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Facebook is all about connecting with other people and making friends. Yet friend requests are delicate and can quickly get you in trouble with Facebook. While you probably won’t get banned How To Get Banned From Social Networks How To Get Banned From Social Networks The Web has opened up lines of communication that were previously closed for the vast majority of the world. Anyone with an Internet connection can now head online and talk to someone on the other... Read More for inappropriate friend requests, many people have been blocked from adding more friends. And even if it was a mistake, the block cannot be lifted early. It really does help knowing the unwritten rules.

Facebook is complex, and this might be necessary for friend requests. Unfortunately, it’s a tough place for beginners because innocent mistakes can lead to drastic consequences Banned: What Happens When Facebook Doesn't Like You [Feature] Banned: What Happens When Facebook Doesn't Like You [Feature] When I interviewed Mark S. Zuckerberg, I thought that he was a charming, polite guy. When he talked, he did so with a typically Midwestern drawl. He has raised a large family and has a... Read More . So here are a few Facebook friend request tips to help you and people who request your friendship avoid unintentional punishment and generally make the most of all features around Facebook friends.

Basics for Beginners

Here is a little refresher on how to add friends for those of you not too familiar with Facebook. Everyone else, please skip ahead.

You can see all your pending friend requests via the Friends icon in the top right of Facebook.

Clicking the icon will open a menu that shows all pending Friend Requests and a list of People You May Know.

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Click Confirm to add a friend or Not Now to hide a request. The sender won’t be notified.

You can also search people, open their profiles, and if they accept friend requests from the public or friends of friends add them by clicking the +1 Add Friend button located on their profile to the right of their name.

To cancel a friend request, go back to their profile, hover over the button that now reads +1 Friend Request Sent and select Cancel Request from the menu.

You can also remove a friend via their profile or your friends list. Facebook does not notify people if you remove them. However, it is possible to track your friends list with third party tools and receive alerts when people remove you Are You Being Unfollowed? Check With These Apps and Plugins Are You Being Unfollowed? Check With These Apps and Plugins In my opinion, one of the best things Facebook ever did was to let users "unfriend" each other without any notifications. There have been numerous examples where I’ve regretted "friending" someone, and I’ve avoided tons... Read More .

And with that you know all the basics about Facebook friend requests. Except that you should

Connect Before You Add Someone

Facebook wants you to add only people you know in real life. If your friend requests frequently remain unanswered or even if just one person reports your friend request as unwanted, Facebook may conclude that you have sent friend requests that violate their Community Standards, especially the point addressing bullying and harassment. As a result, you will be blocked from sending friend requests for a period of time.

To avoid being blocked from adding friends, follow these guidelines:

  • make it easy for people to recognize you, i.e. use your photo and real name
  • try to add only people who you have mutual Facebook friends with
  • send your desired contact a message introducing yourself before you add them

In other words: don’t look like a fake account How To Spot a Fake Facebook Account & Stay Safe [Weekly Facebook Tips] How To Spot a Fake Facebook Account & Stay Safe [Weekly Facebook Tips] According to a fairly recent estimate by Facebook, there are around 83 million fake accounts on the social network. Sure, a few of these are duplicate accounts or businesses using personal accounts instead of pages,... Read More , don’t be a stranger, and don’t add random strangers!

Add Friends Conservatively

You will often want to add a new friend immediately, even though you don’t have mutual friends on Facebook. And it might be more awkward to send a message first than to add them directly. That’s cool. Just be sure you don’t add too many people without common friends at once.

If you don’t know someone, just want to know what they post to Facebook, and if there is an option to follow them, give that preference over adding them as a friend. This allows you to see what they are up to, but your Timeline is not shard with them.

Review Hidden Friend Requests

Facebook doesn’t immediately delete friend requests that you choose not to confirm. When you click the Not Now button, the request is merely hidden. You can see all hidden requests on your Friend Requests page. Here you can either confirm or delete requests. The sender won’t be notified.

If you delete a request, Facebook will ask whether you know that person outside of Facebook. Keep in mind that if you select No, the person may be penalized. And that person won’t be able to send you another friend request.

