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Useful Facebook Tricks People May Not Know About

I was talking to some people about Facebook and I realized that not many people take the time to figure out or even enjoy tinkering with its options like I do. So I decided to write an article about some Facebook tricks that I've discovered so far. You might find them useful.

#1. Decluttering Your Homepage

If you're like me, then you hate it when your homepage gets cluttered with all the junk activity of your friends playing games on facebook. You know what I mean. Those "So and so robbed Don Purtino's mafia in Mafia Wars" or "Blah caught a Scavenger mouse in MouseHunt". No offense to those who play these games, I'm sure they're lots of fun, but the rest of us don't want our homepage to be filled with these stories that we can't see our friends' important activities amidst all the clutter.

Here's the good news: You can configure your homepage so it doesn't display these stories anymore! If you hover your mouse on a story on your homepage, a Hide tab will appear on its upper right corner. Click on it and you are given two options: (1) Hide the person publishing the story or (2) Hide the application the story is from. I usually hide the application. In our examples above, that would be: Hide Mafia Wars and Hide MouseHunt. Voila! You will never see Mafia Wars and MouseHunt on your homepage again! Nice, huh?

Hide MouseHunt from Facebook homepage

Hide MouseHunt from Facebook homepage

If you ever change your mind and decide you want to see stories from the application back on your homepage, simply click on Edit Options at the bottom right corner of the news feeds on your homepage, select the application you want and click Add To News Feeds.  But I doubt if you'll ever do that.

Homepage filters

Homepage filters

Create or delete filters on facebook homepage

Create or delete filters on facebook homepage

#2. Using Homepage Filters

See those options at the top left side of your homepage? Those are filters. If you've segregated your friends into lists, you'll see the friends lists names there, too. Click on one to view the activities of the people in that particular friends list only. I, for example, have grouped my facebook friends into Family, PCGS Classmates, SHS-G Classmates, etc. If I want to know what my old high school classmates are doing on facebook, I click on the PCGS Classmates filter on my homepage and only the recent activities of my classmates from PCGS show up.

To go back to viewing the activities of all your friends, click on News Feed at the top of the filters.

It's also easy to create or reorder filters. To create filters if you haven't grouped your friends yet, click Create. Type in the name of your filter and add some friends to it. To reorder, click on More at the bottom and drag the filters around. Just so you know, only the items above the double line show up by default when you visit your homepage. If you want to delete filters, click Create, select the filter you want to delete and click Delete This List.  Remember to save your changes!

Customizing Facebook contact information privacy settings

Customizing Facebook contact information privacy settings

#3. Customizing Info Privacy

When I first started out on Facebook, I had decided to add to my friends list only people that I knew personally, so I filled out all the details in my Info tab. Then I started getting friend requests from online acquaintances or even strangers and I realized I couldn't display certain contact information to these people. As I was about to delete the info, I realized that you can customize privacy settings for each individual item in your Contact Information. Here's how:

  1. Click the Info tab on your profile.
  2. Hover your mouse over the Contact Information portion.
  3. Click on the Edit button that appears on its upper right corner.
  4. Click on the padlock icon next to each item and select Customize.
  5. Select Some Friends and choose only the friends or networks that you want to allow. You can even put exceptions.

Another way to do this is to hover your mouse over Settings (beside Logout), then click on Privacy Settings.  There you can control your privacy settings for your Profile, Search, News Feed and Wall, and Applications.

#4. Cleaning Up Your Wall

Has your wall ever gotten hijacked by notifications such as "Blah started the quiz: Dr. Phil's Personality Test" then "Blah completed the quiz: Dr. Phil's Personality Test with the result The Vain, Self-Centered Leader" followed by a big story stating the same thing.  Get rid of the duplicates by clicking on the Remove button that appears to its right when you hover on it!  I've seen so many walls overrun by these useless notifications.  I also remove the notifications that appear on my wall when I change some information on my profile.  I like things neat and organized.  (Which is why I hate that the current Facebook rearranges posts on my wall every now and then instead of following a chronological order.)

