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How to Unfriend on Facebook Without Them Knowing

by Suzanne Kantra on February 02, 2018

You know those Facebook friends who clog up your social stream with stuff you don’t care to see or read? Often these people are neighbors, co-workers and family, so the last thing you want to do is offend them by unfriending them. 

Fortunately, there are ways to rid your Facebook News Feed of annoying posts while leaving your relationship outside of Facebook intact.

First, you can unfriend the person—Facebook will not notify the person you have done so. Of course, if the person starts to wonder why he or she is no longer seeing your posts and searches for you, your former connection will find your profile page and see “send her a friend request” in a box on the top of it, a dead giveaway pointing toward what you've done.

As an alternative, you can choose to Unfollow the person. You'll still be friends, but you won't see any of their posts. To Unfollow someone, go to top menu bar and click on the downward arrow all the way on the right. Then select News Feed Preferences. There you can choose to Unfollow people, prioritize the posts you see first and reconnect with people you've unfollowed in the past. 

You can also choose to have someone removed from your On This Day Feed, so Facebook won't resurface a person's posts from years past. To do this, go to the left side of your News Feed and scroll down to On This Day and click on it. At the top of the On This Day page, you'll see a button for Preferences. Click on it for the option to prevent specific people and dates from being included. 

Facebook AcquaintancesIn addition to you not viewing the person's posts, you can restrict that person's access to just your public posts and information by adding him or her to your Restricted list. To add the person to your Restricted list, go to your Profile page and click on the "Friends” tab at the top. For each friend, you can click on the Friends box next to their name to bring up options, one of which is "Add to another list..."  There, you'll find the Restricted list, among any other lists you've created.

If you still want to see the occasional post from a person, there are a couple of ways to reduce the volume of posts. If you dislike certain types of posts, find an offending post and click on the arrow in the upper right corner. There you'll see the option to "Hide post".  This will reduce the number of posts like the one you just hid. If you want to reduce the posts in general, you can tag them as an Acquaintance. For that, go to your Profile page and click on the Friends” tab at the top. For each friend, you can click on the Friends box next to their name to bring up options, one of which is to tag them as an Acquaintance. 

But what about the people who you really care about—the ones you want to see everything they’re doing on Facebook? In the same place you can tag people as an Acquaintance or Restricted, you can also tag them as a Close Friend. 

Looking for more tips on managing your Facebook account? Check out our Complete Guide to Facebook Privacy.

Updated 2/2/2018

[Image credit: woman using Facebook via, Facebook]


Facebook, Computers and Software, Tips & How-Tos, Social Networking

Discussion loading

Social Fixer!

From Nikki Hayes on May 15, 2013 :: 10:08 am

Not to burst your bubble but there is a fantastic browser add-on available for Facebook called Social Fixer which gives the user many options to enhance, hide and change things on Facebook.  It has something called Friend Tracker that shows both people you have unfriended and those who have unfriended you, its not the primary purpose of the software (which is 100% genuine and has 100s of thousands of users and no its not mine, lol) but I find it useful ;o)


Want to add... there's also

From Jessica on May 15, 2013 :: 2:25 pm

Want to add… there’s also an iPhone app called Friend Check that tells you all adds and deletes from friends on various social sites including Facebook. smile


Why are we hiding?

From Karen Langston on May 15, 2013 :: 10:22 am

I think it is funny that we are connected to a social network that gives us options to hide a so call friend because we do not want to unfriendly in case we upset them.

I get some people that blast my wall and Ibring it to their attention why it is not appropriate. If they do it again then I send them a message to let them know I am in friending them.

When it comes to feeds, if I do not like what is showing up in my feed I make the decision whether to limit or simply unfriend. It is nice to have the tos to limit or hide their posts all together but when it comes down to it why are you connected?


Re: Why Are We Hiding?

From Jude on May 15, 2013 :: 10:18 pm

Karen, I agree. I mean, as far as I’m concerned, I don’t want anyone to “friend” me if later down road, it’ll be that easy for that person to simply “hide or delete” me, should be or she find the majority of my posts embarrassing, offensive, contentious, controversial or, just plain boring. That person was never a “friend”.



