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The Complete Guide to Facebook Privacy Settings

by on April 27, 2020
in Facebook, Computers and Software, Computer Safety & Support, Tips & How-Tos, Privacy, Tech 101, Social Networking :: 408 comments

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The Complete Guide to Facebook Privacy Settings

Privacy concerns and privacy controls on Facebook are ever changing. When you post a picture of your kids at a family gathering, which one of your Facebook friends can share it? What private information are those Facebook game apps collecting on you for "third-party uses"? How do you make sure that live video stream is seen only by people you choose? Every action you take on Facebook has privacy and sharing implications that need to be considered before you upload that next selfie.

Fortunately, thanks to vocal demands for transparency from both Facebook users and government regulators around the world, Facebook has been making the process of managing your privacy easier. Below is our step-by-step guide to taking full control of your Facebook privacy settings.

Facebook Privacy

The basic privacy options

If you’re not ready to dive into Facebook’s substantial settings menu, there’s a more user-friendly guide through the more vital privacy settings. Click on the question mark symbol in the top right of any Facebook page when you’re logged in, and select Privacy Checkup, an easy-to-follow walkthrough of your current settings as they pertain to Posts, Apps and Websites, and Profile.

(Alternately, for an even quicker speed-tuneup, you can adjust who can see your posts, send you friend requests, or block users by hitting the question mark symbol and selecting Privacy shortcuts.)


Starting with Posts, you can check your default sharing setting. (You'll find this under Settings > Privacy > Your Activity > Who can see future posts, if you're not going through the Privacy Checkup.) We recommend the Friends setting over the Public one. When set to Public all your posts can be seen by anyone on or off Facebook. Unless you're a celebrity or running a page that is used to generate interest in a business you run, you will likely want to keep your activity restricted to those you have Friended.

The Friend setting has a few tweaks you should be aware of as well. By clicking on the triple dots, the sharing setting button, then the More Options button, you will see the Custom option. Click on that, and you will see that you can include all your Friends while excluding the names of certain Facebook friends you don't want to see your updates. It is also important to note that the Friends of anyone tagged in your post or photos will be able to see that post unless you uncheck the option in this window.

Facebook Privacy: Check Your Status Update Settings

If you have joined any Facebook groups or made lists of Facebook friends, you can restrict the posts that way or hide your posts from those groups and lists as well. Want just your college friends to see your late night party pictures? Want to make sure your work friends don't see your selfie at the beach when you called in sick? These restrictions could come in handy both on a per post basis or as an overall option. You can even go back to change settings of previous posts by clicking on the selecting Limit Past Posts.

Finally, remember that you can change the sharing settings of any individual Facebook update by clicking on the triple dots, then sharing button to the left of the Post button.

Limit audience for a single post on Facebook


Here you can see the privacy setting on your phone number, email addresses, birthday, hometown, relationship status, and other personal details about your life. Under emails, it will show all email addresses associated with your account and who can view them. If you find an email address that you don't want associated with your account, you can delete it. After completing the Privacy Checkup, go to Settings > General > General Account Settings in Settings, you can add and remove email addresses and change your primary email address. 

For your birthday, the sharing settings are split between the day/month and the year. That way your Friends can wish you happy birthday on Facebook on your special day without necessarily knowing your exact age.

For hometown, this setting only affects what your Friends can see. Advertisers and others may still access this information, especially if you are using the Facebook app, which tracks your location automatically.

Finally, if you have set a relationship with another Facebook user, it will be shared unless you set it otherwise.

It's important to note that this is only a partial list of the information you're sharing. To see the full list, click the My About Page button, which will take you to your profile page. On there, you can review the various sections—Work and Education, Places You've Lived, Contact and Basic Info, Family and Relationships, Details About You, and Life Events —and make changes hovering over each and clicking the link that appears.

Apps and Websites

Remember the Facebook game you played too much last year? Each app on the site you agreed to install has permission to post to your Friends list unless you told it otherwise at the time you installed it. Can't remember? This part of the tool shows you each app attached to your account and what sharing permissions it has. These settings also control who can see that you have the app installed.

If you don't use the app anymore, just delete it by clicking on the box next to it and select Remove. Delete all apps that you're not actively using and review the sharing permissions of the remaining ones.

Privacy options

Privacy Settings and Tools

To get to the advanced privacy settings, click the drop down arrow in the top right on any Facebook page, click Settings, and then Privacy in the left navigation column. 

