The 411 on How to Unfriend Someone on Facebook: Yes, the Time Has Come

Where strangers know too much about each other’s lives. Sometimes, people just don’t want to know what someone ate for dinner or their political views — or every picture taken during a wedding, baby shower, or graduation.

Privacy is just as important as staying connected. And at times, taking an unwanted friend out of a news feed is just as important as letting one in — how to unfriend someone on Facebook becomes an essential question.

So, let’s begin 2021 decluttering!


Table of Contents

  1. How Do I Unfriend?
  2. How to Unfollow Someone
  3. Unfriending Can Lead to Some Real-World Awkwardness
  4. Can Someone Tell if You Unfriend Them?
  5. Is It Better to Block or Unfriend?

How to Unfriend on Facebook: No Fuss, No Muss

Before getting into how to unfriend on Facebook, it’s important to understand why. 

Suppose someone is constantly posting material that causes discomfort, anger, or sadness or expresses values that drive negative influence. In that case, it’s an important policy to remove that friendship status — mental health should always come first.  

Moreover, the process doesn’t need to be nerve-racking — it can be a simple, healthy decision that does wonders in creating an online environment a user wants and deserves. 

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When removing a user is complete, their content and posts are no longer accessible through the feed, and hence the discomfort and unwanted influence go right out the door with them.  

Let’s Start with Mobile Phone

To be more user-friendly and intuitive, a mobile version will have a different set-up than a desktop. It’s important to note the instructions will therefore be a different process.

How do you unfriend someone on FB if you use the app? 

  • Access the App

When deleting a user on a mobile, be sure to sign in to Facebook through the app that can be found through download at the Apple Store. The app should appear as a blue square with a white “f” and directs to the news feed upon login.  

  1. Search the Unwanted User

Type the person’s name into the search bar found at the very top of the page. A drop-down menu will appear with a list of potential names. Be sure to click the right one. 

  • Navigate to the Friend’s Profile 

When at the friend’s page, tap the gray “Friends” box with the checkmark beside it to the left. This checkmark signifies mutual friendship. 

  • Read the Pop-up Menu  

A pop-up menu with the options of “Unfriend,” “Unfollow and “Edit Friend Lists” will appear. Click the first option and press “OK” to complete the removal.

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To be sure the process worked, refresh the page. If the checkmark next to the “friends” box is gone, there are no further steps. 

How to Unfriend on Desktop

If removing friends through the app is not an option, the same process can be done by those who use a desktop computer — it doesn’t matter what kind. 

  • Access the Facebook Website

Type in Facebook into an Internet browser and log into the site with the set-up email or phone number and password. 

  • Search the Unwanted Person 

As on the mobile device, go to the top of the screen and type the person’s name into the search bar. Once a drop-down menu appears, click the friend’s name.

  • Access the Friend’s Page 

A gray “Friends” box with the checkmark besides it will appear to the top-right corner of the friend’s cover picture. This checkmark signifies the mutual friendship. 

  • Scroll Through the Menu

A pop-up menu with the options will appear. Click “Unfriend” at the bottom.

What if Their Account is Deactivated?

If the friend’s name does not appear in the search bar, that means their account is most likely deactivated. 

To ensure they are still “unfriended” (in case one day they choose to activate their account again), follow the steps below:

  1. Click on the “Friends” tab. 
  2. Find the friend’s name.
  3. Choose it. 
  4. Select the “Unfriend” option.

What Does an ‘Unfriend on Facebook’ Mean?

Unfriending on Facebook is not as scary as it sounds. All the action does is take away that friend’s content from a user’s personal news feed. What happens when you unfriend someone on FB is that person’s posts, and status updates will no longer be available on the feed and vice versa.

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A person who is “unfriended” is never notified by the Facebook policy. They will know if a user chose to “unfriend” them if they type their name and see the gray box unchecked.

If a user still wants to see the posts of someone who is unfriended, they have to manually look for that friend’s name in the search bar.

