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How to make Facebook private

It’s a good idea to start taking advantage of the privacy options available on the platform.

facebook logo with blurred facebook website in background
Image: KnowTechie

Facebook is the most popular social media app in the world, with nearly 2.5 billion users every month. Everyone from your grandma to the neighborhood police station has a page. That’s why it might be a good idea to know how to make your Facebook private.

Depending on how you use Facebook, you may want to keep your profile private. Maybe you don’t want grandma to know about that party you went to last weekend or you simply don’t want strangers seeing what you post.

Whatever the reason, you can make your Facebook profile private so that only your friends see what you post. In fact, Facebook has several privacy options so you can customize what portions of your profile can be seen by non-friends.

We’ll go over the various privacy options that Facebook has and how to enable them. So if you’re looking to go private on Facebook, check out the options below.

What kind of privacy options does Facebook offer?

facebook logo on smartphone screen
Image: Unsplash

Despite the public persona that Facebook, and now Meta, have created, the platform does offer a few substantial privacy options. Users can customize their profiles to create various levels of privacy.

First, users obviously have the option to choose who gets to see their posts. You can make posts viewable to the public, friends, or even just yourself.

READ MORE: How to change your birthday on Facebook

In addition to post privacy, Facebook gives users the option to make their friends list private. By default, any Facebook user can go through the friends list of another user. However, there is a toggle that lets you change this on your own profile.

You can also make certain profile aspects, such as your job, where you live, and relationship status private. These settings can be toggled individually, so you can customize your privacy the way you want.

And lastly, you can block your profile from showing up on search engines. With a public profile, anyone can find your Facebook page through a simple Google search. This setting lets you eliminate that option.

So let’s look at the various options you can use to make Facebook private.

How to choose who sees your Facebook posts on desktop

The first setting that we are going to cover here is how you can adjust who sees your posts. Not only can you change your posts from public to friends only, but you can also choose exactly which friends see your posts.

First, we’ll show how it’s done on a computer:

  1. Log in to Facebook and select the arrow drop-down menu at the top right
facebook computer arrow menu
Screenshot: KnowTechie
  1. Select Settings & Privacy
facebook profile settings privacy computer
Screenshot: KnowTechie
  1. Select Settings
facebook profile settings computer
Screenshot: KnowTechie
  1. Choose the Privacy tab on the left side
facebook settings private tab
Screenshot: KnowTechie
  1. Scroll down and find Who can see your future posts? and click Edit
facebook settings future posts
Screenshot: KnowTechie
  1. Click the drop-down menu at the bottom of this section and choose who can see your posts.
facebook private posts computer
Screenshot: KnowTechie

From that drop-down menu, you can change your posts from being viewable by the public to being viewable only by friends. Additionally, you have the ability to choose exactly which friends see your posts.

Choose the Friends except… option to stop some of your friends from seeing your posts. Or use the Specific friends option to only let a few of your friends see your posts.

facebook specific friends
Screenshot: KnowTechie

And finally, you can also change who sees your past posts retroactively. Below this section, find the Limit the audience for posts you’ve shared with friends of friends or Public? section.

Click Limit Past Posts to apply similar privacy settings for your previous posts.

How to choose who sees your Facebook posts on mobile

And now, we’ll take a look at how you can limit who sees your post through the Facebook app. On mobile, the settings are a little different.

You’ll actually need to make a post to be able to change the privacy setting for future posts. Here’s what you want to do.

  1. In the Facebook mobile app, start a new post
facebook start post mobile
Screenshot: KnowTechie
  1. Use the drop-down menu underneath your name
facebook post private mobile
Screenshot: KnowTechie
  1. Select who you want to see your post then tap Done
facebook who sees post mobile
Screenshot: KnowTechie
  1. Type out your post and tap Post
facebook post mobile
Screenshot: KnowTechie

Now, the default setting for your future posts will be whatever you set it to during this post. You can change the setting whenever you’d like by using the same method.

You can also adjust the setting in the post menu like this on desktop. But changing the setting there won’t change the default that you set on your computer.

Still, this feature makes it easy to adjust the settings on each individual post.

How make your Facebook friends list private

Another privacy option that Facebook offers is the ability to make your friends list private.

If you don’t want people going through your list of friends on the platform, then you’ll want to toggle this privacy setting. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Log in to Facebook and select the arrow drop-down menu at the top right
facebook computer arrow menu
Screenshot: KnowTechie
  1. Select Settings & Privacy
facebook profile settings privacy computer
Screenshot: KnowTechie
  1. Select Settings
facebook profile settings computer
Screenshot: KnowTechie
  1. Choose the Privacy tab on the left side
facebook settings private tab
Screenshot: KnowTechie
  1. Scroll down and click Edit next to Who can see your friends list?
facebook private friend request pc
Screenshot: KnowTechie
  1. Use the drop-down menu to choose who can see your friends list
facebook friend request dropdown computer
Screenshot: KnowTechie

This feature gives you the same options as hiding your posts from certain people. You can make your friends list available to everyone or only your friends. Additionally, you can choose exactly who gets to see the list with the Friends Except and Specific Friends options.

