How to Block Strangers From Finding You on Facebook

Make yourself invisible in Facebook searches

Facebook offers privacy settings that let you control your level of visibility on the social media platform. Depending on how much privacy you want, use these settings to control who sees your posts or presence on Facebook. Here's how to not let anyone find you on Facebook by customizing your settings so that you don't show up in a Facebook search.

This information covers customizing your Facebook privacy and visibility with Facebook on a desktop as well as in the Facebook mobile app.

How to Adjust Who Can See Your Facebook Posts

Facebook lets you make your posts as visible or invisible as you like. Here's how to adjust who can see your Facebook posts.

Using Facebook on a Desktop Computer in a Web Browser

  1. On your Facebook home page, select the Account icon (the down arrow) in the upper-right corner.

    The Account icon on Facebook
  2. Select Settings & Privacy.

    Settings & Privacy in Facebook
  3. Select Settings.

    Settings on Facebook
  4. From the left menu pane, select Privacy.

    The Privacy tab in Settings
  5. Go the Your Activity section, then, next to Who can see your future posts?, select Edit.

    The default setting is Friends.

    The Edit link next to "Who can see your future posts?" on Facebook
  6. Select the Friends (or your current setting) drop-down arrow.

    Select the drop-down arrow next to Friends (or your current setting).
  7. Select Public to allow anyone on or off Facebook to see your posts.

    Select Public to allow anyone on or off Facebook to see your posts.
  8. Select Friends to allow all your Facebook friends to see your posts.

    Select Friends to allow all your Facebook friends to see your posts.
  9. Select Friends except to block specific friends from seeing your posts. Select the minus sign next to the name of the friend you want to block.

    The Minus sign
  10. Select Save Changes when you're done choosing friends.

    The Save Changes button
  11. Select Only me to hide posts from everyone except yourself.

    Select Only me to hide posts from everyone except yourself.
  12. Select More to choose Specific friends, which allows you to choose who sees your posts, or Custom, which allows you to include or exclude certain friends.

    Select More for more options
  13. After you make your adjustments, select Close in the upper-right corner of the Your Activity window.

    To restrict access to previous posts, go to Privacy > Your Activity. Next to Limit the audience for posts you've shared with friends of friends or Public?, select Limit Past Posts and follow the prompts.

Using the Facebook Mobile App

It's also easy to modify who can see your posts if you use the Facebook mobile app for iOS or Android.

  1. Open the Facebook app on your mobile device.

  2. Tap the Facebook icon at the bottom-center of the screen.

  3. Scroll down and tap Settings & Privacy.

  4. Tap Settings.

    Privacy settings on the Facebook app
  5. Scroll down to Privacy and tap Privacy Settings.

  6. Under Your Activity, tap Who can see your future posts?

  7. Tap Try it now to launch a new post.

    Setting who can see your future posts in the Facebook app
  8. Tap Friends (or your previous setting) under your name.

  9. On the Edit Audience page, under Who can see your post?, tap the circle next to Public, Friends, Friends except, Only me, or More > Specific Friends.

  10. Tap Done when you've made your selection. You've set who can see your future posts.

    Making a post visible just to yourself in the Facebook app

    To limit who can see your past posts, go to Privacy Settings > Your Activity and tap Limit who can see past posts.

Adjust How People Can Find You and Contact You

Facebook allows you to set boundaries on who can find you, send you messages, and access your Facebook profile. Adjust these settings to make yourself as open or invisible as you like.

Adjust Your Visibility Using Facebook on the Desktop

  1. On your Facebook home page, select the Account icon (the down arrow) in the upper-right corner.

    The Account icon on Facebook
  2. Select Settings & Privacy.

    Settings & Privacy in Facebook
  3. Select Settings.

    Settings on Facebook
  4. From the left menu pane, select Privacy.

    The Privacy tab in Settings
  5. Under Privacy Settings and Tools, go to How People Find and Contact You, then select Edit next to Who can send you friend requests?

    The Edit link next to "Who can send you friend requests?" on Facebook

    The default is Friends of friends.

