How to Distance yourself from a Facebook friend without Unfriending

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(Originally published 5/23/13, updated 12/27/13 and again 1/14/15).

A relative of mine asked me, “What can I do if I don’t want to see someone’s updates on Facebook, but I’d rather not unfriend or block them?”

Here’s how to make it seem like you have unfriended a person.  It’s a two-step process.  First, you will prevent their updates from showing up on your news feed (the page you see when you first log into Facebook). Then, you can prevent them from seeing your updates.

[January, 2015] I’ve added instructions and screenshots of how this works on mobile; previously I just outlined how this would work when viewing Facebook in a web browser on your computer.  I’ve also outlined another method.  There are actually two ways to accomplish this:

  1. The easiest way is to add someone to your Acquaintances list.  (Read instruction here for using the Acquaintances list for distancing yourself from a FB friend)
  2. The other method is to un-follow a person and then add them to your Restricted list.  Read on if you’d like to try this method.

Of course you could always go ahead and un-friend someone – they will not be notified.  But it could create an awkward situation, depending on the person and your relationship.  So it’s nice to have this option.

Prevent a friend’s updates from showing up on your Facebook Feed:

Desktop:

1. Go to your friend’s timeline page by clicking on their name.  The “Following” button will be checked, as shown, meaning that you currently follow the person (i.e. you see their updates on your News Feed).

Facebook Following button

2. Click the “Following” button to unfollow them.  The button will change to the word “Follow”.

Facebook Follow Button

Mobile:

1.  In the Facebook app, first go to the friend’s timeline.  Click the “Friends” button and you’ll see the following choices appear: Unfriend, Unfollow, or Edit Friends Lists.  Click “Unfollow”.

Unfollow a friend on Facebook mobile app

You should no longer see this friend’s updates on your News Feed.  You can still see their updates if you visit their profile/timeline page.  This is a change from the previous instructions where you could pick and choose the types of updates you wanted to see.  Sadly it is now all or nothing.

Now that you have limited what you’ll see about this person, go ahead and limit what they’ll see about you.

Add your friend to your “Restricted” list to prevent them from seeing what you share

Facebook provides a few built-in “Lists” for categorizing your friends.  You can use these lists to control who you share with.  One of the lists is called “Restricted”.  When you add someone to your “Restricted” list they will only be able to see your “Public content or posts of yours that you tag them in”.  It works like this:

  • Share an update with “Friends” Friend icon, people in your “Restricted” list won’t see it.
  • Share an update with “Everyone” Globe icon, people in your “Restricted list will see it.
  • Tag your friend in an update, they will see it even if they are in your “Restricted” list.

Desktop:

1. Hover over the Friends button again and this time choose “Add to another list”.

2. Select “Restricted”.

3. If this person was in another list, select that list to un-check and remove them from the list.

Add a friend to the Restricted list in Facebook

 

Mobile:

1. Click on the “Friends” button again.  This time choose “Edit Friend Lists”.

Edit Friend Lists on Facebook mobile app  Add friend to Restricted list on Facebook mobile

2.  You’ll see some possible lists – I have several custom lists, your screen might look a bit different.  Scroll down and select “Restricted”.

3. If this person was in another list, select that list to un-check and remove them from the list.

Now test your new settings.  Go to your profile, click the little gear button and choose “View as”.  Then enter that person’s name to get a sense of what your now-Restricted friend will see about you.  (Learn more about Viewing your Facebook Timeline as someone else)

Is this fool-proof?

No.  There are a few other settings that could expose some of your information to the friend you are trying to ditch.

For example, if you have a mutual friend in common, and that mutual friend tags you both, then your friend might see that you’ve been tagged.

Or, if you and your “frenemy” both follow a public page on Facebook like…uh…good example here….okay let’s say you both follow that Star Trek guy George Takei, and you click “Like” on George’s funny picture, then your friend could potentially see that you’ve liked it.  That’s because she is also a fan of George and George’s post are available to “Everyone”.

So while there is no guarantee of total erasure of this person from your Facebook life, this is about as close as you can come to unfriending or blocking a person.

[Please note  – I have closed comments on this article; unfortunately this page is receiving a large number of spam comments.  And I am not able to personally troubleshoot each and every situation! Please take a look at the existing comments and replies to date, as your question might be answered here.  You can also take a look at other Facebook tips, or search the Facebook help page.]

 

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Comments

      • Dave says

        Hello. What does it mean if you send a message and it just relays back to yourself but your still friends with that one person on f.b?

      • lulu says

        Please help me.this is a matter of life and death… its highly appreciated if you could help me regarding this matter. Theres someone who keeps on threatening me. I had already blocked him from my facebook account. But he has all the access of my facebook friends to. He keeps on sending defamations about me to some of my facebook friends.i really dont know how many and to whom he send all this messages. Its a very humiliating and fabricated stories only to put shame on me in public. Pls help me how to handle this. How can i report him to the facebook centre to blocked and close his account totally?pls help me.. i dont have such time…. im beggin you please….

      • Jean says

        If this is truly a matter of life and death, contact your local police. You can also report the user to Facebook, they provide these instructions: Go to the profile you want to report, Click in the top right, Select Report/Block to report the account to Facebook.

  1. FB says

    Hi,

    Just a quick query abt facebook and who can see what.

    I’ve had to accept a friend request from a relative that I do not like sharing certain personal pictures/posts with. My sister who i do share all my posts with, shares this mutual friend. If I hide certain things from this ‘unwanted’ relative and my sister comments/likes my post or pic, will this relative see what I’ve essentially hidden from her?

    Please please help! This is such a huge issue for me, as it has happened in the past with another ‘unwanted’ relative who eventually deleted me suddenly (and not my sister) – and then things became even more awkward! Facebook is not clear about this at all and i have endlessly searched for this!

    • Jean says

      That is a good question. I think that your privacy setting would prevail, and since your update was not seen by this relative, your sister’s comment would not be seen either. I can’t say this is 100% correct without testing the theory.

    • Ray says

      Jean,when I click on my friends timeline it says Sorry,this page didn’t load properly.Please try again. It says that all the time.What does this mean?He did not unfriend me but might as well becausae I can’t see any information on his timline.So how can i have the same message put on my timeline when he clicks on my timeline?