You can also use this How People Find and Contact You section in the Privacy Settings menu to adjust a few other settings. There is a feature that lets you limit who sends you friend requests. You can also block or allow users to find your Facebook profile using your phone number or email address.

How to hide your Facebook profile from search engines on a computer

facebook private search engines
Screenshot: KnowTechie

This is also the section that you will use to block search engines from showing your Facebook profile. Click Edit on the bottom option labeled “Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile?

Just uncheck the box under that option and your Facebook page will be blocked on search engine results. This feature is definitely good to turn on if you want your profile safe from people you don’t know.

How to hide your friends list on Facebook mobile

And now for how to do this on a mobile device. Again, the app may look a little different depending on whether you are using an iPhone or an Android (we’re using a Samsung Galaxy S20 for this guide).

But the steps for finding these settings will be almost identical:

  1. Tap the hamburger menu button in the top right (bottom left on some versions)
facebook hamburger menu mobile
Screenshot: KnowTechie
  1. Tap the cogwheel to open Settings & Privacy
facebook cogwheel menu mobile 1
Screenshot: KnowTechie
  1. Swipe down to the Audience and Visibility section and select How People FInd and Contact You
facebook audience and visibility mobile
Screenshot: KnowTechie
  1. Tap Who can see your friends list
facebook who can see friends list mobile
Screenshot: KnowTechie
  1. Choose the privacy setting that you prefer
facebook friends list private mobile
Screenshot: KnowTechie

Once you choose your preferred option, you can press the back button to go back to your main page. You don’t have to press any extra buttons to confirm the change.

And that’s how you can adjust the privacy of your friends list on Facebook mobile. Again, this page can be used for other privacy measures.

This menu has the same options as the desktop version. You can adjust who can send you friend requests as well as who can find your profile using your email address or phone number.

Hiding your Facebook profile from search engines on mobile

facebook search engines mobile
Screenshot: KnowTechie

And this is the mobile menu that you will want to navigate to hide your profile from search engines. You get to this section in the same way outlined above for making your friends list private.

Just select the bottom option labeled “Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile” and uncheck the box to block your profile from outside search engines.

facebook search engines private mobile
Screenshot: KnowTechie

With that box unchecked, your Facebook profile won’t show up on search engine results. This is a pretty significant extra level of privacy that keeps you protected from third-party visits to your profile.

How to make your Facebook profile info private on desktop

If you decide that you don’t want to make your posts private, you still have the ability to hide some of your profile information.

Various profile information like where you live, where you work, or where you went to school can all be made private through your profile. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Log in to Facebook and click your name in the top left to go to your profile
facebook name profile computer
Screenshot: KnowTechie
  1. Click Edit Details in the Intro column
facebook edit profile details
Screenshot: KnowTechie
  1. Toggle off any of the listed options that you only want friends to see then click Save
facebook profile details menu
Screenshot: KnowTechie

You can also have a little more control over the privacy of this information if you head to the About tab. The About tab shows you every aspect of your profile in a few lists.

facebook profile about settings computer 1
Screenshot: KnowTechie

By clicking the icon next to the three-dot menu for a certain item, you can bring up a more in-depth privacy feature for each option.

facebook select audience private computer
Screenshot: KnowTechie

In addition to making a section private or public, you have the additional option to choose exactly who can see a certain aspect of your profile.

You can build a list using either the Friends except or Specific friends option to choose exactly which friends can see that information.

How to make your Facebook profile information private on mobile

And if you mainly use the Facebook app on your Android or iOS device, don’t worry. You can still edit your profile settings through the mobile app.

Thankfully, it’s just as simple as on a web browser. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Tap your profile picture to head to your profile
facebook profile picture mobile
Screenshot: KnowTechie
  1. Select Edit profile
faecbook edite profile mobile
Screenshot: KnowTechie
  1. Swipe down and select Edit in the Details section
facebook edit private profile details mobile
Screenshot: KnowTechie
  1. Uncheck any boxes for options that you want only friends to see and press Save
facebook save private profile mobile
Screenshot: KnowTechie

And that’s how you adjust the privacy settings for your Facebook profile on mobile. Unfortunately, you don’t have all of the same options available on mobile as you do on desktop.

If you want to use the Friends except or Specific friends option to build specific lists of who can see your profile info, you will have to use a computer and refer to the desktop guide above.

Set your profile up the way you want with Facebook’s privacy settings

Over the years, Facebook’s privacy settings have evolved to become extremely customizable. Now, the platform has tons of privacy settings so you can set up your profile exactly the way you want.

Whether you want to limit who can see your posts or keep people out of your friends list, the options are there. You can hide individual aspects of your profile and even block search engines, like Google, from showing your profile in search results.

Using the guides above, you can be sure that your Facebook profile is as private as you want it to be. At least, private from other users. The only way to stop Facebook itself from gathering up as much data from you as it can is to stop using the platform entirely.

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Contributing writer with a passion for gaming and tech. Probably getting wrecked by some kids in Rocket League.

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