Here you can exert more control of what is being shared with whom, which is never a bad idea. You've likely gone through this at least once in the past, but it's a great idea to review your settings at least once a year.

Who can see my stuff? (Find out in Your Activity)

Who can see your future posts?

Select Edit and you can take complete control over who sees your posts. Use the predefined categories, like Friends and Friends of friends, or create a custom group. 

Review all your posts and things you're tagged in

Ever been tagged in an embarrassing photo uploaded by that distant college classmate? You can use the Activity Log page and select the Posts You're Tagged In (in the left column) and the Photos > Photos of You (also in the left column) to check out what you've been tagged in. You can then remove the tag (click the drop-down arrow on the left of the post or photo and then click on the the Remove Tag button at the top of the page) or simply click Hide so they don’t appear on your Timeline.

Limit the audience for posts you've shared with friends of friends or Public?

If you select Limit Past Posts, all your previous posts from Public or Friends of friends will revert to just Friends. But if you've tagged a Friend in one of your posts, their Friends can see that since that is the default setting when tagging someone. 

If you originally shared a post with a custom audience, like Close Friends, this tool will not change the audience for those posts.

How people find and contact you

Who can send you friend requests?

The default is Everybody, and the only other choice is Friends of Friends.

Who can see your friends list?

The default is Public, but you can customize who can see the list, including setting it to Only me.

Who can look me up?

Who can you look you up with the email address you provided?

If someone has your email address they can look you up, but only if your email is Public.  You can restrict it to Friends of Friends or just Friends if you don't want to be bothered.

Who can look you up using the phone number you provided?

Same as the email address.

Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline?

Your first impulse may be to turn this off, but Facebook only allows information you've marked as Public to be shown to other search engines. They see it as a way for friends not on Facebook to find you. Whatever you choose, anyone will still be able to find your profile simply by looking up your name in Facebook search.

Access Your Information to review all of your Facebook actions

Here's where you can keep tabs on everything you've ever done on Facebook. Select Access Your Information and you'll see a large list of types of activities for easy access to see what you've done. For instance, read through all of your Comments on your posts, other people's posts, or in Groups you belong to. Scroll through Likes and Reactions to see posts, comments and Pages you've liked or reactive to and edit those actions. Review Photos and Videos you've shared or been tagged in and report the photo or remove the tag. See all of you Saved Items and read them, mark them as read or delete them. See a list of Event invitations you've received and responded to, and edit your response. 

In the section entitled Activity Log, you can scroll through all of your activities chronologically to view, edit and delete them. You can also see what the audience is for your activity, for instance is that comment seen by the person's friends, friends of friends or public. 

Manage how your Off-Facebook Activity is tracked

Manage how your Off-Facebook Activity is tracked

Facebook receives data from third parties when we visit sites or use apps that use Facebook's tools for tracking activities, including making purchases and logging in. Tracking your activity across the internet gives Facebook a fairly clear picture of your day-to-day activities, which it uses to serve ads and recommend content it thinks you’ll like. To manage your Off-Facebook Activity, select Off-Facebook Activity and then Manage Your Off-Facebook Activity. Once you've input your Facebook password, you can see a list of every site and app that’s shared information with Facebook. Click on any site and select “turn off future activity” to stop it from adding data to your Facebook profile.

Timeline and tagging Options

Facebook Timeline and Tagging Settings

In Timeline and Tagging you can control exactly who sees what on your timeline, who can post to your timeline, and who can tag you in photos and posts.

To customize your timeline settings, click on the down arrow in the far upper right corner to reveal a drop-down menu, and select Settings.

What people can see and add to my timeline

Who can post on your timeline?

It's set by default to Friends, and the only other option is to allow only yourself to post on your timeline.

Who can see what others post on your timeline?

You have flexibility with options ranging from Everyone to Friends of Friends to custom lists. Using this in conjunction with manually approving what photos and updates you've been tagged in goes a long way to keep prying eyes away from more sensitive Facebook updates.

Allow others to share your posts to their stories? 

Facebook defaults to allowing anyone to share your Public posts to their story. And if you tag someone in a post, they can share it to their story. In both cases, your full name and a link to your post will be visible for 24 hours. If you don't want others to be able to share your posts, Disable this option.

Hide comments containing certain words from your timeline

If you're concerned about certain words appearing in comments on your timeline, you can establish a word, phrase and emoji blacklist. Comments that contain banned content will only be able to be seen by the poster and their friends.