      • Kylie says

        This is the message I receive when I click on someone’s page who has blocked me. So based on my experience it would seem that they have blocked you also. You could make a fake profile and do a public search for them and if you see their timeline (in any capacity) then it would be highly likely they have blocked you.

  2. sassy says

    BUT… if they posted something to public , you see it and want to make a comment , will they see it? just asking…

    • Jean says

      Probably, since it is the privacy setting of the original update – which in this example is a public update.

    • Jean says

      If the status update is shared with just friends, those in your restricted list won’t see it on their news feed. If you tag them, or post a public update, they will.

  3. Celine says

    If I add someone on restricted list, is there any way that I can still see their status updates on my newsfeed?

    • Jean says

      Hi Celine, I think you should still see your friends updates on your news feed. But they will only see your updates if you make them public, or tag your friend in the post.

  4. Yamen says

    hello there
    I was wondering if I add someone to the restricted list, will they still be able to see the occasional stories that pops up on the news feed or o. the ticker, like “someone (me) liked this photo” or “commented on that statues”
    I think this should be even more personal than a status update sometimes.
    thanks in advance

  5. john says

    Hello. Is there a way I can prevent a friend from messaging me without unfriending them? I get alot of messages and I have tried asking them to stop. is there a way, I can prevent them from sending a message? I have checked settings and cannot figure it out—thankyou

    • Jean says

      Hi John, I don’t know of a way other than blocking the friend, which will also un-friend them.You could try filtering messages, Facebook explains it as “Strict Filtering: Mostly see messages from friends. Messages from people you want to hear from may go to your Other folder.” So at least you wouldn’t have to see all those unwanted messages; however I’m not sure how it is determined as to who gets filtered.

  6. David says

    Hi Jean!
    Thanks for that, that was helpful!
    Is there an ilegal way of knowing who hide you?? eg using a software or an app or something?? Ive hide my friend but im worried she might find out, she’s tooo sensitive!
    Plz reply if you know if it’s even possible, because I’ve already hid her.

  7. Pgreat says

    This maybe a weird question, not sure how to even ask it right. Ok I have two accts. If its possible for a person (who I have not befriended nor she with me) can show me certain posts on one account and not show me on another acct? ok here is the deal: She knows me on one acct, but the 2nd, she doesnt know my name. Cuz when i go to her acct on this private acct and she does not know who I am, I cannot see her posts, but when I go back to my acct that she knows me on, i can see her public posts. Is this possible? And sorry if I dont make any sense, just let me know and I will try to explain differently. Let me put it bluntly. Its like she is trying to get me to see what she is saying on her public posts (so I can see it) she is my xhusbands new gf…so can that be done and not being friends? and if not, how is it that i can see her posts from the acct she knows me on, but i cant see her posts from the other acct she doesnt not know me on??? lol

    • Jean says

      I’m not really sure – that is a bit complicated! But if on the “known” account if you have any mutual friends, and she has any updates set to share with Friends of Friends, then it is possible you would be able to see them. Or if someone you know is tagged in her post you might see it.

  8. Sian says

    Hello there on the profile page it’s says ‘about’ I click on that and the 4 friends that it shows does it mean I’ve recently contacted/viewed them!?

  9. Paul says

    Hi,

    A friend once blocked me and now we became friends again. Would my old comments be automatically put back into conversations we would have had?

    She is arguing with me saying I said all this stuff as soon as we became friends and she thought it was way too soon but I never made any comments. Would they be old ones reloading??

    THanks

    • Jean says

      Hi Paul, I think the comments from before would probably still be there. But I haven’t tested this exact scenario so I can’t say for sure.

  10. Tahnee says

    I recently stopped a facebook friend from being in my newsfeed but since they are still a friend will they be able to see my updates in their newsfeed even though I won’t see theirs?

    • Jean says

      Yes , unless you change the audience for your status updates and posts, which you can do on a post by post basis.

  11. says

    Someone keeps tagging me in random photos and I dont like it so I added that person to my restricted list. Can that person still tag me in photos? I already have the privacy setting of approving tags and posts before they appear on my timeline. But I just don’t want that person to be able to tag me anymore. Please help.

    • Jean says

      If they are on your restricted list, they won’t be able to see your posts, including photos (unless you make a post public) but if they upload a picture, they would probably still be able to tag you. They wouldn’t be able to tag you in a photo YOU uploaded though, since they wouldn’t see things you post.

      • says

        They don’t tag me on posts or photos that I uploaded but on posts or pics that they upload. It may be just a random pic not even one that has me in it. I did add that person to the restricted list. I wonder if that will take care of not letting that person tag me anywhere anymore. Facebook security seems to have many loopholes yet or probably it is not very intuitive for users to setup.

      • cdsouthsidec1 says

        Hi Jean, I have some one I have unfriende and blocked on Face Book for many reasons,I seen after an hour or so while still on before signing out they’re picture was still on the side by friends, but then I moved to another page like deleting conversations and all conversing with him, it worked some what, now, I seen after a while I couldn’t see that person’s picture show up after typing name in face book search, so I seen one of my family who is also a friend of his still has him as a friend and I seen my old posts and conversations and likes,and I was shocked, I thought he quit face book altogether, I don’t want to tell my family members to stop being his friend, but wow, I want to delete all previous conversing with him off his page or any and all other replies he made to me and I made to him, cause I know family could easily read those and I want to completely erase any thing about him completely out of my life though God knows, please help me Jean.

        Thank You!

    • Lisa says

      Yes, they’ll still be able to tag you or themselves to photos and posts. But, you can regulate what you’re being tagged in. Go to Account Settings, click on timeline and tagging. There are options in there that you can turn on or select who is able to tag you. Hope this was helpful.

  12. Jenn says

    If I put someone on my restricted list will any posts or status updates from other people that I’ve been tagged in show up in the restricted friends news feed? Also, if a mutual friend comments or likes the post I’m tagged in will they see it if my privacy settings are set to Friends except Acquaintances and they are on my Acquaintance list?

  13. Kathy says

    I can do what you’re saying. But my mom’s FB doesn’t have the ‘settings’ portion show up under ppl’s names. She get’s a ‘following’ button that will drop down. Under ‘friends’ dropdown she gets ‘close friends’ where ‘settings’ should be. I’ve compared our pages (privacy, etc) and they’re exactly the same. Don’t know what could be stopping her page from being able to filter what ppl are posting. Any help would be greatly appreciated

    • Jean says

      Hi Kathy, If there is a “following” button instead of a “friends” button, then she might only be following that person’s public posts, not actually “friended” the person. So in that case the choices might be different. I’m not sure why there is no “settings” choice though, sorry.

  14. Jessica says

    I can’t see one of my friend’s pictures from facebook. She said she thought she allowed me to see everything and she doesn’t know what she did. I can’t see her posts either. What is the most likely cause? Am I on a restricted list? Or is there something else that could’ve happened?

    • Jean says

      Hi Jessica,
      Hard to say for sure but it does sound like she has restricted you in some way. Maybe in a restricted list or other list, and then choosing to share updates with only certain lists or people. Your friend could look at her Activity Log – which shows you every post you’ve made. To get to your Activity log just go to your profile and there is a button fro Activity Log. Click on Photos on the left, and then check who each photo has been shared with.

    • saba says

      Hi
      u can chek on post from other id if there is a star type sign(where frnds or public sign is apeared on below of posts’ date and time of sharing)is apeared rather then frnds sign or public post sign then its mean she/he is using custom seting through which he/she is hidding that post from other or from you etc

  15. James says

    Is there any way to know if you are no longer being viewed by your friend(s)? I used to see a great deal of a friends posts. Just recently, that stopped. When, I look at their timeline, I can’t tell. I don’t want to ask as it could create an uncomfortable situation for both of us.

    • Jean says

      Hi James,
      I don’t think there is a way for you to know if a friend is no longer seeing your posts or is not sharing their posts with you. If they have put you into a list, and share updates with friends other than that list, you would not see what you are missing in their timeline. Of course it could be that they are simply not going on Facebook as often!

  16. Jo says

    Hi there, just a quick question please. If I put someone on either restricted or just acquaintances list will I still get messages from that person? And if I do ‘un-restrict’ then will all my all posts appear they couldn’t see before,giving the game away?!

    • Jean says

      They won’t know that you have put them on a list; and you will still see whatever they have shared with you. If you then un-restrict, like take them OFF your restricted list, then I think they would be able to see any of the posts they had missed, if they viewed your timeline. As Facebook puts it “As long as someone is on this list they can’t see anything of yours except the posts and profile info you choose to make public.” So once they are off that list, they can.

  17. Kim says

    How do I know if a friend I blocked has seen my last message sent? Do I still get a “seen by” status on the message inbox?

    • Jean says

      Hi Kim, I’m not sure, if you block a friend before they have read a message from you if they will be able to see it or not.

    • saba says

      Yes he/she can see ur last message if u send the messag the messag was delivered to him/her.then u bloked her/him right?sure he/she can see ur last messag as it was delivered to him/her befir bloking simple

  18. Tasha says

    Hi Kim, are you able to find out if someone is viewing your Facebook profile who are not your friend?

    • Jean says

      I don’t believe there is a way to know who has viewed your Facebook profile. (Sometimes you’ll see links that say hey – click here to find out who has viewed your profile! – but those are most likely scams)

  19. Stewart says

    Hi, quick one. If I put a person on my restricted or acquaintances list but they put me on close friends list will that angel out the restriction? Bit complicated but I have tried this with someon and they still seem to be able to comment and see my posts.

    • Jean says

      Hi Stewart – good question! Not 100% sure as I haven’t tested this exact scenario – but do know that even if someone is in your Restricted list they would still see anything you share publicly. So make sure when you are sharing, you are choosing to share with Friends only, as that will automatically exclude your Restricted group from seeing it.

  20. george says

    Hi jean. Couple of questions:

    1. I have a friend on my close friends list and can see on the left panel notifications that there is a new story with this particular friend, but when I click on the close friends list I am unable to see the story. Is this because this friend might have partially blocked what I can see or is it because she might have posted on someone else’s timeline and I dont have access to that timeline?

    2. This friend is an ex girlfriend I can still see her friends and photos I had access to. If she has placed me on a restricted list or some some of block, would I still have access to the information I could previously see?

  21. george says

    Follow up on that last question.

    If I have been blocked or restricted and I still have access to previously seen information, could I have been blocked from seeing new content?

  22. hari says

    Hi JEAN i have been fed up by getting the friend requests in facebook from the unknown persons. i would like to lock it. please help me as soon as possible to be out of it..

    • Jean says

      Hi hari,
      In the settings you can change the setting of who can send you friend requests. Either everyone, or friends of friends. So, try changing that so that only friends or friends can send you a request, and hopefully that will help!

  23. Kim says

    Can restricted folks comment or like your public posts? When I ‘view as’ it seems that there are no options for that, but recently a restrcted friend commented and liked a public post. thanks.

    • Jean says

      If you make a post public (instead of sharing with Friends only) then someone on your restricted list can see it and comment it, as I understand it.

  24. Jon says

    Can my friends find out if I recently logged in to my Facebook account, assuming that my chat is off and I don’t do something that will expose my cover? I’ve read somewhere that people in your friends list who use Facebook on their smartphones have a way to find out if you recently logged into your account.

    • Jean says

      I’m not really sure about that, unless they are using Facebook messenger, but even then I’m not sure if it would let them know if you were on Facebook unless you were using Messenger as well. I would think if you had Chat turned off they wouldn’t see anything but I really can’t say that with 100% certainty.

  25. says

    I’ve now got three friends who I was friends with who’s facebook profile pages I cannot see. everything has vanished. Using my mobile phone I cannot find one friend at all, only occasionally, and the other two friends I can find them but when I go onto the profiles it says content unavailable. Using facebook through my laptop I cannot find these friends at all. its like they have blocked me, but I’ve spoken to them all and they assure me that they haven’t, im good friends with them all.

    Im confused is this cause they have deactivated there accounts (they’ve told me they haven’t), is the fault through my settings or their settings?

    We’re all really puzzled as to why this is happening?

    Please can you help? Thank you xx

    • Jean says

      Hi Zoe, Hard for me to say without looking at all your settings which is not possible, but I wonder if maybe you are logged on different on your phone/laptop? Maybe if you log out of Facebook and log back in, it will work? (Make sure you know your password). Have them check to make sure they haven’t restricted you by accident, either…sorry that’s all I can really think of for this issue.

