Facebook - Setting different privacy settings for different friends and family

No need to delete or block people off Facebook. Just follow these steps to customize what they all see.

This step by step guide with screenshots, was made during July of 2010.

These instructions will show you step by step how to:

  1. Make a Facebook "list", which is what you need if you want to be organised and to make it easier from this day forward to restrict people viewing certain things.
  2. How to have different settings for your family, work bosses, ex partners, etc.
  3. Will give you greater control over who sees what areas of your Facebook life, and is the better alternative than deleting family members and work colleagues.

Creating the "Lists" is the first step !

Go to "Account" and then click on "Edit Friends"

The Account Menu to access the "Edit Friends" settings
The Account Menu to access the "Edit Friends" settings

The Edit Friends screen as shown below appears for you. Look down the left hand side. You can see I have circled in red the link that says "Friends." You need to click on that.

You can also see I have circled a group of links, which are all the lists I had previously created a long long time ago. 

The main "Edit Friends" screen
The main "Edit Friends" screen

Now that you have just clicked on the "Friends" link that I had circled in red, the below screen appears. Click the button that says "Create New List" (located just under the Facebook search box).

The main screen where you can access your Facebook Friends List in alphabetical order, as well as create and manage lists.
The main screen where you can access your Facebook Friends List in alphabetical order, as well as create and manage lists.

A box will pop up titled "Create New List" and it sits over the background of the page you were just on.

You can see the text box that says "Enter a Name" so go ahead and enter a name. There are some suggestions and ideas a bit further down in this guide.

The box that popped up for me displayed all fan pages and groups since I have joined so many for humour sake. If you don't have as many that you have joined, or even none at all, then this box will instead be filled with your friends names and their profile picture thumbnails.

See the box that says "Start Typing A Name." Type in the name, or part of the name, into the box, and the results will automatically show.

To add people to this list, simply click on the thumbnail/name.

The box where you add your friends to the list by typing in their names to find them.
The box where you add your friends to the list by typing in their names to find them.

As shown below, i called my list "Work Supervisors" just for this tutorial. I also just selected the first 5 pages that showed up. You would of course, have your friends there instead, and may have just one person, up to many many people in the list.

Shows who you have selected for your list so that you can either check more, or uncheck some
Shows who you have selected for your list so that you can either check more, or uncheck some

Once you have clicked "Create List," Facebook will take you back to the page where your list is now displayed. The "Edit List" can be clicked to rename it or add or remove people from that list.

(Shown in the below image).

Down the left hand side (where I have circled), you can see there is now a link called "Work Supervisors" which is the sample list I just created. In future, you will be able to access your lists from that side menu.

Here is you list and the people you have added to it.
Here is you list and the people you have added to it.

Suggestions and Ideas for Naming your Lists

I have my friends and family sorted into lists. Almost all of the people on my Facebook profile are in a list, apart from a few who didn't fit into the categories I created.

I have one for work. If you have had different workplaces, create multiple lists.

I have "Family" as another.

One of my lists as you may have noticed, is called "Restricted Friends" which is where I may place people who I don't really know, or ex partners, or people associated with an ex or a certain person. Also if you are young or immature, and a friend's parents or an adult you know has added you, and you don't want them seeing your status updates etc, then here is a good place to put them.

The main types of lists people will want to create, so that they can put into place greater privacy settings, is a list for work, a list for family, and a list for people you just don't want to see everything.

The following will now show you how to put those lists into your privacy settings

Creating lists is essential, unless you only have one or two people you are trying to restrict access. Just creating and saving the lists and having people in them, will not do anything though.

Now it is time to put those lists into Custom Privacy Settings!

Go to the "Account" menu and then select "Privacy Settings."

The below screen will show.

Choose your privacy settings
Choose your privacy settings

By Facebook default, or lack of knowledge, most people will have their settings either to Everyone, Friends of Friends or Friends Only.

You can see mine is set to Custom, and that there is the tick next to it to confirming so.

See where I circled in red the little text link that says "Customize settings." CLICK IT! Best move you will ever make.

A big list of all the individual settings will be there on that page. There are settings for your Status Updates and everything really.

Next to each option, will be a drop down menu. Most of mine are set to "Friends Only" but there are a few I have been fussy with and put my "Lists" into action!

Click on "Custom edit" to add your lists to it. The below box will appear. Start typing in the name of your list, and Facebook will automatically find it and then you can just click to select it.

You can see that for one of the settings on my profile, I have now restricted my "Family" and "Restricted Friends" lists from seeing those posts or items of my profile. Now every person who I had added earlier in those lists, will not see those items.

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Comments 7 comments

David 470 profile image

David 470 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, United States

This is a very useful hub. privacy is very important especially on facebook

Maddy Quinn 6 years ago

I just want to know how to contact Facebook direct. A 30+ year old man has posted vile, threatening comments on my daughters wall and has then blocked us so we can't even search for him. Fortunatly I have the evidence but he needs to be reported and stopped from being allowed on networkng sites, my daughter is only 14, she is very upset and scared as we all are, most of her friends can see the comments - it's only us that don't appear to be able to see it but we have a screen print of the page in question. Can someone please tell me how this can be stopped and how this man can be dealt with.

just4meonline profile image

just4meonline 6 years ago Author

You can report it via the Facebook help pages. They ask you to upload a screenshot.

Facebook has replied to my enquiries several times via email.

You can search for that man's account from another friend's account. He may have removed his account too.

Also, make sure you follow all the steps to set your profile to private, as your daughter's wall should not have been visible to him to begin with.

Wowzers 6 years ago

I cant figure out how to remove my wall completely? Ive tried everything, how does one go about doing that?

Wowzers 6 years ago

Nevermind, figured it out

Nisheeth 4 years ago

Very useful.

Susan Destefano 4 years ago

I can't add my daughter Kimberly Gilbert Harvey to my friends list....I don't have her on my block list or anything like...please help...thanks...susan


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