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Facebook is public. Too public. You want to have an account, you want to keep in touch with our friends, but sometimes it goes too far. Do all your friends really have to know about all your other friends? How about some privacy?

Well, true to form, Facebook doesn’t provide too much of it. When it comes to friends, many people wish they could hide certain friends from certain other friends, or hide the fact that they have a mutual friend with someone. This can’t be done.

What can be done, is hiding all your friends from all your friends, or hiding all your friends from some of your friends. One of our readers asked us to show you exactly how this is done. Follow the steps below, and you too will be able to gain just a little more of that precious privacy.

Who Can See What?

At the moment, there are two likely scenarios: either everyone can see your friends list, or only your friends can see your friends list. No matter who can or can’t see your full friends list, though, anyone can see if they have mutual friends with you and also see who they are. This is possible even if they’re not your friends.

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Another possible scenario is that no one can see your friends list, and if that’s the case, you don’t need this tutorial. If you’d like that to be the case but not sure how to do it, keep reading. It’s easy.

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Hiding Your Friends List

If you used to know how to do this, and suddenly can’t find it, it’s not your fault. Facebook keeps changing the way its privacy settings look, and while the most recent change is definitely for the best, it can still get confusing.

To start, you should know that aside from friends, you also have Facebook followers. We’ve told you everything there is to know about Facebook followers The Ins And Outs Of Followers & Following [Weekly Facebook Tips] The Ins And Outs Of Followers & Following [Weekly Facebook Tips] If you're not Facebook friends with a person, how can they see your updates on their home page? If someone is following you, how can you stop them? What is this following thing anyway? Facebook... Read More , so if you’re not sure what they are, read all about it. To sum it up, followers are people who can see only your public posts, if you have any. People can choose to follow without you having to authorize it, and they also become your followers when they ask to be your friends and you ignore them. Friends and followers privacy is controlled from the same spot.

In your profile, click the Friends tab. Once in, click the pen icon on the right, and choose Edit Privacy.

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You’ll now be able to control privacy for both your friends list and followers list. Each one of these can be set to Public, Friends, Only Me, and Custom. It can also be set to a friends list, if you already have one.

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To hide your friends (or followers) list from everyone, choose Only Me. If you choose that, no one will be able to see your full friends list, but people who you have mutual friends with will still be able to see those, so it’s not complete privacy. It’s important to keep that in mind.

If there are only certain friends you want to hide the list from, or certain friends you want to still be able to see the list, that’s possible too. Choose Custom, and specify exactly who you want to be able to see or not see your friends list.

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From here, you can also set the list to be visible to friends of friends, which is broader than just friends, but not quite so public as Public.

If you generally want to hide your friends list, but there’s a substantial group of friends you do want to be able to see it, you don’t have to type in their names one after the other. You can use a friends list. If you’re not sure what those are or how to create one, read all about using and creating Facebook friends 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 . Once you have one set, you can choose to let just those people see your friends (or followers) list by choosing the list from the dropdown menu in the Edit Privacy window.

Checking The Activity Log

There’s one other place where you can control who sees your friends list, and while it should synchronize itself with the method above, it doesn’t hurt to check this one too, just in case. This setting resides in the Activity Log. Not sure what that is? That’s because it’s pretty well hidden.

To access your activity log, click the Privacy Menu button on the top menu bar (the lock icon), click on Who can see my stuff and then click the Use Activity Log link.

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From here you can see all your recent activity on Facebook. Using the sidebar, you can narrow things down and look at specific things. Choose Friends from the sidebar (if you can’t see it, click the MORE link under Photos, Likes and Comments).

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Now make sure that the privacy setting you want truly does appear next to Who can see your friends list? on the top of the page. You can also change it from here, if it’s easier for you.

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If there are other things you’re not sure how to do with Facebook’s newest privacy settings, make sure to read our complete guide 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 .

Are you going to hide your Facebook friends list now?

Image credit: Josh Hallett

  1. Kîš???k A. Rajapaksha
    October 17, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    I'm using a Android Phone. So , I want to Hide Friend List On Android Facebook Mobile App ??

    How Can I do it ?? Are there a any Methods ??

  2. yeshi
    January 8, 2015 at 2:40 am

    I don't want to show my mutual friends to any one is it possible?

  3. C H
    December 22, 2014 at 12:10 am

    I have done everything possible for privacy and I had someone in the comments section of a shared news item visit my FB page and then publicly called me out mentioning my daughter by name. I reported her but I don't expect any protection from FB, they don't care. You have to fight for you privacy all the time and that just shouldn't be. I've deactivated my account and will probably delete it, too,

  4. Louise
    May 30, 2014 at 5:44 am

    I read all the article, but am still unsure of something.

    There is someone I used to be friends with on FB and am no longer friends with. However - I can see mutual friends - but not all of them?? Says we have 9 mutual friends, but only 7 friends show up...how does this work??

  5. Jay
    February 7, 2014 at 7:46 am

    Hello, this may have already been asked and answered elsewhere but I just wanted to clarify once more after reading all these articles. Is it in fact possible to hide one friend from all my other friends by creating a list that includes just that one friend that the others won't see? Or something similar to that? Reason I ask is -- my girlfriend (as a FB friend) had been getting requests from others I friended that she prefers not to get. So I just wanted to know if there was any way that my friends can see my entire friends list but just not see her. May sound like a stretch but any help or answers would be appreciated. Thanks.

    • Yaara L
      February 8, 2014 at 10:55 am

      There's unfortunately no way to do that. You can hide your entire friends list, but people you two have in common will naturally still be able to see she's your friend. You can also hide your entire list from certain people, if you have an idea who'll be bothering her, but you can't hide her and not everyone else.

  6. nasir ashraf
    January 8, 2014 at 4:12 am

    thanks its very useful for me

  7. L.A Sanchez
    December 3, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    great!

  8. Cheryl
    December 3, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Thank you ! One thing I really like about Google+ (actually the ONLY thing I like about it) is that you can have different groups of friends and only the friends in that particular group can see each other. That way you can separate your friends and their postings from your clients and their postings. In Facebook, I do like that we can hide all our friends with only the mutual friends able to see each other. Works for me.

  9. dejan
    December 3, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Great. Just what I've needed

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