  26. Bob says

    If I block someone, will that blocked individual be notified if I become friends with someone on their friends list?

  27. AL says

    I have a Facebook friend that posted a picture and used the friends only setting for that picture. It poped up on my newsfeed because two mutual friends commented on it. When I went to her FB page it’s not there, just in my newsfeed. I’m pretty sure she has me on a restricted list but doesn’t know I can still see it if our mutual friends comment. So beware the restricted list doesn’t really work all that well because this picture was not a public setting. She has no idea I can still see her stuff. Duh.

    • Jean says

      Right, yes it is not always fool-proof, and you never really know 100% what your friend’s settings are.

  28. Charlotte says

    Hi, I’m slightly confused. I can still search for a friend and see their pictures and messages to me so I know they haven’t blocked me. However it no longer says we are friends (they don’t appear in my friends list) and it does not give me the option to add them, it just says do you know this person, send them a message. What does this mean?

    • Jean says

      Hard to say for sure not knowing this person’s settings. From Facebook help: “Privacy settings may limit your ability to see the Add Friend button on some people’s timelines.”

    • Jean says

      If you put someone on your restricted list, and you share things with “friends only” and not “public” he should not be able to see your posts. But not just like Facebook says in disclaimer they may still see certain things, read the fine print! (last paragraph of the article).

  29. Tiffany says

    Is there a way to “undo” this on the new FB? While family was struggling with a bad situation one of my family members was posting passive-aggressively. I took her posts off of my timeline without unfriending or blocking her because I just didn’t want to see her posts, but I wanted her to be able to see mine so she could be included in our life. Things have since gotten slightly better and she has stopped posting those types of things, but I can’t figure out how to put her posts back on my timeline now. Any ideas?

    • Jean says

      Hi Tiffany, I’m not sure about that since this is a recent change in Facebook, I haven’t had a chance to thoroughly research and update this post. Once I do, I’ll update here.

    • Jean says

      Hi Tiffany, I just updated this article with new instructions. I think that you can revert back to regular settings by making sure the button says “Following” and not “Follow”.

  30. Heleen says

    The “Prevent a friend’s updates from showing up on your Feed” no longer work. When I hover over the “Friends” button the option to not see their posts in my newsfeed or even the settings option that would allow you to see “Only Important” etc is gone too. Are there any work arounds for this?

    • Jean says

      Not sure as this is such a recent change, I have not had time to research and update this post! Once I do I will reply again to this comment.

    • Jean says

      Hi Heleen, I’ve just updated the article with new instructions since the old ones didn’t work, due to changes in Facebook settings.

  31. Susan White says

    Hi, I don’t understand why I cannot share or post comments to a page in my news feed but am able to do so on my iphone.

  32. Jonathan says

    I don’t care if the “frenemy” is still showing up on MY feed, I want him or her NOT seeing me on HIS OR HER feed!! I got a person in “Restricted”, but he can still see ALL my likes, ALL my comments, and etc…! Wtffff?! Is it because he is in “Family” too?!

    Thanks

    • Jean says

      Jonathan,
      Could be, if he is in your family group and your restricted group, that might cause a problem. Take them out of all other groups, and when you DO want them to see a post, tag them and they should see it (this is according to FB help; check there for further details).

  33. Tamhane Prashant says

    Hi Jean.. i have a weird query.. i am friends with this girl on fb whom i have a huge crush on.. I dont want my friends to see that im friends with her on fb when they check her profile.. is it possible??

    • Jean says

      Hi, well, that would probably depend more on her privacy settings more than yours….and whether your friends are also friends with her on Facebook.

  34. Kez says

    Hello ok so I think I have been blocked by some one not sure this is what I know and can se, as I log in I looked for them and can’t find them in my list of friends also I can’t see them in mutual friends list and when I look at my message list they come up as face book user can you a, tell me if I’ve been block by them and b, how can I get rid of them in my message if I can’t find them to block or de friend them.
    Thanks for your help kez

    • Jean says

      Could be that you have been blocked, and also could be that they have deactivated their account. Hard to say for sure.

  35. Jane says

    My daughter has noticed that she doesn’t appear on her father’s friends list. His friends list is public and they are ‘friends’. She has had her paternal grandmother test it who is friends with both of them and it is the same for her, my daughter is missing but she can see mutual and non mutual friends excluding her. My daughter has raised it with him and he says it must be her settings, but she appears on other friends lists, just not on his. Any idea why this would be? He is not on a restricted list on her own settings. Is it even possible to hide certain friends from your friends list or to hide yourself from appearing in certain friends lists? My daughter has taken this personally and I’d really like to find a way to help her rectify it if the problem is her end.

    • Jean says

      Hi Jane, I’m really not sure about this one. I don’t think you can hide certain friends from appearing in your list of friends.

  36. Jane says

    To add to the above I’ve just checked from my own profile (I’m not his friend) I have a number of friends and relatives in common with him that I can see as well as non mutual friends, just not our daughter. I can see her on friends lists of other people that she’s friends with.

  37. Nick says

    What do I do if:
    1- I don’t want to unfriend the person
    2- I want them to see my stuff
    3- I don’t want to see their stuff (newsfeed, pics etc)

    • Jean says

      Hi Nick, what you can do is click over to their timeline/profile page. Click the button that says “Following” and it will change to “Follow”. You are still friends, but you shouldn’t see their updates on your news feed now.

    • Jean says

      Hi mp,
      As far as I know, someone who is on your Restricted list could still add you to their Close friends list and follow you, however, since you put them on your Restricted list they should not see your updates unless you specifically tag them in an update or make it a public update.

  38. roxy says

    If I add a friend to my restricted list, can they see something a non mutual friend might post and tag me in?

    Essentially I dont want a friend to tag me in something and have the restricted person see the tag.

    • Jean says

      If a non-mutual friend tags you, then I don’t think your Restricted friend will see it. You’ll probably want to check your settings in Privacy in the section “Timeline and Tagging” especially this part “When you’re tagged in a post, who do you want to add to the audience if they aren’t already in it?” and make sure that is Friends only (or “only me”).

