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Send Facebook Back in Time and Spoof Away Timeline

Updated on April 20, 2012
Internet Explorer Icon
Internet Explorer Icon

I've been hearing quite a bit of complaining among my facebook people, about the soon to be mandatory and permanent Timeline layout. I'm sure most of you, if you don't hate it, have seen a flurry of "tell Facebook to get rid of timeline" share campaigns. Fortunately with a little slight of hand we can fool facebook into showing the old layout apposed to the new Timeline. So let's rewind the clock and get back into our comfort zones.

So coming up this week on the 26th facebook will finalize timeline whether we like it or not. It's a fairly common practice for a company to update their look or system to keep up with the ever moving styles and technology. Some times though, in their lust for a "sexy" appearance they look over the fact that the new look isn't compatible with everything that may use it. In this specific instance we're looking at Internet Explorer 7 to use as our window to the past.

Internet explorer (IE) is the windows standard web browser I'm sure most of you know it well. Well at this moment in time IE is on version 9 released in 2011, five years after IE 7 which was released in 2006. So with such a span in release time and another version in between we can see how facebook wasn't made IE 7 compatible. How will we use this to our advantage though? I'm so glad you asked we're going to do some spoofing, which basically means we run a program that makes the rest of the world think we're using a IE 7 browser version.

So let's get to it, and kick this timeline in the behind. I encourage you to read the section for the browser you wish to use in it's entirety. I have installed and lightly tested all the methods here and have had some glitches and issues with some methods none of which are serious but good to know about.

Ole Faithful ie IE

First we come to Internet Explorer the default windows browser. There are a couple of options to get timeline out of your face with IE. The first quite simply is, use internet explorer 7, which can be found via a google search if your not already using it. This is a little more of a hassle however since IE is six years out of date, and in order to use IE 7 with another IE version you would need to use a virtual machine.

That's a hassle so we're not doing that we're going to use IE 8 (I don't use IE at all so haven't updated) and a program called, UserAgent Internet Explorer, which can be found HERE UAIE is a program that provides a tool in IE to change your user agent, which is what the internet sees as your browser.

Let's set it up. First download the package from the above link, then unzip and install. We're done that was simple. Now open up IE and go to your tools, this doesn't work with 64 bit IE. Under tools is a set UA String option, click it. A blue dialog box will pop up, in the pull down menu select "IE 7. XP", and finally click save changes and then ok at the next prompt and kiss timeline goodbye.


Margin Glitch with UA Set.
Margin Glitch with UA Set.

Now this is called spoofing because this program makes the internet think your using the IE 7 browser so it will send information to you as if that were true. Timeline doesn't support IE 7 so facebook will send you the old layout instead. That being said this does NOT change your facebook profile at all so everyone else in the world will see timeline and you will not.

Let's get to the cons of this. IE 7 is not compatible with things for a reason, it's old! Since it's not compatible this may cause some sites not to load accurately. For example facebook will have a large white margin at the top of a profile, I'm assuming this dead space is for the new cover in timeline. Another example youtube likes to complain that the flash extension isn't up to date, when it is. If you experience problems that prevent you from surfing the rest of the web with ease go back to tools and disable the user agent program, at which point your browser will return to normal.

Doesn't See Flash.
Doesn't See Flash.
User Agent Switcher
User Agent Switcher

Firefox Timeline Burn

Well next we come to one of the IE replacements Mozilla Firefox. Firefox is just as easy as IE to set up and use, well actually it's a little easier. Go to tools and click on add-ons next search for User Agent Switcher and install it, it should be first on the list.

Next we want to go into our tool menu- default user agent and then set our agent to IE 7. We're exploiting the same type spoof we did with our IE browser and it comes with many of the same issues. To solve those or any other issues just reset to the default agent where you selected IE 7 in your tools.

User Agent Menu
User Agent Menu
The Chrome Way.
The Chrome Way.

The Final Touch A Little Chrome

Well we come to the end of our little journey back in time to the easier days of when facebook wasn't an annoying eyesore. Last but certainly not least we arrive at Google's Chrome web browser with the aptly named timeline remove. This was saved for last as it is the easiest and nicest of the three because once you download it HERE and your done. That's right no configuring IE 7 or turning our spoof off when something doesn't work, I think. I haven't messed with chrome as much, but have yet to notice any issues that Firefox and IE presented. If you do decide to turn it off you can locate it's icon in the far right side of your url bar.

Networking FTW

Well that is the extent of my research on the subject, I hope this helps many of you out. Since these techniques don't affect the facebook site itself the only way to phase out timeline entirely is spread the word. It's like on Independence Day "Get on the wire tell everyone, we know how to bring em down" :D. If anyone comes across any other issues with any of these techniques post a comment let us know. Goodbye Timeline!


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