It can be frustrating when you open up TikTok expecting to see your friends’ latest and greatest videos, only to find their content missing from your Friends tab.
A blank Friends feed likely means there’s some kind of glitch preventing TikTok from surfacing videos from accounts you follow.
The good news is this problem is usually temporary and fairly easy to resolve with a few troubleshooting steps.
In this guide, we’ll explore the most common reasons the Friends tab may not be working and walk through ways to get it showing your friends’ videos again.
Why Your Friends’ TikTok Videos Aren’t Showing Up
Before jumping into solutions, it helps to understand what may cause this frustrating issue in the first place. Here are some of the most common culprits for an empty Friends feed:
Temporary Technical Problems
Like any social media platform, TikTok can experience occasional technical hiccups on their end that disrupt certain features.
If a server or network outage occurs, it can temporarily prevent videos from loading in the Friends tab specifically. Usually, these outages are resolved within hours.
Weak Internet Connection
Your local Wi-Fi or cellular data connectivity could also be to blame. Videos and feeds require a stable, fast internet connection to load properly.
If your own internet is slow or cutting in and out, it can mimic the appearance of videos not showing up from your friends. Always verify your own connection first before further troubleshooting.
Friends Haven’t Posted Recently
The Friends feed only displays the latest videos from accounts you follow. If your friends haven’t posted new content in a while, their videos won’t automatically appear.
Scrolling through the Friends tab will only surface videos from the last day or two at most. Check your friends’ profiles to confirm if they’ve shared new videos you expect to see.
Friends Have Private Accounts
TikTok lets users make their accounts private, which means only approved followers can view their content. If your friends have private profiles, their videos won’t show up for you, even if you follow them.
Double-check that none of your friends have switched their accounts to private, which blocks their videos from feeds.
You Don’t Follow Those Friends
This seems obvious, but make sure you currently follow the friends whose videos aren’t surfacing. TikTok will only show a user’s videos to their followers.
If you unfollowed someone by accident, their videos would disappear from your Friends feed. Check your friend list to make sure you’re still following those accounts.
Your Own Account Is Private
Similarly, if your own TikTok account is set to private, your friends won’t be able to see your videos in their Friends feed either. Toggle your settings to public if you want all your followers to access your content. Keep in mind privacy settings work both ways on TikTok.
If you’ve intentionally blocked a friend’s TikTok account, their videos will no longer show up for you. Likewise, if one of your friends has blocked your account, your content won’t appear in their Friends feed.
Blocking prevents all interaction between two accounts. Make sure you and your friends haven’t accidentally blocked each other.
How to Fix TikTok Not Showing Videos on Friends tab
Once you’ve eliminated any of the above scenarios, try these step-by-step troubleshooting techniques to restore your Friends feed:
1. Check Your Internet Connection
Without a stable internet connection, TikTok simply won’t work properly. Videos need adequate bandwidth to load, and the Friends feed relies on being able to communicate with TikTok’s servers.
To rule out a weak connection, check that your Wi-Fi signal is strong, or switch over to cellular data if available.
Load a basic web page or perform a speed test to confirm your internet is working fine. If connection issues persist, troubleshoot your network connectivity before anything else.
On mobile, you can try these steps:
- Enable Airplane Mode briefly to disable all connections, then turn it off again to reset your network and radio.
- Toggle your Wi-Fi off and on, or disconnect and reconnect if your router supports it.
- Toggle cellular data off and on under Settings if you don’t have Wi-Fi.
- Try moving closer to your Wi-Fi router or access point for a stronger signal.
- Restart your mobile device completely if connectivity problems continue.
On desktop, you can try:
- Disconnecting and reconnecting from your Wi-Fi network.
- Testing with a wired ethernet connection if possible instead of Wi-Fi.
- Restarting your modem and router if they require it.
- Making sure no bandwidth-hogging applications are running.
- Checking for firmware updates for your network hardware if needed.
Having reliable Wi-Fi or mobile data will ensure your Friends feed loads properly.
