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What Does Pending Mean On Snapchat?

You're trying to send your message on Snapchat but it just says "pending." What does this pesky message mean and how can you fix it?

Say you are about to send the perfect snap on Snapchat. You get your angles and lighting perfect, you snap the picture and send it out. Except, underneath the message where it normally says ‘Sent’ or ‘Received’ you see ‘Pending.’ You try a few more times, but you keep getting the same message. What does the pending message mean on Snapchat, and how can you fix it?

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The pending notification is fairly common. It generally means that your snap is not making it to the intended destination.

What Does Pending Mean On Snapchat?

Credit -- Snapchat (modified)

There are a couple of reasons why the pending notification keeps popping up. Here are the most common reasons why you keep seeing a pending message on Snapchat.

1. You are not friends with the user

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If you see a pending message, it could mean that you are not currently friends with the user you send the message to. If you have just recently added someone to your friend list, then there is a good chance you will get the pending message if they have not accepted your request yet.

The problem is that Snapchat’s default setting is that it will only accept snaps from people that have been accepted as friends. So if a person is not currently your friend, the snap won’t make it to their inbox. Snapchat flips the pending notification as a result.

Whenever you send a snap to a person that is not on your friend list, they will get a notification to accept a friend request. If they accept it, then the message will be received and move from ‘Pending‘ to ‘Sent.’ Once it makes it all the way to the inbox, it will change to ‘Delivered.’

How to fix it: Fixing this issue is as simple as making sure that your friend has added you Snapchat. If the pending notification does not go away after a while, then it could mean that the user has blocked you (see #2) or they just don’t want to add you as a friend.

2. You were blocked

Snapchat gives users the ability to block incoming snaps from any account they want. The goal of this policy is to reduce harassment and other problematic behavior on the platform. Blocking an account means that your device will no longer receive snaps from it.

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So if you get the pending message, it could be because the other user has blocked you. In that case, the message never leaves the server to its intended recipient, and it’s never delivered. Blocking also affects messages too, so if none of your snaps or messages make it past the pending phase after a while, then it’s possible that you have been blocked. Sorry to hear it, dude.

How to fix it: Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do if you are blocked. You can’t appeal blocks from private Snapchat accounts so there is no way you can get it removed short of asking the other person to unblock you.

3. Poor cell reception/internet connectivity

The other most common reason for the ‘Pending’ message is poor coverage or poor internet connectivity.  If you have been friends with the person for a long time and have no reason to think they’ve blocked you, then this is probably the most common reason you keep getting a pending message.

Poor internet connectivity affects the channel going both ways, so you can get the message if either you or your friend has a bad connection. The problem is, it can be tough to tell on which end the problem is occurring, especially because there are a lot of things that can temporarily mess up your connection to the Snapchat servers.

How to fix it: If you suspect the problem is on your end, you can try to move to a place that has better cell reception or reset your WiFi router. There are several other methods you can use to boost WiFi signal.

If that does not work, then you can try resetting the Snapchat app. In some cases, this may involve forcing a close from your phone’s app system menu. Your phone could also be the problem so resetting your phone can reboot your internet connection.

If the problem still persists and there is nothing wrong on your friend’s end, then the issue could be with your ISP or local network.

In rare cases, the problem could be because the Snapchat servers are misfiring. In that case, the problem will fix itself once the tech team resolves the issue.

4. The recipient has deleted their account

The last explanation for the pending message is that the recipient account no longer exists. That is, your friend has deleted their account. When people delete their Snapchat accounts, their names are not automatically removed from your friend list. But, if you try to send messages or snaps to them, then you will get the ‘Pending’ response. Since the account no longer exists, the snap has nowhere to go from the servers.

How to fix it: There is no fix to this one. The only way is to get your friend to create a new account or reactivate their old account. If your friend reactivates their account, then they should receive any pending messages as long as they haven’t been deleted from the Snapchat servers.

What Happens to Pending Snaps?

One of Snapchat’s main policies is that they will delete snaps once they are opened by the intended recipient. But what about if your snap never makes it there? What happens to your pending snaps? Do they just sit there forever?

Snaps are marked as ‘Sent’, ‘Delivered’, and ‘Received.’

In general, a snap will stay pending until whatever issue that is causing the pending message is fixed. So if a message is pending because you have a bad internet connection, the snap will be sent, opened, and deleted as normal.

But how long will a snap stay pending otherwise? The answer here is less clear. By default, Snapchat deletes all messages once they are opened by the recipient though you can manually change this timetable. Since they are never seen by the recipient, pending messages are not deleted according to these time frames.

Snapchat automatically deletes any sent snaps that are unopened after 30 days, but it’s not clear whether this rule applies to pending snaps as well. So we don’t actually know what happens to snaps that get stuck in the ‘Pending’ black hole. They could be deleted after 30 days like normal snaps, but we just do not know for sure.

How to Check You Snapchat History

Snapchat keeps a private record of your snap activity. This can be a useful resource for troubleshooting any notification problems you might be having. For instance, you can double-check the last time you sent a snap to someone to make sure you are still friends or see if you have had problems sending them snaps in the past.

Unfortunately, you can’t access this data on the app itself. You have to use Snapchat’s desktop website. Here is how yo check your history:

  • Log into to Snapchat’s account website
  • Log into your account using your Snapchat credentials
  • Select the My Data option
  • Scroll all the way to the bottom, and click Submit a Request
You can access other personal details from the Snapchat accounts page.

Once you do that, Snapchat will send a message to the connected email account. Click on the link in the email, and that will start the download process. You can then check your previous snap activity by looking through the folder marked ‘HTML’.

Sent, Received, & Delivered Snapchat Meaning

‘Sent’, ‘Received’, and ‘Delivered’ are other notifications you’ve probably seen on Snapchat. These notifications are a lot more straightforward than the ‘Pending’ notification.

  • ‘Sent’ just means that the Snapchat servers have received your message. This is the first notification you should see when you send a successful snap.
  • ‘Received’ means that the recipient device has received your message.
  • The ‘Delivered’ notification means that Snapchat has confirmed that the message was delivered to the recipient’s device.

Lastly is the ‘Opened’ notification. This one means what it says—that the recipient has viewed the snap or story.

Snapchat also has other icons that indicate when you have opened a message, when a person screenshots one of your pictures, or when someone replays one of your snaps.

Summary

Let’s go over the main points we covered. There are 4 main reasons why you keep getting the ‘Pending’ notification on Snapchat:

  1. The recipient has not added you as a friend
  2. You have been blocked by the recipient
  3. You have poor coverage or a bad internet connection
  4. The recipient account has been deleted

These 4 issues are the most common causes of the ‘Pending’ notification on Snapchat. The Snapchat Pending notification is actually useful as it can help you figure out who you are friends with, who has blocked you, or if anyone has deleted their account.

If you really have no clue what the problem is, you can contact Snapchat to get records of your snap activity. Combing through these records can give some clues.

Alex Bolano

Alex Bolano is a tech writer based out of St. Louis. He holds a Masters from the University of Missouri-Saint Louis and regularly writes on topics relating to technology, science, and internet culture. He enjoys playing video games and researching the latest trends in science and technology.

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