How to Unfollow Someone on Facebook: It’s an Option Too 

Removing a friend from Facebook and unfollowing them are two different things based on small but significant nuances. Both take no time at all. 

Unfriending means the users are no longer on each other’s friends lists. Both of them will not see that friend’s content on their news feed. 

Unfollowing, on the other hand, is less final. By unfollowing a friend, the user takes away the option of seeing that friend’s posts on his or her personal news feed. However, that person will still be able to see the user’s, so removing friendship is the best choice if privacy is a concern. 

By being Facebook friends, users can automatically see each other’s posts on each other’s feeds and immediately like those posts. So, the question remains: how to unfollow someone on FB?

To unfollow someone, just simply: 

  1. Click the box that says “Following” on that friend’s page
  2. Click “unfollow”
  3. Refresh to make sure the action was indeed processed!

Beware of Unintended Consequences

‘How do I unfriend someone on Facebook?’ is a question that pops up in users’ minds from time to time. Unfriending someone is no fuss, no muss but can cause some awkwardness if that person finds out and doesn’t take the friends’ removal well. 

Some social media users take their friendship counts extremely seriously because they like the online connection and find it personally insulting if someone opts not to follow their life story, posts or content.  

The key is to:

  • Curate a personal definition of what Facebook friendship means in 2021
  • Following through in decisions based on the understanding of this definition when it comes to friendship requests on both ends
  • To avoid any insult to injury, expressing that in an effort to minimize news feed content, the decision had to be made
  • Unfollowing rather than “unfriending” is also always an option

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can Someone Tell If You Unfriend Them on Facebook? 

A user can know they were unfriended if they manually go to a user’s page and see the checkmark gone from the “Friends” box. Otherwise, Facebook’s policy is not to notify the user that they were unfriended.

Is it Better to Block or Unfriend Someone?

This is a serious question and is entirely a personal decision. Blocking someone makes both the user and the friend invisible to one another on the site. If someone is sending disturbing or uncomfortable private messages, it is best to block him or her. 

If a person is posting content that a user doesn’t want to see, unfriending is an easy solution. It should also be done if a user doesn’t want that person to see their content.

Is it Rude to Unfriend Someone? 

Unfriending someone can be important for a user’s feeling of comfort and mental health. Some people might find the decision rude, but their opinions are not as important as the user’s Facebook experience. At the end of the day, if the person was a true friend, they should understand why the decision needed to be made.

Can You Unfriend Someone but Keep Them on Messenger? 

If the friend has been messaged prior to the unfriending, they will continue being an active icon on Messenger, and the ability to communicate remains. Conversations had before the unfriending are also saved. 

Can You Unfriend Someone but Still Follow Them?

When unfriending someone, a user no longer follows them because the content that friend posts will no longer be available on the user’s feed. The friend, on the other hand, still follows the user until they manually go in and choose the same action.

Can You Re-Friend Someone on Facebook? 

If a user wants to re-friend someone, he or she can easily go back to the friend’s profile page and click “Friend.” Sometimes, users just need a break from someone’s content activity, so don’t be afraid to make the “unfriending” choice, especially when it can easily be reversed. 

Cutting Down on Facebook Friends

As said before, “how to delete friends on Facebook” really starts with the “why” to delete Facebook friends.

At the end of the day, a user’s social media is a personally built community and deserves to remain that way. If people who were once close are no longer interested in each other’s influence, it is a good idea to unfriend or unfollow as a user sees fit. 

There is nothing wrong with wanting to maintain a healthy balance of networking and personal relationships on social media, so be sure to be aware of who can see the content. 

How often should someone go through their friends list and do some “spring” cleaning, especially in 2021? Post in the comments below!

Published: December 30, 2021Updated: April 14, 2021

Matt Robinson

Matt Robinson

Matt is an experienced technical writer and translator skilled in writing targeted texts for a variety of audiences. He has a diversified background, including social media management of various products. He is a data-driven strategist and a passionate story-teller. He posts about all social innovations and delivers high-quality research and content to our readers.


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