From Jude on May 15, 2013 :: 10:22 pm

down the* road
should he* or she


Unfriend vs Restricting Friends

From Kris Plotner 559 on May 15, 2013 :: 10:27 am

There have been a few times that I’ve unfriended a person on my FB list, but I do see quite a few annoying posts that I really don’t want to read or see (I mean who really wants to read about the fine details that you’ve literally done nothing in the last five minutes that you had to post about that? C’mon…) and some use FB as a journal (diary) instead of a Social Networking place. So what I did was I put those ‘friends’ on a Restricted list so I don’t see their feeds and they can’t see mine (only public photos: ex: Cover photos). Unless I’m bored out of my skull, I’ll go back to my Restricted list and read what I want. Makes FB much more enjoyable.


Sorry, a little Off Topic - Getting Blocked on Facebook

From Joyce on May 15, 2013 :: 11:29 pm

I have recently been getting messages from Facebook that I’m blocked from commenting on public Facebook pages.  Sometimes the page actually asks for comments to enter a contest, etc.  I have no idea why I’ve been blocked since I never post abuse or spam.  Facebook Help does not reply to my questions.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  Again, sorry that this is off topic but it’s so frustrating.


You probably just need to wait

From Josh Kirschner on May 15, 2013 :: 11:55 pm

Facebook will block you from commenting if its algorithms detect suspicious activity or if others report your comments as spam. It’s not clear what triggers the block, but posting comments too frequently (e.g., to enter a contest) can potentially get you blocked, and perhaps even entering comments with the same content on a frequent basis. So be careful with your commenting.

It appears that the blocks clear after a period of time (1-30 days?), but there’s probably nothing you can do to expedite it.


Re Being Blocked from Commenting on Public Pages

From Joyce on May 16, 2013 :: 12:44 am

Thanks Josh.  I hope it is resolved soon.  I am not aware that I have done anything suspicious especially compared to some comments out there grin



From KevinE on May 27, 2013 :: 6:50 pm

Does anyone know of an extension that hides your log-on and online status for Facebook? One that’s adware and malware free.


What exactly are you looking to do?

From Josh Kirschner on May 27, 2013 :: 10:56 pm

I’m not sure I understand what you’re asking. Facebook - both online and in the app - allows you to hide whether you’re available for chat in the settings. You can also turn on chat for only certain friends. Other than chat, I’m not sure how someone would know whether you’re logged in.


My Mom

From KevinE on May 27, 2013 :: 11:08 pm

It’s not for me but my mom. She wants to log on now and then just to unwind with her Facebook games and not have anyone starting conversations through chat. I tried tweaking the chat settings but when I did I would log on from another computer and still see she was “available” in the chat list. From what I have read (did some Google searches) Facebook removed the ability to be invisible.


P.S. Turning chat off just

From KevinE on May 27, 2013 :: 11:12 pm

P.S. Turning chat off just sends the message to your email instead of it poping up through Facebook and your browser. What I would like to see is an invisible log on mode that you can turn on and off easily. She doesn’t want to remove or hide anyones comments/messages/friendship. She just doesn’t always want to feel obliged to reply because they know she is on Facebook.

Thanks for pointing that out

From Josh Kirschner on May 28, 2013 :: 1:33 am

Facebook really can be annoying at times. What seems to work in my very limited testing is if, rather than turning off chat, you limit your chat to select friends in the advanced settings. That is, have your mother “Turn on Chat” only for you and only you should be able to see she is online.  Though it wouldn’t surprise me if that is a hit or miss proposition.


From H. ROBERT WILSON on August 02, 2020 :: 5:49 pm

I don’t care if they know.  All I want to do is have a visual of all friend,so I can delete those that I no longer want them as friends.


I love my friends, but don't want to see everything they do.

From Angela Fisher Horn on June 01, 2013 :: 12:23 am

Just because I want to see my friends’ pix and status updates does not translate into my being obsessed with their latest score on Candy Crush or what they’re listening to on Spotify.

The ability to pick & choose what updates we see from people is one of the few FB features that seems to work well for me. Less clutter in the newsfeed means more satisfaction out of the service.


Facebook Unfriend Notification

From thefbwall on January 21, 2014 :: 8:37 am

Many times i keep on searching for is their any tip get the notification while any one unfriend me at that time i found a article which help me to get the unfriend notication I think you can also like this once read and try you may also know ,who unfriended you
    Anytime do you feel that you want to know if someone has removed you as a friend on Facebook?
      There is an small browser extension which reveals the people who unfriended me.


Title Misleading

From Jadxia on January 27, 2014 :: 7:00 am

This should be titled “how to chicken out of unfriending someone”.

I send folks a polite message, usually saying something along the lines us having grown along different paths or maybe I’m taking a new direction with my life and need to move on.  I wish them well. Even if I find something they’ve done or said particularly repellent, it does me no harm to wish them well and to try my best to FEEL it inside.  I grow as a person that way. 