  39. Susie Wells says

    Hi is there anyone who can help with this query, I have a friend on facebook who has about 8 mutual friends on f.b. Recently he disappeared from my friend list ( this has happend twice and caused a problem, as I couldn’t understand why he blocked me) but he said he hasn’t blocked me. He has also disappeared of the mutual friends f.b ( they do not appear on their friend list either) and his name is no longer found on Facebook search engine, but he mentioned the other day about reading a friends facebook status so my question is can someone be on facebook but there is no visible trace of them.? I should mention he has an iPhone

  40. Toty says

    Can they see what I like for example my friends status? If they r not friends with Jenny and I like Jenny’s post, will they see it?

  41. Abhinav says

    Hi JEAN. I wanted to ask you if it is possible to make sure a friend doesnt see a photo i was tagged in by someone else who is not a friend of that particular person??

  42. Kate says

    Hi Jean!
    I am amused by how many questions you have received and the random assortment! You should be on FB’s payroll!!Happy New Year and thanks for all your good info!

    • Jean says

      I think this is the same question I answered above, asked by roxy. Check your settings in privacy under timeline and tagging.

  43. Hannah says

    Hi, do you know if old posts can be seen by a friend you remove from your restricted list? ie can they see your updates they wouldn’t have seen before because they were on your restricted list?

    • Jean says

      I believe they could see old posts, if you they click over to your timeline and scroll down.

  44. Suzette Mashburn says

    I cannot locate the “following” button. Looked on the friends age but that option is not there. Let me know. Thank you.

    • Jean says

      I should probably add in the article, that the same “following” button may not be there on the Facebook app. The screenshots here are from viewing FB on a computer in a web browser.

  45. Carly says

    Hi Jean, I would like to know what if I unfollow a friend but now I wish to follow him back, would there be any notification sent to my friend when i click the follow button?

    • Jean says

      Hi Carly, I don’t think your friend would be notified in that case, just as they would not be notified if you unfriend.

  46. suz says

    I have unfollowed someone multiple times over the last week … keep getting their newsfeeds. Have also selected to not get MyVegas, Candy Crush, etc. and keep getting them, too. help!

  47. Diana says

    If I go on my friends timeline and it will only show me mutual friends, does that mean they have restricted me to certain things I can see?

    • Jean says

      Possibly. Sounds like you are only seeing what mutual friends have posted on the friend’s wall. If this friend doesn’t share on Facebook a lot, that might be another reason.

  48. Tonya says

    Hi Jean, thanks for all of the information! Not sure if this has been covered exactly. I have made it so that a FB friend can’t see my posts that I share. Is that person still able to see what I am tagged in, or what I comment on in my newsfeed?

    • Jean says

      Hi Tonya,
      The restricted friend could potentially see posts that you are tagged in, such as, a mutual friend tagged you. You can minimize that by checking your “Timeline and Tagging” settings (https://www.facebook.com/settings?tab=timeline&section=expansion&view). Especially the part “When you’re tagged in a post, who do you want to add to the audience if they aren’t already in it?” you can change that to “Only Me” or a customized list such as “Friends, except so and so”. If you comment on a ‘public’ post in your newsfeed, they could potentially see also see that, since the post itself is public. (At least this is my understanding!)

  49. Debs says

    Jean, I can’t even big to tell you how useful this post was. I have a relative I’ve hardly ever spoken to but seems to bombard every update I make on Facebook (even stuff she knows nothing about) it’s almost like being stalked. Now I know about restricted list, I can at least relieve the kinds of my other FB friends that constantly get friend requests for her. Kudos.

  50. Esaba says

    If i select friends except acquaintance for a post ,will the restricted people be able to see that post?

    • Jean says

      Hi Esaba, I think if someone is in your restricted list, and you share a post with friends except acquaintances, then those in the restricted list won’t see the post. And those in the acquaintances list also won’t see the post.

  51. Michael says

    I don’t want certain people seeing a video that I’m about to upload and I am going to tag my friend who they are friends with. Will they be able to see the video through my friend being tagged?
    Cheers for any help

    • Jean says

      That would depend on your friend’s settings – you won’t really be able to control if those friends see it, if you tag that mutual friend.

  52. Byron says

    Hello Jean!

    I was wondering if there is a way on Facebook to hide mutual friends.

    For example: I’m Friends with two people. If I go to Friend #1 page I can see our mutual friends that we have. If I go to Friend #2 page I can also see our mutual friends. Friend #1 sent Friend #2 a request, but for some reason it doesn’t show neither of them as a mutual friend of mines. So I wonder if Friend #1 may have added Friend #2 to an acquiantance list, but it doesn’t show all of us as mutual friends.

    • Jean says

      Hard to say for sure because there is also an option where you can choose not to display your friends to people unless they are friends with you already. That might also explain it.

  53. stacy says

    I can’t see a friend’s post in my newsfeed anymore, but if I go to her timeline, I can see what she posts. Did she restrict me from seeing her posts on my timeline?

    • Jean says

      If she restricted you, you wouldn’t see those posts on her timeline, either. Is it possible that you removed her posts from your news feed? Make sure you are following her to see her posts in your feed.

  54. mairead says

    i friended somone theysent me a private message i deleted it they didn we chatted for a few weks then stopped the out of no where that first mrssage popped up in a text message i wad senfing to someone else! i contated fb frirend they thought it might have been cos they something on my timeline? anyway i unfriended them and had no contact and last week i get a text message with that first messageagain from someone else but they had not sentvit?? i have deleted fb from my phone will this solve my problem

  55. Wanda says

    I cannot view any info. on my friend’s page. I asked her about it and she said fb is screwing up her page. She swears she didn’t put me on a restricted list and we’re still friends. Is this possible or is she just lying to me?

  56. Nabeela says

    Hi jean on my facebook news feed I’m unable to see any of my friends updates in pages that I have liked why is that? Also the following even if it’s ticked that does not help.

    • Jean says

      Hmmm, sorry to say I’m not really sure about that. If you are on mobile or tablet, the “following” button might be different or not available as an option there.

  57. Sally says

    Hey, I needed to know what difference would it make if I unfollowed someone but kept them in my close friends tab? will I still get all of their activity on FB?

    Will they know I keep an eye on them? what’s the difference between the close friends button and the follow button?

    • Jean says

      Hmm, well if you unfollow someone, it means that you remain friends but you won’t see their updates in your news feed. They won’t know that you “unfollowed” them. “Close friends” is a list, and if you add them to this list they will “show up more in your news feed” and you can also post updates to just that list. So it wouldn’t really make sense to unfollow a close friend.