Block Friend Requests from Strangers

Facebook allows you to limit who can send you friend requests. Applying the limitation will keep those strangers desperate to connect with you out of trouble. From the Friend Requests menu in the top right, click Settings and choose Everyone or Friends of Friends from the drop-down menu.

Alternatively, open Privacy Shortcuts Make Sure You're Secure With Facebook's New Privacy Settings - A Complete Guide Make Sure You're Secure With Facebook's New Privacy Settings - A Complete Guide Facebook also means two other things: frequent changes and privacy concerns. If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Facebook, is that they’re not really concerned about what we like or our privacy. Nor should they... Read More from the top right (next to Home button), expand Who can contact me? and choose Everyone or Friends of Friends under Who can send me friend requests?

Review Friend Requests You Have Sent

Click the Privacy Shortcut button in the top right (next to Home button), expand Who can see my stuff? and click Use Activity Log.

On your Activity Log page, click MORE underneath Comments to expand all Facebook sections. Click Friends. You can now browse all activities related to adding, accepting, and removing friends.

Decide Who Can See Your Friends List and Friend Activity

In the Friends Activity Log described above, you can further refine your privacy settings by choosing who can see your friends list and where your friend activity will show up. Click the respective icons in the top right of the Friends Activity Log and choose your settings. By deselecting every option for where your friend activity can show up, you can effectively friend someone and hide it from your status updates.

For more tips on how to guard your Facebook privacy, see this article on how to hide your personal information How To Hide Your Personal Information On Facebook How To Hide Your Personal Information On Facebook In the age of the Internet, privacy is a luxury and you have to constantly be on your heels to maintain it. Facebook makes it particularly hard for users to guard their personal data. Despite... Read More .


Friend requests on Facebook are inherently awkward. Whether you add your best friend, someone you know from school, your mom, or your boss, everyone is your friend. Well, obviously not! And Facebook does acknowledge that there are different qualities among your contacts, which is why they offer default lists Using Facebook Friends Lists For Interests Or Circles [Facebook Hack Or Tip Of The Week] Using Facebook Friends Lists For Interests Or Circles [Facebook Hack Or Tip Of The Week] Is Facebook driving you crazy? Most people who use Facebook generally view the home feed in its unfiltered form, which means they're seeing updates from friends, acquaintances and pages all lumped in together and shown... Read More like close friends, family, and acquaintances.

Unfortunately, you cannot add a custom message along with a friend request. It would give you the chance to explain why you want to add that person as a friend. So if they don’t remember you or disapprove of your approach, they will most likely deny your friend request; without any explanation of course and Facebook won’t even notify you. Instead, Facebook may block you from adding further friends. Thus it’s worth being careful with your friend requests.

Do you have a policy for adding friends and have you ever had issues with friend requests?

  1. Latoya
    October 16, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    I'm confused

    today over 2,000 people added me on fb. I saw most were friends of friends and others I recognized from an event. some seemed like strangers but you never know; so I just thought I should confirm all and worry about their intentions later..

    I confirmed the first 2000 (a tiring process I admit) but I got warning from FB with that code window. I canceled the window and continued confirming requests. Later the warning came again telling me I could be blocked. I was not sending any requests, I'm just confirming so I don't understand why I'm wrong here.

    I cannot find any answers on my situation but I wanted to confirm the requests as the come otherwise now I have over 1,000 pending requests I cannot start confirming them one-by-one. besides I worry fb will block me for confirming. please advise. thx

    • Tina Sieber
      October 16, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      Are you famous or something? Maybe you need a page for all your fans. :)

      • LatoyaThea
        October 19, 2016 at 12:32 am

        thx for response.

        haha no I'm not famous or something; just in Asia many people use fb, friends of friends of friends etc i suspect someone posted my fb on former college or event thats why the sudden multitude. I admit I dont remember most of them adding but some could be touchy i dont wanna offend anyone so I continued accepting, over 3,000 accepted in the past 2 days, still about 900 (keeps increasing) remaining but no time to continue.