2. Check for Temporary TikTok Outages
While less common, TikTok can experience downtime or regional outages that affect services like the Friends feed. Video playback relies on TikTok’s infrastructure.
To check for any ongoing TikTok problems:
- Visit TikTok’s status page and check for notices of any acknowledged issues. This is the best way to confirm real outages.
- Search “TikTok down” on Twitter to see if others are reporting problems, signaling a potential outage.
- Try using TikTok with a VPN connected to change regions in case the issue is localized.
- Check third-party sites like DownDetector that track status and outages for various services.
If TikTok itself confirms any service disruptions, unfortunately all you can do is wait for them to resolve the problem on their end. Extended outages are rare though.
3. Make Sure You Follow Your Friends
The Friends feed exclusively shows videos from accounts you follow. If you’ve unfollowed someone, their videos will obviously stop appearing in your feed.
To check your friend list:
- Tap your profile icon in the bottom right corner.
- Select Friends on the side menu.
- This will display the list of users you currently follow on TikTok.
- Browse the list and make sure any friends whose videos aren’t showing are still being followed by your account.
- If you notice you’ve unfollowed certain people, tap Follow to add them back and resume seeing their videos.
Following is required for TikTok’s Friends feed algorithm to pull in video updates in real time. Re-following any accounts you expect to see will ensure their content surfaces going forward.
4. Ask Friends to Check Privacy Settings
If your friends have made their accounts private, their videos won’t reach your feed even as a follower. Only they can control this privacy setting.
To check for this, tap into the profile of any friend whose videos aren’t loading and see if it says “Private Account” under their bio. If so, their videos are set to private.
You’ll need to ask those friends directly to check their privacy settings by:
- Tapping the 3-dot menu button in their profile.
- Selecting Privacy and Safety.
- Toggling the Private Account setting off to make videos public.
Once they disable the private setting, newly posted videos should start appearing in your Friends feed again. But existing private videos will remain hidden.
5. Verify Your Own Account Isn’t Private
On the flip side, if your own TikTok account is private, your friends won’t see your videos in their feeds either. Double check your personal privacy setting.
To check your privacy status:
- Visit your own profile and tap the 3-dot menu.
- Select Privacy and Safety.
- Check that the Private Account toggle is disabled and grayed out.
If your account is private, toggle that back off to make your videos viewable by all your followers again. Similar to your friends, if you correct the privacy setting, newly shared videos will surface in feeds going forward.
6. Search for Friends’ Videos Directly
As a test, try searching for your friends’ TikTok usernames directly in the main search bar. This looks up their profiles and any public videos.
If you can find your friends’ profiles and watch their videos this way, it confirms their content exists but something is preventing it from reaching your Friends feed specifically.
Troubleshooting your account settings and connection is then needed to resolve why those videos won’t load on the Friends tab. But at least this eliminates the possibility that your friends simply haven’t posted.
7. Restart the TikTok Mobile App
Like any software, TikTok can occasionally get stuck with glitches or cache issues that disrupt certain features. Simply restarting the mobile app can clear out bugs and get things working properly again.
To restart TikTok on iOS or Android:
- Swipe up from the bottom to access your multitasking view.
- Find TikTok in the app switcher queue and swipe up to fully close it.
- Reopen TikTok
- Tap the TikTok icon again to relaunch it.
- Give the app 15-30 seconds to fully reload.
- Check if videos now appear as expected in your Friends feed.
A quick refresh can restart processes powering the Friends tab and unstick any temporary errors. Restarting applies to both the iOS and Android mobile apps.
8. Update to the Latest TikTok Version
Outdated app versions are another common source of glitches on mobile. Developers regularly release updates with bug fixes and performance improvements.
To ensure you have the newest TikTok version:
- Open the Google Play Store app.
- Tap your profile icon in the top right.
- Select Manage apps & devices > Updates available.
- Check if TikTok shows an Update button. If so, tap it to download the latest version.
- Open the App Store app.
