Facebook Messenger was the first messaging app to introduce and popularize chat heads (chat bubble) on Android but, with Android 10, a few other apps got this functionality. Strangely enough, it seems that this change brought some issues to mostly reliable Facebook Messenger chat heads. Based on reports, some users state that the Messenger bubble is not showing. If you don’t see a bubble for incoming Messenger notifications, too, check the instructions we provided below.
This usually happens because chat heads are either disabled in Messenger or in Notification Settings. Other than that, it can be a bug with the current version of Facebook Messenger.
Table of contents:
- Check in-app settings and permissions
- Clear local data from Facebook Messenger
- Reinstall Facebook Messenger
- Install a newer or older version of an APK
Why are Messenger chat heads not working?
If you don’t get Facebook Messenger Chat heads with incoming messages, make sure to:
- Enable the Messenger bubble (Chat heads) in the Messenger app.
- Allow Bubbles in Notification settings.
- Reinstall Messenger or use APK to get the latest Alpha version or older versions.
1. Check in-app settings and permissions
The first thing you should do is check in-app settings. There’s an option to allow all, some, or no notifications to appear as a bubble. This option should be enabled by default but you should check it out to ensure that this is the case. In addition, you should probably check if Facebook Messenger has permission to show content above other apps in System settings.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Open Facebook Messenger.
- Tap on the profile photo at the top left corner.
- Make sure that Chat heads are enabled and open Notifications & sounds.
- Tap Manage notifications.
- Select Notification categories.
- Tap Show as bubbles and make sure to select All.
Also, navigate to Settings > Notifications > Advanced settings and enable Floating notifications. The exact steps may be different on different Android skins, but you should be able to find Bubbles in Notifications settings.
In addition, you should navigate to Settings > Apps > All apps > Messenger. Once there, check for Appear on top permission and make sure that Messenger has permission to draw on top of other apps. Check out our article about managing permissions on Android for more info.
2. Clear local data from Facebook Messenger
An alternative solution would be to clear local data from Facebook Messenger and reset the app that way. Some users report that this solved the issue while others are still stuck with the problem.
Since Facebook Messenger chats are cloud-based, you won’t lose any chat data by clearing local data. If this action deletes some photos or videos you saved from chats, you can always get them again in Chat options >
Here’s how to clear local data from Facebook Messenger:
- Open Settings.
- Select Apps. Expand All apps if necessary.
- Tap Storage.
- Tap Clear Data and confirm.
- Open Facebook Messenger, sign in with your Facebook credentials, and check if the issues persist.
3. Reinstall Facebook Messenger
Alternatively, you can reinstall the app. This is not all that different than the previous solution but, as an extra, you’ll get the latest version of Facebook Messenger available on the Play Store.
Here’s how to reinstall Facebook Messenger via Play Store:
- Open Play Store.
- Search for Facebook Messenger and expand the app.
- Tap Uninstall.
- Restart your phone and open the Play Store again.
- Look for Messenger and install it.
- Sign in again and check if the app works.
4. Install a newer or older version of an APK
Finally, we suggest replacing the current Messenger version with either an older one or the Alpha or Beta by sideloading an APK. Some users report that chat heads started working just like before once they downloaded a newer version. Have in mind that Alpha or Beta versions are unstable and some other features might not work.
As for APKs, you don’t have to worry about these, because installing APK files on Android is perfectly safe (as long as you downloaded it from a reliable source). Just make sure to uninstall the app you got from Play Store before installing an APK.
And, on that note, we can conclude this article. Thank you for reading and feel free to share your thoughts, questions, or suggestions in the comments section below. We look forward to hearing from you.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in March 2022. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.