How to Hide on Facebook

Keep your status or activities secret from certain people

There are three main ways to hide your activities from fellow Facebook users. You can (1) prevent them from chatting with you, (2) restrict them from seeing most of your activity, or (3) block them from interacting with you on Facebook at all.

How to Hide Your Chat Availability

Under normal circumstances, all the friends you see in the chat area can also 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 will only block the users you choose from messaging you. It won't prevent them from accessing your timeline or seeing any posts or comments you may add.

  1. In the bottom-right corner of Facebook, select the Settings (gear) icon.

  2. Select Turn Off Active Status.

    Turn Off Active Status on Facebook gear icon in lower right-hand corner
  3. A dialog box appears. Select the option that best describes what you want to do.

    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 option will prevent all your Facebook friends from seeing you and messaging you on chat. However, you can add names (or lists) 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 that you're online and able to chat.

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

  5. To change your status, follow steps 1 and 2 again. Instead of Turn Off Active Status, the menu item in step 2 will be Turn On Active Status.

How to Restrict Someone on Facebook

Normally, all 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. But, if there's someone you don't want to unfriend, yet don't want to see your posts, you can add them to your Restricted list. You might want to use this option if you accepted a coworker's post to be polite, but don't want them to know much about your life.

Friends who you restrict on Facebook will still be able to 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, hover your cursor over Friends. Select Add to another list.

    Facebook with friend profile displayed
  3. A menu appears. Select Restricted.

    Facebook friend profile with Friends menu displayed
  4. A checkmark appears next to Restricted.

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

How to Block Someone on Facebook

If you block a user on Facebook, they won't be able to add you as a friend, message you, invite you to groups or events, see your timeline, tag you in posts, or even find you in a search. If you're already friends with someone and then block them, you will 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. In the upper-right corner of your home page, select the Menu (down-arrow) icon. Choose Settings.

    Settings menu item on the Facebook web site
  2. In the left rail, select Blocking.

  3. 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 this same Manage Blocking page to apply those changes.

    Block Users button in Facebook's Manage Blocking Settings page
  4. A Block People window appears. Find the correct person and select Block next to their name.

    Block button next to Joe Cool, a contact to block
  5. A confirmation message appears. Select 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
  6. You can unblock someone by returning to Step 3 and choosing the Unblock link next to their name.