#5. Tagging People In Notes

Have you ever wondered if anybody bothers to read your notes on Facebook? It's like, nobody comments. And you wonder if your friends know you ever wrote it? That's happened to me, and I've realized that it's probably because my friends' homepages are so cluttered with the aforementioned junk that they didn't notice the note I wrote. So now I tag the people for whom the note was intended.

Well, strictly speaking, you only tag people in a note when you've mentioned them or written about them in it (just like you tag people in pictures and videos when they are in it), but I guess we can stretch the tag function a little. When you tag a person in a note, picture, or video, it appears on their wall so they have no chance of missing it. Unless they never look at their wall, which is pretty much impossible.

How do you tag people in notes, you ask? Easy. When you write a new note, you'll find "Tag people in this note" to the right of the title. When you type people's names into the blank, they appear under "In this note" and you've tagged them. When you publish the note, it will appear on their walls.

#6. Writing Notes

Okay, I assumed in #5 that you know how to make notes.  For those who don't or have no idea what notes are, they're like mini-blogs where you can write anything for your friends to read.  Where do you find the option to write a note, you ask?  Well, by default it is bookmarked on the lowest portion of your profile.  It's the icon that looks like a page on a spring-bound notebook.  (Hover your mouse over the icons until you find "Notes".)  When you click it you're taken to your friends' notes by default.  There's a "Write a new note" button on the upper right corner.  That's what you're looking for if you want to start a new note.

Scroll to Continue

To view notes you've already written, click My Notes.  Or you can click on your Notes tab in your profile.  The "Notes about me" portion contains all the notes in which you are tagged.


ganesh deore on August 25, 2014:

Hey i can change my name from facebook after 10 days but want to change my name this time facebook say you will wait 2 month's for change the name plz say me how can i change my name

ShaamCA from India on July 20, 2012:

Really a good explanation about facebook , thanks for all those useful tricks

Lessandra on April 24, 2012:

#2 "See those options at the top left side of your homepage? Those are filters. If you've segregated your friends into lists, you'll see the friends lists names there, too. Click on one to view the activities of the people in that particular friends list only. I, for example, have grouped my facebook friends into Family, PCGS Classmates, SHS-G Classmates, etc. If I want to know what my old high school classmates are doing on facebook, I click on the PCGS Classmates filter on my homepage and only the recent activities of my classmates from PCGS show up."

The problem is, there is no "List" on the left side of my FB page. Have they discontinued the way you access what posts you want to see?

Susan Ng Yu (author) on April 15, 2012:

Thank you. :) on April 14, 2012:

ello there I am so happy I found your webpage, I really found you by accident, while I was searching on Digg for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say many thanks for an incredible post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I dona??t have time to read it all at the moment but I have saved it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the superb job. on April 14, 2012:

Excellent post and wonderful blog, I really like this type of interesting articles keep it up. Nice job I really like it!

me on April 05, 2012:

can i send wall post to that people ..who are not my frnds..??

Susan Ng Yu (author) on March 13, 2012:

Do you mean stories on your news feed? Because the only time stories appear on our walls is if someone tags us in it, and you can always moderate those. If so, what I do is unsubscribe from people if I don't want their activity to appear on my news feed. :)

Prithvi on March 13, 2012:

I don't want to see stories(on my wall) of unrelated people just because my friends liked or commented on them. How do you think I can change that setting?

amit ghai on February 22, 2012:

any1 help me i lost my ownershhp in own group and hw can i regain our ownership?

