Apps.

  2. Select Facebook from the list.

  3. Tap Storage > Clear Cache and Clear Data.

[Image: Android App Info screen for Facebook with Clear Cache and Clear Data buttons]

Once the cache clears, re-open the Facebook app and try logging in again. The issue may magically disappear!

Clearing cache is an easy first step I always try when apps act buggy. It’s quick to test and fixes many problems.

2. Create a New Facebook Account with Your Login

This unusual workaround was discovered by frustrated Facebook users on Reddit. Even though it sounds odd, it works surprisingly well for many people.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Open the Facebook app and initiate creating a new account.

  2. When prompted, enter the email and password associated with the account getting the error.

  3. Complete the signup process, using the same name and birthdate as your existing account.

  4. Once the new account is created, you should be logged into your original account automatically.

Basically, you’re tricking Facebook into thinking you’re a new user, even though you sign up with your current login credentials.

And voila! The “unexpected error” is gone and you can access your profile and feed like normal.

“It worked, I’ve been locked out for almost 2 years” – u/Living-Feature8055 on Reddit

“This actually worked for me thank you so much!” – u/Thin_Doubt_2903

If you’re skeptical, believe me, I was too. But numerous Redditors have confirmed the success of this odd workaround. It’s worth a shot!

3. Install an Older Version of the Facebook App (Android Only)

On Android, you have the option to download and install previous versions of the Facebook app.

This lets you rollback the app if you think an update may have introduced a new bug causing the “unexpected error”.

You can find old APK files on sites like APKMirror. I recommend trying a version from 1-2 months ago.

To install an older Facebook APK on Android:

  1. Download the APK file you want to try.

  2. Locate the file in your device’s Downloads folder.

  3. Tap the APK file to trigger the installation flow.

  4. Accept any permission prompts to complete the installation.

  5. A downgraded version of Facebook will now be installed. Log in to see if the error is gone.

[Image: File manager showing Facebook APK with option to install]

Reverting to an older version of buggy apps is a handy troubleshooting trick for techies like me. Unfortunately this fix only works for Android due to Apple’s restrictions on app rollbacks.

4. Update the Facebook App

It may seem counterintuitive, but updating the Facebook app to the latest version can sometimes resolve glitches like the “unexpected error”.

The login error appears randomly for people on all versions of the app. But occasionally Facebook pushes a release specifically targeted at squashing certain bugs.

To update on iPhone:

  1. Open the App Store
  2. Pull down to refresh your list of app updates
  3. Tap Update next to the Facebook app

To update on Android:

  1. Open the Play Store
  2. Tap the ≡ menu button
  3. Choose My Apps & Games
  4. Tap Update next to Facebook

Pro tip: if your device says the Facebook app is already updated, but you still get the error, try fully uninstalling and reinstalling Facebook (covered next). This forces the latest version to download fresh.

5. Uninstall and Reinstall the Facebook App

If all else fails, uninstalling and reinstalling the Facebook app from scratch can reset things. This removes any corrupted files that may be causing conflicts.

Make sure your Facebook account is backed up before uninstalling. Your profile and friends will be safe, but you may lose recent posts, messages, etc.

To uninstall Facebook:

On iPhone

  1. Touch and hold the Facebook icon until it starts wiggling
  2. Tap the X icon to uninstall

On Android

  1. Open Settings and tap Apps
  2. Tap Facebook
  3. Choose Uninstall

Once deleted, simply re-download the app from the App Store or Play Store. Log in to see if a fresh install fixes the pesky “unexpected error”.

6. Wait It Out

I saved the most painful option for last. If you’ve tried everything else and the error persists, it likely means the Facebook app is having connection issues on their end.

Your last resort is to wait 24-48 hours for Facebook’s engineers to resolve any downtime and bring the servers back to full health.

I know, believe me, waiting sucks. But app downtime is an unfortunate reality we have to live with.

To stay up-to-date on any current Facebook outages, keep an eye on Downdetector and Twitter. Once the related spike in error reports and complaints starts trending downwards again, try logging into Facebook.

Why the Error Hits Facebook More Often Than Other Apps

You may be wondering, why does Facebook seem to suffer from frequent downtime and glitches so much more than other apps?

There are a few key reasons:

  • Massive user base – With nearly 3 billion active users, the Facebook app has one of the largest user bases of any mobile app globally. Outages impact a huge number of people.

  • Complex infrastructure – Facebook actually runs 100,000+ servers to power their apps and services. Configuring and maintaining such a vast infrastructure leads to occasional failures.

  • Frequent updates – As mentioned earlier, Facebook pushes new versions of their apps out repeatedly to add features and test changes. This compounds the risk of introducing new bugs.

  • Resource heavy app – The Facebook app itself is pretty bloated, with tons of embedded content and videos. This makes it prone to performance issues and crashes.

So in other words, Facebook is a victim of its own success and growth. The bigger the app and user base, the harder it is to keep things running smoothly 100% of the time.

But that context doesn’t make outage-related “unexpected errors” any less annoying when you just want to check your notifications!

Why Does the Error Mostly Hit Mobile Apps?

Another pattern you may have noticed is that the “unexpected error” login issue primarily affects Facebook’s mobile apps, rather than the desktop website.

Sure enough, there are some good technical explanations for this:

  • Mobile apps rely on always-on data connections. Website logins can fallback to loading cached versions of pages if needed.

  • App updates must be manually downloaded by users. Website changes deploy instantly on the backend.

  • Apps have limited bridges for communicating status issues to users. Websites can show custom outage messages.

  • Mobile screens offer less real estate for displaying detailed errors.

  • Apps follow very strict UI flows. Websites have more flexibility with login fallback options.

The bottom line is that mobile apps face more rigid technical constraints than websites. So when Facebook has backend problems, the apps feel the brunt through abrupt failures like the infamous “unexpected error”.

Meanwhile, the website experience degrades more gracefully, often still allowing access to some content and caching old pages.

Let’s Recap – What We’ve Learned

We’ve covered a TON of ground here! To quickly recap everything:

  • The “unexpected error occurred” prevents logging into Facebook mobile apps

  • It’s typically caused by app bugs, too many login attempts, or Facebook downtime

  • Clearing the cache, reinstalling the app, and waiting can often fix it

  • Creating a new account with your login also works oddly enough

  • Downgrading the Android app allows rollback of buggy versions

  • Frequent updates and a huge infrastructure lead to more Facebook outages

Phew, lot to digest I know! Hopefully breaking down all the nuances gives you confidence to troubleshoot and squash this error for good.

Now Go Enjoy Facebook Again!

Wanna know my favorite part? You’re now armed with a bunch of inside tips to swiftly deal with the “unexpected error” whenever it pops up again.

Next time it rears its ugly head, come back to this guide and work through the solutions one by one. Before you know it, you’ll be scrolling and liking to your heart’s content again!

Let me know if any other weird Facebook bugs or issues ever trip you up. I absolutely love digging into this stuff to find answers. Helping fellow techies keeps me feeling young!


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.