Who can see posts that you're tagged in?

Who can see posts you're tagged in on your timeline?

You have a great deal of flexibility here, with options ranging from Everyone to Friends of Friends to custom lists. Using this and the below setting in conjunction with manually approving what photos and updates you've been tagged in goes a long way to keep prying eyes away from more sensitive Facebook updates. 

When you're tagged in a post, who do you want to add to the audience if they aren't already in it?

This one sounds more complicated than it is. Often a Facebook friend of yours will make a post and tag you in it. The option here allows all of your Facebook friends to see an update or photo you've been tagged in by someone they aren't friends with themselves (the Friends of Friends function). You can choose to remain tagged but have none of your other Facebook friends see that update, limit who sees that update to certain groups of friends, or you can outright block certain Facebook friends altogether by using the Custom option.

Manually review other people's posts you're tagged in and tags before they appear on Facebook

Review posts you're tagged in before the post appears in your timeline

If you are concerned about getting tagged in a photo that you don't want all your friends on Facebook to see, this is the setting for you. Once enabled, you'll have to manually approve any photo or posts you are tagged in before they appear on your timeline. Note that this only affects your timeline; those updates will still appear in searches, the news feed, and other places unless you un-tag yourself. (Alternately, you can extricate yourself from incriminating posts by clicking on the offending post, then the arrow in the top right to Remove Tag.)

Review tags people add to your own posts before the tags appear on Facebook?

This applies only to photo tagging by your Facebook friends. You'll always be notified if someone who's not your friend tags you in a photo.

What do my posts look like to other people?

Review what other people see on your Timeline. 

Click View As for the perfect way to check that your mother or boss won't see what you don't want them to.

Manage blocking

Facebook Manage Blocking

If you want to take steps to keep people away from your profile, the "Blocking" is the section for you.

Restricted list

If you don't want to un-friend somebody but also don't want them to see all of your information, you can add them to the Restricted List. This means they can see your public information, but they have no way of knowing you’ve limited their view (unless they happen to see someone browsing your profile who isn't restricted).

Block users

You can also just straight up block somebody. This means this person cannot be your friend. This is an excellent setting if you have stalkers or other people consistently bothering you. Note that this does not stop them from interacting with you in apps, games, or groups you're both a part of.

Block messages

Block messages If you’re receiving unwelcome messages and video calls from someone, you can put a stop to that here – and it carries over to the Messenger app too. However, the pest in question will still be able to post to your Timeline unless you block them as a user (above). 

Block app invites

In addition to blocking and restricting people from your profile, you can also block app invitations on a user-by-user basis. So if your Aunt Jackie keeps bombarding you with annoying apps, you know what to do.

Block event invites

Tired of your nephew inviting you to his New York City raves every weekend? Typing the name of the Facebook user into this section will stop you from seeing any future event invites from that person.

Block apps

Some apps and Facebook games are great fun at first, but after a while, you want to drop them. You can remove the app or game (see the Apps you use section, below) or block the app, which means it can no longer contact you or get non-public information about you through Facebook. If you are getting emails from the app, you will have to use the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email.

Block pages

Is that discount fashion site you liked bombarding you with updates from its Facebook Page? Block ‘em here, where you’ll also automatically unlike and unfollow the Page. You can also block other Pages (i.e., public pages for businesses and celebrities) from commenting on or liking your posts.

Turn off face recognition

Facebook uses face-matching technology to suggest who you should tag in photos, prevent strangers from using a photo of you as their profile photo, and let you know when you might appear ina photo or video but haven't been tagged (if you're in the audience). It will only suggest people that are on the user's friends list. If you don't want to show up as an option when your friends are tagging photos, set this to No.

Public post filters and tools

Facebook follower privacy settings

If you’re lucky enough to have people hanging off your every post, you can decide to widen your net of followers here. Friends follow by default, but you can change it to the only other option - let Everyone view your public posts (you can set public-ness each time you post). 

Check on apps and websites you've logged into with Facebook

Facebook Apps and Websites

Here you can find out which apps and sites you've logged into with Facebook. The important tab is the Active tab, which means these apps and sites currently have access to whatever data you opted into providing. Click on the box beside any app or site that you are no longer interested in accessing and then click Remove. For the rest, click on View and edit for each one to check on what information you're sharing and update your sharing preferences.

