How to Use Facebook’s Restricted List to Maintain Your Privacy
Facebook is great for connecting with old and new acquaintances, but even so, you may not want to share everything with everyone all the time. This holds especially true if you’re trying to keep your work and private lives separate. Fortunately, Facebook packs robust privacy features that make it easier to set delimitations, such as its “Restricted List” option. In this guide, we show you how to set up and use a Restricted List on Facebook to maintain control over who sees your content.
Also read: 5 Ways to Find Out Who Unfriended or Blocked You on Facebook
- What Is Facebook’s Restricted List?
- How to Add People to Facebook’s Restricted List
- How to View and Manage Your Restricted List
- How to Create a Post that Your Restricted Contacts Can’t See
- How to Change the Audience of an Older Post
- Alternatives to Restricting People on Facebook
- How to Change Who Sees Your Past and Future Posts
- Can You Tell If Someone Placed You on Their Restricted List?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Facebook’s Restricted List?
Facebook’s “Restricted list” helps you better control who you share content with. While you’ll still be friends with those you place on the list, their ability to see selected posts will be restricted. Basically, unless your post is tagged as Public, or they are specifically tagged in it (by you or a mutual friend), it won’t be visible to them.
This option comes in handy when, for example, you don’t want to mix your work and private life. If you don’t want your colleagues or boss to see what you’re up to after office hours, you can place them on the “Restricted list.” The next time you’re out for drinks with your gang and want to post a group photo, just select the Friends audience when you’re ready to post, and your coworkers won’t have a clue about your activities.
People you place on this “Restricted list” won’t be notified that you have done so, and you’ll still be able to reach out to them via Messenger, so think of it as a much lighter alternative to blocking.
Also read: How to Disable Read Receipts on Facebook Messenger
How to Add People to Facebook’s Restricted List
Adding people to your “Restricted list” is pretty straightforward, whether you’re doing it from your PC or mobile device. Follow the instructions below to create your own.
- Open Facebook on your PC and navigate to the person you wish to place on the “Restricted list.”
- Underneath the person’s name, locate the “Friends” button that shows you are friends with them on Facebook.
- Click on it to reveal the drop-down menu and select “Edit Friend list.”
- A window will pop up on the screen with a list of options. Select “Restricted.”
- Click anywhere outside the window to close it.
The person is now on your “Restricted list.”
On mobile, follow these steps to restrict someone.
- Open the Facebook app and navigate to the person’s profile you wish to restrict.
- Tap on the “Friends” button underneath the person’s name.
- Select “Edit Friend List” from the menu that appears at the bottom.
- Tap on “Restricted.”
- Alternatively, on mobile you can also choose for the option to “Take a break.”
- This feature further allows you to limit your interactions with the person. On top of placing them on the Restricted list, it will also show you less of what they post.
How to View and Manage Your Restricted List
If you want to see your “Restricted list” and manage contacts from there, follow the instructions below.
- On your PC, open Facebook on your browser of choice.
- Tap on the “Friends” option from the menu on the left.
- Select “Custom Lists” at the bottom.
- Click “Restricted.”
- Your restricted contacts should appear on the right side of the display.
- Click on the “X” button next to their name to quickly remove them from the list.
- Alternatively, click on the “Add/Remove” option to add or remove people.
- Easily search for the person(s) you wish to add, then tick the circle next to them or press on the “X” to remove people who are already on the list (at the bottom). When you’re done adjusting your list, click the “Save changes” button.
It’s not possible to access your Restricted list from the mobile app. You can, however, remove someone from your Restricted list by following the steps outlined in the previous section and unchecking the Restricted option in “Edit Friends List.” Alternatively, you can assign the contact to a different list.
Also read: How to Force the Facebook App to Use an External Browser to View Links
How to Create a Post that Your Restricted Contacts Can’t See
Now that you know how to add people to the “Restricted list,” let’s take a look at how to make a post that won’t be visible to them.
Desktop & Mobile
- Open Facebook in a browser on your PC.
- Click on the bar asking “What’s on your mind.”
- A new “Create post” window will appear on the display.
- Write something and/or add photo(s). Tap the Audience button just below your name to select who can view the content.
- Select who you wish to share this post with.
- You can choose “Friends” or any other option you prefer.
- If you choose Friends, the post will be shared only with your Friend list EXCEPT the people who you’ve placed on the Restricted list.
- Keep in mind that based on your previous Privacy settings, the Audience tab may be already set to Friends or “Friends except.”
The same steps apply to mobile, so if you are looking to create a new post using your smartphone, change the audience as explained above.
How to Change the Audience of an Older Post
If you changed your mind about a post and don’t want to hide it from prying eyes anymore, it’s possible to change the audience even if it’s an older post. Follow these steps.
- Open Facebook in your browser on your PC.
- Go to the post on your profile you wish to edit.
- Tap on the three dots in the upper-right corner.
- Select “Edit audience” from the menu that appears.
- A new window will pop up that looks very similar to the “New post” one, except this time it will help you edit it.
