What Does Invalid Recipients Mean on Facebook?

By Melly Parker

An invalid recipient error puts a crimp in your plans to contact an associate.
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Facebook is more than just a social network; it also provides each account with an email address via the Messages area which you can use to contact colleagues. Like any email account, it can experience problems sending messages occasionally. An invalid recipient error means that your message could not be delivered successfully. Depending on the type of message you were sending, it could mean one of several things went wrong.

Privacy Settings

If you're attempting to contact a person who has his privacy settings set to block unknown messages, an invalid recipient error may occur. Facebook users have the option to decide who can send messages to their accounts; if a user has selected to not receive messages from non-friends, you won't be able to send him an email via Facebook. If you become friends with the person you're attempting to contact, your message will be sent successfully.

Account Problems

If the account of the person you're trying to contact has stopped functioning, the invalid recipient error may be displayed. Accounts that are locked or suspended for any reason cannot receive messages. Accounts that have been discontinued cannot receive messages. If you're attempting to send a message to a person's Facebook account using his Facebook name, check to see whether his Timeline is still up. If it isn't, that's likely why you're seeing invalid recipient on your message.

Typing Errors

Since you can send emails from your Facebook account, you can place an email address in the "To" field of a message and it should be sent successfully. If, however, you've typed a Facebook username or email address incorrectly, the message can't be delivered. In that case, invalid recipient is simply a typing error. Check the spelling of the addresses to which you're writing and attempt to send the message again.


If you've tried to contact the person, checked for his Timeline and made sure your spelling was correct and the problem still exists, consider using an alternate form of communication. Since each person has a Facebook email address, look up the email addresses on the person's Timeline and use those addresses to send him a normal email from your work account, if you're contacting him for business purposes. If you're seeing the message regularly, contact Facebook support to ensure there is no problem with your account.