How to Clean up Your Facebook Profile

Spruce up your content and improve your privacy

Whether you've had a Facebook account for one year or over a decade, it's a good idea to clean up your profile at least once or twice a year. When you do, you make it easier for your friends and followers to find relevant information about you that's both interesting and welcoming. Here are our tips for sprucing up your profile.

Why It's Important to Clean up Your Facebook Profile

You should clean up your profile because:

  • Your profile picture and/or cover photo might be outdated.
  • Your Friends List might contain people you no longer want to interact with.
  • Your About section might contain outdated information.
  • The Intro section on the front of your profile might contain outdated information.
  • You might have irrelevant status updates/shares, posts you've been tagged in, or posts from friends showing on your timeline.
  • You might have too many irrelevant photos showing in your Photos section.
  • Your privacy settings could be stronger.
  • You might be getting too many irrelevant notifications.

How to Clean Up Your Facebook Profile

To make your profile look as good as ever and to cut down on unnecessary or outdated information, consider some of the following clean-up tips.

Consider Updating Your Profile Picture and Cover Photo

Facebook Activity Log showing updates in cover photo and profile picture

Your profile picture and cover photo are the first two things people see when they look at your Facebook page. If one or both are outdated, try adding some new photos that are high-quality and visually appealing.

Adding a new profile picture or cover photo also shows up in your friends' news feeds, which reminds them you're still active on Facebook and might encourage them to go and visit your profile.

Unfriend or Unfollow Irrelevant Friends

Facebook Friends list

If your news feed is cluttered with information from people you're not closely connected to or interested in, it's time to consider unfriending or at least unfollowing some of them. This helps streamline your news feed by removing posts from friends you don't really want or need to see.

Alternatively, if you want to remain friends with someone but would rather not see any of their posts in your news feed, find one of their posts, select the three ellipses, then choose to unfollow them.

Update Your Facebook About Info

Facebook 'About' info

When was the last time you looked at the About section on your Facebook profile? This is where friends can see where you work or went to school, where you live, your contact information, your personal information (like your birthday), your relationship status, and more.

You may have changed jobs, moved, or gotten into a new relationship since you last updated this section of your profile. Consider deleting outdated information and adding new information that's relevant.

You can set the visibility for each piece of info you add to your About section. Just look for the privacy dropdown arrow icon to set its visibility to Public, Friends, Only Me, or Custom.

Update Your Intro Section Info

Facebook Intro input

Your Intro section is like a small, public snapshot of your About section shown under your picture on your profile. You can include a short bio, up to nine featured photos, website or social links, and any About info that's set to public.

If you already updated your About info in the last step, your Intro section should reflect those changes. The only other two pieces of information you need to update here are the bio and your featured photos.

Clear out Irrelevant Posts That Appear on Your Timeline

Facebook Profile Timeline

Your profile's timeline shows a combination of posts made by you (such as status updates and link shares), posts shared directly to your timeline from friends, and possibly posts you were tagged in from friends (if you have this feature enabled).

It's a good idea to browse through your most recent timeline posts to either hide or delete irrelevant ones. You can do this by selecting the three horizontal dots in the top right corner of each post and selecting Hide from timeline or Delete.

For a quicker way to clean up timeline posts in bulk, select the Manage Posts button at the top of your timeline to see them in thumbnail collections. You can then select multiples to hide or delete at once.

Untag, Delete, Hide, or Change the Visibility of Your Photos

Facebook 'Photos of You'

Any public photos you share or photos you've been tagged in appear in the Photos section on your profile. To clean this section up, you can:

  • Untag yourself from photos.
  • Delete, hide, or change the visibility of some of your own photo posts.
  • Delete, hide, or change the visibility of some of your own albums.
  • Limit the visibility of all photos you're tagged in by going to Settings > Timeline and Tagging and changing Who can see posts you're tagged in on your timeline? to Friends, Friends of friends, Only me, or Custom.

You can manage your photos much more easily from the Photos tab since it divides them into three sections: Photos of You (tagged photos), Your Photos (including profile photos), and Albums.

You can't delete photos you're tagged in if they're posted by someone else. You can only untag yourself, which only removes it from your profile (not theirs or anyone else who's been tagged).

Go Over Your Privacy Settings

Facebook Privacy Settings and Tools

Your desire to share certain information on Facebook can change over time. What you once shared publicly might be more appropriate to share just with friends; and what was once shared with all your friends might be better to share with a custom list of specific friends.

You can reach your Facebook privacy settings by selecting the Account button (the down arrow) at the top of Facebook and going to Settings and privacy > Settings > Privacy.

This section also has an option you can use to limit the privacy of old posts. If you choose the Limit Past Posts button, the privacy setting for all old posts shared with the Public or with Friends of friends changes to Friends.

You can also change the options in the How People Can Find and Contact You section to limit unwanted friend requests or messages. Lastly, you can control whether search engines outside of Facebook can link to your profile and turn off Facebook's Face Recognition capability in your settings.

Learn how to test your privacy settings to make sure they work the way you want.

Turn off Pointless and Distracting Notifications

Facebook Notifications Settings

If you're very active on Facebook, you might receive a lot of notifications on a daily basis. Some are turned on by default, which means they can really add up and become overwhelming over time.

To manage your notifications, including standard notifications as well as push notifications to your mobile devices, navigate to your Settings and select Notifications. You can turn off notifications for the following:

  • Comments
  • Tags
  • Reminders
  • More Activity About You
  • Update From Friends
  • Friend Requests
  • People You May Know
  • Birthdays
  • Groups
  • Video
  • Events
  • Pages You Follow
  • Marketplace
  • Fundraisers and Community Support

For some types of notifications, such as those from groups or pages, you can also disable them directly from their page. Just navigate to a group or page and select the Notifications button to turn it Off.