How to Make Your Friends List Private on Facebook

Facebook is all about making friends. Back in MySpace days, people would display their friends on their profiles, almost as trophies. This day and age, however, things are a bit different. In addition to the growing privacy concerns, there’s also the good-old matter of keeping your stuff to yourself.

By default, Facebook makes it available for everyone to see your entire list of friends. But how can you restrict the list to a smaller audience? Here’s how to make your friends list on Facebook private, as well as some other useful friends-making tips.

How to Make Your Friends List Private

Configuring who can see your friends list on Facebook is relatively simple, but it does take some digging around. It’s not as simple as going to your friends’ list and making the tweaks there. You’re going to have to mess around with privacy settings.

You can control who sees your friends list from your phone/tablet, as well as from the browser version of Facebook. Let’s start with the browser option.

facebook make friends private

Controlling Friends List Privacy via Browser

To hide your friends’ list using your computer, open your preferred browser, and log in to your Facebook account. Now, navigate to the upper-right part of the screen. Here, you’ll see an arrow pointing downward. Click it, and a dropdown menu will appear. From this menu, select Settings.

In the next screen, you’ll see a pane with various links on the left-hand screen side. In this pane, select Privacy. On the Privacy page, you’ll see the How People Find and Contact You section. Here, select Who can see your friends list? Click this entry. After a body of text, you’ll see the Public option (default). Click here, and you’ll see a dropdown list appear.

You have a few options here. If you select Friends, only your friends will be able to see your friends list. If you choose Friends except…, you’ll be prompted to choose which friends you don’t want to see your friends list. Selecting Specific friends will allow you to pick friends that you want to give access to your friends’ list. Selecting Only me will prevent all Facebook users from seeing your friends list.

You can also select Custom for more advanced settings. In the Share with section, you’ll get to allow Friends, Friends of friends, and individual friends. In the Don’t share with section, you can enter the names of people who you want to prevent from seeing your friends list.

Controlling Friends List Privacy via Mobile App

If you want to set things up using your phone or tablet, you’re going to need the Facebook for Mobile app. Start the app and tap the “hamburger menu.” In the next screen, navigate to Settings & Privacy. Under Settings & Privacy, select Settings.

how to make friends private

Then, scroll down to and tap Privacy Settings under the Privacy section. Then, go to the How People Can Find and Contact You section, followed by Who can see your friends list? Here, you’ll get similar options to when accessing via desktop. The Public, Friends, Friends except…, Specific friends, and Only me options are all present here. Unfortunately, the Custom option isn’t available.

Ways Around Private Friends List

You should keep in mind that people may still be able to see if you’re friends with someone, even if you’ve selected Only me in the privacy settings. If your friend’s friends list is Public, anyone would be able to go to their profile and find your profile on the list.

If they can see that you’re friends with someone via their profile, they can also access this information from the News Feed, as well as Search, and many other options on Facebook. Yes, this includes the Mutual friends view.

Using Audience Selector for Posts

In addition to making your friends list private, you can set the audience for each post. Whether you’re using a desktop browser or a mobile Facebook app, you can always select the audience for your posts before posting. To do this, simply click or tap Public in the post sharing screen and choose who sees the post in question.

However, you may want to change the audience of a post or posts that you’ve previously shared on Facebook. That’s also possible. First, find your post on your timeline. You’ll find the privacy settings for your posts next to the date and time of posting. You can also find them in the three-dots menu for each one. From here, you’ll be able to let or restrict certain people from seeing it.

Facebook Live Privacy

Naturally, you may want to restrict your audience when doing Facebook Live. That’s also very simple to pull off. You can do live videos on Facebook for everyone or select people. You can even do Facebook Live only for yourself. You can also stream live on pages that you manage, as well as on groups that you’re a member of.

The rules are simple. You can access these options on the Facebook Live screen that you’re using. It’s all pretty intuitive, and you shouldn’t have issues picking your perfect privacy settings for Facebook Live. Keep in mind, though, that streaming live to a Facebook page that you manage can’t be done from the Facebook for Mobile app. You’re going to have to use the Facebook Page app.

Making Friends Lists Private on Facebook

Facebook privacy settings are pretty much ubiquitous. However, accessing the friends lists privacy settings may not be as apparent and obvious as it could’ve been. Hopefully, you’ve found this article helpful, and you’ve set friends list privacy the way it suits you.

Have you made the necessary tweaks to your friends’ list on Facebook? What settings have you used? Do you have any other tips for other Facebook users who are reading this? Feel free to hit the comment section below with any advice, suggestions, or questions.

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