If you're not interested in using Facebook to connect with outside apps and sites, you can scroll down to Preferences and click on the Edit button in the Apps, Websites and Games box to turn off access. 

Check on Instant Games you've logged into with Facebook

Like with Apps and Websites, you can see which Instant Games you're logged into with Facebook and check on what you've agreed to share.

Find out what is determining the ads you see

Facebook ad preferences

Your Interests

Facebook compiles a list of your interests based on your activity on Facebook and your engagement with Pages hosted by businesses and ads. These interests will determine what ads you see in your Newsfeed. You can delete any interests by selecting the interest and choosing Remove.

Advertisers and Businesses

Here you will find a list of advertisers who have uploaded a list with your information, who has advertised to you, whose website or app you've used, whose ads you've clicked or blocked and more. 

For businesses who uploaded a list with your information and advertised to it, you can choose to Hide all ads from this advertiser. Facebook matched your profile with the advertiser's needs and showed the ad without revealing your identity.

For businesses who have uploaded and shared a list with your information, you can see how those businesses data resulted in ads shown. While you can see the businesses the uploaded the information, you can only choose to opt out of ads from advertisers who used the uploaded data.

Advertisers using lists with your information

For businesses whom you've visited, whose website or app you may have used, and whose ads you've clicked, you can choose to hide all ads from that advertiser.

Your information

Under About you, you can turn off whether details such as your relationship status, education level or job title can be used to target advertising to you. However, this does not stop Facebook from using this information to categorize your profile for advertisers, or from ads being shown.

Under Your categories, you can find out what descriptors that your activity on Facebook and outside has revealed about you. Most of my fields were related to factual items such as “WiFi Users”, though there were a couple of interesting deductions too, such as “Potential mobile network or device change”.

You can delete them all to start fresh, or if you want no interest-based ads on or off Facebook. Just click the X on the right of each item.  

Ad Settings

Ads based on data from partners

Nearly anywhere you click online, and in some cases where you shop in stores, is used to build a profile of you that Facebook can then sell to advertisers so they can show targeted ads to you while you’re browsing Facebook. If that makes you uncomfortable, you can choose Not allowed here. You’ll still see advertising on Facebook, it just won’t be based on all those running shoes you were looking up.

Ads based on your activity on Facebook Company Products that you see elsewhere

Since Facebook operates its own ad network of sites, it can also target you with ads even when you’re not browsing Facebook – essentially, at any site that uses its ad technology. But the permission is trickily worded – it asks if it can use your Facebook ad preferences, so choose Yes and make sure you review the section below entitled Ad Preferences. Even if you’ve always turned off targeted ads based on browsing (above), Facebook can use information in your profile to create ad preferences.

Regardless, you’ll most likely still receive targeted ads outside Facebook that are based on your age, gender, and location, as well as browsing activity on sites that are part of other ad networks. If you want to stop seeing-based ads in general, you can opt out at the Digital Advertising Alliance - though it notes that the opt-out can only apply to participating companies.

Ads that include your social actions

If you like, comment on or share a Page (say, owned by a business or brand), Facebook can broadcast it as an advertisement to all your friends.

Facebook social ad example

This also applies to apps used (for example, Spotify) and events joined (say, if you hit attend for a café’s Veggie Fridays). You can flip the audience for all this between Only my friends and No One.

Hide ad topics

If you really don't want to see ads for specific types of products or categories of products, you can choose to hide them for six months, a year or permanently. If the topic you object to isn't one that Facebook had made available for censorship, you can click on Suggest Other Topics to let them know.

And that's Facebook Privacy in a (gigantic) nutshell

That covers your privacy setting options on Facebook. If you want to dig in even further, Facebook has a page explaining the basics of Facebook privacy tools as well as Facebook's latest data policies.

Updated on 4/27/2020

[shocked woman with laptop via Shutterstock, all other images via Facebook]

Natasha Stokes has been a technology writer for more than 7 years covering consumer tech issues, digital privacy and cybersecurity. As the features editor at TOP10VPN, she covered online censorship and surveillance that impact the lives of people around the world. Her work has also appeared on BBC Worldwide, CNN, Time and Travel+Leisure.

Discussion loading

Nation in Distress

From jon on January 06, 2016 :: 6:17 pm

How do I make FB stop sending me the Nation in Distress stuff?


see more ?

