How to view your Facebook profile as someone else

Facebook Profile in a mirror

“Mirror, mirror on the (Facebook) Wall – who can see everything about me most of all?”

Have you ever wished for the ability to look into the mirror, and see yourself the way that others see you? Well on Facebook, you can! Here’s how to check what your Facebook profile (also called your Timeline) looks like when others view it. This is an easy way to make sure that your Facebook privacy settings are doing their job.

[Instructions updated January 2013 and again May 2015]

View your Timeline as someone else

1. Click on your name to get to your Timeline, otherwise known as your profile page.

2. Towards the right of your large cover photo, you’ll see a few buttons – Update Info, View Activity Log, and three little dots.  Click the dots and choose “View As….”

How to view your Facebook profile as someone else

Or, you can use the Privacy Shortcut button near the top right, as shown here.  Choose “Who can see my stuff?” And then “What do other people see on my timeline?”

What do other people see on my timeline?

3. You’ll now see your timeline as if you were a member of the “Public”.  In this case public means someone who is logged into Facebook who is not your friend or otherwise associated with you.

What your timeline looks like to the public

If you’ve set privacy settings judiciously there should not be much shown here.  (If you see more information here than you are comfortable with, go back to your Timeline, click Update Info and then edit the privacy settings for any portion of your profile.)

4. Now click “View as Specific Person”.  Once you start typing a name, you can choose from the names as they appear.  Then you’ll scroll down to see what your friend would see when viewing your timeline.

View how your timeline looks to a specific version



Why preview your Facebook profile or Timeline?

With all the changes Facebook makes, reviewing your privacy settings on a regular basis is a good idea.  Some of the changes might expose information that you thought had been private.  You can control who can see the information you choose to share.  For example you can set up a Friends List, add friends to the list, and then use that list to restrict those friends from certain content.  So to make sure the privacy settings are working, preview your Facebook timeline as someone else from time to time.


Share the Knowledge:

Never miss a post!

Sign Up for free e-mail updates


  1. Miracle says

    This does not work for me. There is no view as or edit button. i use the old version. but recently i downloaded a thing that now allows me to dislike statuses and ever since then i can no longer see comments when i post them until the page has refreshed and also, if there are more than 4 comments and i click on show comments, they all disappear entirely!

    • Jean says

      Hi Miracle,
      There is a new setting now that you can also use. Click on the little icon next to the word Home in the upper right. This is the privacy shortcut I recently wrote about. Then click Who can see my stuff and then click What do other people see on my timeline. This should work for you but is also sounds like you added some kind of app or add-on (to dislike statuses) that is causing other problems. You might want to try deleting or uninstalling that to see if it fixes your problem.

  2. steve says

    Slight tangent here but cant find the answer..when i view my timeline as one friend i see my ‘about’ (where im from etc.) instead of ‘recent activity’ (friends added, pages liked etc.) Viewing it as anyone else it shows ‘recent activity’. Any ideas why? Have i blocked them or them me in some way?

    • Jean says

      Sounds like maybe you have blocked them or maybe added them to a list that you have set to not share with as your default. You can check, go to their profile, hover over the “Friends” button, click “Add to another list” and then just see if there is a checkmark next to any of those lists. If there is, maybe you are not sharing activity with that list. That would be my guess anyway!

  3. Kathy says

    This was very helpful! Now I know how to avoid awkward conversations with my family whom also happen to be on Facebook lol.

Comment Policy: Your comments are encouraged! As mentioned in my Comment Policy, comments will not be published that are spam or questionable spam, use profanity or inappropriate language, personal attacks, or offensive terms. Comments are moderated before being published. I try to respond to all questions in comments, but may not be able to respond to all. Due to an increase in spam, I have to ask you to do some simple math to prove you're not a spam robot....thanks!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *