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How to Hide your Friends List on Facebook

by Elizabeth Harper on November 16, 2023

Updated on 11/16/2023 with the latest Facebook instructions and new screenshots.

Hiding your Friends list on Facebook makes a lot of sense both to protect your privacy, as well as prevent account cloning. The privacy benefits are pretty self-explanatory – whether it's a nosy acquaintance or a controlling ex, who you are or are not friends with on Facebook is none of their business.

What many people may not realize is that by keeping your Friends list public, you're also putting your friends at risk for account cloning scams. The scam only works when the person behind it can contact your friends pretending to be you to request money or to send phishing messages, such as the classic "Is this you?" video scam. If your Friends list is private, the scam won't work.

If you've ever seen a post from a Facebook friend saying, "Don't accept friend requests from me, I've been hacked!", the likelihood is that they have actually been cloned, not hacked, and it's because their Friends list was public. You don't want to be that person.

While hiding your friends on Facebook is easy to do (and I'll walk you through it below), it isn't completely foolproof. Others can still see "mutual friends" on your profile, though not the rest of your Friends list. And if your friend has a public Friends list, others will be able to see your connection to them in their list.

The first step to protect your privacy is selecting who can see your Friends list. My recommendation is to set it to "Friends only," though for maximum privacy, set it to "Only me." The process is similar whether you're accessing Facebook on a web browser or using the app.

Configure your Facebook Friends list from your computer

To configure your Friends list from your computer browser, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Facebook from your web browser.
  2. Click your profile picture (upper right) and select Settings & privacy.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Scroll down the left navigation to the Audience and visibility section and select How people find and contact you.
  5. In the main window, find Who can see your friends list? and click the button next to your current selection.
  6. In the pop-up menu, select who you would like to be able to see your Friends list. If you make a change, click on the Save button.
  7. Click Done on the right to save your settings.

Screenshot of Facebook How people find and contact you page with How people find and contract you, who can see your friends list?, the current settings button, and the profile picture highlighted.

Configure your Facebook Friends list in the Facebook app on your phone or tablet

Setup on mobile is almost identical to the browser settings, the only difference is that the browser lets you create custom lists, whereas the mobile app only allows you to select existing custom lists. This likely won't matter for most people.

Here's how to change the visibility of your Friends list from the Facebook app on your phone or tablet:

  1. Open the Facebook app.
  2. Tap the menu icon (your profile picture with three horizontal lines).
  3. Tap Settings & privacy and then Settings.
  4. Under Audience and visibility, tap How people find and contact you.
  5. Tap the current selection next to Who can see your friends list? to view all the options.
  6. In the pop-up menu, select who you would like to be able to see your Friends list. If you make a change to Friends Except or Specific Friends, tap Done.

Two screenshots of the Facebook app On the Left you see the How people find and contact you page and on the right you see the Choose audience pop-up window.

Final steps to maximize your Facebook privacy

When you’re done adjusting your own settings, encourage your friends to adjust their privacy settings, too. Otherwise, you could still get sucked into a cloned account scam based on their Facebook profile.

It's also a smart idea to regularly review all of your Facebook privacy settings, as Facebook regularly tweaks the options, and you may find your privacy needs changing over time.

[Image credit: Screenshots via Techlicious, Canva]

Elizabeth Harper is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience covering consumer technology and entertainment. In addition to writing for Techlicious, she's Editorial Director of Blizzard Watch and is published on sites all over the web including Time, CBS, Engadget, The Daily Dot and DealNews.


Facebook, Computers and Software, Computer Safety & Support, Tips & How-Tos, Privacy

Discussion loading


From Acinna malla on June 20, 2021 :: 6:42 pm

Can u plsss deleted my old account honeylou allam Its been a years i didnt use i no longer have all tge acces on that account i cant use it anymore and i wanted to protect my daughters privacy thank u..🙏🙏


My facebook account has been hacked

From KAILASH DULEY on July 05, 2021 :: 12:37 am

My Facebook account has been hacked. When I try to login it’s showing me that the password is incorrect and it’s changed. Then I also tried forget password. but the hacker has also changed the phone number and email from the account. That’s why I totally lost my access. So I want to delete my account please help me


Here's what to do

From Josh Kirschner on July 05, 2021 :: 8:54 am


deleating my old Facebook accounts.

From m Nelson Pabai on July 06, 2021 :: 12:24 pm

Can you please help me delete all my old Facebook accounts.


Hi , can you please

From Mayo kamara on September 01, 2021 :: 4:17 am

Hi , can you please delete my old Facebook account because i can’t long in there anymore i have forgotten the email and the password



From gorata on September 09, 2021 :: 2:37 pm

PLEASE delete my account -Webster Gluv (Gluv) because somebody logged in with it and i cant change my password because i dont have the cellphone number i created with….please help me ..


Fake profile

From Shaylynn Sutton on September 12, 2021 :: 3:17 pm

I have my old account that some on is scamming on. They are using my is on this profile. I would like to try to recover this profile but this person changed the email and password. Please I need help! I have been very uneasy since my infonhas been bladed all over this profile.


Please removed my old facebook account

From Angel Agner on September 20, 2021 :: 1:52 am

Please removed my old facebook account Angel Agner,someone hacking FB account


My Facebook account has been locked

From Gandham Prakash on October 23, 2021 :: 3:54 am

My Facebook account has been locked


Facebook account has been locked

From Gandham Prakash on October 23, 2021 :: 3:56 am

My Facebook account has been locked


Have two Facebook accounts

From Luke Manuela on October 29, 2021 :: 7:45 pm

How do I delete my two old accounts with no without old phone number or email??


We have an article on how to do that

From Josh Kirschner on October 31, 2021 :: 9:17 pm

We have an article that covers deleting old Facebook accounts when you can’t log in. Your options are limited, but there are a couple of tricks that may work for you. Read the linked story to get the steps.


Please delete my Facebook account

From Brandon keith good on November 04, 2021 :: 4:04 pm

My face has been hacked and taken over and I have no access to it it’s been over three years now and they posted things that’s not me and is embarrassing please help me when this matter thanks
My new email is [redacted] to reach me thanks


I need all facebook deleted please

From Jimmy silkwood on December 22, 2021 :: 9:45 pm

I have people messing with it I need it permanently removed PLEASE


Hi my Facebook account

From Marceline Goodwin on January 31, 2022 :: 1:32 pm

Hi my Facebook account is hacked and my email address is remove from my Facebook account please help me block that Facebook i cant log i


Delete all my facebook account plz

From Patrick perrang on September 20, 2022 :: 7:12 pm

My facebook account is hacked on that number [personal info redacted] and i cant locked in they putting fake forex trading on that account please delete and [personal info redacted] delete all plz


I have several profiles none are me please delete them

From Martinique brouard on July 21, 2023 :: 5:39 pm

I was hacked and people are using my information please


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