TikTok’s “Send To” feature allows you to easily share TikTok videos with friends in your contacts list. However, sometimes you may notice that a friend isn’t showing up as an option when you go to send a TikTok video to them.
This can be frustrating if you want to share funny or interesting videos with that friend.
In this detailed guide, we’ll cover the main reasons why a TikTok friend may not be showing up in your “Send To” list and walk through different troubleshooting steps you can take to fix it.
Why Can’t I Send Videos on TikTok to Friends?
There are a few common reasons why you may not see a friend in your TikTok “Send To” list. Here are a few reasons why TikTok won’t let you send videos to your friends:
They Don’t Have a TikTok Account
The most obvious reason is that the friend simply doesn’t have a TikTok account. The “Send To” list only displays friends who also have TikTok installed on their device and set up with an account. If your friend hasn’t created a TikTok account yet, you won’t see them as an option.
To check on this, you can ask your friend if they’ve signed up for TikTok. If they haven’t yet, invite them to create an account so you can connect and share videos.
Your Friend Has Their Account Set to Private
Another possibility is that your friend has set their TikTok account to private. Private accounts don’t show up in other users’ “Send To” lists by default.
If your friend prefers to keep their account private for privacy reasons, you’ll need to send them an invite to follow you, or have them change their settings to allow mutual friends to see their account.
TikTok Contacts Sync Isn’t Enabled
TikTok relies on you enabling contacts syncing in your app settings to populate the “Send To” list. If you or your friend have turned off this syncing, it prevents TikTok from matching your contacts to accounts.
Check that you both have contact syncing enabled in TikTok’s permissions. If it’s disabled, turn it on and see if your friend appears after a refresh.
Your Friend Uses a Different Name on TikTok
TikTok matches your phone contacts to TikTok accounts based on identical names. If your friend set up their TikTok with a different display name than what’s saved in your phone, it won’t associate them together in “Send To.”
Try searching for their TikTok handle directly instead of relying on “Send To.” You can also ask them to update their TikTok name or contact name to match.
There’s a Temporary Glitch or Lag
In some cases, a TikTok glitch or lag time in syncing contacts can temporarily cause a friend to not show up.
Try force quitting the TikTok app and reloading it after a few minutes. If it still doesn’t work, give it some time. Contacts usually repopulate after a day or two.
Steps to Fix TikTok Friend Not Showing in Send To
If your TikTok friend still isn’t appearing as a “Send To” option after checking the reasons above, there are a few troubleshooting steps to try:
Use the TikTok Search Bar
Most of your friends who first show up after you tap on the share icon are those with whom you recently became friends or messaged.
Hence, if the friend you want to share the video with is not a recent TikTok friend or one you recently had a chat with, chances are they won’t be visible in the first few friends who will show up.
Here, you have to use the “More” icon, which is a search bar to search for any of your TikTok friends.
The search bar is located to the right of your friends’ list in the “Share To” screen. If your friend isn’t appearing in your contacts list, try searching for their username directly in this search bar:
- Open a TikTok video you want to share.
- Tap the “Share” icon.
- On the “Share To” screen, swipe left to reveal the “More” icon. Tap on this icon to open the search bar.
- Type your friend’s exact TikTok username into the search bar.
- Their account should populate if the username is entered correctly.
- Tap their username to add them as a sharing recipient.
Using the built-in TikTok search functionality can help you locate friends even if they aren’t syncing properly through your contacts. Be sure to enter the exact username your friend uses on TikTok for the search to work.
The search bar provides another option to connect with TikTok friends to share videos if other troubleshooting steps don’t work. Check this search tool in addition to the other methods outlined below.
Confirm Your Friend Has a TikTok Account
Double-check with your friend that they have actually created a TikTok account. Without an account set up, they won’t populate in your share contacts.
Ask your friend to confirm the exact spelling of the name and handle they used for their TikTok account. This will help in troubleshooting.
Check Your TikTok Contacts Permissions
Pull up your TikTok account’s privacy settings and confirm you have contacts permissions enabled:
- Open TikTok and tap the “Me” tab.
- Tap the three-dot menu icon in the top right corner.
- Select “Settings and privacy.”
- Tap “Privacy.”
- Select “Contacts syncing and Facebook friends.”
- Make sure the toggle is enabled (green).
If contacts sync was disabled, enable it then force quit and reload TikTok. Your friend may now appear after syncing contacts again.
Have Your Friend Check Their Contacts and Privacy Settings
Your friend should also check their TikTok contacts permissions and confirm their account is not set to private.
To enable contacts on their end:
- Open TikTok settings.
- Go to “Privacy.”
- Tap “Contacts syncing” and enable it if disabled.
- Check that their account is public, not private.
Once they confirm contacts sync is on and their account is public, you should both force close and reopen the TikTok app. After this reset, your friend may now show up in “Send To.”
Manually Search for Your Friend’s TikTok Handle
If your friend’s contacts and privacy settings are all enabled but their name still doesn’t populate, try manually searching for their exact TikTok handle.
Tap the search bar at the top of TikTok and type in their full TikTok handle (e.g. @my.friend). If their account comes up, you can still view their profile and videos.
From there, you may get the option to follow them or send a friend request if applicable. Once connected as friends, TikTok should associate your contacts for sharing.
Update Matched Contact Names
As a last resort, you and your friend may need to update your contact names in phones to match each other exactly. TikTok relies on identical full names to associate accounts for the “Send To” feature.
You can each edit the contact name for the other person to match their TikTok handle name. After updating contacts, give TikTok time to resync before checking “Send To” again.
Contact TikTok Support
If you’ve tried all troubleshooting steps and your friend still does not show up in your TikTok “Send To” list, reach out to TikTok’s official support channels:
- Submit a report in-app: Go to your profile > Settings and Support > Report a Problem
- Ask TikTok on Twitter: Tweet an issue to @TikTokSupport
- Contact TikTok by email: Fill out the contact form at TikTok.com/contact
Explaining the situation with contacts not matching or syncing properly can help TikTok Support diagnose and resolve the issue if it’s a persistent glitch or bug preventing your friend from showing up.
Not being able to find a friend to share TikTok videos with in the “Send To” list can certainly be annoying. But in most cases, it’s an easy fix by adjusting contacts permissions, account privacy settings, or matching your contact names.
Following the troubleshooting steps above should help get your TikTok friends populated properly so you can send them funny cat videos or viral dances. If problems persist, TikTok Support can also help investigate and correct any issues syncing contacts.
With the right settings and matched information, sharing TikTok videos to friends can be fast and seamless. Stay persistent in troubleshooting and enabling contacts access to get your full friend list back in TikTok’s “Send To” sharing options.