How to Hide When You're on Facebook

Use Facebook without certain people knowing

Woman hiding her face behind an iPad with a Facebook Add User icon on it

There are two main ways to hide your online status from Facebook users. You can either restrict them from chatting with you or block them entirely.

Under normal circumstances, without changing any settings, all the friends you see in the chat area can also see that you're online. You can make changes to these settings so that only some of them can see that you're on Facebook, or you can make it so that nobody can.

The difference is that when you hide someone from chat, you don't actually block much except for their ability to see that you're online and ready to chat. On the other hand, if you block the user from your Facebook profile, they won't be able to add you as a friend, message you, invite you to groups or events, see your timeline or tag you in posts.

Another option that doesn't hide a friend from chat or disables contact completely, is to simply hide their posts

How to Hide That You're Using Facebook Chat

You can turn off chat for all your friends, some friends only or everyone except the ones you add to the list. Remember that this will only block the user from messaging you, not prevent them from accessing your timeline or adding you as a friend (see the next section for that).

  1. With Facebook open, click the small options gear icon on the bottom right of the chat screen.

  2. Click Turn Off Active Status.

    Turn Off Active Status on Facebook gear icon in lower right-hand corner
  3. You'll now see a popup dialog box. Check the option you want to enable:

    Turn off active status for only some contacts: Type the name of one or more friends that you want to hide from. Only these contacts will be prevented from seeing your active status.

    Turn off active status for all contacts except: This will prevent all your Facebook friends from seeing you and messaging you on chat. However, you can add names (or lists) to this list so that only those contacts can chat with you.

    Turn off active status for all contacts: Enable this option if you don't want anyone to see when you are online and able to chat.

    Turn off active status for all accounts checkbox on Facebook's Active Status options
  4. Click Okay to confirm the changes.

How to Completely Hide From Someone on Facebook

Make this change so that someone is completely blocked from accessing your page, sending your private messages, adding you as a friend, tagging you in posts, etc. However, it does not hide them from games, groups you're both a part of or apps.

Open the Manage Blocking section of your account settings and then skip down to Step 4. Or, follow these steps in order:

  1. Click the small arrow to the far right side of the top Facebook menu (the one next to the Quick Help question mark icon).

  2. Choose Settings.

    Settings menu item on the Facebook web site
  3. Select Blocking from the left menu.

  4. In the Block users section, enter the person's name and click Block.

    Block Users button in Facebook's Manage Blocking Settings page
  5. In the new Block People window that shows, find the correct person you want to hide from on Facebook.

  6. Click the Block button next to their name.

    Block button next to Joe Cool, a contact to block
  7. A confirmation will show. Click Block <person's name> to block and unfriend them (if you're currently Facebook friends).

    Block Joe button in Facebook's confirmation dialog when blocking

You can unblock someone by returning to Step 3 and choosing the Unblock link next to their name.

If you want to block apps, invites or pages, use those respective areas on this same Manage Blocking page to apply those changes.