Upwork Messages Connection Troubleshooting

Types of Errors:

Unable to Load Messages

Receiving Upwork messages requires WebSocket technology. If you try to access your messages and see a loading spinner that never resolves, or an error that linked you here, it appears your system is unable to make a WebSocket connection to our servers.

Testing WebSocket Connectivity

You can use the websites listed below to test your browser’s WebSocket connectivity. Be sure to use the same browser you use to access Upwork. These websites will determine if your browser and computer are enabled for WebSocket communications.

If you are unable to use Upwork Messenger even after successfully testing with these websites, please contact us via the desktop app. If you find that WebSocket is blocked, see the suggestions below.

If possible, please run the following diagnostic in the Chrome console before contacting us to help our team assist you.

  1. In the Chrome browser, go to a page experiencing the issue (Messages).
  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+I (on PC) or CMD+Option+I (on Mac) or View > Developer Tools > JavaScript Console and then choose the Console tab.
  3. Click Ctrl-Alt-D and wait until the tests complete, then create a screenshot if there are any errors.

Software That Blocks WebSocket

Some virus scanners, firewalls, and other software products are known to interfere with WebSocket connections. Below are software known to block WebSocket connections and steps to work around the problem.

ZoneAlarm Firewall

Unblocking Upwork.com Message Tab

  1. Open ZoneAlarm Antivirus and select the AntiVirus and Firewall panel.
  2. You will get two options: Basic Firewall and Applications control. Click on Configuration of Applications control configuration.
  3. Click on the See Programs button to get a list in a new window.
  4. Locate the browser that you use to access Upwork.com. Click on each option for that browser and set "allow."

Unblocking the desktop Upwork desktop app

  • Not blocked by ZoneAlarm


Unblocking Upwork.com Message Tab

  • Open AVG, go to the home window, and select the firewall panel.
  • Go to the General options and choose Interactive mode.
  • Go to Applications and add a new rule to allow incoming and outgoing connections to your browser.

Unblocking the desktop Upwork desktop app

  • Open AVG, go to the home window, and select the firewall panel.
  • Click on the Settings icon in the right bottom corner.
  • Select the Applications option from the left menu.
  • Click Add and then Select to choose the location of the Upwork desktop app or enter the full path to the file from the keyboard. Once selected or entered, click create.
  • Select the Allow option from the action drop down, then click the OK button.
  • Click OK again in the next window to save the changes.

Kaspersky Anti-Virus

Unblocking Upwork.com Message Tab

If you have interactive mode enabled and are asked to allow or block https://www.upwork.com/, just select Allow access to the whole site. Otherwise:

  1. Open the Kaspersky interface.
  2. Go to Web Policy Management.
  3. Select your user profile and click on Configure Restrictions.
  4. Select the Internet tab, click on Add Exclusions, and click the Add button.
  5. Type https://www.upwork.com/ and click the Add button.

Unblocking the desktop Upwork desktop app

  1. Open the Kaspersky interface.
  2. Go to Web Policy Management.
  3. Select your user profile and click on Configure Restrictions.
  4. Select the Applications tab and click on Add application list.
  5. In the Add New Exclusion rule window, go to the File or folder section, and click Browse. Select the folder containing upwork.exe or enter the full path.

Other Software

We have also had reports of some earlier versions of the software below breaking WebSocket communications

  • Avast
  • Bitdefender
  • IOrbit Malware Fighter
  • Internet Download Manager
  • Superfish Visual Discovery

Please contact your software vendor’s support to determine how to configure the software to allow WebSocket communication.

Unable to Authenticate User

Upwork Messages requires browser cookies to connect with your account. If your browser blocks cookies, you must add tl.upwork.com to the exceptions or trusted sites list to access your Messages tab. Or you can enable cookies.

To add tl.upwork.com to your list:


  • Click the Chrome menu and choose Preferences.
  • Scroll to the bottom of page and click the Show Advanced Settings link (or type “cookies” in the Search Settings box at the top).
  • Click the Content Settings button.
  • In the Cookies section click the Manage Exceptions button.
  • Add tl.upwork.com, set to Allow, click the Done button.


  • Click the Firefox menu and choose Preferences.
  • Choose the Security tab.
  • Click the Exceptions button.
  • Add tl.upwork.com and click the Allow button.

Note: If you are using a browser other than Chrome or Firefox and need assistance enabling cookies or adding Upwork as a trusted site, contact the browser’s customer help center or support team directly.

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