Messenger, a messaging tool owned by Facebook sometimes confuses its users, especially when the user encounters a message saying “This person is unavailable on Messenger”. Here’s what it means and how to fix it.
Messenger and other messaging apps provide a way to inform you that you can or can’t message the other person. The message says the person you’re interacting with isn’t on Messenger, but that doesn’t really mean the actual message.
But this error message appears after you sent messages to the recipient, leaving you to wonder, is the recipient leaving Messenger? Are you getting blocked? Is the account suspended?
Regardless, there are ways to ensure the cause of this problem on Messenger, so you can, hopefully, contact the other person again using Messenger.
- Message Meaning: “This person is unavailable on Messenger” can indicate a block, account suspension, or deletion.
- Checking Block Status: Use Messenger’s settings to check if you’ve blocked someone or vice versa.
- Account Suspension Possibility: The message may appear if the other person’s account is suspended.
- Technical Issues and Solutions: Reinstalling, updating, or clearing cache can resolve potential app-related issues.
Here’s what it means literally: when someone deletes their Messenger or Facebook account, you’re going to see a “This person is unavailable on Messenger” message. However, it can also mean that the other person has blocked you on Messenger.
Messenger shows this message while blocking your ability to send messages to the recipient. This message literally says the person isn’t on Messenger anymore, while this might be true, there are reasons why this error message appears.
This message exists and will be gone once the recipient changes their mind and start using Messenger again. At this point, you can’t contact the recipient or even share-screen with them until they get back to using Messenger again.
However, Messenger as a platform shows the same error message (“This person is unavailable on Messenger”) when:
- you’re blocking the recipient
- you’re being blocked by the recipient
- the recipient’s account is suspended
If you don’t think you’re blocking the recipient, chances are you’re the one who is being blocked. However, the thought of you being blocked isn’t enough to make you stop wondering why this happens, as there are other reasons as well.
The solution to this is to prove whether you actually get blocked or the recipient’s account is suspended.
Check Whether You Block the Other Person on Messenger
On Messenger Mobile App
Messenger has the Android and iPhone versions you can get for free. Although this post specifically uses the Android version as an example, you might be able to apply it on iOS as well.
To check whether you’re the one who is blocked (and whether you blocked them), simply click the Information icon at the top beside the other person’s Messenger account name.
Here, you’re going to see the Block button. If you see this button, you didn’t block them. If you see this button says “Unblock”, then you’re blocking the recipient. Simply tap Unblock to unblock the recipient.
Messenger has the PC version on the website. This also allows you to check whether you’re blocking the person on Messenger or not, by essentially the same methods.
Open the Messenger website. Sign in to your Facebook account.
Click the conversation with the recipient. Click their profile accounts. Select the three-dots button on the right side of the other person’s name and profile picture.
You’ll see a sidebar. Select Privacy & support. If you the Block button, that means you’re not blocking them.
Check Whether You Get Blocked on Messenger
But, what if you’re the one who is being blocked? You can know that by tapping the Profile button above the Block/Unblock button like in the picture above.
It will open a Facebook page. You will see this message if you’re being blocked (or the person deleted their Facebook account). Content not found.
The page you requested cannot be displayed at the moment. It may be temporarily unavailable, the link you clicked on may be broken or expired, or you may not have permission to view this page.
While that message could mean two things (you’re being blocked or the recipient’s account is deleted), you can make sure whether you’re blocked by using your friend’s Facebook account to go to that recipient’s Facebook profile.
If your friend can visit the recipient’s Facebook profile, you’re clearly being blocked.
Ensure the Other Person’s Account Isn’t Suspended
Messenger might have suspended the other person’s account without you knowing. This can happen anytime to anyone if the person violates the terms of service of Facebook and Messenger.
If you still aren’t sure whether you get blocked or the other person’s account is suspended, you can ensure by creating or using another Facebook or Messenger account, searching their profile, and seeing if you can see them.
However, if the other person turns out to be suspended, there’s no way to actually know why it happens and for long how. Facebook itself bans users either temporarily or permanently. The temporary ban might happen for 24 hours, a month, or longer, depending on the offense the person does.
Ensure the Other Person Is Deactivating Their Messenger Account
Facebook allows you to deactivate your Facebook account while keeping your Messenger account. This allows you to keep in contact with friends on Facebook without using the other Facebook features, like the feed, group, and more.
However, you can’t deactivate your Messenger account but keep your Facebook account. You have to deactivate both.
The other person you have an error message saying “This person is unavailable on Messenger” with as well. Either their account is suspended or deactivated.
The only way to know is by contacting the other person using other media, or in real life.
Some users reported that the error message shows after experiencing some technical problems within their phone or PC, or the Android/iPhone apps for Messenger. The problem was solved after they fixed the technical issue.
So, what are the possible technical issues on Messenger and how do you fix them?
Try Reinstalling the Messenger App
Messenger app might experience some bugs and that can be solved by reinstalling the app. You can do this on Android and iPhone.
On Android, simply open the Play Store. Search for Messenger. Then, tap Uninstall. Wait for a few seconds until the Messenger app is uninstalled.
Tap Install again. Once it’s done, open the app, sign in to your Facebook account, and see if the “This person is unavailable on Messenger” message is still showing.
If you still see the error message, you can try updating Messenger. This ensures the Messenger app receives the recent updates that might be able to solve the bugs causing the issue.
Clear the Cache and Data of The Messenger App
Clearing the Messenger cache might be worth a try if you haven’t done it, and if you are sure that the “This person is unavailable on Messenger” error message is caused by technical issues of the app.
On Android, open the Settings app > Apps > search for the Messenger app.
Tap Clear data. Select Clear cache and Clear all data.
Can this message appear due to a Facebook bug?
Yes, sometimes Facebook bugs or server issues can cause this message to appear temporarily.
Does the ‘unavailable’ message mean I’m blocked on Facebook too?
Not necessarily. You might be blocked on Messenger but not on Facebook, or vice versa.
Can a deactivated Facebook account still use Messenger?
Yes, a person can deactivate their Facebook account and still be active on Messenger.
Will the message disappear if the blocked status changes?
Yes, if you are unblocked or if the person reactivates their account, the message will no longer appear.
Is it possible to contact someone on Messenger if their Facebook is deactivated?
Yes, if they have chosen to keep Messenger active, you can still contact them.
How can I tell if someone deleted their Messenger app but not their account?
There’s no direct way to tell, but if their Facebook account is active, it’s likely they just deleted the app.
Understanding the nuances of messages like “This person is unavailable on Messenger” is crucial in navigating modern digital communication. Whether it’s a technical glitch, a block, or an account issue, knowing how to investigate and resolve these situations can enhance your social media experience. Stay informed and adapt to these challenges to maintain seamless online interactions.