Galaxy S9 Facebook Messenger won’t update, authentication needed to sign in to Google account

We’ve been getting a lot Facebook-related issues lately so here’s another troubleshooting article that answers some of them. While this post may be targeted towards #GalaxyS9 users, the solutions can all be applied to any Samsung device. If you have a non-S9 device, our suggestions in this post should still be applicable to your Samsung device.

Problem #1: Galaxy S9 can’t update Facebook Messenger, keeps saying authentication needed to sign in to Google account

I’m trying to update my Facebook messenger for weeks now and now cannot get on it. Every time I press update there is an error message that says authentication is needed to sign in to my Google account. I have signed everytime and it still won’t let me update messenger and I cannot use it. I have all my contact and messages in there that I need and can’t lose. Please help. — Sally

Solution: Hi Sally. There may be an app or Android bug. Below are the things that you want to do in this situation:

Create a backup

First, you want to make sure that you create a backup of your contacts and other stuff. We know you’re having an issue with FAcebook Messenger so your contacts are probably saved in Facebook servers but in case you also have locally saved contacts, you want to use Smart Switch to back them up. If you need help setting up Smart Switch on your PC, follow this link.

Smart Switch is one of core Samsung apps so it should already be installed. To access it on your S9, you can go under Settings > Cloud and accounts. Once you’ve installed Smart Switch on your computer, you can then connect your S9 to it using a USB cable. Follow on-screen instructions on how to back your files up to your computer.

Delete Facebook Messenger data

After creating a backup via Smart Switch, the next thing that you want to do is to clear Facebook Messenger data. This will reset Facebook Messenger settings to defaults and wipe your Facebook account from it. Here’s how to clear Facebook Messenger data:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap on More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  4. Select Show system apps.
  5. Find and tap Facebook Messenger app.
  6. Tap Storage.
  7. Tap Clear Data button.
  8. Restart your S9 and check for the problem.

Reset app preferences

Another possible solution for your problem is by resetting all app settings to their defaults. By doing it, you’re basically enabling back

  • previously disabled apps
  • Notifications
  • Default apps
  • Background data and
  • Permissions

To reset app preferences on your S9:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap on More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  4. Select Reset app preferences.
  5. Restart your S9 and check for the problem.

Sign in and out of your Google account

If you’re having trouble updating an app like Facebook Messenger, it’s possible that there may be an issue with the Google Play Store app or your Google account. Make sure that you sign out of your Google account first, then sign back in after a few seconds.

To sign out of your Google account:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Cloud and accounts.
  3. Tap Accounts.
  4. Find the Google account you’re having trouble with and tap it. If you have multiple Google accounts, make sure to log all of them out.
  5. Restart your S9 and sign back in to your Google accounts.

Before you sign out of your Google account, make sure that you know the password. You can check it ahead by logging in to that account using your phone’s or computer’s web browser.

Delete data of Google Play Store

Should the issue continue after doing the suggestions above, be sure to also delete the data of the Play Store app. This is an important troubleshooting step to see if the problem lies there. Follow the steps above for Facebook Messenger on how to delete an app’s data.

Reinstall Facebook Messenger

If Facebook Messenger app is not a preinstalled application that came with your OS, you can delete then reinstall it. This may work given the fact that you’re only having an issue with the said app and nothing else.

Problem #2: Galaxy S9 Plus Facebook app crashes when opening a live link

Galaxy S9 Plus Android 8.0 – Facebook crashes when opening a live link in notifications. — Cdmccarty

Solution: Hi Cdmccarty. There may be an app bug causing the issue. To fix it, make sure that you restart your phone first. It’s a simple yet oftentimes effective way to fix minor bugs and annoyances. To force restart your S9:

  1. Press and hold the Power + Volume Down buttons for approximately 10 seconds or until the device power cycles. Allow several seconds for the Maintenance Boot Mode screen to appear.
  2. From the Maintenance Boot Mode screen, select Normal Boot. You can use the volume buttons to cycle through the available options and the lower left button (below the volume buttons) to select. Wait for up to 90 seconds for the reset to complete.

If nothing comes out positive after forcefully rebooting your S9, the next thing that you want to do is clear the data of both Facebook and web browser apps. The web browser app depends on the default one you’re using. It can be the Samsung Internet app or any other like Chrome for Android. To delete an app data:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap on More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  4. Select Show system apps.
  5. Find and tap the app.
  6. Tap Storage.
  7. Tap Clear Data button.
  8. Restart your S9 and check for the problem.

Should wiping the data of both apps wont work, make sure to factory reset your device.

  1. Create a backup of your files.
  2. Turn off the device.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  4. When the green Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  5. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight ‘wipe cache partition’.
  6. Press Power button to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key until ‘yes’ is highlighted and press the Power button.
  8. When the wipe cache partition is complete, “Reboot system now” is highlighted.
  9. Press the Power key to restart the device.