        However I notice FB shows the warning only if confirming very fast like I did before. If confirming slow (e.g 1 per second), no warning. Why fb does not create an option to accept all at once? Also it says "Too many friend requests? Turn On Follow", does this mean I will not approve the followers? and if I notice followers who are real friends, can I convert them to friends? thx much for help

        • Tina Sieber
          October 19, 2016 at 2:05 pm

          Thank you for the update, Latoya.

          People can choose to follow you if you enable this option, but they can still ask to friend you. If you would like to convert a follower to a friend, you have to send them a friend request I believe.

          Good luck!

  2. angel
    October 15, 2016 at 4:13 am

    can other friends see when someone sends you a friend request

    • Tina Sieber
      October 16, 2016 at 10:48 am

      Not that I know of. However, they can see when a friend request is accepted.

  3. Rob
    June 21, 2016 at 7:07 am

    its annoying since I sent an friend request to someone I know in real life, like from the christen friday's bible study and also from the saltworks school club , but it seems that my friend request was blocked either by that old friend or facebook itself, can't message that person either to remind them where I know them from, since it been a few years since I went to it since moving towns etc..

  4. Louise
    June 7, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    I received a friend request from someone whose name I did not recognize and I declined it. The next day, through messenger, I found out she was my 4th grade friend and we lived on the same block and went to the same school. So now I want to friend her but FB won't let her send another request or let me even find her in search friends. Is there nothing we can do to connect now?

    • Tina Sieber
      June 8, 2016 at 2:00 am

      Can you find each other with your direct profile URLs?

  5. ben burton
    May 30, 2016 at 12:12 am

    Seems to me we, at one time, could add a mssg to our FR acceptance. I came here for that reason? All I see to do is click "accept." No mssg. Anyone?

  6. Paul
    May 28, 2016 at 10:09 pm


    I think I have inadvertently sent a friend request to someone I don't know personally but know of, while I looked into her FB page. I did not mean to send any request!
    Now, I think she blocked me.

    I looked through my friend requests in order to revoke it but it's not there.

    Does anyone know if we can still see a friend request among the sent requests (and revoke it) when the person blocked you?


  7. Brenda
    May 25, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    I am admin to a group and on Member Requests I guess some have removed request. I don't seem to be able to: Approve/Ignore/Block them as request is no longer available. HOW do I get them OFF the list? Thank you

  8. JW
    May 23, 2016 at 1:10 am

    I rarely logon facebook (don't use it for anything) but when I do, I get "friend requests" from people I know (and don't object to adding) but I don't know (and cant seem to find out) if this is actually something these people initiated or if this is facebook meddling, trying to get me to add someone because *facebook* thinks I should for whatever reason? (Ditto about chat windows popping up). Can anyone answer that?

    • Tina Sieber
      May 23, 2016 at 10:36 am

      Friendship requests and private messages are generally genuine. Obviously, only accept requests and respond to messages of people you know; you can ignore the rest.

      • JW
        May 23, 2016 at 7:12 pm

        Thanks for replying, Tina. So when I see a Friend Request on Facebook or in my Email, I can know it's actually coming from the person named and not Facebook trying to get us to connect since we went to the same high school or something.

        Can I ask about the "chat" windows that pop up in the lower right with 1-more people's names and a time like '1h' or '34m'. Is that someone actually requesting to chat with me or just Facebook telling me they are online in case I want to chat with them? And if the latter, how do I get it to go away? Thanks again.

        • Tina Sieber
          May 23, 2016 at 7:20 pm

          I'd be careful with emails, those could be faked by spammers. But Facebook does send you email updates (you can turn that off somewhere in the settings). If you see friend requests inside Facebook, yes, that person found you and would like to connect.

          The chat windows you describe are also initiated by users and people can add you to a group message, which looks the same as a 1-on-1 message. You should see the messages.

          Regarding the 1h or 34m, I'm not sure what exactly you're seeing, but I'd guess that's the time that has passed since the message was sent. Or it might be the time since the person was last active.

