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What ‘pending’ means on Snapchat, and how to fix it

To fix a “pending” error on Snapchat, you can try resetting the app.


  • If your Snapchat message is “pending,” it usually means you’re not friends with the recipient.
  • Even if you’ve sent them a friend request, you might still see the gray “pending” arrow.
  • Snapchat might also give you the “pending” arrow if your internet connection is spotty.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Snapchat is a pretty transparent app. It notifies you when someone sees your messages, screenshots them, replays them, and more. Most of these notifications are simple — but what does it mean when a message is “pending?”

If your message is pending, it’ll sit in your feed with a dull gray arrow. And whoever you sent the Snap to probably won’t see it.

Here’s what that mysterious “pending” message means, and how to fix it.

What does ‘pending’ mean on Snapchat?

At its most basic, “pending” means that Snapchat knows you’re trying to send a message, but can’t complete the request.

A "pending" message on Snapchat.A pending message will have a gray arrow next to it.

Snapchat; William Antonelli/Insider

The most common reason for this is that the person you’re trying to send a Snap to doesn’t have you added as a friend. By default, Snapchat will block any messages sent to you by a non-friend, and it’ll give the sender the pending message.

Even if you’ve sent the person you’re trying to contact a friend request, the pending message won’t go away until they’ve added you.

If you’re sure that you’re Snapchat friends with someone, but you’re still seeing the pending message, it might mean that they’ve unfriended you. Check their profile to see if there are menus called Saved in Chat and Chat Attachments — if you don’t see these on their profile, it means you’re not friends.

A Snapchat profile page. The "Saved in Chat" and "Chat Attachments" menus are highlighted.These menus will appear on every profile that you’re friends with.

Snapchat; William Antonelli/Insider

But being left on “pending” doesn’t always mean a broken friendship. In some cases, it might just be a bug with Snapchat.

How to fix the ‘pending’ message on Snapchat

Before anything, you’ll of course want to make sure that you are friends with the person you’re trying to contact. Again, check their profile to see that you’re really connected.

If you’re sure, check your internet connection. A weak signal can mess with your Snaps, tricking the app into thinking that your messages can’t go through. Get closer to your Wi-Fi router, reset it, connect to a new signal — whatever will get you the best connection.

You should also restart Snapchat. Swipe up from the bottom of your phone’s screen to see every app you have open, then swipe Snapchat off the screen to fully close it. If that doesn’t work, restart your phone itself too.

Failing that, uninstall the Snapchat app and download it again from your device’s app store. You might need to log in again, but this will definitely refresh all your pending messages.

The "Remove App" menu on an iPhone.Uninstall the app to refresh it.

William Antonelli/Insider

Finally, you can check to see if Snapchat is down or experiencing outages. Whenever there’s a problem with Snapchat’s servers, they post about it on the Snapchat Support Twitter page. Give it a look.

If none of these fixes work, there isn’t much else that can be done. Try messaging your friend later, or using another app.

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