Renee on February 09, 2012:

Thanks for all the information you have made available. It has been very helpful to me.

lillian Titmus on February 03, 2012:

HI, I am trying to get the 'page' is it icon bk, it used to be on but now it is'n I joined mail/rewarsds club, but don't have a 'send me this now ' button, & have been advised to click on the 'page' button & go to 'text size' to be able to cure it, BUT I am having trouble trying to get the 'page' word bk, can you help? please,

binda on January 28, 2012:

Pretty good susan..thanx 2 u now i enjoy facebook.

ssadeques on January 17, 2012:

i dont wanna show that what i am commenting on my friends status/photos to my timeline/wall to my friend... so plzzzzzzzzzzzzz help me. plz commen or mail me:

Frank on January 11, 2012:

hey if like after a day i like my own pic, would it show up on the current homepage?

Nagendra on January 07, 2012:

but how to remove facebook timeline.........

Michelle on January 05, 2012:

How to stop someone from seeing who you blocked

dina on December 31, 2011:

can any one help me I have the new profile but my time line is crazy or something when I write any thing on my profile status then don't appear on my profile and I always find it on home :((((( CAN ANY BODY tell ME What's wrong :((((((((

lynda on December 26, 2011:

Can you block non fans from seeing facebook PAGE photos and content not a personal profile

KHAN on December 23, 2011:


Jenifer on December 22, 2011:

Since the dec 18, 2011 update I am now missing the icon in the iPhone mobile app that was in the upper right hand corner where I could change the view and look at just status updates or just photos. It's completely gone and now I'm forced to look at every type of posts( they are out of order as well) anyone had this problem?

rashid mavilakkandy on December 22, 2011:

it is better idea

Susan Ng Yu (author) on December 19, 2011:

Hi, Chuck. Try this: Click "See All Notifications" and you'll see the "Your Notifications" header at the top of the page that comes out. Click on "Notification Settings" to the far right of this header. Then edit the items under "All Notifications" and tweak them however way you want. :)

Chuck on December 19, 2011:

How do I Stop Notifications on the main facebook page. (top left corner) that do not pertain me. I get notified of every post.

Susan Ng Yu (author) on December 15, 2011:

Hi, lisa. You can configure each photo album's privacy settings and choose exactly who can view them.

Sorry, Joy. I've never tried tagging pages. :O

lisa on December 14, 2011:

i dont want people to seemy photos when they look me up. how do i change that?

Joy Argow on December 13, 2011:

#tagging people - wondering if someone can help. Every now and then if I am trying to tag a band page in a post and if their name doesn't come up in the top three options I'm unable to tag them.... hard to explain... but has anyone had this problem??

top blog on December 13, 2011:

nice post susan ng thanx alot for sharing it.

Susan Ng Yu (author) on December 13, 2011:

I'm not sure, but I don't think so. :O

???? on December 12, 2011:

Question: if someone on your friend list deactivates their profile, i know they can reactivate it at any time, but is there a way to block them from getting back on your page BEFORE they can reactivate?

Susan Ng Yu (author) on December 09, 2011:

I'm sorry Mira, but I don't think we can take down pictures that other Facebook users have uploaded. There is a "report" feature for photos that violate Facebook rules, but I don't think pictures of your baby belong there. Sorry. :O

Mira on December 09, 2011:

Hi. My ex posted pictures of our son on Fb. Is there a way for me to take them down? We do not stay in touch and I do not want him to have my baby's pictures on there. Thx

Susan Ng Yu (author) on November 30, 2011:

I don't think you can, sorry. :O

unknown on November 30, 2011:

how to make only the owner see our COMMENT in his/her POST,,even our fren cant see our commen

Susan Ng Yu (author) on November 27, 2011:

Hi, Ali. I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you mean. Do you want to remove the chat option or was your chat accidentally removed and you want it back?

ali on November 27, 2011:

any body have remove my group chat option can any body help me..........plz

Susan Ng Yu (author) on November 26, 2011:

Hi, Cassandra. It's possible that you used settings in the old Facebook that aren't in the new Facebook anymore. Facebook retained our old settings for features that they've already removed, so I don't know if there's a way for us to undo them anymore. I have a few of those myself.

