About 40% of the world’s population is now on Facebook — but most of the new users came from outside the US and Canada.
As a beginner, it can be difficult to navigate Facebook’s basic features
There are also hidden hacks to make the flow of information easier to manage.
From notification management to data conservation to saving favorites, Facebook offers lots of ways to customize.
Over three billion people — almost 40% of the world’s population — are active on Facebook every month, the company said during the second-quarter 2023 Meta earnings results announcement.
Whether you’re finding the latest news or trying to stay in touch with friends, checking Facebook can become an addictive habit.
We’ve collected some of the best tips and tricks you may not know about — from hiding people you don’t want to see on Facebook to managing notifications.
1. Save posts
See something interesting in your News Feed but don’t have time to look at it now? You can save it for later.
Click the three dots next to any post and hit “Save post.”
Your bookmarked links, videos, photos, places, and more are accessible from the “Saved” page on your Facebook profile. The page is included under the “Menu” tab in the Facebook mobile app.
2. Turn off auto-playing videos in your News Feed.
If you don’t want videos on Facebook automatically playing when you scroll past them in your News Feed, make sure to turn the setting off.
Under Menu tab on the righthand side of the Facebook mobile app, tap Settings & Privacy, and then under Preferences, select “Media.” From there, under Autoplay, you can choose to auto-play videos over cellular and Wi-Fi connections, just Wi-Fi, or never.
3. Unfollow people without unfriending them
If you want to stop seeing someone’s posts in your News Feed but don’t have the guts to completely unfriend them, you can unfollow them to hide their activity.
From someone’s profile in the Facebook mobile app, tap on “Friends” under their profile picture and then “Unfollow” to get rid of their posts completely. You can also tap the three dots next to a post and select “Unfollow” or “Snooze,” which will temporarily Unfollow the person for 30 days.
You can do this for multiple people in the Settings section of Facebook, under News Feed Preferences.
4. See your Facebook activity on the same day from years past.
Facebook’s “On This Day” feature shows your activity on its social network on the same day from years past. Think of it like your personal time capsule on Facebook.
Only you see your “On This Day” activity, and you can find the feature from the link facebook.com/memories. Facebook also lets you hide certain people from showing up in your past activity, which is helpful for not seeing memories of your ex. You can also hide certain dates, or choose whether Facebook sends you notifications of all memories, highlights, or none at all.
5. Activity Log
Your Activity Log shows everything you’ve liked, shared, and commented on in the past. Tap the Menu tab, then tap your name. Under your name on your profile, next to “Edit Profile,” tap the three dots and select “Activity Log.”
You can also go to the Menu tab, under Settings, scroll to “Your Activity” to find the Activity Log.
Your Activity Log on Facebook documents all of your activity on the social network. It’s easily accessible on your profile from both the mobile app and desktop site.
If there are certain people or pages you want to see first in your News Feed no matter what, you can select them in the Facebook mobile app.
Tap “Settings” under the app’s Menu tab and then “News Feed Preferences” to get started.
People and pages you’ve marked to see first will have a little blue star next to their posts in your feed.
7. Tell people how to pronounce your name correctly.
Sick of people pronouncing your name wrong? You can teach them on Facebook.
In the app on your profile, tap “Edit Profile,” then at the bottom, tap “Edit Your About Info.” Scroll below “Basic Info.” You can also add a nickname or maiden name for yourself to display with your profile.
8. Friend vs. Follower
There are two ways you can connect with someone on Facebook: by becoming friends with them or by following them.
Being friends means that you and the other person have approved the connection and likely know each other, while following an account means that the person hasn’t added you back as a friend.
When someone follows you, they’ll only see posts you share publicly. You can turn off the ability for people to follow your account at any time from the “Followers” section of your account settings.
9. Post-specific privacy options
Your Facebook posts can be shared with your friends, specific friends, or anyone on the Internet.
You can select these sharing options on a case-by-case from the drop-down menu at the top right of a post. On the mobile app, select “Edit Privacy” and select one of the options. From the desktop, just click the little friends or globe icon next to a post’s time stamp.
If you want everyone except a few people to see a post, you can choose to hide it from specific people by selecting “Friends except…” on the mobile app and “Custom” on the desktop. If you’ve created Friend Lists on Facebook, you can also hide posts from entire lists.
