How to Remove Deactivated Accounts from Your Facebook Friends List

Facebook Friend?
Facebook Friend?

There are always complaints when Facebook decides to make changes to their format, mostly because somethings are just unnecessary. For example, the batch of changes made in spring of 2012 granted Friends the ability to add you to Groups without your permission, burying your email account under a mountain of unwanted notifications.

When Facebook started to introduce their new Timeline set up in the spring of 2012, folks noticed that certain “ghosts from the past” began to crop up, such as private messages we thought had been deleted years ago reappearing and deactivated accounts repopulating our Friends Lists.

For some users, this sudden addition of dead accounts pushed them over the 5,000 friend limit, making it impossible to continue adding active friends. Thankfully, there is something that we can do about all those deactivated accounts cluttering our Friend Lists. This quick tutorial will show you how to easily remove those unwanted numbers step-by-step.


Read below or skip to the video tutorial at the end of this article.

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Step 1: Go to your Friends List


Old Profile Set-Up: Your Friends List is directly under your profile picture on the left-hand side of your screen. Click on the word “Friends” and Facebook will take you to the List. Your List will appear in alphabetical order in a single column down the page.


Source

Timeline Profile Set-Up: Your Friends List is now under your Cover Photo and profile picture, to the left of your personal info. Click on the word “Friends” OR on the icon of your friend’s photos to go to your List page. Your Friends List will appear in complete random order in three columns down the page.


Step 2: Find Deactivated Profiles


Scroll down the page, looking for people who don’t have personal profile photos. When you find one ...


This may be a deactivated account or just someone who doesn't have a profile photo.
This may be a deactivated account or just someone who doesn't have a profile photo. | Source


Old Profile Set-Up: Hover your mouse over the account’s profile photo. (That would be the blue and white stock image.)


Active accounts will have a pop-up window.
Active accounts will have a pop-up window. | Source


Timeline Profile Set-Up: Hover your mouse over the person’s name.


NOTE

If the person's name is in black, it does not have a link to profile. At this time, there is no information on how to remove them. If you know of a way, please leave instructions in the comment section below. Thanks!!


If a little pop-up window comes up with the person’s information, then the account is still active. Keep looking.


If there is no pop-up, go to Step 3.


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Step 3: Remove the account


Click on the person’s name. A pop-up window will appear telling you that the account is deactivated and that you have the option to “unfriend” them. Click on the “unfriend” link.


Source

The pop-up window will change to ask if you are sure that want to remove them. Click the big blue button that says, “Remove from Friends.”


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The pop-up window will change again. This time it will let you know that they have been removed.


Short Video Tutorial

Video used with permission by Jade Arcade.


© 2012 Rosa Marchisella

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Comments 30 comments

vox vocis profile image

vox vocis 4 years ago

I don't think anything is permanently deleted from Facebook. Even when you delete (or deactivate) your account, you can always restore it - where else is this possible? Great tips in this hub - I'll remember them because you never know when they can come in handy!


I Am Rosa profile image

I Am Rosa 4 years ago from Canada Author

I think you're right. I had private messages reappear in my message folder on FB almost 4 years after I deleted them! Online content is constantly being backed up, in case the system goes down or gets hacked and they need to reboot the system. Just one reason why they say, "Once you put it online, you can never take it back" :-)

Thanks for reading and leaving a comment!


vox vocis profile image

vox vocis 4 years ago

You're welcome! It's an interesting read and useful, too :)


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

I reecntly found out about how to do this but still have 177 friends to remove because it takes so long waiting and scrolling down if you have over 5,000. I had 5,667 - crazy and very annoying! I am voting up, tagging as Useful and linking to my recent hub on the subject.


I Am Rosa profile image

I Am Rosa 4 years ago from Canada Author

Thank you so much!

It *is* extremely long, tedious and annoying for sure! My husband was bumped over 5,400, also and it's been a nightmare weeding through them so he can come down low enough to add people he actually *wants* on his list.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

I found there are some with no details of friends showing but that you cannot actually get to if you click on them. These have the name in black instead of the blue for the others. Not sure what that means. I have been getting rid of some that are blatant adverts for businesses etc and people I have never corresponded with in years too just to get the figures down. From 5,667 I now have 6 more to go to get back to 4,999!