lulu: Unfortunately, we can only control who comments on posts on our own walls. If your other friends set their profiles so that friends of friends can comment, then your friends who are not their friends can also comment on your posts on their walls. If he's really that irritating, maybe you can ask your other Facebook friends to block him from commenting on their walls? Just a suggestion. :)

lulu on November 26, 2011:

Is there a way to block a FB friend of mine from commenting on things I post on walls that he is not also friends with? It's irritating that he butts into conversations with people who do not know him. He sees the comments in the ticker, which is fine, but can i block him from also commenting??? Please help - I'm sick of it!

shantu saha on November 26, 2011:

its really amazing!


Cassandra on November 26, 2011:

My friends can't see comments (recent activity) I posted to other friend's page. How do I allow them to. I have tried all of the unhide, privacy tricks. Thanks

clik jogos on November 20, 2011:

Hello I liked your site and add news My friends and I always will be your User

Test on November 17, 2011:

Well, there is something more "cool" about tagging that Facebook just launched.

Adi Rawat on November 17, 2011:

Nice.... i've looked at everything in privacy and just cant find anything to change this?

Susan Ng Yu (author) on November 17, 2011:

Hi Claire. I think the feature to hide our wall may have been removed. I've also noticed that my wall can now be viewed by anyone, but only a few posts show such as video links and other trivial stuff. I didn't really mind it because my private stuff remained private. :)

Claire Brown on November 16, 2011:

Hi i was just wondering, my whole facebook is private apart from bits ive made different. but ive noticed people who aren't on my friends list can still click and see my wall and see what's been happening on my facebook. i've looked at everything in privacy and just cant find anything to change this?! is there a way i can completely hide my wall so people who aren't my friends cant see or click on a wall?

Anand R on November 14, 2011:

hey susan Ng..

great tips which are really useful for me !!

Susan Ng Yu (author) on November 10, 2011:

Hi, Angel. :) I haven't seen a pending friend requests feature on Facebook, but it would be handy, wouldn't it?

Angel on November 09, 2011:

I was wondering is there a way you can find out the peoples you have added in the past? Like i would add some people but completely forget about it and 4 months later they accept my friend request. lol i would like to keep track of who i add or if i choose not to add them anymore is there a way to delete them unless you come across their page?

Susan Ng Yu (author) on November 09, 2011:

Glad to be of help. And yes, it does take some time to read all the comments. :)

magento on November 08, 2011:

Give me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! I’m sure you had fun writing this article.

Kamal on November 02, 2011:

Waoo very usefull tips ...thanks dear

Sexy Michael C. on November 01, 2011:

This article isn't updated ...

if you find a new thing at the "NEW THEMED" site

just let me know ...:)

nadz on October 28, 2011:

nice .. sikat ang page ah .. :D

Stopher on October 24, 2011:

FB Purity is an awesome free ap that u might try. Hides all kinds of stuff (including the irritating ticker) and really unclutters the feed.

eve on October 23, 2011:

hi Susan

do u know why is it that my choice of who can post on my wall has "only me" & "friends"?I can't select certain people.

and when I set my privacy as custom and include certain friends from viewing my wall and photos,it actually display the whole list of selected friends instead of "custom"?it used to show custom but not now.

hope u can help as I'm really troubled over this.

Uth Video on October 15, 2011:

You were always able to change the notification settings of your Facebook for iPhone app, but now they are much clearer and easier to view and change.

Hawk Fitness from Franklin,Tennessee on October 12, 2011:

Great tips. I admit the new Facebook is a pain even for the social network savvy such as myself. I like the new Facebook Timeline but I guess they have some pending law suits over privacy. One thing to check is your photos. I had a few photos I didn't want everyone to see and especially since I have a Facebook business page. It will be interesting to see how the timeline will pan out for Facebook Pages, it could be great or a nightmare.

Meki on October 10, 2011:

thanks for theses tips !!