  6. Select the drop-down arrow next to Friends of friends (or your current setting).

    Select the drop-down arrow next to Friends of Friends (or your current setting).
  7. Select Everyone to allow anyone to send you a friend request, or keep the default Friends of friends setting. Select Close after you make a selection.

    Select Everyone to allow anyone to send you a friend request, or keep the default Friends of friends setting.
  8. Next to Who can look you up using the email address you provided?, select Edit.

    Edit next to "Who can look you up using the email address you provided" on Facebook

    The default is Friends.

  9. Select the Friends (or your current setting) drop-down arrow.

    Select the drop-down arrow next to Friends (or your current setting).
  10. Select Everyone, Friends of friends, Friends, or Only Me. Select Close after you make a selection.

    Select Everyone, Friends of friends, Friends, or Only Me.

    Select Only me for the highest privacy level.

  11. Next to Who can look you up using the phone number you provided?, select Edit.

    Edit next to "Who can look you up using the phone number you provided" in Facebook
  12. Select the Only Me (or your current setting) drop-down arrow.

    Select the drop-down arrow next to Only me (or your current setting).
  13. Select Everyone, Friends of friends, Friends, or Only me. Select Close after you make a selection.

    Select phone number visibility options

    Select Only me for the highest privacy level.

  14. Next to Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile?, select Edit.

    The Edit option next to "Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile" on Facebook
  15. Clear the Allow search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile check box if you want search engines to stop linking to your profile. Tap Turn off in the warning box to confirm. Select Close after you make your selection.

    Uncheck the box next to Allow search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile

    If you adjusted your privacy settings and a stranger or undesirable person contacts you, consider blocking that person on Facebook to eliminate any chance of future contact.

Adjust Your Visibility Using the Facebook App

  1. Open the Facebook app on your mobile device.

  2. Tap the Facebook icon at the bottom-center of the screen.

  3. Scroll down and tap Settings & Privacy.

  4. Tap Settings.

    Privacy settings on the Facebook app
  5. Scroll down to Privacy and tap Privacy Settings.

  6. Under How People Find and Contact You, tap Who can send you friend requests?.

  7. Tap Everyone to allow anyone on or off Facebook to send a friend request, or tap Friends of friends (the default) for more privacy.

    Friend request settings in the Facebook app
  8. Tap Who can see your friends list?.

  9. Choose Public, Friends, or Friends except. Friends except prevents certain friends from seeing other friends on your list.

  10. Tap More to opt for Specific friends, which lets you show your friends list to certain people you designate, or Only me to keep your friends list completely private.

    Limiting who can see your friends list in the Facebook app

    If you select Only me, other people can see mutual friends on your friends list.

  11. Tap Who can look you up using the phone number you provided?.

  12. Select Everyone, Friends of friends, Friends, or Only me.

    Only me is the most private option.

    Changing who can look you up using your phone number on Facebook
  13. Tap Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile?.

  14. Turn off Allow search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile and then tap Disable. Or, leave this option turned on if you're okay with search engines linking to your profile.

    Disabling external search visibility in the Facebook app

Facebook Privacy Shortcuts

Since Facebook frequently updates its privacy controls, it's made some easy shortcut tools so you can quickly see and adjust your privacy settings.

To access the Facebook Privacy Shortcuts:

  1. Go to Account > Settings & Privacy > Settings and select Privacy. Below Privacy Settings and Tools, is Privacy Shortcuts. Select Check a few important settings.

    The Privacy Shortcuts section in Facebook settings
  2. The Privacy Checkup page appears. Select each privacy subject area and follow its prompts to see, keep, or change settings.

    Privacy checkup page
  3. Return to the Privacy Shortcuts section and select Manage Your Profile to adjust who can see your birthday, relationships, and other information.

    The Manage Your Profile heading in Facebook's Privacy Shortcuts
  4. Under Privacy Shortcuts, select Learn more with Privacy Basics to open an interactive guide to the Facebook privacy controls.

    Select Learn more with Privacy Basics