Unable to Add or Follow Friends on Duolingo? Try This Fix

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Are you having trouble adding friends on Duolingo?

Sadly, this is not the first time I’ve heard this. I know how annoying it can be to have this happen, especially when you want to share your progress or congratulate your friends on theirs.

But the good news is that if you have a spare 10 minutes and aren’t afraid to roll up your sleeves, you’ve come to the right place to get this issue fixed.

If you’re unable to add or follow friends on Duolingo, try these 4 simple fixes: Check your account and verify your email. I also recommend updating the app and checking its servers.

Keep reading to add friends on Duolingo!

#1 Check Your Account

Learning new languages and sharing your progress with your loved ones is one of the best ways to stay motivated.

But, not being able to add friends on Duolingo can be super upsetting. Luckily, fixing this is as simple as checking your account.

You see, if it’s private, you won’t be able to follow people and your friends won’t be able to find you.

Follow these quick steps to make your profile public:

  1. On your computer, enter duolingo.com/settings/privacy.
  2. Check the “Make my profile public” box.
  3. Click on “Save changes”.

Once you’ve completed the steps above, please log out of your account and sign back in. Then, go back to your profile and add or invite your friends.

But, if you’re still unable to do it, please make sure that you’re not already following 1000 people, or that you’re not trying to add any age-restricted users (<13 years).

Moreover, please make sure that you’ve completed at least one lesson. Otherwise, you won’t be able to add friends because the whole point of this feature is having them notice your progress.

#2 Verify Your Email

Although Duolingo is one of the best platforms to learn new languages, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that sometimes understanding all of its features can be tricky.

If you still can’t add or follow your friends on Duolingo, there’s a very good chance that your email hasn’t been verified.

Thousands of users have found that verifying their emails solved the issue in no time, so it’s worth giving it a try. Follow these simple instructions to do it:

  1. Open Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or Microsoft Edge.
  2. Go to duolingo.com and click on your profile picture in the top-right of your screen.
  3. Select “Settings” from the drop-down menu.
  4. Click on “Verify Now” under your email.
  5. Go to your email. If you can’t find Duolingo’s email, please check your junk folder or click again on “Verify Now”.

Once you’ve verified your email, please go back to Duolingo and try adding your friends again. You should be able to do it without further trouble.

But, if the issue persists, keep reading. You’ll learn other ways to solve the problem.

#3 Update Duolingo

Moving on, let’s try updating Duolingo.

I know, installing the app’s latest version is not the most exciting thing in the world, but this simple action can solve the issue in no time.

You see, Duolingo’s updates come packed with improvements and new features. They usually fix errors that are causing performance issues, such as not being able to add friends, login difficulties, sound problems, and much more.

Normally, you shouldn’t worry about updating apps on your device, as there’s automatic updating. However, sometimes a bad Internet connection or other unexpected circumstances can prevent this from happening.

But, don’t worry. You can still update Duolingo on your own. You’ll just need to:

iPhone and iPad:

  1. Open the App Store and tap on “Search” at the bottom of your screen.
  2. Type “Duolingo” on the search bar. Then, tap on “Search”.
  3. Scroll down until you find Duolingo.
  4. Select “Update”.
How to update Duolingo on iOS servers


  1. Launch the Google Play Store and tap on your profile icon at the top of your screen.
  2. Go to “Manage apps & device” and tap on “Manage”.
  3. Search for Duolingo and select “Update”.

Windows PC:

  1. Go to the Microsoft Store.
  2. Select “Library” and click on “Get updates”.
  3. Choose “Update all”.

#4 Check Duolingo’s Servers

If you read the title and have no idea what “servers” are, keep reading.

The easiest way to understand what servers do is by thinking of them as waiters in a restaurant because they perform similar tasks.

Waiters are in charge of taking your order, communicating with the kitchen, and delivering your food. Servers do almost the same thing.

You see, they are in charge of receiving, storing, and sending data to their clients over a network in order to display the page.

Sadly, not everything is perfect.

Although it’s unusual, servers may fail due to human errors, bugs, and even minor hacking. When Duolingo’s servers go down, some of its features, such as adding friends, can stop working.

But, don’t worry. The platform’s IT team is no stranger to this issue and usually fixes it within a couple of hours. I’m sure you’ll be able to add or follow your friends in no time.

You can easily check if Duolingo is down by following this quick guide:

  1. Go to Google and search “Is Duolingo down?”.
  2. Locate “Down Detector” or enter downdetector.com/status/duolingo/.
  3. Check the report and graph. If it shows high spikes, then you’ll know that Duolingo’s servers are down.
Check Duolingo's servers.


Not being able to add or follow friends in Duolingo can be super frustrating. But, I hope that this article has helped give you some more confidence in solving the issue.

Remember to check your account and make it public if it’s private. Moreover, you’ll need to make sure that you’re not trying to add any age-restricted users, and you’ll need to verify your email.

Don’t forget to install Duolingo’s latest version. This quick action can also help you solve the issue and improve your app’s performance.

Thank you so much for taking the time to try the four fixes above. If you ever experience a different issue while using Duolingo or any other platform, don’t forget to check out our site. You’ll find multiple articles that will help you.

Have a wonderful day!