  58. Bill says

    I had to block all my friends from posting to my wall because my brother is a racist and has no self control or respect for my friends. He was posting his racist crap and I could only block everyone from posting to my wall. I should be able to select what each friend can do in like a special restrictions. It’s not a problem deleting his comments when they are out of line. I would block him totally if I wasn’t visiting him with my RV in his yard for another week.

  59. Peechuz says

    Does anyone have an idea on how to block someone from sending a PM in FB? I had already set the status to “unfollow” quite some time ago – I don’t want to “unfriend” them because they are a family member, but sure would love to know if there is a way to block them only in the messenger area.

    • Jean says

      I looked into this but didn’t really find a way to block just one person from sending you a private message, other than block them altogether.

  60. Peechuz says

    Btw, I was able to find a way to mute a conversation but guess you have to at least start one first. Any additional help would be splendid! Thanks.

  61. N says

    I put my ex in the acquaintances list and removed ticker in order not to see him ever again in my news feed, without unfriending him. However, he still pops up on the right side of my account and it says X added 8 new friends, do you know any of them? And I really want to avoid seeing this. Is is possible? Thanks you!

    • Jean says

      If you move your ex from acquaintances to restricted list, I think that will prevent you from seeing these types of updates. Or you can go to his page and and Unfollow them without unfriending to prevent seeing his activity on your news feed.

  62. tinu says

    Hi jean,what can I do for,preventing send request from one my friend to another friend in facebook.my relatives are getting friend request from my friends as I became their mutual friends..what to do?

    • Jean says

      Hi tinu,
      I’m not really sure if you can prevent that. Facebook will show “friend suggestions” based on mutual friends. If your friends are actually sending friend requests to people they don’t really know, I guess you could ask them to stop! Those on the receiving end can always click “ignore”.

  63. Becky says

    Jean, what if I put a friend on my restricted list in Facebook but that friend has me on their close friends list? The close friends list allows one to see everything from what that person likes, comments on, and post.

    • Jean says

      Hi Becky,
      That is a good question – I am not really sure what would happen in that instance. If I get a chance to test that out I will reply back!

  64. Tina says

    Question..my ex bf blocked me on fb. But he’s nosey and we have many mutual friends. If one of our mutual friends like a status of mine, can he see it in his ticker? “Dan likes Jane’s foto”. Can he see that and by way of tht see an update of mine?

  65. says

    Hi, just another question. Recently a friend’s profile

    vanished. When I clicked that profile on my list it says,

    this profile might have been deactivated and if i try to go

    to that profile’s link it says link broken. The profile name

    is in black in messages and profile picture is gone. I’v also

    checked if he has blocked me, but hasn’t. That friend’s

    profile also seems to be active since some of his friends are

    still viewing his profile. So is it possible that this friend

    has hidden his profile completely from me without blocking me
    or deactivating his profile ?

    • Jean says

      Not sure on that one, if it was deactivated, I would think that nobody could view the profile.

  66. Rin says

    Can I prevent my friend from seeing what I’ve liked on facebook without unfriend them?

  67. Devin says

    I tried the “unfollow” option but it is still not working – is there some way to get support from Facebook? I got a friend who thinks everyone wants to know about each breath she takes and I can’t take it anymore… I unfollowed her months ago and it won’t stop.

  68. Gigi says

    Hi Jean!

    Question. What if i post a picture and my friend (mutual friend with my frienemy) “likes” it, would my frienemy see it on the newsfeed? Sorry if its confusing.

    • Jean says

      Hi Gigi, hard to say for sure, if you tag your friend in the photo, your frenemy might see the photo.

  69. Maureen says

    A friend of mine and his daughter are friends on fb. I am a friend of his but not her. His ex I blocked. His daughter I could add as a friend but have not. The other day her name disappeared from his friends list.

    Could have he blocked her not to see my fb page OR did his ex block me from adding her daughter as a ‘friend’.

    Thank you…just curious how fb works.

  70. saba says

    My friends are saying on my profile it is shown that i have 123 friends but they can see only 113,how is it possible?my friendlist is publicly shown then it is shown as in numbers

  71. saba says

    Why some applications are availabl on google play for friends spy?why dont fb administrators doing somthing against them :-(

  72. saba says

    Please tell can i hide some of my friends from friendlist rather then whole frindlist?and why my frnds see that i have 123 friends whenever only 113 friends are shown there :-/

  73. Delilah says

    If somebody put me on their restricted list will I still be able to see the posts shared with friends before they did so?

    And also, will I be able to see their online status?

    Thanks!

    • Delilah says

      And what if they are in my close friends? Will I be able to see what they comment on and what they like?

      If not, will their name appear in likes under posts of our common friends?

      • Jean says

        If they have restricted you, even if you have them in your close friends list, i believe you will only be able to see what they comment on and like IF they comment/like publicly shared posts.

    • Jean says

      I think that if someone put you on their restricted list, you will not be able to see past posts – unless they were shared with public. I think you will also be able to see their online status (for chat).

  74. Rose says

    Hi Jean,

    I have a friend who I unfollowed recently so I don’t see their posts in my newsfeed. I now want to follow them again.. will they know if I choose follow them again? Even if they keep their profile visible to the public

    • Jean says

      Hi Rose, if you are Friends, but unfollowed, and then want to follow again, I don’t think they will be notified.

  75. Mary says

    Hi,
    I have the same question as Tina…Even if I have restricted a person ,we have mutual friends and they can see my pics if one of our mutual friends Like them.is there a way to avoid this?pls do reply..

    • Jean says

      I’m not sure about that, my understanding is that if you share the photo, any friend can see it except those in Restricted or others you didn’t share with when posting (as you can change the audience of a photo or status at the time you post it) even if another friend likes that photo. Make sure you don’t share to Public.

  76. Jodie says

    Hello wondering if you can help, Is there any way of stopping people from sharing your photos? I have a very annoying friend that seems to share every photo of my son and as my profile is set to private I don’t mind them being on mine but I have no idea who she is friends with and don’t like the idea of strangers looking at pictures of my child. Thanks

  77. me says

    how can I keep only one person from seeing when I am “active” or “last active” in the inbox on Facebook?