A facebooker on October 02, 2011:

The notifications are so cluttered because people are all trying to notify their friends of all the stupid stuff they're doing. Adding more by tagging people in notes/pictures they aren't in just adds to all the garbage that people don't want to see. I don't want to see a picture of Derp Derpenston's nephew's cousin's son because you decided to tag my friend in the picture.

Susan Ng Yu (author) on October 01, 2011:

You can put just about anything on your Wall, Danton, as long as it doesn't violate any laws. And Facebook now has that inline audience selector where you can choose who can view each post as you make it, so as long as you select "Everyone", even those who aren't on your friends list will be able to see it.

danton527 on September 28, 2011:

Hi -Please help. I'm now learning about my wall. If I dont put any blocks up will my wall be seen by just my friends or everyone?..Cool- can I discuss: i.e. for sales purposes: a jewelry collection i've just completed. what will FB allow me to place on my wall.

Gratsi danton

Susan Ng Yu (author) on September 28, 2011:

Sorry, Dar. I haven't played on Facebook in a long time so I'm not familiar with games anymore. The only way I can think of is to ask your friends. :)

Dar on September 27, 2011:

Is there a way to find out what games each of your friend plays so i can organize them? Thank you!!

Riyaz on September 22, 2011:

Good stuff. Thank you very much.

MoJo on September 12, 2011:

FB says members can't tell when someone views their profile, but I looked at a relative's profile and when I tried to see it again the next day I had apparently been blocked and remain so. How was I blocked if she didn't know I'd "peeked"?

Hansi on September 11, 2011:

fantastic post.You probably did a Good work,and provide much effective imformation for us!Thanks!please bikexinsurance

Susan Ng Yu (author) on September 10, 2011:

Hi, Lesley. I looked at my Facebook home page news feed settings and discovered that you can only select to Show posts from: (a) Friends and pages you interact with the most, or (b) All of your friends and pages.

There is no option to select a friends list. Sorry. :O

Lesley Dewar on September 10, 2011:

Susan - I have made some lists but I cannot find how to get the activities of just one of those lists to display on screen. I can see who is on the list - but cannot work out how to get back to the home page to display them. My home screen will display as you show (who is on the list) - after that - I am lost. Any help here? Thanks Lesley

Susan Ng Yu (author) on September 08, 2011:

Hi, Mary. :) Have you set these options in "Privacy Settings > How You Connect" to "Friends" or "Friends of Friends"?

"Who can post on your Wall?"

"Who can see Wall posts by others on your profile?"

If you've set them to the latter, then your friends' friends, who may not be your friends, can view your wall. :)

mary on September 06, 2011:

Why can people who are not my friends see my wall? I have my privacy settings for friends only.

Susan Ng Yu (author) on September 06, 2011:

Hi, Kalli. After tinkering with Facebook privacy settings for a bit, it seems that there's only one universal button to control all tags. The option to control tags for photos, notes and posts separately would be a good feature though.

Kalli on September 05, 2011:

I am the only one who can see my tagged photos and I dont want this to change. However, I have been tagged in notes & statuses that Id like all my friends to see on my profile. how is this possible to do??

any help will be welcomed

Susan Ng Yu (author) on September 05, 2011:

Thanks, Segun. What is it exactly that you want to change? Privacy settings? :)

Segun michael john on September 05, 2011:

Awesome!!!At last i can close the topic of those lousy stuff you are a genius abat bookmarking this page.pls how can i edit my page settings?

Susan Ng Yu (author) on September 02, 2011:

Hi, Alex. You can configure your Facebook profile so that only you or some selected friends can see your other friends. You can do so by going to Edit Profile > Friends and Family.

Alex on September 01, 2011:

Neat tricks, thanks for sharing! What I am wondering, can one add somebody on fb, without everybody else seeing that you're friends?

