How to Appear Offline to Some Friends But Not Others on Facebook

UPDATE: I have updated this post to accommodate the new Facebook layout. Please watch the video below for a quick walk through. The steps below the video are becoming obsolete.

You know how it is: you sign into Facebook Chat for three seconds to see whose online and as if it were magic, you're immediately sent a chat from your least favorite "friend." Well it is entirely possible to hide yourself from those people. You can even pick and choose who sees that you're online or not. Essentially, Facebook allows you to control these settings through the use of a feature called "lists." This guide will walk you through setting up your account so that only people you want to talk to can see that you're online.

First, create a Facebook list. To do this, log on to Facebook, and go to the "Account" menu and select "Edit Friends." Then click "Friends" on the left hand side of the page.

Now click "Create New List" at the top. This is going to be a list of all the people you don't want to talk to in chat and who you don't want to be seen by. This doesn't affect any other things they can do as your friend, only chat. Also, they won't be able to see that they are in this list, it is only visible to you. Name the list something like "Hidden From Chat." Then, go through and select all the people you want in the list. If you don't select everyone, don't worry, you can edit it later. Also, as you get more friends, you can add them to the list in the future, even if you aren't friends with them now.

Create the list and then go back to your Facebook home page. Sign into chat at the bottom right. Click "Friends List" and make sure the list you just created is checked.

Now, open the chat window again and you will notice your list. To the right is a small green or grey circle. Green means that those people can see you as "online." Grey means you will appear offline to them. Turn your list "off."

In the picture above, the people in my list "Other Friends" will not be able to see that I am online. Those in my other lists can. It's very helpful for those annoying people who never stop chatting you or for when you just don't want to talk to them.

Now that you've set up the list, editing it is easy. Just go back to the "Edit Friends" page and add and remove people from the list from there. You can do this at any time.

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Comments 32 comments

Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA

Thanks for reminding me of this. I thought about doing this several weeks ago and never got around to it.

guest 6 years ago

this was really helpful thanks

guest 6 years ago

people can't see when they're in a list right? I'm guessing no, and it doesn't matter anyway, but just curious

xnotion profile image

xnotion 6 years ago Author

No, people can't see that they are in a list. There's no way for them to see that you've done anything differently unless they're standing next to a different one of your friends who can see you're online. Then they may notice something is odd.

guest2 6 years ago

Ah that's really good, Because I have a group called Bitches. Haha 6 years ago

omg thanks soo much i really owe you one!

fuuck ur mommy! 6 years ago

wow this is a great thing to do!! thamksssss

norri 6 years ago

this is soo helpful thanks!

xnotion profile image

xnotion 6 years ago Author

Thanks for the positive feedback everyone! Glad I could help!

John 6 years ago

I found it more practical to create a "Chat list" of friends rather than a "No chat list". The second option was confusing because many friends belong to more than one list. So imagine having the "No chat" list signed off from chat but wanting to turn on the "relatives" list, for example. Suddenly people who exist on both lists can see you're online although you don't want them to!!!

xnotion profile image

xnotion 6 years ago Author

Hi John,

You are right, and I agree that a Chat list is probably less confusing than a no chat list.

For anyone wondering, they're made the same way, just opt to appear online to the "chat list" and offline to everyone else.

Z. 6 years ago

But how to undo this? I was experimenting one day and decided to appear offline to some groups (I have them grouped by where I met the people in them), but now I can never see those groups to even make myself appear online in them again. The only group that's showing is the one I didn't appear offline to.

xnotion profile image

xnotion 6 years ago Author

Hi Z.,

Simply click the gray/green icon next to the list of people in your chat list. Now you will appear online to them.

ahmad 6 years ago

thanks a lot

Patrick 6 years ago

Just to say this has been of enormous help to me.

With regards and and many, many thanks,


BoNbOoNa 6 years ago

cool explanation

thanks a lot ^_^

shero 5 years ago

thankkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkks so mucccccccccccccccccch

Sid 5 years ago

Thanxxxx that was really helpful.....

kiran 5 years ago

thanx......very curious to know about this

Never giv up! 5 years ago

I think that if you look on the profile page it will give the green dot that they are on 'Chat' but you can't see them on your (bottom list)friends on chat. So becareful. Test it out first; as we don't want to offend.

lili 5 years ago

Hi, I don't have a "frind list" option in my chat window! can anyone help please? thanks

5 years ago

i don't think you can w/the new fb chat...soooo frustrated about that

Olga 5 years ago

Give me in simple steps how to prevent my picture from showing on "Friends on Chat" on the left side of the page.

Thanks so much.

Cynthia 5 years ago

Now that FB changed chat, how do we go 'offline' to a specific group?

Carrie 5 years ago

Thanks so much! I'm a teenager and when certain guys that like me want to chat, I know I won't have to ignore them!!!

han 5 years ago

fb chat has changed and i can't appear offline to a certain friend list i made! i have the same problem as the ladyy above! someone please help meee. thanks.x

game 5 years ago


Sai 4 years ago

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Alexis 4 years ago

Hi, I was wondering, if you appear offline to someone, can they still see when you comment/like a picture or photo?

Tarom 4 years ago

But what about me? if some one is on my(not in chat) list and they do not see me online, what about me, am I going to see that,they are online?

Sweety 4 years ago


harita chauhan 3 years ago

In fb y we cnt able 2 make offline ourself? n rest of dem ON so dat v cn able 2 see dem dat those who r ON.n also there z no need 2 make some ppl On n sm ppl OFf. 4 dat purpose Y ourself cnt make OFfline. is der any option lik dat????????

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