        • JW
          May 23, 2016 at 7:46 pm

          Good...knowing that will make me more comfortable with Facebook. Thanks again!

      • ben burton
        May 30, 2016 at 12:12 am

        I always check their page/wall. If I see pics of a bunch of friends and LEGITIMATE posts going back several years, I know it isn't fake. Clones who send requests are easy as heck to spot. But, if they block the view of their info, even if I think I might know them, I don't accept.

  9. Taylor
    May 18, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    I want nothing to do with anybody who uses Facebook. Which is EVERYBODY. People I thought I like I actually don't like when I find that what they do most is "share". I have since unfollowed them and deselected "Get Notifications". Facebook encourages people to stop being friends. Also Facebook is certainly not a way to reconnect with somebody. People are more likely to deny a friend request, and they will also click "Mark as Spam", despite Facebook's entire purpose is to spam. Once they deny the request then you cannot send a request ever again. To avoid people deleting the request, I like to send a message along with it. BUT There is no way to send a message along with the friend request, and no way to contact the person. Sometimes the message button is gone. The rest of the time it goes into "Message Requests" folder. I have no idea if people check this or not. I assume they DO, because it really isn't that hard to find. One person I messaged "Do you remember me?" She replied "Yes" about a month later. Also I really hate it when people have multiple Facebook accounts, at least FOUR of them! I am not going to keep up with those accounts, and frankly How Do YOU Keep up with them?! I don't know how other people use Facebook. Do they check the Friend Request Light, the Messages (envelope) light, and the Notifications (globe) light? Do they just scroll down their news feed and timeline? And why is there no way to click "Not Now" any more?! One time I did not feel like approving requests at the moment so I clicked the Friend Request light and then I clicked it again and then the light turned off and stayed off. It wasn't long that "Confirm Friend Request" links started popping up all over the place where Group Suggestions normally would be. The only choices were "Confirm" and and X. What would have happened if I cliked the X?! And what does "Mobile" and "App" facebook look like?! The last time I used it, the Pending Friend Requests light was gone?!

    The last time It is very sad that people usually use "phones" to access their facebooks, Phones come with a number. USE THAT. And you have to use your phone number or an Email address to sign up for facebook. USE THE EMAIL INSTEAD. But people spend much more time on "Social" networking. I guess there isn't any "fun" games nor things to "share" with phones and emails.

    Facebook won't ever go away. I remember when everybody was on Twitter all the time but now they all stopped and went back to Facebook. And make Instagram go away also.

  10. Crystal Reese
    April 17, 2016 at 2:31 am

    If I hit "cancel" on a request somebody sends to me (I thought I didn't know the person but then realized it was a friend of a friend who was trying to introduce me) how do I send another request? It is not letting me or the other person send a request now.

    • Taylor
      May 18, 2016 at 10:22 pm

      Exactly. It is Facebook's new way of pitting people against each other.

  11. efi
    March 24, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    I have an iphone 6. Somehow the facebook applicaton doesn't show the friend requests icon anymore... it is gone! how can I get it back?

    • Taylor
      May 18, 2016 at 10:29 pm

      I have this same problem.

  12. rhonda
    March 7, 2016 at 4:27 am

    Been trying to refriend a person I unfriended, who says they haven't blocked or unfriended me, however I can't refriend them and don't understand all this technicol stuff if fb hasn't blocked me why can't I refriend its been 2 or more months?

    • Taylor
      May 18, 2016 at 10:25 pm

      Once you unfriend somebody, you cannot add them again.

  13. SirHuddlestonFuddleston
    February 16, 2016 at 4:49 am

    Jesus, you're sending friend requests, not borrowing money. You send a friend request to somebody you knew in high school, and you can't say "you don't remember me, but?" What bullshit. It doesn't limit their options. You make it sound like customizing your friend request (i.e. sounding like a human being, instead of somebody randomly clicking, for Christ's sake) is imposing on somebody. This is why I'd rather connect on Linked In -- I don't have to feel dirty using it.

