When Facebook introduced Timeline last year, the first reactions were mixed. Many people who tried it, quickly wanted to get rid of it again. The trouble was that once you had converted, there was no way back. Until some clever coders offered tools that would allow you to view Facebook without the Timeline. Now the tide is turning and many people come to us for advice on how to get their Timeline back.
If you are one of those who now want to switch to the Timeline view, this troubleshooting guide is made for you. Together we will figure out whether you have enabled the Timeline in the first place, or what exactly you did to get rid of it, and how you can undo that. And if none of the advice works, you can always ask for help in the comments.
By the way, if you are looking for a way to do the opposite, i.e. remove the Timeline, just apply your smartest brain cells and reverse engineer this guide to disable the Facebook Timeline.
How To Get Timeline?
First, let’s see whether you have Timeline already. Log into your Facebook account, then visit the Introducing Timeline website. At the bottom of the website, you should see a navigation bar. In the very right of that bar, there is a button that says Get Timeline. Click it, then click on your own name anywhere on Facebook or go to facebook.com/your-user-name (your Facebook Wall) to check whether you can now see your profile in the Timeline view.
Alternatively, log into Facebook, click the little down button in the top right next to Home and select Enable Timeline.
Note that your Facebook Wall (where you see the Timeline) is not the same as your Facebook News Feed, i.e. what you see when you go to Facebook.com while you are logged in! To see your Wall and hopefully the Timeline, click on your name in the top left of your Facebook News Feed.
Problem: Facebook says I already have the Timeline, but I cannot see it!
If you cannot push the Get Timeline button, you already have Timeline. This is the case for me, as shown in the screenshot below.
If you cannot see your Timeline, even though Facebook claims you have already upgraded your profile to Timeline, try to find out how you disabled it.
How Did You Disable the Timeline?
So Facebook claims you already have the Timeline, yet you cannot see it. Unless something is terribly broken, there essentially is only one way in which you could have disabled the Timeline, which is using a browser add-on. So let’s see whether that is the case for you.
To check whether it is a browser add-on, log into Facebook using a browser you don’t typically use. For example, if you usually log into Facebook with Firefox, use Internet Explorer or Chrome or Safari instead. If you can see the Timeline in another browser, you most likely used an add-on with your standard Facebook browser to disable the Timeline. Proceed to the Solutions.
If you cannot see the Timeline in any of your installed browsers, chances are, something else is going on. Try to log into Facebook from a friend’s computer who can see the Timeline on their Facebook Wall. If you still cannot see your Timeline, you probably installed a Facebook app to remove the Timeline.
If you can see your Timeline on another computer, but not on your own, regardless of what browser you try, I’m stumped. To my knowledge, there is no application that removes the Timeline for your entire computer. However, you could try to check all browsers, maybe you installed Timeline Remove add-ons for all of them.
Solutions: Manage Browser Add-Ons
If you figured out in the previous step that you most likely disabled your Timeline using a browser add-on, re-enabling your Timeline is as easy as disabling or removing the respective add-on. Below are instructions for different browsers and add-ons.
This is the most popular browser add-on used to disable the Facebook Timeline. You actually don’t have to uninstall it to re-enable your Timeline. Instead you can switch between enabling and disabling the Timeline. When this add-on is installed in Chrome and possibly on other browsers, you should see a ‘white t on blue’ button in your list of enabled extensions to the right of the Omni / Search bar. Simply click this button and click the status to enable or disable TimeLine Remove.
While TimeLine Remove doesn’t seem to work with the latest version of Firefox, it does still work with Chrome and it is also available for Internet Explorer (not tested) and Safari (not tested).
This browser plugin is available for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera. It allows you to customize Facebook in a number of ways and one feature includes removing the Timeline. If you have it installed, you can enable or disable the Timeline, by clicking the TL (green letters with or without red X) next to the Facebook search bar. Alternatively, you can also disable or remove the browser add-on entirely.
Greasemonkey is a browser add-on that allows you to customize how you see websites, including Facebook. If you installed a Greasemonkey script to adjust how you see Facebook, you can undo these changes by removing the respective script. Please find instructions how to manager your Greasemonkey user scripts here.
Faking User Agent to Make Facebook Think You Are Using Internet Explorer 7
Maybe you used a more or less manual trick to disable the Facebook Timeline, which is not available in Internet Explorer 7. This trick is explained in detail on Techie Buzz. Simply reverse the steps for your browser to undo the changes.
Internet Explorer 8 and 9
- Open Internet Explorer.
- Click the Tools button and select Manage add-ons.
- Click the add-on type Toolbars and Extensions.
- Find the add-on that disables your Timeline, right-click it and either choose Disable or Remove.
- Close Manage Add-ons, restart Internet Explorer and enjoy your Timeline.
- Open Firefox.
- Click the Firefox button in the top left and select Add-ons from the menu.
- Make sure Extensions are selected in the left-hand sidebar of the Add-ons tab.
- Scroll through the list of extensions and Disable or Remove the add-on that disables your Timeline.
- Click the Restart now link that shows up and subsequently enjoy your Timeline.
- Open Chrome.
- Click the Wrench icon in the top right and select > Tools > Extensions.
- Scroll through the list of extensions and either uncheck Enabled or click the Trash icon.
- This should work without restarting Chrome.
If you are using another browser, e.g. Safari or Opera, please query Google for instructions on how to disable or remove add-ons.
Last Resort: Remove Facebook App
In case none of the solutions above worked for you, your last resort is to check whether you used a Facebook App to remove your Timeline.
- Log into Facebook and go to App Settings.
- Browse the list of apps for the one that disables your Timeline.
- Once you found it click the X in the far right to remove it.
- Clear your browser cache, restart your browser and enjoy your Timeline.
Do you know of other ways to reclaim the Facebook Timeline or have you not been able to enable it despite following all suggestions above? Please share your experiences in the comments for others to learn and help. Thank you!