From mike on January 13, 2016 :: 7:12 pm

I’ve had to “see less” of certain people (they know who they are), but I don’t understand how you ever review these settings, roll someone back to “see more”, etc ???

Also, when viewing a check-in there is an option to “I don’t like this” - well what does that mean ? does it tell FB, tell them, tell no one ? does it limit my exposure to check-ins ?

If FB would just show an explanation next to the selection, it would make it 1000 times less confusing.

I’d love to be able to not see check-ins more than 5 (10, 20, whatever) miles from where I am.  do not care where my friends in San Diego are going to lunch



Divorced-need to limit some things

From Kathy on January 18, 2016 :: 2:38 pm

I am recently divorced.  My husband was having an affair with a friend.  My daughter is now face book friends with the girlfriend.  She has been able to keep me from seeing that the girlfriend is on her facebook friend list.  I can have another friend look at my daughters facebook page and see her and others that are hidden.  I would like to do the same.  I don’t want my daughter to see some new friends.  I know I can make lists and only post to certain likes or exclude someone, but don’t know how she was able to hide the face that they are friends.  I don’t care that she is friends with her - we are past that, but I don’t want my daughter to see any of my new relationships.  I would also like to do this to keep business and personal separate.  Do you know how my daughter was able to hide the friends?


I have divided all my

From Tony on January 21, 2016 :: 9:21 pm

I have divided all my friends into two lists, so I can choose either audience when I post on my wall (sometimes I duplicate posts for both audiences). As far as I understand, when someone comments on one of my posts that have been shown to a particular list, only people from the same list can see that comment. However, I cannot find any way to also make posts from friends on my wall to be visible only to people from the same list of the friend who wrote the post. The point is that I just want to keep both lists of friends completely separate (obviously without creating two separate profiles). The “hiding friends from profile” option is a joke, since friends are revealed whenever they comment or post - at least I’d like to hide my friends to people on the “other” list (if everybody can see posts from everybody else that’d be impossible), and the “hide to acquaintainces” option is not valid either, since that would hide all posts to these people, but I only want to hide posts from the “other” list. Thanks!


My friends can't suggest me as a friend to others

From Kristin Tang on January 26, 2016 :: 5:31 pm

My friends can’t suggest me as a friend to others, nor can they suggest friends to me. The “Suggest friends” option are lacking in the Friends menu on my profile. Choosing “Suggest friends” on other friends’ profiles, my name doesn’t appear in the list. Is there any way to fix this?


posting in a group

From erika on January 28, 2016 :: 10:07 am

hi, i am a member of a closed group and since it became closed i can’t post anything anymore but i can like and comment on other people’s posts. are there some privacy settings i should change and which?


How does this work on Public posts?

From John on February 11, 2016 :: 1:53 pm

I have two friends (who are not FB friends with each other), each with Public profiles that they keep completely open, and all their posts are marked Public.

If one friend was to tag me in a post on THEIR timeline (not a picture, but an actual post where I’m tagged), will this appear on the Newsfeed of the second person? Can I prevent this? I’m a little shaky since both profiles are Public and I don’t know how that works. Thank you!


You can prevent it, but not proactively

From Josh Kirschner on February 11, 2016 :: 5:33 pm

You will get a notification when you’re tagged in a post and you can then review the post in your Activity Log, found in your Timeline, or directly through your friend’s profile. Once you find the post, use the little dropdown icon in the top right of the post and you’ll see an option to “Remove tag”.

You can’t directly control what others are shown in their newsfeed (that’s all based on Facebook’s internal algorithms). So it is possible that Facebook MAY show the post in the other friend’s feed if you’re tagged. If you allow tagged posts to be added to your timeline, they will definitely show up in your other friend’s newsfeed. I am not as sure of the answer if you don’t allow the tagged posts to show in your timeline (also controlled through your Facebook privacy settings).


Privacy by location

From Del Malcolm on February 13, 2016 :: 10:40 am

In the post’s privacy options I see you can pick from geographical locations in a list of places you’ve lived. But is this going to share with people who are listed as living there now, or will it include those who are ‘from’ that area and/or people who also lived there in the past?

Basically I want to withhold some chat about my history from new friends in my new town, but is okay with old friends who also lived there years ago.


Privacy Tag related question?

