How To Fix TikTok Messages Not Showing Up

TikTok is known for its viral videos, but it also has a messaging feature, much like other popular social media platforms. The in-app messenger allows you to chat with friends on TikTok and share your favorite videos, but why doesn’t it work sometimes?

Usually, if TikTok messages don’t work, it’s due to a glitch or problem with the server. Also, users under 16 are not allowed to message on the app.

To fix this issue, ensure your app is up to date, check your network connection, and verify your phone number. Other times, you’ll need to delete and reinstall your TikTok app or ensure the server isn’t down.

While it’s understandable you feel frustrated when you can’t message your friends, there are several troubleshooting solutions to fix the problem, and worst-case scenario, you reach out to TikTok for assistance.

Reasons for TikTok Messages Not Showing Up

1. Bugs or Glitches

A temporary bug or glitch could be why messages are not showing up on TikTok. There are several solutions to fixing a bug or glitch, including:

  • Update your TikTok app
  • Restart your phone
  • Restart the app
  • Clear your app’s cache

If these basic solutions don’t help, follow the troubleshooting solutions further in this article, which will help fix bugs and glitches. The good news is these tend to be temporary problems that are easily fixed, and you’ll be messaging in no time.

2. Privacy Settings

TikTok allows users to choose who gets to send them messages, so depending on your privacy settings, you may not allow certain people to message you. For example, each app user can choose from Everyone, Friends, and No one, so if your setting is set to no one, you won’t get messages from your friends.

To change or check your settings, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Me icon on the bottom menu and click the three lines icon on the top right corner
  2. Click Privacy and choose Direct Messages
  3. Choose Friends, Everyone or No one

3. Server Error

If you receive an “unable to send” message, you likely are experiencing a server error. Typically, time is the only fix for a server error, and you’ll have to sit patiently while TikTok figures things out on their end.

If you want to rule out a server error, you can restart the app to see if the issue persists. By doing this, you aren’t waiting around for a fix you can do it yourself. 

4. You’re Under 16

Sorry, kids, if you are under 16, you cannot receive messages on TikTok. While TikTok didn’t initially have an age restriction, they do now, and the social media platform does not allow users under 16 to receive messages. Instead, the rule was put into place to keep the safety of younger users in mind and protect their privacy.

5. You’re Texting TikTokers Who Aren’t Your Friends

If you try to text a TikToker that isn’t a “friend,” they will not receive your message. Instead, users must follow each other to message one another successfully. If you know the person, ensure you remind them to follow you so you can message one another on TikTok.

This YouTube video discusses how you can’t message anyone who isn’t a friend on TikTok:

Troubleshooting and trying to figure out why your messages are not sent on TikTok

1. Check TikTok Servers

When an issue arises with TikTok, you should always see if the server is down or experiencing other problems. One of the easiest ways to do this is to search TikTok on Downdetector, a third-party site that notifies you of outages with various apps, television channels, etc.

Unfortunately, when a server is down, there is nothing you can do but sit patiently until things are up and running again. However, if there is no issue with TikTok, you’ll want to continue with the next troubleshooting step.

2. Restart the App

There may be temporary errors on the TikTok platform, causing you not to send messages. If this is the problem, you can quickly fix it by restarting your app to help reload the necessary files.

You should perform a force restart by swiping up from your phone’s bottom and looking for the TikTok app. Once you find it, you want to drag it up until you no longer see it, forcing it to stop running on your phone.

Afterward, you want to reopen the app and attempt to send a message, and hopefully, this has fixed your problem. However, there are still several additional troubleshooting methods to try.

3. Check Your Network Connection

If you have a slow or unstable internet connection, you will not be able to send messages on TikTok. But, like most social media networks, a reliable network connection will make using TikTok smoother. To help fix this, you have a few options; if one doesn’t work, you should try the next.

  1. Reboot your router or modem by unplugging it for 30 seconds and restarting it
  2. Visit to determine your current internet speed
  3. Contact your internet service provider to see if there are any outages

If you discover an issue with your current speed, the rebooting process should solve your messaging problem on TikTok.

This YouTube video goes into further information about the importance of a network connection:

4. Ensure That You Have a Verified Phone Number

TikTok requires users to have a verified phone number to send and receive messages. Even if you register your email address, you will still need to add your phone numbers to see messages.

Here are the steps to verifying your phone number:

  1. Go to your Profile and select Settings and Privacy
  2. Click Manage Account
  3. Select Phone Number and choose your Region or Country
  4. Enter your Phone Number
  5. You’ll receive a Verification Code from TikTok, and you should enter it into the app to complete the process
  6. Now return to your DMs and attempt to send a message

5. Try Messaging Other Users

If you are having trouble sending messages to a specific person on TikTok, you should try messaging someone else. For example, if your friend is having a problem with the app, they won’t be able to receive your messages. If you can send a message to someone else, you know there is no issue on your end.

You can also check your privacy settings to ensure you allow specific people to send you direct messages. You can do this by following these steps:

  1. Open the TikTok app and go to your Profile
  2. Click Options and get to the Privacy tab
  3. Scroll down on the page and click Direct Messages
  4. You can now choose who can send you messages and also who can invite you to group chats

After you do this, ask a friend to message you on TikTok to see if this action helped your problem.

6. Update TikTok

You should always ensure you stay on top of your updates, which helps resolve many issues. For example, whether you have an iOS or Android, you will visit the Play Store or App Store and look for available updates.

Once you complete the update, go back into your app and see if you can send messages. Generally, you should have your updates set for automatic, but if they are set for manual, you can easily make the change.

On iOS, go to your settings, select App Store and turn on auto-updates. Then, open your Play Store from an Android device, tap the icon in the top left, and swipe up to select settings. In general, you can choose to turn auto-updates on.

7. Reinstall TikTok

While it’s a bit of a nuisance, uninstalling and reinstalling the TikTok app can help fix your messaging problem. Sometimes, the app has a bug or glitch that is fixed by deleting the app. Here are the steps for uninstalling and reinstalling TikTok:

To uninstall TikTok, you should:

  1. Find TikTok on your home screen
  2. Hold down on the icon and wait until options pop up
  3. Tap Remove App (iOS) or Uninstall (Android)

Once you successfully delete the app, go to your app store, search TikTok and reinstall. Next, try to send a message through the app to see if this solves your problem.

8. Report the Problem to TikTok

When all else fails, you should report the problem to TikTok since they can better help assess the situation. For example, there might be an issue with your account that requires help from customer service.

To report a problem to TikTok, you should visit their help center and provide details about your situation. It would help if you tried to be as specific as possible, so they can thoroughly help with the problem.

In addition to reporting the problem, you can also search various issues on their site to find a resolution.


Not being able to message on TikTok is nothing short of annoying; however, the problem is usually temporary, and a few fixes on your part can have you messaging your friends in no time. So always keep your app updated and ensure you operate on a solid network connection to prevent future issues.

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