Why Can‘t I Add Someone on Facebook?

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Trying to connect with someone new on Facebook but can‘t find the “Add Friend” button? Annoying right? Don‘t worry, you‘re not alone. Lots of people have found themselves asking "Why can‘t I add someone on Facebook?"

As a social media expert and tech geek, I‘ve helped tons of users troubleshoot this situation. In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll walk you step-by-step through the top reasons you may be unable to send a friend request and how to fix it.

By the end, you‘ll have a toolkit to troubleshoot any "Can‘t Add Friend" issues in the future. Let‘s dig in!

Reasons You Might Not Be Able To Add Someone

There are a handful of explanations for why the Add Friend button may be missing or unclickable when you view someone‘s profile:

Their Privacy Settings Are Restrictive

The most common reason is that the person has set their privacy settings so random people can‘t send them friend requests.

For example, they may have it set so only "Friends of Friends" can request to add them. Here are the different options people can choose from on Facebook:

  • Everyone: Anyone on Facebook can send you a friend request
  • Friends of Friends: Only people with mutual connections can request you
  • Friends Only: Viewers can‘t send you any requests unless already friends
  • Custom: Highly tailored settings, usually very restrictive

If someone isn‘t allowing requests from strangers, you‘ll only be able to send a request if you share mutual Facebook friends.

According to 2021 data from Statistica, over 65% of Facebook users keep their settings on "Friends of Friends", so this issue is very common!

They Rejected Your Previous Request

Here‘s another super annoying scenario – you try to add someone as a friend but they reject your request. Now afterwards, the Add Friend button is gone!

When someone formally rejects your friend request on Facebook, you are temporarily blocked from sending another request to that person for a few days or weeks. This is to prevent spamming.

Facebook friend request rejected

An example of a rejected Facebook friend request notification

If it‘s been over a month and you still can‘t re-request them, they may have blocked you entirely. A block prevents all interactions, not just new requests.

You Hit Facebook‘s Friend Limit

While not a super common issue, it is possible to hit the maximum friend limit imposed by Facebook. As of 2022, here‘s the current friendship cap:

  • Personal accounts can have up to 5,000 friends
  • Business Pages have no friend limit
  • Celebrity and community accounts can have up to 10,000 followers

If you try adding more friends beyond the limit, Facebook simply won‘t allow it. You‘ll have to delete existing connections to make room for new ones.

Your Request Got Marked As Spam

Too many sent friend requests in a short time period can cause Facebook to flag your account for spam-like activity. This is especially true if you‘re sending requests to strangers or people you have no connections with.

Once this happens, a temporary block is placed on your ability to send more friend requests until your account is back in good standing.

Facebook spam error

An example of Facebook‘s spam error message

To avoid this, I recommend spacing out your requests and only sending ones to people you genuinely know or share mutual friends with.

You Already Sent a Request

It sounds obvious but check to make sure you didn‘t already send this person a friend request! If you currently have a pending request or they have your request marked as "Unread", you won‘t be able to send another.

You‘ll need to either wait for them to accept/reject your existing request or cancel the pending one before being able to send a new request.

Their Account Is Deactivated

If someone deactivated their Facebook account, it essentially disappears along with the Add Friend button. You won‘t be able to interact with their profile at all until they reactivate it.

You‘re Blocked

If someone has proactively blocked you on Facebook, it prevents you from viewing their profile or sending any friend requests. Unlike rejecting a request, blocks are permanent unless the user decides to undo it.

Facebook spam error

Checking from a separate account can help you determine if you‘re blocked. You‘ll know for sure if you can see the person‘s profile from that other account but not your own.

Okay, now that you know why it happens, let‘s get into how to fix it!

How to Troubleshoot "Can‘t Add Friend on Facebook"

Whenever you can‘t send a friend request to someone, here are some steps to troubleshoot:

Step 1: Wait it Out

If you recently had a request rejected or marked as spam, give it some time. Facebook usually takes a few days to a few weeks to lift temporary sending blocks.

Step 2: Message the Person

Try sending the person a message explaining who you are and asking them to add you first. This gives them full control over connecting.

Click on the "Message" button on their profile, type out a nice note, and see if they‘ll send you the request instead.

Facebook message example

An example of sending a Facebook message

Pro Tip: Don‘t overmessage people who don‘t respond. That will just annoy them further.

Step 3: Connect Through Mutual Friends

Scan their friends list to see if you share any mutual connections. Try friending some of those individuals first.

Once you share friends in common, if the person‘s settings are set to "Friends of Friends", it will now let you send a request successfully.

Facebook mutual friends

Finding mutual friends on Facebook

Step 4: Adjust Your Privacy Settings

Check your own Facebook account settings. Make sure you don‘t have restrictions enabled on receiving friend requests or messages.

Sometimes the issue ends up being on your end due to overly strict privacy configurations. Open up your settings a bit.

Facebook privacy settings

Facebook‘s privacy settings page

Step 5: Contact Facebook Support

Reach out to Facebook‘s customer support team for additional help. They can look at the specifics of your account and the other person‘s account to troubleshoot further.

Facebook help center

Facebook‘s Help Center where you can submit support tickets

I‘d recommend going through Facebook‘s troubleshooting guides first before submitting a ticket. Their articles cover most common issues.

But for anything complex or persistent, don‘t hesitate to reach out to the pros. That‘s what they‘re there for!

Avoiding "Can‘t Add Friend" Problems in the Future

Here are some tips to avoid running into this pesky situation again later:

  • Only send requests to people you have existing connections with
  • Don‘t rapidly send multiple requests in a row
  • Frequently clean up your friends list to stay under the 5,000 limit
  • Ask new connections to send you the request first
  • Avoid getting blocked by not messaging excessively

Following those best practices ensures your account stays in good standing. You‘ll be adding new friends seamlessly in no time!

Let‘s wrap up with some common questions:

FAQs and Key Takeaways

Why did my Facebook friend request get rejected?

Common reasons for rejected requests:

  • The user doesn‘t know you
  • Their privacy settings are restrictive
  • You have no mutual connections
  • They want to limit friend count

How can I add someone with no mutual friends?

Try connecting with their existing friends first before requesting the actual person. You can also message them to ask for the request.

What happens if I delete a sent friend request?

Deleting a sent request withdraws the notification and ability for them to accept/reject. You can send a new one anytime unless blocked.

Is there a limit to daily Facebook requests?

No official limit, but beware sending too many too fast. Spacing out requests reduces spam risks.

The key takeaways here:

  • Privacy settings, previous rejects, blocks, and limits can all prevent sending new friend requests.

  • Troubleshoot by waiting, messaging the person, connecting mutual friends, adjusting your settings, and contacting support.

  • Follow best practices like avoiding mass requests to prevent future issues.

Whew, that was a lot of info! Let me know if you have any other questions. Happy friending!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.