- Tap your profile icon in the top right.
- Scroll down to see a list of apps with updates available and check for TikTok here.
- If an Update button shows, tap it to download the newest iOS version.
Updating eliminates any glitches that may have been patched in newer versions. Automating app updates ensures you’re always running the latest TikTok release going forward.
9. Clear the TikTok App Cache
Over time, cached data for the TikTok app can become large or corrupted and cause issues like videos not loading. Clearing the cache often resolves random glitches.
- Open your device’s Settings app.
- Select Apps or Application Manager.
- Tap on “TikTok.”
- Choose “Storage and cache.”
- Select “Clear Cache” to wipe temporary data.
- Go to the Home screen where the TikTok app icon is located.
- Touch and hold the TikTok app icon until it wiggles.
- Tap the minus sign (-) that appears in the top left corner of the app icon.
- Select Offload App. This will remove the app from your iPhone but keep the documents and data associated with it.
Wiping the cache forces TikTok to fully reload all its data and fixes wonky issues in the process.
10. Log Out and Back In
If other troubleshooting hasn’t helped, logging out and back into your TikTok account can refresh your login session. This forces all account data to be reloaded.
To sign out and in again:
- Open your TikTok profile.
- Tap the 3-dot menu button.
- Choose Log out to fully sign out of your account.
- Close and re-open the TikTok app.
- Enter your username and password to log in again.
- Give the app a minute to sync your account details again.
- Check if the Friends feed now loads properly.
Signing out essentially performs a hard refresh on your account and TikTok data. A new login session can clear up lingering connection issues.
11. Reinstall the TikTok App
As a last resort, completely uninstalling then reinstalling TikTok is essentially a nuclear reset for the app. This wipes all temporary data and cached files that may be damaged.
- Open your Settings app.
- Select Apps.
- Tap TikTok.
- Choose Uninstall to delete the app.
- Next open the Play Store and reinstall TikTok.
- Log into your account once it’s reinstalled.
- Find TikTok on your Home Screen.
- Press and hold the app icon until if starts wiggling.
- Tap the X icon to delete the TikTok app.
- Go to the App Store and reinstall TikTok.
- Download and log in to your account again.
Reinstalling the app erases any corrupt data that may be interfering with the Friends feed. It’s an extreme step but can get things working again from scratch when all else fails.
Here are a couple additional troubleshooting tips to include:
Restart Your Device
Restarting your Android or iOS mobile device resets system memory and clears up resources being used by apps like TikTok. This can resolve minor glitches and other issues.
To restart an iPhone or iPad:
- Hold down the Side/Power button until the “Slide to power off” prompt appears.
- Drag the slider to turn off your device completely.
- After 30 seconds, hold the Side button again to boot your device back up.
To restart an Android phone or tablet:
- Hold down the Power button until the device options menu pops up.
- Tap Restart to reboot your Android device.
- Give your phone 30-60 seconds to restart completely.
Allow a minute or two after restarting for all apps and services to reload before retrying TikTok. This failsafe reboot can fix problems stemming from memory leaks or software quirks.
Check App Permissions
On both iOS and Android, apps require specific permissions to access certain features and data on your device. If TikTok is denied permission to tap into your contacts or friends list, it could potentially disrupt the Friends feed.
To verify permissions on iOS:
- Go to Settings > Privacy > Contacts.
- Ensure TikTok shows as green/on to allow contact access.
To check permissions on Android:
- Open Settings > Apps & notifications > TikTok.
- Tap Permissions and enable all access like contacts and files as needed.
Granting the expected permissions allows TikTok to pull in your friends data for populating your Friends feed videos. Disable any permissions not being utilized to protect your privacy.
If refreshing your Friends feed doesn’t seem to solve the issue, your general For You page recommendations may also need a reset.
TikTok uses complex algorithms and your watch history to populate the For You feed, so glitches can sometimes affect it too. Check out our guide on how to reset your TikTok FYP page for steps to refresh the main feed and restore accurate recommendations.