Sometimes they try to fight to keep me, for no other reason than people don’t like to feel rejected, I think.  But I try not to make it seem like a rejection, and frankly, if a person is so grasping that they feel that they must hold on to you even when the both of you know you have nothing in common, when in fact your posts have become abhorrent to one another, then they have some serious growing to do of their own.  You don’t need that kind of drama-llama-ness in your life anyway.

I came to this post hoping to improve upon my message, in such a way that it is the best, most uplifting and gentle message I could send to a person to show them that I don’t hate them, but that I just can’t be friends with them.  I am one person, I have only so much time, energy, and attention.  My other friends deserve the best of me.  Likewise, it’s wrong to chain another person to you for the sake of “old times”.  For every old friend you cling to, it takes up the space that a new friend, one more compatible to your current situation, could be residing in. 

I don’t subscribe to the notion of “cutting negative people from my life”, because I believe that we should all be helping one another.  However, I do believe that if it becomes clear the relationship is not helpful to either person in any way, than it is best to release them, freeing them up to seek a more beneficial pairing elsewhere.  There is a subtle but distinct difference between a negative, even so-called “toxic” person, and a toxic relationship.

Hiding yourself away does your “friend” a disservice (because in my book, this doesn’t really constitute much of a friendship; people don’t run away from their friends) and does yourself and even greater wound.  You negate your own opinions, values, truths, and feelings just because you don’t want to make a few waves and MAYBE hurt someone’s feelings…yet fail to realize that you ARE already hurting someone.  You are wounding yourself, pretty egregiously I might add.  You are living in fear to BE WHO YOU ARE.  While at the same time, you are not expressing to the other person that they have desires, viewpoints, and interests that you no longer share.

Sometimes being the best friend you can be, is by being no friend at all.


Help Please

From Zelie on May 30, 2017 :: 10:37 am

Your post really rang true for me. i have been best friends with someone for 2 years now. i consented to being bestie because she kept saying i was her best firend so i gave in. she has anxiety depression and is always stresing/panicking. and very negative. she has my stuff and hasnt given it back in 2 years. she was my maid of honor and has my wedding dress. i have unfriended her on facebook as i dont wish to be friends any longer. i havent said anyhtingto her about it. i dont feel she is good for me. but i am feardul of running into her and of her finding outi unfriended her…i dont want to hide away or be fearful. but i know she will take offence as she is very easily offended and lives in offence. in a chciken shit way im also scared of lsoing a friend?
not quite sure what to do


Re-Emerging onto Facebook

From Bishop Kincaid on April 02, 2014 :: 3:42 pm

Nice & insightful advice. Maybe you can help me with a somewhat similar “problem”. After a 6-month absence, I’ve decided to re-open my FB acct.  However, I have way too many friends/groups, etc. and would like to restructure with a limit of 20 to 25 friends; and maybe 2 or 3 Groups (a few Groups solicited me but I joined anyway). Some of these “Friends” I can do without and some are very important. Is there some way of re-entering FB anew in this limited way w/o hurting anyone’s ego? Thank You.


not offending

From Achim on May 02, 2014 :: 3:28 am

if someone offends in this case it’s that preachy dad.

just unfriend him, and if he asks you why, tell him you don’t enjoy to be preached at.


True freinds finder

From uday on September 30, 2014 :: 3:45 pm

Try - It will tell you who are your real facebook friends and who are fake facebook friends. It will also give you data like how many likes, comments,mutual friends and chats your friends have done with you. It will also tell who all have removed you. A perfect website to filter your friends on the basis of interactions


Please help

From richard on November 15, 2014 :: 6:50 am

Dear friends,

The posts above tell you what to do instead of unfriending someone and that it will not show up in my newsfeed. But does my post(s) show up on their wall and if so, then what do i do?


Set your privacy settings for your posts

From Josh Kirschner on November 16, 2014 :: 5:39 pm

You can set your privacy settings for each post to either be Public, Friends only or Custom. Custom will let certain people see your posts, but not others. So you can share with friends, but exclude Bill, for example. You can set this on a per post basis, or set as a default in your privacy settings.


Anyway to select which friends appear on friend page

From Krystal Eberhardt Blankenship on August 08, 2015 :: 11:27 am

I dont want all my friends not to be seen just some.  (Maybe they have stuff on their page, i dont want family to see etc).  Is there anyway to let everyone except certain people appear on friend list.if they are an acquantaince are they on the friend list too??



