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How to fix Facebook's "Error Performing Query"

The error is often out of your hands, but not always.
By
January 16, 2024

We’ve ranted in other guides about how needless cryptic many online service errors are, and Facebook‘s “error performing query” is no exception. If you’re somewhat tech-savvy, might have a sense of that means, but let’s face it — it doesn’t tell the user any specifics, much less how to go about fixing the situation. Here’s what’s really going on, and what you can do to get past the error.

How to fix Facebook’s “Error Performing Query”

Facebook stock photo 15
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Why does the error happen? In short, it’s triggered by instances when Facebook fails to fetch data on Meta’s servers. That means it’s out of your control most of the time. It’s sometimes possible to brute-force your way past the error, however, and it can also be triggered by app or browser glitches, in which case there may be more targeted solutions available. With that in mind, run through the troubleshooting steps below until you come across an answer that moves you forward.

  • Refresh the app or website. It’s possible that Meta’s network infrastructure is just encountering a blip that will be over and gone within a matter of minutes, if not seconds. Try reloading content and trying again. In the Facebook mobile app, you may have to swipe down from the top of your current page to force a refresh.
  • If you’re using the mobile app, force-quit it and relaunch. Temporary cache- and process-related glitches may be interfering, in which case it can’t hurt to close and relaunch the app to (potentially) get rid of them.
  • Doublecheck your internet connection. Like any online service, things can go wrong with Facebook if your cellular, Wi-Fi, or Ethernet connection isn’t up to par. If you’ve got a weak or otherwise underperforming wireless signal, try getting closer to your source or bypassing obstacles. That’s easier said than done with 4G or 5G, naturally. You might alternately try switching between connection methods if more than one is available. It’s also possible that your carrier or ISP (internet service provider) is experiencing issues, although they’re unlikely to affect Facebook without impacting everything else too.
  • Find out Facebook’s server status. Meta doesn’t have an official dashboard, but you can use websites like Downdetector to see if many users are reporting Facebook outages. If they are, there’s probably something serious going on, and you’ll have to wait while Meta’s technicians get the service running normally again.
  • Clear out your app or browser cache. Bad cache data can sometimes sow chaos with online services. If you’re using Facebook.com, clear your browser’s cache and cookies and try again. You can scrub the Android app’s cache by going to Settings > Storage > Apps, selecting Facebook, then finding Clear cache. Note that menus can differ depending on your version of Android, and there’s no equivalent of this for the iPhone and iPad app.
  • Scan for app updates. Meta updates the Facebook app very frequently, and if you haven’t updated in a while, it could be that the company has already addressed a bug triggering the error by mistake. Update Android apps using the Google Play Store, and iPhone and iPad apps using the Apple App Store. You may want to switch on automatic updates to save yourself trouble in the future.
  • Restart your device. This is unlikely to help, frankly, but there could conceivably be a system-level glitch that will go away when your device is forced to load things from scratch. It can’t hurt to try, and it’s good to restart a device periodically regardless to keep it running smoothly.