How to Block Searches of Your Facebook Profile

Prevent unwanted searches of you on Facebook to stay more private

What to Know

  • On Facebook.com, select the down-arrow > Settings & Privacy > Settings > Privacy.
  • Find the How People Find and Contact You section to customize your profile search settings.
  • In the app, tap Menu > Settings & Privacy > Settings > How People Find and Contact You.

This article explains how to change your Facebook privacy settings to limit who can look you up 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.

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

You can customize privacy settings from Facebook.com in a web browser or via the Facebook mobile app. Here's how to control who can find you on the web:

  1. Select the down arrow in the upper-right corner and choose Settings & Privacy.

    Down arrow and Settings & Privacy highlighted on Facebook.com
  2. Select Settings from the drop-down menu.

    Settings highlighted on Facebook.com
  3. Select Privacy from the menu on the left.

    Privacy settings highlighted on Facebook.com
  4. Scroll down to 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 types of searches.
    • Who can look you up using the phone number you provided? Choose Friends, Friends of friends, or Only Me to limit these types of searches.
    • Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile? Select Edit and uncheck Allow search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile.
    How People Find and Contact You section in Facebook privacy settings

    If you turn off permission to allow search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile, you might have to wait a while 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.

Control Privacy Settings Using the Facebook App

You can also control who can find your profile from the Facebook app:

  1. Tap the Menu icon from the bottom menu (iOS) or top menu (Android).

  2. Tap Settings & Privacy.

  3. Tap Settings.

    Menu, Settings & Privacy, and Settings highlighted in Facebook
  4. Scroll down to the Audience and Visibility section and tap How People Find and Contact You.

  5. Tap one of the options to set your privacy preferences.

    How People Find and Contact You and Privacy settings highlighted in Facebook app

Block Searches for Professional Reasons

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 receive friend requests from your professional connections.

Block Searches for Privacy

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

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

Facebook changes the way they protect and 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.

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.

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