Meta engineers won’t be proud of the latest bug introduced into the web version of the popular platform. This causes Messenger chat windows to freeze on your screen no matter how hard you press the “X” button in the upper right corner of the window.
Over the past few days, the unexpected error has caught thousands of users around the world off-guard, wondering what happened and how to fix it.
The bad news is that there is no technical solution. We just have to wait for Meta to sort the problem out on its end – and we’ve even heard the first reports of users being able to close their chats again. But if the problem persists, you are not completely helpless. No way.
The temporary solution lies in the controls already offered by Facebook’s user interface, as pressing the “x” button is only one of three ways to close a chat window.
By far the easiest backup solution is to use your keyboard. First, move your cursor and click on the chat window to highlight it – either the top of it, the chat bubbles, or the text bar – then simply press the Escape button on the keyboard.
The second solution is somewhat hidden. There’s a ubiquitous floating gray button in the bottom right corner of the screen. It allows you to open an empty chat window and start a conversation with your chosen person.
When one or more chat windows are open, this serves an additional, discrete purpose. When you place the cursor near the button, an additional button with three dots appears. It gives you two options: “Close all discussions” or “Collapse open discussions”.
The first option is quite simple. The second option will collapse the windows into chat bubbles that can be closed one by one. These options are especially useful if you have too many chat windows open and can no longer get rid of them because of the bug.
That’s all, very simple. And even if Meta fixes the bug today or tomorrow, it’s good to know. You never know when a silly piece of code will find its way back to Facebook.