How to Use the Off Facebook Activity Tool to Protect Your Privacy

Control the information Facebook shares with advertisers

The more you use Facebook alongside third-party apps and websites, the more data those apps and websites share about you to Facebook. If you don't like the idea of apps and sites sharing your information with Facebook, you can limit what data is shared with the platform by using the off-Facebook activity setting in your Facebook account settings.

Make sure you have these essential Facebook privacy settings enabled and learn how to easily test your Facebook privacy settings so you know that you're secure.

What Is Off-Facebook Activity?

Off-Facebook activity is considered to be any interaction you have with a website or app (favoriting something, commenting, shopping, taking a quiz, playing a game, etc.) that could be shared with Facebook. With this information, Facebook can then display ads based on the activities it has learned about you.

For instance, let's say that you buy a blender on a retailer's website. Since the retailer uses Facebook's business tools, it shares the information about you and your purchase with Facebook.

Facebook now knows which retailer website you visited and that you bought a blender there. As you browse you Facebook, you might notice ads displaying deals for cookware, flatware, kitchen appliances, and other related products.

In addition to showing you more targeted Facebook ads, Facebook will also use your off-Facebook activity to help you discover more relevant groups, events, marketplace items, businesses and brands.

How to Review and Manage Your Off-Facebook Activity

The following instructions are provided for both Facebook.com and the Facebook mobile app, but screenshots are provided for Facebook.com only.

  1. Navigate to Facebook.com in a web browser or open the Facebook mobile app on your device and sign into (or switch to) your account.

  2. On Facebook.com, select the down arrow in the top right corner followed by Settings from the dropdown list.

    On the app, select the menu icon in the bottom (iOS) or top (Android) menu and scroll down the next tab to select Settings & Privacy > Settings.

    A screenshot of Facebook.com.
  3. On Facebook.com, select Your Facebook Information in the left vertical menu.

    On the app, scroll down until you reach the Your Facebook Information section.

  4. On both Facebook.com and the app, select Off-Facebook Activity.

    A screenshot of Facebook.com.
  5. To view the third-party apps and websites that are sharing your off-Facebook activity with Facebook, select the collection of app and website logos at the top.

    Alternatively, select Manage Your Off-Facebook Activity, under What You Can Do, which brings you to the same place.

    A screenshot of Facebook.com.

    You'll be asked to enter your Facebook password in order to proceed.

  6. You can then select any individual app or website to find out more, including how many interactions you've had with it, what Facebook does with your data and a few actions you can take.

    A screenshot of Facebook.com.

    Select X interactions > Download Activity Details to request a file download of your activity from this particular app/website. You can also select Turn off future activity from [app/website name] so no further information is shared to Facebook.

  7. If you'd like to clear all of your off-Facebook history from all apps and websites simultaneously, you can do so on Facebook.com by selecting the Clear History button at the top.

    A screenshot of Facebook.com.
  8. To do more with your off-Facebook activity, look toward the top right column on Facebook.com for More Options or select the three dots in the top right corner of the mobile app to see a list.

You can select:

  • Access Your Information: See your Facebook information and information about you by category with an option to download it.
  • Download Your Information: Request to download a file of your Facebook information from a specified date range.
  • Manage Future Activity: Turn your future off-Facebook activity setting off across all apps and websites or see the individual apps and websites whose activity you've turned off.