I Am Rosa profile image

I Am Rosa 4 years ago from Canada Author

I have one like that, too. No photo, no pop-up with details and no link to the profile. Can't click it to remove him. Can't even get him to show up when I type his name in the search on my Friend's List, even though he's still on the list. BUT, he *is* still on Facebook ... just not a friend anymore. No clue how to get rid of it. We're still trying to figure that one out.

lol - you must be exhausted from staring at all those profile pics and little pop ups! It takes HOURS to weed through them all! I keep encouraging the hubby to do the same with contacts that he doesn't communicate with and to move his fans over to his fan page instead of his profile.


jon 4 years ago

i tried the video tutorial on how to remove deactivated accounts from FB friends list but it seems to not work for a couple i have in black lettering, when i hover over them nothing happens, when i click the image square....nothing happens but they're taking up space and look untidy and i want them gone :O TY in advance for any help offered


I Am Rosa profile image

I Am Rosa 4 years ago from Canada Author

Hi Jon; Sorry the video isn't working for you. We still haven't figured out how to get rid of the black lettered deactivated friends, but if/when we do, I will be posting another tutorial article.


Nasir 4 years ago

Problem is deactivate friends can't be remove because when I click on it nothing happened. I can't even open them in new browser tab..


Will 4 years ago

why don't you click ok??


I Am Rosa profile image

I Am Rosa 4 years ago from Canada Author

Nasir - We still don know how to get rid of the black lettered deactivated friends.

Will - as it says in the article, if you click "Okay" the page will refresh in random order and you will have to start your search all over again from the top of the page.


Sohaib 3 years ago

Thanks a ton for the tip. Had been looking to delete some people off but they would just appear on Facebook once in a while, and then deactivate their profile again.


I Am Rosa profile image

I Am Rosa 3 years ago from Canada Author

Glad to help :-)


samir 3 years ago

i want to know how to see a deactivated profile timeline & their facebook email address ?


I Am Rosa profile image

I Am Rosa 3 years ago from Canada Author

Samir - Simple answer: You cannot. Once a person deactivates their profile, all their information is removed from public access.


tattuwurn 3 years ago

I would look at my friends list and the number is still the same even with the deactivated accounts that seem to have no intentions of coming back. I wished to get rid of them, so thanks for your hub and its instructions. Voted up and useful. :)


I Am Rosa profile image

I Am Rosa 3 years ago from Canada Author

You're welcome and thank you for your votes!


kb2012 3 years ago

I wanna know how to delete oics from my timeline. Others can see them when they look at my page but I can't.


Doc 3 years ago

umm..yeah this doesn't work anymore, as soon as you hit the blue link to defreinds it reloads the list same way as hitting the okay button


receivetipstricks profile image

receivetipstricks 3 years ago from Jaipur,India

deactivated friends aka Ghost profile haha


I Am Rosa profile image

I Am Rosa 3 years ago from Canada Author

kb2012 - Perhaps this article will help -- http://hub.me/ae7nB

Doc - Thanks for the heads up. It seems that FB has once again changed how things work and the friend list reloads no matter what :-/

receivetipstricks - haha :-D


Sarah Jack profile image

Sarah Jack 3 years ago from Carlton, Oregon

the "blackened" names can be removed as they are only partially nonlinked..you can access the link to remove them by doing the following

open your friend list page in 2 tabs (necessary to avoid going thru your list repeatedly)..on the first list scroll til you find a nonlinked name.. then switch to your duplicate friend list page, type their name in your f/l search bar. when you see their name, click on "friends" and then select "unfriend".


rabiya 2 years ago

@I Am Rosa, i want to block an inactive profile,as i am getting messages from a profile when i try to block it is showing dat pf is inactive


iguidenetwork profile image

iguidenetwork 2 years ago from Austin, TX

I know how to deactivate my own account (I used to have another FB account) but deactivating friends! Hmmmm it's really interesting. Thanks for introducing this. :)


moonlake profile image

moonlake 2 years ago from America

Interesting hub I would like to delete some of my active friends. HAHA Thanks for sharing. Voted up.


I Am Rosa profile image

I Am Rosa 2 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks for the tip, Sarah Jack!


I Am Rosa profile image

I Am Rosa 2 years ago from Canada Author

Hi rabiya :-) I've had this happen; someone sends me an inappropriate message and when I go to report it and block the person, the account is already deactivated by Facebook, because they received a ton of reports and complaints about the account. Could this be what has happened for you, too?


amazmerizing profile image

amazmerizing 22 months ago from PACIFIC NORTHWEST, USA

Oh, yes! I am assuming that the black links are just residual data remaining, kinda like when we clean the cache on the computer. Nice hub! Pinning!


I Am Rosa profile image

I Am Rosa 22 months ago from Canada Author

Good point, amazmerizing! Thanks for the comment and the Pin :-D

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