From James on March 29, 2016 :: 8:36 am

Hi Josh, firstly thank you so much for you time and dedication to answering peoples questions.  My question is; I have a private conversation that I host on my wall and have selected just one person in custom audience. I want to tag that person to alert them when I add to the conversation… but I’m scared that by tagging them there is a possibility that the post will appear on there timeline and could therefore appear on their friends newsfeeds (despite having done the custom audience thing)  What do you think?


That's a little tricky

From Josh Kirschner on March 29, 2016 :: 9:07 am

According to facebook, “When you tag someone, that content (ex: photo, post) may be shared with the person tagged and their friends. This means that if you haven’t already included their friends in the audience, their friends may now be able to see it. For example, if you tag Jane in a photo shared with your friends, the audience expands to Friends (+) to include your friends and Jane’s.”

So their friends would be able to see the conversation. To prevent this, “you can turn this setting off for each post when you post it. To do this, click the audience selector next to the story, select Custom, and uncheck the Friends of those tagged box.”

But it gets more complicated…Again, according to Facebook, “The audience also expands to Friends (+) when others tag your post or photo.” So even if you set it to private, it would seem your friends could undo your efforts. However, you can approve or dismiss tags that friends add to your posts before they appear on Facebook by following these steps:

As the above suggests, Facebook is generally a bad place to hold conversations you truly want to keep private. There are just too many ways to slip up. Also, setting up a Private Group may be easier for you to manage a private conversation than doing it through your wall.



From James on March 29, 2016 :: 10:01 am

Thanks for confirming what I suspected, that it’s a tricky one!  it would only take one slip up or a temporary “overnight” test of a new facebook algorithm and bingo I’ve been a part of revealing personally confidential information..  the two parties involved will either not tag, move to a private group or email! I just loved the convenience of the fb approach grin  you’re a star


Posts on friends pages

From Melissa Katherine on March 30, 2016 :: 11:00 am

Is there anyway that I can comment on pictures/posts on a friends page but so that their friends cannot see what I have put/said?




From Josh Kirschner on March 30, 2016 :: 12:26 pm

Privacy settings for a post and comments are controlled by the original poster. So any comments you add will be be visible to anyone who can see the post.



From zubia on April 01, 2016 :: 4:22 am

there is not a privacy setting on messages. there should b this setting that no one can send messeges to us


Public but bloked from certain friends

From Josie Summers on April 20, 2016 :: 3:19 pm

Hello i was wondering if facebook allowed you to share stuff publicly, but stop some of your friends seeing it? Is this an option?



No, and wouldn't be a good idea if you could.

From Josh Kirschner on April 21, 2016 :: 8:37 am

You can block certain people from seeing a post you set to “Friends” in the Custom settings, but not posts set to “Public”. And frankly, not sure why you would want to. If you’re making a post public, there’s always a chance your blocked friends will see it through some means. My advice for Facebook is anything you don’t want everyone to see, don’t post on Facebook, even just to Friends. You never know how or if something is going to leak out because you got the privacy settings wrong or because of a Facebook privacy quirk.


Privacy glitch on Facebook

From Deborah Ann Towers-Best on May 25, 2016 :: 8:41 am

I recently shared a video with friends but customised the privacy settings so that there were certain people who could not see the video. Facebook assures you that those blocked people will never know that they are blocked. The video was shared on an entertainer page and unfortunately the link to the video shows up (even if a person is blocked). When a blocked person clicks on the link the video does not come up, but just a comment to the effect that they essentially are not allowed to see the video. So basically they do know that they are blocked. This particular instance caused a lot of problems for me at the time.


Thanks for sharing your story

From Josh Kirschner on May 25, 2016 :: 9:10 am

Facebook is full of privacy “glitches”. For the most part, the privacy settings work as intended, but there are numerous ways things can ultimately leak out. Your story is another example for why my advice has always been to never share anything on Facebook that you wouldn’t be comfortable, in a worst case scenario, with others seeing.


Privacy levels on Personal and Business page

From Tara Grigg-Tomsett on May 25, 2016 :: 10:02 am

Please can you let me know how I am able to have Private(friends)setting on my personal page, but have my business page set at “public”.  Thank you


Business pages are always public

From Josh Kirschner on May 25, 2016 :: 4:58 pm

Business pages are intended to be information for the public about a business, so there is no Facebook privacy setting to make them private or just for friends. Why would you want to make your business info private? Perhaps what you are trying to do would be better handled through a Facebook Group?