If you’ve tagged people in the post, you can also choose whether their friends can see it.
10. See what your profile looks like to others
This is handy for seeing what on your profile is visible to others, including individual friends you may have hidden certain information from in the past.
On the app, go to your profile, click the ellipsis next to “Edit Profile,” and then “View as…” You can type in any name, from friends to non-friends, to see what your profile looks like to them.
11. Hide your list of friends from everyone but you.
If, for some reason, you don’t want people seeing who you’re friends with, you can hide the list entirely.
On the desktop, click the “Friends” tab on your profile, then next to “Find Friends,” click the ellipses and then “Edit Privacy.” Then, you can change who can see your friends list, the people you follow, and your followers.
12. Hide your relationship status change from your friends.
It could be potentially disastrous for your Facebook friends to see your relationship status change. The good news is that you can prevent relationship changes from being seen by anyone except you. This means the change won’t appear in your friends’ News Feeds.
In the app on your profile, tap “Edit Profile,” then at the bottom, tap “Edit Your About Info.” Scroll down to “Relationship,” change the privacy filter to “Only Me.”
13. Block people from being able to contact you.
If someone is spamming you with messages or you just want to ensure they can’t see your profile, go to their profile page and click on the three dots to the far right. Select “Block.”
14. See everywhere you’re logged into Facebook and remotely log out.
From the Facebook mobile app, tap the far right Menu tab, then Settings, Accounts Center, Password & Security, and finally, “Where You’re Logged In.” You’ll see all your Meta accounts. You can open details for each session and log out of Facebook if you like.
From your Security Settings on Facebook’s desktop site, the “Where You’re Logged In” menu shows active logins and lets you end them.
15. Get alerted whenever a log-in attempt is made for your account.
Facebook Login Alerts and Login Approvals can be enabled under Security Settings in the mobile app and desktop site.
From the Facebook mobile app, tap the far right Menu tab, then Settings, Accounts Center, Password & Security, and under Security Checks, “Login Alerts.”
You can choose to get in-app notifications or email whenever a login is made to your Meta accounts. Login Approvals mean that you must enter a secondary code sent to your phone before logging in to Facebook on a new device.
16. Unsubscribe from notifications for posts you’ve commented on.
We’ve all probably commented on a post and regretted it later because of the onslaught of notifications that followed from other people commenting.
You may not know that you can unsubscribe from activity on any post, which could be a godsend next time you decide to comment on a friend’s politically charged opinion.
When you get a notification for a comment or like on a post on Facebook’s desktop site, click the “X” to the right of the notification and then “Turn off.”
The reverse is also true. You can turn on notifications for activity on any post from the right drop-down arrow.
17. Get a notification every time a specific person posts something.
If you want to keep tabs on someone’s Facebook activity, you can get alerted whenever they share something. Just add them to your Close Friends list. To do that, go to the Friend’s profile, tap “Friends” and “Edit Friend Lists.”
18. Search for posts and photos liked or commented on by you
You can search for posts you’ve either created, liked or commented on with certain search phrases.
You can even get specific and look for things just from today. You can also look for all posts liked by your friends.
19. Search for specific keywords and topics
Facebook lets you search for a lot more than just other people’s profiles.
Everything that’s publicly shared on the social network is searchable, which means that if you search for something like “James Bond” or “iPhone help,” you’ll see related posts from news sources, friends, and other pages.
20. Make Friend lists
Designating groups within your list of friends can be useful for filtering what everyone is talking about in your News Feed. For instance, you may want to see what everyone from your hometown is sharing or just your friends from college.
Facebook creates a list of friends by default based on common affiliation, whether it be the same hometown, school, etc. On Facebook’s desktop site, you can see all of your friend lists at facebook.com/bookmarks/lists and add people to them. This creates individual News Feeds within Facebook for you to browse.
21. Give yourself a short bio.
Facebook lets you create a short bio for yourself that sits above your other profile information, such as city, work, and relationship status.
You can edit it anytime from your profile on the desktop site and mobile app.
22. Download all your data
On the Menu tab under the Settings gear, scroll to “Your Information,” where you can tap “Download Your Information.” You can now also “Transfer Your Information” in the same section – with easy options to transfer to popular services like Dropbox or Google Photos.