- Tap on the Audience button underneath your name.
- Revert back to “Public” or select another option that suits you.
- Open the Facebook app on your mobile device.
- Go to the post on your profile you wish to modify.
- Tap on the three dots in the upper-right corner.
- Select “Edit Privacy.”
- Tap on “Public” or any other available option.
Also read: Fed Up with Facebook? Switch to One of these 7 Alternatives
Alternatives to Restricting People on Facebook
If you want to hide the occasional post from certain people, know that it’s possible to do so without restricting them and keeping them out of the loop completely.
1. Use the “Friends except” Option When Posting
For example, when selecting or editing the audience for a post, you can opt for “Friends except,” which displays the post to everyone in your friends list except the people you pick.
Another option at your disposal is to quickly hide the post in question from your timeline. However, by doing this, none of your friends will be able to see the post. It will, however, appear on the page of the person who posted and tagged you in it. You can hide a post from your timeline by following these instructions. Do note that it will still appear in your friends’ newsfeeds.
- Find the post you wish to get rid of and tap on the three dots in the upper-right corner.
- Here you have two options. You can choose “Hide from profile,” which will promptly remove the post from your profile. However, on the poster’s page, you will still appear as tagged.
- The other option is to “Remove tag.” This will have the same effect of removing the post from your profile, but you won’t show up as tagged on the post that still shows in the poster’s profile.
- On mobile, you can hide or remove tags from individual posts as explained above or tap on the More button underneath your name on your profile.
- Select “Manage posts.”
- You should now be able to scroll through all the posts you were tagged in. From this window, you can remove tags, hide or delete multiple posts all at once.
- Just find one or more posts you wish to hide or remove the tag from and tap on it.
- Select one of the options (Hide, Remove tag, Delete) from the mini option bar located at the bottom.
Also read: How to View Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and More Without an Account
How to Change Who Sees Your Past and Future Posts
While most of us don’t object to adding coworkers on Facebook, some prefer keeping business and personal spheres completely separate. But even if you haven’t added your boss on Facebook, you might still be paranoid that they might be watching what you post. You can make sure that is not the case by changing who sees your past and future posts.
- Open Facebook in your browser on your computer.
- Click on the downward arrow in the upper-right corner to bring up a menu.
- Select “Settings & Privacy.”
- Click on “Privacy Shortcuts.”
- Press on “See more privacy settings.”
- On the right side of the display in the “Your Activity” section, click on “Limit Past Posts.”
- Click on the next “Limit Past Posts” button. Once you do this, all of your past posts on your timeline that were shared with “Friends of Friends” or were Public will now be available only to Friends.
- Confirm your choice. Note that, once you do this, the only way to undo it is to change the audience for each post individually.
- In the same “Your Activity” section, you can also customize “Who will see your future posts.” Click on “Edit” on the right to do so.
- Select your preferred option.
- Go to your profile in the Facebook mobile app.
- Tap on the More button underneath your name.
- Select “View Privacy Shortcuts.”
- Tap on “View more privacy settings.”
- Scroll down until you reach the “Audience and Visibility” section and select “Posts.”
- Here you’ll find the same two options: “Who can see your future posts” and “Limit who can see past posts.” Tap on these to change the audience according to your preferences.
Can You Tell If Someone Placed You on Their Restricted List?
While Facebook doesn’t alert people that they were placed on someone’s “Restricted List,” there are clues to look for that may indicate you’ve been restricted. If you want to know, here’s what you should do.
- Check the person’s profile for an empty space at the top. The gap may be where a private post should be, but since you’ve been restricted, you will only experience a blank space. Obviously, seeing an empty space may also be due to a glitch of some kind, so be sure to refresh their profile a few times before drawing any definitive conclusions.
- Additionally, if you can’t see any new recent posts and you know they are frequent users, it may be a sign that you have been restricted.
- Ask a common Facebook friend to check their profile and report what they see. If someone they aren’t friends with checks their profile, they will only be able to view their public posts, just like you.
Also read: What Are Instagram Highlights and How to Use Them on Your Profile
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How can I make sure I’m not tagged on Facebook without my consent?
To make sure no one tags you in photos or posts without your knowledge, you will need to head to “Settings -> Privacy shortcuts -> View more privacy settings” (like shown above). Next, select “Profile and Tagging” from the menu on the left and toggle on the two options in the “Reviewing” section.
2. How can I create a custom list on Facebook?
Facebook’s Restricted list is a default option, but what if you want to create your very own list? You can. On your PC, head to “Friends -> Custom Lists -> Create List.” Add the names of the people you want to include. Whenever you have something specific you want to share that is targeting this group only, you can use this list and automatically exclude all your other friends.
3. Can people in my Restricted list on Facebook see my Stories?
Then cannot if you only share them with Friends. People in your Restricted list can’t see anything on your profile unless it’s tagged as Public or they are tagged in it. To make sure you aren’t sharing a Story as Public, tap on the Gear icon in the Story creation screen, then select Friends from the options that appear.
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