We have all experienced the frustration of finding an excellent article, humorous video, or touching story that we wish to share with our friends on Facebook, only to be met with silence when we attempt to share it.
There is no need to panic or give up on Facebook when the “Share External” function does not work as expected.
In this article, we will explore the common reasons why the “Share External” function sometimes fails, and more importantly, provide practical solutions to restore your ability to seamlessly share content.
Fortunately, there are several troubleshooting steps you can try to fix Facebook’s share external not working issue. This guide will outline the common causes of this problem and detail fixes you can implement to resolve the issue.
Why Facebook Share External Might Not Be Working
Before diving into solutions, let’s first understand some reasons why you may be facing problems sharing external content on Facebook:
Outdated Facebook App
If you haven’t updated your Facebook app for a while, you could be running an outdated version with bugs that affect sharing capabilities. Facebook releases regular updates to fix issues, so an outdated app can sometimes cause problems.
Temporary Technical Glitches
Your Facebook app or profile may have encountered a minor technical glitch temporarily preventing you from sharing external content. These types of hiccups aren’t uncommon with apps.
Unstable Internet Connection
Since Facebook relies on an internet connection to share content, an unreliable internet connection on your device could certainly interfere with sharing capabilities.
Corrupted App Cache
The cached data for apps can sometimes become corrupted, causing performance issues. If Facebook’s cached data has errors, it can potentially lead to problems sharing content.
How to Fix Facebook Share External Not Working
Now that you know some potential reasons why Facebook’s external sharing might not be working, let’s go through some specific troubleshooting steps you can take to address them.
1. Check Your Internet Connection
Since sharing content on Facebook requires an internet connection, weak connectivity can interfere with the ability to share external links or content.
Check if your Wi-Fi or mobile data connectivity presents an issue:
Head to a speed test website. Popular options include Speedtest.net, Fast.com, or your internet service provider’s (ISP) website.
Click “Go” or “Run Test.” This will launch the test, measuring your download and upload speeds.
- If on Wi-Fi, disconnect then reconnect to the Wi-Fi network
- Turn Airplane mode on for 30 seconds, then turn it back off to reconnect to the network
- Try sharing content after reconnecting to Wi-Fi
If you are trying to share content over your mobile network:
- Toggle Airplane mode on/off to force reconnection
- Try sharing after re-establishing your mobile data connection
This quick connectivity reset can help rule out any network related issues that may be preventing successful shares.
2. Check if Facebook is Down
Sometimes the issue with sharing lies not with your device or app, but with Facebook itself. Facebook occasionally experiences outages and server issues that cause widespread functional problems for users.
Before continuing troubleshooting your app, check whether Facebook is down:
- Visit the site downdetector.com and search for Facebook
- This site tracks user reports of outages across apps and websites
- If there’s a spike in Facebook outage reports, that likely explains sharing issues.
If Facebook is indeed experiencing global outages, wait until they are resolved to continue troubleshooting sharing. External sharing will work again once service is restored.
3. Restart Your Device
Restarting your device is one of the simplest yet most effective troubleshooting steps for apps that are misbehaving. A restart helps clear out any temporary glitches that may be interfering with things like sharing capabilities.
- For iPhones, hold down the side/power button until the “Slide to power off” message appears. Slide to turn off. Wait 30 seconds then turn your device back on.
- For Android devices, hold down the power button until the power-down menu appears. Tap “Restart” and wait for your device to come back on.
- After restarting, try sharing an external post to Facebook again to see if this resolves the issue.
4. Update the Facebook App
As mentioned earlier, an outdated version of the Facebook app can sometimes cause functional problems due to bugs and missing updates from the developer to patch issues.
To update Facebook:
- Open the App Store if you’re on an iPhone or the Play Store if using an Android
- Type “Facebook” in the search bar
- Tap on the Facebook app result
- Check if there is an “Update” button available. If so, update to the latest version.
If no update is shown, you likely already have the most up-to-date version installed.
Updating or verifying you already have updated the app eliminates this as a potential cause of sharing not working properly.
5. Clear the Facebook App Cache
The app cache stores temporary data that helps apps run more smoothly. However, over time cache files can become corrupted and cause performance issues like sharing failures.
Clearing the corrupt cache forces the Facebook app to rebuild fresh cache files that may fix bugs interfering with shares.
To clear the Facebook app cache:
- iPhone – Go to your iPhone Settings > General > iPhone Storage. Tap on Facebook and select “Offload App”. Then reinstall the Facebook app.
- Android – Open your Android Settings > Applications > Application Manager > Facebook. Tap “Clear Cache” and confirm.
