How to Hide on Facebook

Keep your status or activities secret from certain people

There are three ways to hide your activities from fellow Facebook users. You can prevent them from chatting with you, restrict them from seeing most of your activity, or block them from interacting with you on Facebook. Here's how to hide your online status on Facebook.

The instructions in this article apply to the desktop version of Facebook that's accessed through a web browser.

How to Hide Your Chat Availability

Under normal circumstances, the friends you see in the chat area can see that you're online. But, you can change these settings so that some or all of them can't see that you're available to chat. Use this function when you want to be on Facebook without being interrupted. You can turn off chat for all your friends, some friends only, or everyone with some exceptions.

This action only blocks the users you choose from messaging you. It doesn't prevent them from accessing your timeline or seeing your posts and comments.

  1. Select Messenger in the left pane of Facebook.

    Messenger on Facebook
  2. Select the Settings icon.

    The settings icon in Messenger
  3. Choose Settings.

    Settings in Messenger
  4. Turn off the Show when you're active toggle switch.

    The Go Offline switch in Facebook Messenger
  5. You'll need to change your active status everywhere you're logged in to Facebook (for example, the mobile and Messenger apps) to completely hide your active status.

How to Appear Offline in the Messenger App

To appear offline on your phone, adjust the settings in the Messenger app. Here's how to do it.

  1. Tap your profile image in the upper-left corner of Messenger.

  2. Select Active Status.

  3. Turn off the Show when you're active toggle switch.

    Changing active status in the Messenger app

How to Restrict Someone on Facebook

Normally, your Facebook friends can see everything you post on your timeline. You can adjust this default by choosing with each post who can see it. When you don't want to unfriend someone, but don't want them to see your posts, add them to your Restricted list. You might use this option if you accepted a coworker's friend request, but don't want them to know much about your personal life.

Friends who you restrict on Facebook can still see any material that's public, as well as comments you make on others' posts.

  1. Navigate to your friend's profile.

  2. At the top of the profile, select the Friends drop-down menu and then choose Add to another list.

    The "Add to another list" command for a friend on Facebook
  3. Select Restricted.

    The Restricted opotion
  4. A check mark appears next to Restricted.

  5. To remove someone from the Restricted list, follow the same steps again. In step 4, the check mark next to Restricted is removed.

How to Block Someone on Facebook

If you block a user on Facebook, they can't add you as a friend, message you, invite you to groups or events, see your timeline, tag you in posts, or find you in a search. If you're friends with someone and then block them, you automatically unfriend them.

Use this option when unfriending isn't enough, such as if someone is stalking, harassing, or abusing you online or off.

Blocking someone isn't foolproof. A blocked user can still see you on games, groups, and apps you're both a part of. They could also use a mutual friend's account to view your activity.

  1. From the upper-right corner of Facebook, select the down arrow.

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

    Settings & Privacy in Facebook
  3. Choose Settings.

    Settings on Facebook
  4. In the left pane, select Blocking.

    The Blocking category in Facebook settings
  5. In the Block users section, enter the person's name and select Block.

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

    The Block Users box and Block button
  6. A Block People window appears. Find the correct person and select Block next to their name.

    The Block button on Facebook
  7. A confirmation message appears. Select Block person's name to block and unfriend them (if you're currently Facebook friends).

    The block confirmation button