Susan Ng Yu (author) on September 01, 2011:

Hi, maryatvan. Sorry, but I haven't encountered that filter tagging me to prompt people so I'm not sure if I can help you. But usually whenever something pops up, I just click on the X in the upper right corner of the pop up. :O

maryatvan on August 31, 2011:

Hi Susan, can you tell me how to remove the filter over the facebook page when I log on to my Facebook. It prompts me to tag people. I only use my facebook to catch up with friends, so now I can't even get on my own page. Sure hope you can help.

Thanks Mary

Baltimore Ravens Jersey Outlet on August 15, 2011:

Thanks for sharing!

facebookthemes on August 02, 2011:

What a nice tricks about facebook. thanks lot

learning management systems on July 13, 2011:

I like Facebook as social networking for it helps me to connect other people and communicate with them.

Barn Shed Plans on July 09, 2011:

Wow these are some really neat tricks to implement. Thank you for this very informative info!

Alan Goodman on June 21, 2011:

I've been surfing online greater than three hours as of late, yet I by no means discovered any fascinating article like yours. It is beautiful worth sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made good content material as you probably did, the internet can be much more helpful than ever before.

bhupinder on May 28, 2011:


fbcodes for You on May 06, 2011:

Thanks lot for Your Sharing. So Nice

Susan Ng Yu (author) on April 07, 2011:

You mean picture thumbnails, nuquestions? You're right, picture thumbnails don't show in the link on your friends' walls when you tag them in notes anymore. I guess Facebook must have removed that feature. :O

nuquestions on April 06, 2011:

Why is it that pictures you add to a note no longer show up on the walls of those tagged in the note? The message shows up ..but if you've added an image-it doesn't show. ??? #frustrating.

ecommerce web development on March 31, 2011:

I hope all these nice tips about Facebook will help me lot and all do find interesting to read them and follow. I was spending a lot of time to configure my facebook page. However, now I got an idea to do it. I appreciate for taking all the effort to write this great article. Very useful trips as facebook is most common for all.

oscommerce development on March 27, 2011:

Hey nice post. Its truly very informative..!! I specially like the way you write this post.

Susan Ng Yu (author) on March 03, 2011:

Thanks for the additional info, Zuggernaut. :)

Zuggernaut on March 02, 2011:

You can add privacy settings for whole lists of people, after you've segregated people into separate lists. For example, close friends, acquaintances, random strangers.

This can save you tinkering with the privacy settings for every single item you post.

layouts for facebook on February 08, 2011:

Great post! Thank.

Susan Ng Yu (author) on February 01, 2011:

Thanks, Azlynn. There used to be a lock icon beside the Share button where you could choose who can see each and every post, but I can't find it now. Facebook may have removed the option. :O

Azlynn from Gisborne, New Zealand on January 28, 2011:

Thank you for this hub! There is one thing I am trying to find out and that is how can I make it where everyone on my friend list doesn't see what I am posting to someone else in my friend list. Any time, I comment on a post or write on a wall or discuss something in a group it shows up in everybodys stream. Even if I go to my own profile page and delete my recent activity, it still shows up in their stream. I dont always want everybody reading everything I comment to other people in my friends list. Is there a way to change that?

oscommerce development on January 28, 2011:

Hey thanks for the great post.

messerc123 from El Paso, Texas on September 15, 2010:

Wow I had no idea you could all that. Very informative. Thanks

Chintan Kotadia on August 25, 2010:

Hey thanks for information. I was searching it for so long and I found it in your blog.

Thanks once again.

FindYourSearch from Las Vegas, NV on August 10, 2010:

Great info! As a side note, hiding game notifications is especially useful if you use Facebook for business purposes. Also, I think #3 needs an update since they revamped their privacy settings earlier this year.

Shruti on July 25, 2010:

hey thnks 4 da info i ws lukin 4 sumfyn lyk dis :)

Susan Ng Yu (author) on July 22, 2010:

Thanks, John. Oh yeah, embedding must have been disabled for this video. You can still watch it on YouTube though. It should give you a few laughs. :)

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