How to Hide Your Following List on TikTok – Top10SM

default image

How to Completely Hide Your Following List on TikTok

Wondering who can see the full list of accounts you follow on TikTok? By default, your "Following" list is 100% public on your profile. This allows anyone and everyone to tap and browse all of the accounts you actively follow on TikTok.

But what if you want more privacy around who you follow?

In today‘s guide, you‘ll learn how to completely hide your following list on TikTok step-by-step. I‘ll also share expert insight into how TikTok following lists work, reasons to hide it, and extra privacy tips.

Let‘s dive in!

The Need-to-Know on TikTok Following Lists

First, let me catch you up on everything you need to know about how TikTok following lists function:

  • Public by Default – The accounts you follow are automatically public on your profile for all users to see.

  • Two-Way Viewing – You can view someone else‘s following list if their profile is public. And vice versa.

  • Privacy Settings – You can hide your following list in your privacy settings. This replaces the following number with "Follows You."

  • Verification Bypass – Verified "Friends" you approve can view your hidden following list.

  • Private Profile Impact – Setting your whole TikTok profile to private also hides your following list.

Now that you‘ve got the basics down, let‘s walk through exactly how to hide your following list on TikTok step-by-step.

Step 1: Open Your TikTok Profile Page

First, launch the TikTok app on your mobile device and navigate to your own profile page.

The quickest way is to tap your profile icon on the bottom right:

[Insert screenshot of TikTok profile icon]

This drops you right onto your public profile view.

Step 2: Tap the Menu Icon

Once viewing your profile, tap the 3-dot menu icon in the top right corner:

[Insert screenshot of TikTok menu icon]

This opens up the account options menu.

Step 3: Select "Privacy and Safety"

In the menu, choose "Privacy and Safety" to access your account‘s privacy settings.

[Insert screenshot of selecting "Privacy and Safety"]

This is where you can customize exactly what information is visible to the public or just yourself.

Step 4: Tap "Following List"

On the Privacy page, scroll down and tap "Following List" under the Safety header:

[Insert screenshot of "Following List" in settings]

Selecting this opens the settings specifically for who can view your following list.

Step 5: Switch to "Only Me"

Next, you‘ll see two visibility options for your following list:

  • Everyone – Default public setting where all users can view your following list.

  • Only Me – Private setting where only you can access your following list.

Tap "Only Me" to hide your following list from everyone else on TikTok:

[Insert screenshot of selecting "Only Me"]

This prevents anyone else from viewing the accounts you follow.

Step 6: Confirm Changes

Lastly, confirm your selection to hide your following list when prompted.

And that‘s all it takes! Your TikTok following list is now completely hidden from public viewing.

Expert Insights on TikTok Following List Privacy

Now that you know how to hide your TikTok following list, let me share some expert perspectives on why you may want to hide it in the first place:

Avoid Stalkers or Bullies

Unfortunately, social platforms like TikTok do attract some unsavory characters. Setting your following list to private prevents stalkers or bullies from finding accounts linked to your personal life through who you follow.

According to TikTok’s 2022 Transparency Report, the platform removed:

  • 105,419,063 videos for adult nudity and sexual activities.
  • 4,583,516 videos for child safety policy violations.

Hiding your following list reduces opportunities for inappropriate contact from questionable accounts.

Keep Your Interests More Private

Your following list can reveal personal interests, beliefs, and curiosities you may not want strangers knowing.

For example, following specific health or political accounts. Or niche hobby accounts you follow for fun outside of your public persona.

Hiding your following list keeps those interests more private from anyone encountered through TikTok.

Reduce Social Anxiety

For some users, it simply causes social anxiety knowing their following list is 100% public.

They may feel actively judged if someone interprets following certain accounts as endorsements or associations. Despite just mindlessly tapping “Follow” out of curiosity.

Making your following list private reduces that social worry of being misjudged.

Prevent Follower Judgment

Similarly, hiding your following list avoids current followers feeling hurt if they notice you aren’t following them back.

Out of over 1 billion monthly active TikTok users, the average user cannot reasonably follow back every account that follows them.

But some followers take lack of a follow-back very personally. So a private following list avoids that social drama.

Yes, Private Profiles Also Hide Your Following

Now you may be wondering:

What if I just set my entire TikTok profile to private? Does that also hide my following list?

The answer is yes! Setting your TikTok profile to private via the privacy settings also makes your following list invisible to non-followers.

Here‘s a comparison of public vs private profile settings:

Profile Setting Following List Visibility Other Profile Info Visibility
Public Publicly viewable by all Publicly viewable by all
Private Only visible to followers you approve Only visible to followers you approve

So with a private profile, you essentially get two privacy settings for one:

  • Entire profile hidden from non-followers
  • Following list automatically hidden as well

The choice between a private profile vs just hiding your following list depends on your preferences:

  • Private Profile – Want your entire presence more exclusive? Go private.
  • Public Profile + Hidden Following – Prefer a public persona but following kept private? Adjust list settings only.

Takeaway: Check Your TikTok Privacy Settings

Your TikTok following list visibility defaults to public – but you have full control to hide it with a few quick privacy setting changes.

I recommend periodically double checking what personal data is visible to strangers on your TikTok profile. Customize your privacy settings based on your personal comfort level.

Your following list in particular can reveal more about your off-platform life than you realize. So don‘t hesitate to hide it if you want an added layer of social privacy.

And that wraps up this ultimate guide to hiding your following list on TikTok step-by-step! Hopefully you found this breakdown helpful. Let me know if you have any other TikTok privacy questions.


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.