How to Block Searches of Your Facebook Profile

Prevent unwanted searches of you on Facebook to stay more private

No entry sign appearing out of laptop computer
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As a Facebook user, you can control how people find and contact you. Your privacy settings not only limit who can send you friend requests, but also who can look you up and find you via your email address, phone number or even a Google search of your name.

There's currently no privacy setting that allows you to prevent your profile listing from showing up in Facebook search results. So if someone searches for you by typing your name or any additional personal information they might know about you in Facebook's search field, your profile listing could potentially still appear.

Why Block Searches of Your Facebook Profile?

If the same email address or phone number that you use for your Facebook account is used often for, say, professional purposes, you might want to prevent any professional connections you make from finding you on Facebook. This might especially be the case if you use Facebook mainly for personal reasons and don't want to be receiving friend requests from any professional connections.

Likewise, if you're some kind of online influencer or high-profile individual, you not want to be receiving Facebook friend requests or messages from people you don't know. If your public email address/phone number is associated with your Facebook account, or if your Facebook profile can easily be found in search engines, then you'll make it easier for fans and followers to try to connect with you via your Facebook profile.

Even if neither of the two scenarios explained above apply to you, it can be a good idea to limit your Facebook searchability just as an extra privacy precaution on the off chance that someone does try to search for you via email, phone number, Google or other search engine.

How to Limit Searches of Your Facebook Profile via Email Address, Phone Number and Search Engine Searches

You can customize these privacy settings from Facebook.com in a web browser or via the Facebook mobile app. Instructions are provided for both below, but only screenshots of Facebook.com are included.

  1. Navigate to Facebook.com in a web browser or open the Facebook app on your mobile device and sign into (or switch to) your account, if necessary.

  2. On the web, select the down arrow in the top right of the screen and then select Settings from the dropdown menu.

    A screenshot of Facebook.com.

    On the app, tap the menu icon from the bottom menu (iOS) or top menu (Android), scroll down to tap Settings & Privacy > Settings.

  3. On the web, select Privacy from the vertical menu on the left.

    A screenshot of Facebook.com.

    On the app, scroll down to the Privacy section and tap Privacy Settings.

  4. On both the web and the app, look for the How People Find and Contact You section. You can customize the following search settings:

  • Who can look you up using the email address you provided? Choose Friends, Friends of friends or Only Me to limit these type of searches.
  • Who can look you up using the phone number you provided? Choose Friends, Friends of friends or Only Me to limit these type of searches.
  • Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile? On the web, select Edit and uncheck the box labeled Allow search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile. On the app, tap the button so it's turned off.
A screenshot of Facebook.com.

If you turn off permission to allow search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile, you might have to wait a little for it to go into effect. Your profile might still be searchable in search engines for a period of time after you turn this setting off.

Recommended: Limit Who Can Send You Friend Requests

If you're serious about preventing strangers or unwanted people from sending you friend requests, you might want to consider blocking people who aren't mutual friends of your current friends from doing so.

You can do this from the same section where you customized the above privacy settings (under How People Find and Contact You in Privacy/Privacy Settings). Change Who can send you friend requests? from Everyone to Friends of friends.

So if you come up in Facebook search results when someone you don't know searches for your name or other personal information, they won't be able to send you a friend request unless they're already friends with at least one of your friends.

Facebook changes the way they protect and/or share your personal information on a regular basis, often without prior notification. It's up to you, the user, to make sure that your Facebook search settings are set to the level of privacy and security that you are comfortable with.