From Josh Kirschner on August 10, 2015 :: 8:46 am

Privacy settings apply to your entire friends list, not individual friends. Also, even if you hide your friends, people may still be able to see them. According to Facebook: “Your friends control who can see their friendships on their own timelines. If people can see your friendship on another timeline, they’ll be able to see it in news feed, search and other places on Facebook. They’ll also be able to see mutual friends on your timeline.”


No "Hide" button

From Priscilla Hoke on March 26, 2016 :: 11:49 am

For whatever reason, I don’t have the “hide” button anymore. I remember being able to just hide people and posts, but now I have to go through an 8 to 10 step process to get rid of annoying posts. The problem with this, its time consuming and often makes me wonder if this or that person is even worth having as a friend in FB. There are peeps I just love to the moon & back, but not so much in facebook, so I end up blocking them so they can’t even see me. I’m down to 32 friends because I can’t just “hide” them.


Nothing substitutes unfriending, IMHO

From Michael Psyllakis on January 27, 2017 :: 6:40 am

Even if you unfollow someone and add them to your Restricted list, although that will reduce or eliminate what you see from them, it will not affect what they see from you when they visit your profile on a regular basis because they are stalkers or information collectors. Bottom line is, when it comes to nosy people who REALLY want to know what you are up to, no combination of privacy filters can substitute unfriending. It then becomes an issue of making a decision and doing something uncomfortable.


Only one way

From Vero Ingram on March 23, 2018 :: 11:57 pm

The only way the person will not know you unfriended them would be if you had no interaction with them on fb or in real life and not related. I noticed two people unfriended me. One, a tagged photo was not showing the same tag, and two, the other person’s posts seem to no longer appear on my feed. We had mutual fb and and work friends, and work together sometimes. So I noticed their responses to others posts so it was noticeable. And the screwy thing is the last time I saw them and I notice this, it feels like they are two facing me. But I want to get over it. Life is difficult enough and you can’t please everyone. I only unfriended one person in my fb life for something very disturbing. Usually, I just unfollow or hide all their posts if it annoys me.


Facebook needs real life.

From David Loewen on March 24, 2018 :: 6:49 pm

There are alot of good points being made here, but I don’t agree with the idea that Facebook friends are all or nothing.  I think that Facebook needs to have options that reflect reality.  In real life, I have several different kinds of “friends”.  Not all are at the same level and not all would I give the same attention to.  Some people I rarely ever see - I would consider those more of acquaintenances.  But I still want to keep the door open to chat, etc.  Often times, these are folks I grew up with or knew from church or a job and it’s fun to catch up with each other every couple years.  We may not have much in common so I don’t necessarily want to see the details of their lives every time I visit Facebook.

Others, I might talk to periodically or even go to coffee with now and then.  These I would call casual friends.  We may share values, have worked together, or even been close before and have now gone separate ways.  Seeing their feed all the time may also feel forced or awkward and does not reflect our level of friendship.  But we still want to stay in touch - just not as often. 

Then there’s close friends and family where you really want to be involved in their life on a regular basis.  I think Facebook should reflect these different kinds of relationships.  You shouldn’t feel bad if you need some distance or you don’t care for everything someone posts.  Remember, a relationship is something you build over time.  You don’t have to go all the way with everyone.

It’s because Facebook only gives you the option of friend or not a friend that makes this more difficult and the reason these kinds of articles are popping up. ~David L.


Facebook actually does have that functionality

From Josh Kirschner on March 27, 2018 :: 12:15 pm

As we describe in the article, you can tag your friends as “Acquaintance” or “Close Friend” and that will affect how much of their posting you will see in your news feed. Go to your Profile page and click on the “Friends” tab at the top. For each friend, click on the Friends box next to their name to bring up options for tagging.


Why are you even being

From Kim Boddie on May 01, 2018 :: 5:25 pm

Why are you even being bothered with staying connected to people you’ve unfollowed? It’s apparent you don’t like them…. just unfriend and keep it miv8ng.  That’s being a coward.


How about friending only real life friends?

From Sam on April 06, 2020 :: 5:15 pm


How about friending only real life friends?


Romans 3 V. 9-28
Here are free Christian movirlea for you.
My favorite is “180”


Sorry for typos - I am on a iPhone (small screen)

From Sam on April 06, 2020 :: 5:18 pm


Sorry for typos - I am on a
iPhone (small screen).



Just unfriend and go

From Paulinus Sunday on February 25, 2023 :: 5:42 am

No need to hide in my opinion. I’d just do it and move or unfollow.


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