After clearing cache, open Facebook again and attempt to share external content. This fix resolves sharing issues caused by corrupted caches.
6. Reinstall the Facebook App
If no other troubleshooting steps have successfully resolved problems sharing external links, the last resort is uninstalling and reinstalling the Facebook app.
Reinstallation can clear up any corrupted files or software conflicts on your device that may be interfering with sharing capabilities.
To reinstall Facebook:
- iPhone – Hold your finger down on the Facebook app icon until it starts jiggling. Tap the “X” to uninstall. Go to the App Store, search for Facebook, and reinstall.
- Android – Go to Settings > Application Manager > Facebook. Tap “Uninstall.” Then install Facebook again from the Google Play Store.
After the reinstallation, open the app and check if external content sharing now works properly again.
7. Try Sharing Different Content
In some cases, there may not be an overarching technical issue interfering with Facebook sharing. Rather, the content itself you are trying to share contains problems.
To troubleshoot further:
- Try sharing a different photo or external link than what you originally attempted.
- Share content from alternate sources – for example, different news sites or apps.
If you can successfully share some external content but not others, the issue likely lies with formatting or technical issues related to that specific content, rather than Facebook itself.
8. Try Facebook Lite
Facebook Lite is a lightweight version of the Facebook app that retains core functions like sharing while reducing resource strain. If you’re experiencing sharing issues due to lag or glitches, Facebook Lite could help.
To switch to Facebook Lite:
- Download “Facebook Lite” for free from your device’s app store
- Log into your Facebook account within the Lite app
- Navigate to external content you want to share
- Try sharing content through the Lite interface and check if issues persist
Since the Facebook Lite app is optimized for slower devices and networks, it may have greater stability in sharing external links when the full Facebook app fails.
9. Verify App Permissions
Apps require certain permissions to utilize functions like sharing content – so issues can occur if permissions are erroneously revoked.
To check Facebook’s permissions:
- iPhone – Go to Settings > Facebook and ensure all available toggles are enabled (green)
- Android – Go to Settings > Apps > Facebook > Permissions and enable all available permissions
Granting the necessary permissions gets sharing capabilities functioning again assuming permissions were mistakenly revoked.
10. Sign Out and Back Into Facebook
Sometimes refreshing your app by signing out and back in resolves temporary glitches that may be interfering with sharing.
To sign out:
- Open the Facebook app and tap the “More” tab
- Scroll down and choose “Log Out” to sign out of Facebook
- After 30 seconds, enter your login details again and sign back in
- Attempt to share external content again.
Signing out resets the app’s connection which can clear up one-off software failures impacting sharing.
11. Clear Browser Cache & Cookies
If sharing content directly from a web browser on your laptop or desktop, built up browser cache and cookies can potentially disrupt Facebook integrations.
To rule this out, clear this temporary browser data and then retry sharing:
- Chrome – Click Customize and Control Google Chrome > More Tools > Clear Browsing Data
- Safari – Safari > Clear History and Website Data
- Select all time duration and check boxes for “Cookies and other website data” and “Cached images and files” before clicking Clear.
With the browser cache and cookies cleared, any corrupted files are removed that may have created sharing issues on websites.
12. Try a Different Web Browser
If clearing the browser cache didn’t work, attempt sharing the external content through an alternate web browser.
For example, if you typically use Chrome, try again in Firefox or Edge instead. An alternative browser might not contain the same conflicting extensions or cached files impairing the share functionality.
13. Take A Screenshot
If an external source’s content like an article or video itself prevents successful Facebook sharing, you can screenshot elements and share the image instead.
However, this should be an absolute last resort case since screenshots lack clickable links, dynamic motion, interactive elements and context. But for textual content like articles, screenshot paragraphs to share excerpt highlights.
14. Report Persistent Sharing Issues to Facebook
If you encounter sharing failure even after exhausting all troubleshooting methods, report the stubborn external sharing problem directly to Facebook:
- Click the question mark icon in Facebook and select “Help & Support”
- Choose “Something’s Not Working” followed by the “Sharing” topic
- Select the sharing sub-category most relevant to your issue
- In the provided form, comprehensively detail your sharing problems and troubleshooting attempts
- Include content examples failing to properly share along with any error messages shown
- Submit this form to Facebook for further investigation by developers into potential bugs or other underlying causes. Without direct problem reports, Facebook remains unaware of persistent sharing deficiencies affecting users.
By reporting, you can potentially accelerate a technical fix or workaround for successfully sharing external links to Facebook again.