From Tara Grigg-Tomsett on June 28, 2016 :: 7:43 am

Thank you for your response, I had been on a FB forum, but they don’t seem to respond, hence me turning to a different help forum.

I totally agree my business page should be public, but it just meant my Personal page was public - I’ve sorted this out since after visiting other sites.
thank you


Friends unable to like and comment :(

From Shaan on June 04, 2016 :: 11:20 pm

Once I used the feature of ‘view as’ on facebook to see what some of the friends can see on my profile but I came to found that some of the friends are not able to like and comment but can share. I want to change this to allow all my friends to be able to like and comment my posts.

-The posts were even shared as public and/or friends.

Need help with this asap please.
Thank You smile


Custom post

From Henry on June 06, 2016 :: 1:20 am

I posted something that I wanted only one friend to see but I don’t want them to know they are the only one I posted to. Will they know that they are the only one that can see it. Like will they have a notification even if I didn’t tag them, etc?


likes a status privacy

From Jen on June 06, 2016 :: 11:44 pm

How do I change the privacy so my mother can’t see when I like someone’s status or meme? She’s driving me crazy asking What’s wrong, but I don’t want to blocker her from my timeline.


FanPage problem

From Sara on June 27, 2016 :: 3:08 pm

Post of fanpage is missing when visitor and cunsomer couldn’t see new post when they are trying to view the page


Is there a setting to people can't see when you were oniine

From Wendy on June 28, 2016 :: 4:31 pm

I find that I dont get online at certain times because how face book shows how long ago I was online…. There are people I dont want to know how long ago when or how many min ago I was online…. I dont want to delete these people.. but I dont want them to know .... 

Is there ANYTHING that can be done?

Thank you so much for your time!!


The short answer is NO

From Josh Kirschner on June 29, 2016 :: 10:49 am

Unfortunately, there appears to be no way to hide your last active time on Facebook. I researched some of the suggested solutions online and none of them work. Uninstalling Facebook Messenger isn’t the answer because I don’t have Facebook Messenger installed on my device yet my last active time is still displayed. Turning off what information apps can use doesn’t work, because my settings already have last active time unchecked (so apparently only applies to third party apps). And I would stay away from any browser plugins promoted for this purpose because I can’t imagine how they would make a difference and there’s a chance they may be creating their own privacy issues.

This is one of those cases where giving up another component of your privacy is the price you pay for being on Facebook. If you do find a solution, let me know.


Facebook Times

From Andy Prakken on July 24, 2016 :: 7:27 pm

Josh, Facebook Messenger has nothing to do Facebook itself. You have to login to Messenger from Facebook at the bottom right hand side by clicking onto the square with the pencil Icon. I don’t think Messenger has to be installed on Facebook but I could be in Error. Just commenting on this. Andy.


You're correct

From Josh Kirschner on July 25, 2016 :: 10:57 am

Messenger doesn’t have to be installed to use Facebook, it is a separate app. I was commenting on some of the common “solutions” I found elsewhere which propose removing Facebook Messenger to fix this issue - it doesn’t work.


posting on my page

From Victor on June 29, 2016 :: 11:32 am

I restrict some people from seeing some of my post, but some I post for all friends. The people who I occasionally restrict aren’t able to post anything to my wall (ie happy birthday, comment on my public posts). How can I allow them to make comments on my page for the posts I allow them to see?


Guide Dates

From Andy Prakken on July 22, 2016 :: 3:23 pm

Why is it that this Complete Guide is Dated July 22nd, 2016 and the first comment is Dated April 05, 2015? Just Enquiring.


We update the guide periodically

From Josh Kirschner on July 25, 2016 :: 11:08 am

That’s a fair question. Rather than creating a new guide every time Facebook updates its policies, we update the existing guide and add the update date to the bottom. So you can see that this guide was updated on 7/22/16.

We don’t delete the old comments because often the questions asked and answered are still the same common issues people are facing with current versions of Facebook.


Guide / Newsletter Date

From Andy Prakken on July 25, 2016 :: 2:54 pm

Seems like a fair reply. However, the update date is also shown at the heading of this newsletter, not just the bottom.


Yes, we have to do it that way

From Josh Kirschner on July 25, 2016 :: 3:18 pm

The date you see at the top of articles (the “published” date) is used by the system to order articles on the homepage and various list pages; articles are listed chronologically, newest first. When we refresh an article, we update the published date so the refreshed article shows up again on the homepage and elsewhere. We add the “updated xx/xx/xxx” comment make it clear that this is an updated article and help explain why comments may be older than the update date.