  14. Kelton Lee Hawkins
    October 11, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    My Gf blocked me about a week ago, then unblocked me the next day. Since then we can talk, but are unable to send each other friend requests. Any help would be greatly needed. We have alraedy made sure we havent blocked each other from sending the rquests.

    • Myke Folkes
      November 29, 2015 at 1:29 am

      I'm having a similar problem, although we didn't block or remove each other, and now we are unable to add each other back!

  15. nina
    May 14, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    When it says ''To see what they share with friends, send them a friend request.'' Does this imply 2 people?

  16. Anonymous
    May 1, 2015 at 5:53 am

    Type your response here

  17. pat benson
    January 29, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    a while ago I unfriended my sister and her friend. Is there a way to friend them again?

    • Taylor
      May 18, 2016 at 10:27 pm


  18. Anonymous
    December 31, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    OK so I deleted my friends message by mistake and fbook won't let me get it back so I sent afreind request and they won't let me do that either I do know this person and I really would want this freindplease could you notify me by a message I stead of email thankyoh

  19. Zhyar
    December 13, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    I can't choose to use friends activity log on my iPhone.

  20. Banned
    October 3, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    I just got blocked for sending a friend request to someone with 41 mutual friends I'm thinking of leaving

  21. hasan
    June 9, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Very informative article. But to get easily the pending friends request i would like to follow this nice article Which help me to solve to remove all pending request. This method is more easy rather then going to find from activity log. Thanks for nice share to the writer and really helpful to me.

    • Tom Sisson
      July 28, 2013 at 5:49 am

      The article at simply points you to a Facebook app not written by Facebook that you need authorize to access your account. The app writers may have good intentions, but the links to the terms of service and privacy information redirect you to authorize the application. This may be unintentional, but it is at least questionable.

  22. Thomas Lessman
    April 24, 2013 at 6:21 am

    I used to think that Facebook would be a great company and service. Unfortunately experience has taught me that some of world's laziest, most ignorant & moronic people were given the power to design the service. I honestly would like to see Zuckerberg get physically smacked around. 5 times I've been hit with a "ban in sending friends requests". The pieces of shut who run facebook never bother to tell you why, recently for a pathetically genetic "you violated our terms of service".

  23. suneo nobi
    April 20, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Nice and useful tips!!

  24. Daniel Escasa
    April 19, 2013 at 8:04 am

    I've share this on FB, LinkedIn, and Google Plus, and I've set G+ up so my status updates wind up on Twitter. I've pointed to the relevance of the "Connect Before You Add Someone" section on those other networks.

    Pay attention in particular to the 3rd bullet point: "[S]end your desired contact a message introducing yourself before you add them." Here on LinkedIn, avoid the generic "I'd like to add you to my network" message. Take time to customize your intro, e.g., cite a common contact, mention where you first met, and the like.

    At least, on G+, you don't have to add anyone who follows you if you don't know them, so the concept of "adding a friend" does not exist on G+. Still, if you think you'd like a mutual connection, the suggestion on an intro still holds

    • Tina Sieber
      April 21, 2013 at 7:56 pm

      Yeah, G+ removes the whole awkwardness of adding people. If someone isn't in your Circle, i.e. if *you* haven't added them, you won't share anything with them, unless you post it to the public. Yet they can share with you as much as they want...and you don't have to see it if you don't want to. That's genius!

  25. Facebook User
    April 19, 2013 at 5:22 am

    If you send a message to someone who is not your friend, Facebook puts it in the "Other" in-box like spam and not your usual in-box. Most people don't know such an in-box exists and never check it.

    • Scott M
      April 21, 2013 at 2:11 am

      The more I read about the privacy issues with Facebook the less I wish to use it.I put nothing personal on my page and only use it to recommend sites to friends with similar tastes.

    • Tina Sieber
      April 21, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      Good point! You can actually pay to have the message sent directly to their regular inbox.

      • Dakota
        August 28, 2013 at 2:33 pm

        Ah! So that's how you can avoid being blocked by adding too many! That really sucks. It's not that social then at all, its all about capitalism. I hate posers!

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