  78. says

    My boyfriend has 70 friends but 69 friends are shown only. When i search a girl frined of his, it shows we have a mutual friend on the search bar on iphone. I guess that mutial friend is my boyfriend . Next is , that girl’ friend list doesnt include my boyfriend either. How can my boyfriend hide one friend on his list only?

  79. David says

    I received a notification from someone that has been off my friends list for awhile and I am not following. I commented on a pic and someone else recently did and I got the notification. Will this show up as me commenting if someone who has me on close friends viewed my activity?

    • Jean says

      I’m not quite sure…you do tend to see notifications from people who are not your friends, if you comment on something and then someone who is also friends with that person comments.

  80. anthony says

    hi i have a ex that i took off my friends list on fb and have since moved on but she still can view a lot of my time line on facebook is there away to stop her from seeing my time line im getting tired of her texting me asking me about my time line

  81. Kenneth says

    Is there a way to keep people from seeing when you were last active on FB? Or hide the fact that you were even on FB completely?

  82. shannon says

    Can u prevent fb from posting when u have added a friend? I really don’t want my new friends made known to my old friends.

    • Jean says

      Good question – you can control who can see your friends list on your timeline (instructions here) but not sure if that also suppresses the “announcement” that fb displays when you’ve added a friend.

  83. Christina says

    It is possible to let people from certain list not able to see what other friends post on my page and pictures that I am tagged in? I was in a certain school A and then I transferred to another school B. There is a rivalry between the two schools and I don’t want friends from my school A to know that I transferred to school B so I created another account and blocked everyone from school A. It’s really annoying to have to check two different facebook accounts. So, it is possible to make it so that people from school A won’t be able to see what my friends on school B post and the pictures I am tagged in and vice versa?

    • Jean says

      Hi Christina, There are certain things you can do to prevent people from seeing when you are tagged and what is seen on your timeline. I would review this section of Facebook help (Timeline and tagging). You could put the friends into different lists to control who sees what when you post, but I can’t say for sure if it would be 100% that friends from school A won’t seen anything from school B friends, for example if you are tagged in a post by someone else and they share it with “Public”. It does sound annoying to have to manage two separate accounts just because of a school rivalry, so I hope you can figure out a way!

  84. Lyndsey says

    Hi Jean,

    I recently had a falling out with my ex boyfriend and he deleted me from his account. Now on my facebook the four people on the right panel are his friends that I never interact with other than the initial accept and occasional like. Does this mean he’s having them stalk my page?

    • Jean says

      If the four people on the right are people still on your friends list, you might be seeing their activity if they comment/like on posts that are shared publicly.

  85. Lindy says

    If you unfollow someone & then you change your mind can you follow again without them knowing? Or do they get notification when someone follows them?

    • Jean says

      If you unfollow (rather than un-friend) and then decide to follow back, I don’t believe they are notified.

  86. Lauri Hohman says

    How can I post pictures on Facebook and not give people the option to like or comment? I am not interested if someone likes it …. and I don’t like the competition with the “likes”

    • Jean says

      Hi Lauri,
      I don’t think that is an option in Facebook. You can choose who to share photos with, but those who can see them will be able to comment and like them.

  87. Jeremy Witten says

    I’m sorry if you already answered this, but if I have someone on my restricted list, can they see on their Newsfeed what I “liked.” For example, if I “liked” a certain picture, or if I liked a mutual friend’s status, can they see this on their Newsfeed even though they are on my restricted list.

    • Jean says

      Hi Jeremy,
      They will only be able to see things that you make public. So if you comment or like a post that someone else shared with “public” (other than just their friends) it is possible that your Restricted friend might see that.

  88. Sleepy says

    Hi Christina,
    I find facebook useful but i see it’s potential for addiction also, at it’s depth i hate it, i don’t feel comfortable using it,
    One thing i find frustrating that doesn’t appear anywhere on the net, is how can i get rid of the who’s online notice on the right, to me its the most annoying thing about facebook, if someone wants to message me on f/b they can sms me and say so or message and say what time,

  89. Peter says

    So now I know how to filter out a lot of what a Facebook Friend is doing, but how can I tell which of my friends are filtering ME …. that is which have unchecked the follow item, which remaining my friend.

  90. Satyam Singh says

    Hey! Thnx A Lot For Dis Info… Finally I’ll get Rid Of My all annoying relatives :-D
    Btw I Usually Share my posts on Public…Did Dat Annoying Person Can See My Posts … :-\

  91. Matt says

    If you add someone to your FB, you follow them. What kind of jerk would be so passive-aggressive to do this? Just defriend the person ffs! I actually am in the process of posting another facebook for people to add just so i can get rid of anyone on my fb friends who would fb friend me and then unfollow. Family included. I don’t need fake people on my facebook. It’s working and I feel great about that. If I add you, I follow. Always. That’s how it should be. If things go south, I unfriend. Wow, what a novel concept. People are such wimpy little passive cowards these days. Stop being fake and just unfriend!

  92. sikha singh says

    how can i adjust my privacy setting so that any one can only like and comment on my status or whatever i have shared on facebook ……
    plzz reply me

  93. Jeff says

    Someone has started a facebook page, with the identity of “only an ” He or she does not post using this identity, but “likes” posts on a public forum which he or she disagrees with, so that the “like” then reads: “Only a likes this” Can this be managed? I have contacted the administrator, and he wants to stop it, but we aren’t sure how. Can you help?

    • Jean says

      You can go to the person’s profile or page, there should be a button with three dots on it, when you click that you can choose “Report” and then follow the prompts.

  94. yogesh says

    When I comments on any of my friend’s post or time line, it keep bugging me when others also comments on the same. I want to stop this third person updates seeing in my notifications. how to stop it.

  95. wtt says

    If you want to follow a friend you previously unfollowed, will they receive a notification that you’re following them? I know they are unaware when you unfollow them, so hoping they’re unaware when you start following them again.

  96. Sonia says

    Hi Tiffany,

    How does tagging someone on Facebook work? I received a picture of a friend on my timeline because she was tagged but I also received two other pictures at the same time that she is not in. Is that because the people in those 2 pictures are also friends of hers or not necessarily?