BTW, we generally only change the published date when there is a major refresh of the article. If we’re just going in to make minor corrections or notes, we leave the published date alone and will put an update date next to the specific note or change.

Hope that helps clarify.

Groups and comments

From Shawn on July 25, 2016 :: 2:03 pm

Is there a way to have separate groups of friends not see one another’s comments on a facebook post that you make? For instance I posted a photo and i’d like both groups to be able to make comments if they’d like but not see each the other groups comments?


Can I have timeline posts be seen but not replied to?

From ERIC on July 30, 2016 :: 1:34 pm

Is there a way to post something to my timeline so my friends can see it but without allowing them to respond or add comments to it?


Unfortunately, no

From Josh Kirschner on August 09, 2016 :: 5:17 pm

Facebook doesn’t allow you to turn off comments for a single post.


Public groups

From Georgia on August 07, 2016 :: 3:14 am

Hi I have my profile as private as i can possibly get it, except people can still see some of the groups I am in under public groups.
This wouldn’t usually be an issue but they seem to be the ones that are local so therefore giving out my location to anyone who clicks on my profile whether they are friends or complete strangers.
Is there any possible way to change this to private without having to leave said Groups?


You can hide your public groups

From Josh Kirschner on August 09, 2016 :: 5:29 pm

You can hide public Groups from your Facebook profile by going to the Groups section and hitting the edit button in the upper right corner of the Group you want to hide.

Note that while this will hide the Group in your profile, if someone goes directly to that Group and looks up members, they will still be able to see that you are a member.


removing group from my profile

From Kimm Schumacher on August 09, 2016 :: 11:17 pm

Hi, I’ve gone to the upper right hand corner on the group I want to hide on my profile page and it only gives me options of Edit notification, leave group or add to favorites.  HELP


Go in through your profile page

From Josh Kirschner on August 10, 2016 :: 10:19 am

You need to go to Groups through your profile page. Follow these steps:
1) Go to your profile page
2) Click the More dropdown at the top and select Groups
3) You will now see your Public groups. From here you can change the privacy setting.


From Victor on August 10, 2016 :: 10:43 am

I have my friends group and a professional group that I set up. The professional group are not able to comment on my wall. Is there any way to change this?



From Kimm Schumacher on August 11, 2016 :: 2:25 am

Hi,  I see my public groups listed under my profile page but I don’t see how to edit private groups…. I don’t want my friends who are also in the group notified every time I make a post. HELP


Group notifications are controlled your friends

From Josh Kirschner on August 22, 2016 :: 3:50 pm

You can’t control what others in the group see. They manage that themselves through the group notifications settings. So if they’re seeing too many group notifications, they can set it to see fewer.


Commenting on Shared

From Ala Issa on August 20, 2016 :: 3:34 am

When I am commenting on a ‘shared’ post, I want my comment only seen by my Facebook friend who shared the item. How can I do it?


You can't

From Josh Kirschner on August 22, 2016 :: 3:51 pm

When commenting on a shared post, the privacy settings for the post are controlled by the poster, not you. So anyone else who can see the post will also be able to see your comments.


Photo tagging privacy settings

From Ann on August 21, 2016 :: 10:45 pm

I have my photo tagging setting to “only me” ... Inevitably friends tag and post photos of me and I don’t like everyone on my Facebook seeing them. However, there are times I feel rude not clicking “like” to some of these photos…. But if I click ” like” won’t that automatically show up in news feeds of all my friends?...and then they see the photos anyway?


They "might" show up

From Josh Kirschner on August 22, 2016 :: 3:54 pm

Facebook’s algorithms control what ends up in the news feeds of your friends. So if you Like a photo, and that photo’s privacy setting would make it viewable by your friends, then yes it might show up. But only a small percentage of what gets posted actually ends up in your feed, so it’s quite likely your friends won’t see it, even if you Like it.


Photo tagging privacy

From Ann on August 21, 2016 :: 11:02 pm

I have my photo tagging privacy setting set to ” only me” because I don’t like to have all of my Facebook friends seeing what some friends inevitably tag me in. However, there are times I feel I as if I am being rude if I don’t click ” like” to those pictures in which get posted from time to time. My question is, if do click like, won’t that photo then show up in all of the news feeds of all my friends on Facebook anyway?


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