    • angela says

      I think it maybe because when the picture was put up in as such an album and as she was tagged in one that’s why maybe you could see other pics of her .I maybe wrong which I proberly am but what I think may have happened

  97. ThaoD says

    Hi,
    I just have this question (it might sound weird) as following:
    – I put some friends on closed friend list which means i will receive email notification on their update status. However, if they put me on their restricted list, of course i wont be abke to see thier post, but do i still receive the email notify me that they update something?
    The thing is i received some email say that they updated, but when i clicked to see the post it no longer existed (from my email).
    Please tell me if there is something wrong…i cant find any answer on the web :(
    Thanks a lot!

    • Jean says

      I’m not sure if you’d still get an e-mail…but another possibility is that they deleted the post before you had a chance to click on it. (That has happened to me before!)

  98. lshiny says

    Since Facebook now let’s you see random posts of people you don’t know just because a friend of yours likes or comments on their post, I have a question about restricted lists. If you have Friend A on your restricted list, and you post directly on Friend B’s wall, can Friend A potentially see your post to Friend B?

    • Jean says

      Great question, not 100% sure as I’d have to test this out but I think Friend A would not see the post directly on the other friend’s wall.

  99. Jean says

    I recently sent a message on Facebook to three individuals without receiving a reply. When I went to review the message it said that it went to only two if the individuals. If someone leaves a group message does it appear as if they have never received the message at all?

  100. Tim says

    Hello, any chance you could tell me how to stop people I’m not friends with on Facebook seeing my recently added friends?
    My ex girlfriend is stalking me on there haha

  101. Megan says

    Can someone block themselves from being shown as a mutual friend from one person? Meaning….let’s say Jen and Lisa are friends with mike. But Jen and Lisa aren’t friends. But if Jen goes to Lisa’s page it should list them as having mike in common as a mutual friend. But it doesn’t. Can mike hide it from Jen that he is friends with Lisa?

  102. angela says

    How can I hide when I’m online I have turned off chat but doesn’t always work and shows a green dot by my name or it show I was active 1 min ago of if I go into messenger it will still show I’m active .but I don’t want other to even be able to see any of this information .is there a way this can be done ?

  103. Therese says

    Hello,
    In a tempermental moment after being upset with a friend for something she said about a picure of mine, I put her on a restricted list and changed my privacy settings. I then realized this was silly and changed it all back. It was like that for a few hours only. But since she had “liked” the picture, she would still get notifications if someone else commented? I’m worried that when she tried to look at the picture, she would know I had done this. Could be awkward now between us. Is there a way around this? Would she still be able to see the picture because she initally “liked” it?

  104. Paolo says

    Hi jean, nice post, I just have this question, Will my friend notice that I added her to my restricted list?

    Greetings !!!

  105. JessicaJ says

    I have two questions–in the past, when I would put a certain letter in the search engine, my crushes name would pull up in he first or second of the listof names that began with that letter. Now,he is 5 or 6th down the list. Does that mean he has un followed me or what? He was the first or second name for like a year, so this sudden change seems odd to me and its not necessarily alphabetical order. My second question is when I am notified of something he does or has posted on Facebook, there is what looks like a green and white striped flag by his name in the notifications and it does not show on any other persons name out of my 400 + Facebook friends. I would greatly appreciate your reply. Thank you!

  106. Izzuddin Comel says

    How to make my comments on something (posts) not to appear on my someones news feed?

    I comment on my friends picture. But i dont want my brother to read it. And my brother dont even friend with my friend. But why my comment on my friend picture appear on my brother news feed? how to make my brother can’t read everything i comment on something?
    i want my comment can be read by people that related with the post only.My brother didn’t even friend with my friend, and no one tag his name on my friend picture, but how did my comment appears on his news feed? how to make it not happen?

    • Izzuddin Comel says

      I meant to write this:

      How to make my comments on something (posts) not to appear on someones news feed?

  107. Tom says

    Someone had blocked me last week. A couple of days ago, her profile pic next to our old messages updated to a new pic. How could this happen if i was blocked. I did check and I’m still blocked

  108. vivek says

    hey jean, i want comments on my posts to be approved by me before they are shown on my posts. what should i do?

  109. says

    I tried to restrict someone but it shows that they are not on the list after i unchecked one list they were on then checked to put them on the restricted list. it still shows she can see everything when i go to view as (person that i want to restrict)it shows an empty list.

  110. Rose says

    I would like to know if those I have marked “close” can see what I have posted, marked “friends” or if a “close” friend can only see if they are marked “friend” with others?

  111. Joyce says

    Facebook–I created about 2 dozen lists. Recently, I no longer see numbers after these lists. I have to go to each lists to see if there is any thing posted. Can you give me any suggestions on the cause/cure? The whole idea for me is to make checking on pages faster/easier.

  112. Elaine says

    I have daily posts on Facebook. However, a friend told me he is not seeing any post from me from August 9 onwards. It does not show on his news feeds and when he goes to my timeline, nothing appears to be posted after AUgust 8. I checked it via “View as [name of the friend]” and yes it does not show him anything I post after August 8.

    He is not on a restricted list, not blocked, I am following him and definitely he’s on my friends list. I am not sure if it is on my end or his, but yeah my posts don’t show up.

  113. carol says

    How do you keep your friends from seeing that you have entered facebook? or the last time you entered facebook?

  114. Kerli says

    Hey, Jean! I want to ask some questions.
    1. Is it possible that my friend can`t add me to his/her close friends list?
    2. Can I hide my activity (posts, pictures I`ve liked, commented and so on. I don`t want that some friends see that I`ve liked a picture and etc on their news feed.

    Thanks!

    • Jean says

      Hi Kerli, regarding the Close friends list, I’m not really sure; I can’t think of a reason that someone would not be able to add you to his/her close friends list. As for the second question, you can’t really hide what you’ve “liked” etc. Your current friends may see these types of things if you post/comment on public posts.

  115. Marie says

    Hi Jean, Thanks for taking the time to do this. I have 4 Facebook friend’s (all of us mutual). friend A posts a status update and tags friend B,C and D. I can see Friend A’s original post, and I can see it on friend B and C’s timeline but not on D’s. Is it fair to presume she’s restricted me?

    • Jean says

      It is possible but do you see other posts on her timeline? If you do, then not all of her posts are restricted to you. She could also restrict people from seeing posts she’s tagged in, however in this case if you were also tagged, that might override that setting…