How to Remove Reels From Facebook Once and For All

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Hey there! Have you noticed Reels popping up all over your Facebook feed lately?

As a fellow Facebook user, I get it – these little videos can be entertaining at first, but they quickly become distracting and even annoying.

You‘re not alone in wanting to remove or limit Reels in your Facebook app. I‘ve got your back!

In this detailed guide, I‘ll walk you through everything you need to know to take control of Reels on Facebook, including:

  • What Reels are, where they came from, and why Facebook launched them
  • The pros and cons of Facebook Reels to consider
  • 6 proven step-by-step methods to eliminate or reduce Reels
  • Expert answers to frequently asked questions

By the end, you‘ll have all the insider tips and tricks to tailor your Facebook experience and feed to exactly what you want to see. Let‘s get started!

What Are Facebook Reels & Why Are They Everywhere?

In case you missed it, Reels are short, entertaining videos between 5 seconds to 60 seconds long designed for mobile devices.

Here are 4 key facts to get you up to speed on the Reels phenomenon:

  1. Reels are Facebook‘s version of TikTok. They allow you to create fun musical videos with all kinds of creative effects and editing features.

  2. Facebook launched Reels in an effort to compete with TikTok. TikTok has exploded in popularity with over 1 billion monthly active users – many of whom are teens and young adults. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg saw TikTok as a threat and wanted to offer a similar short-video experience on Facebook to drive engagement, especially among younger demographics.

  3. Reels rolled out globally to all Facebook users in February 2022. Facebook had been testing Reels since 2020, but the global launch on iOS and Android kicked Reels distribution into overdrive.

  4. Facebook is pushing Reels heavily with their algorithms. Much like TikTok does to keep you scrolling endlessly, Meta designed the Facebook and Instagram feeds to serve up Reels at every turn.

Now that Reels are unavoidable, you‘re probably feeling overwhelmed. Before we dig into how to tame Reels to your liking, let‘s explore the pros and cons.

The Good, The Bad and The Reels: A Pros and Cons Analysis

Reels have some benefits, but also significant downsides depending on who you ask. Let‘s examine both perspectives.

The Case For Reels

For Facebook power users and content creators, Reels can be an exciting new way to express themselves and be entertained right within Facebook.


  • Bite-sized video. Reels are easy and fun to watch on your mobile in spare moments throughout the day. Facebook reports that Reels being shared are 2x longer than regular videos.

  • Viral distribution. Just like TikTok, Reels have the potential to go massively viral outside your own friend circles. Creators can gain huge new audiences overnight with a single viral Reel.

  • Entertainment & laughs. At their best, Reels are genuinely engaging and humorous. The short video format works well for everything from comedy skits to movie excerpts to meme remixes.

  • New musical trends. Songs and sounds going viral on Reels has become a cultural phenomenon that even makes Billboard‘s Hot 100 charts now. Artists crave the Reels bump.

  • Revenue opportunities. Facebook shares ad revenue with Reels creators once they hit certain viewership milestones. Top performers can earn solid income through the Reels Play bonus program.

  • Self-expression. Reels allow everyday people to showcase their talents and creativity through fun editing features and AR filters. Facebook says Reels creators are 2x more likely to get a comment or like.

With these kinds of upsides, you can see why Reels are so appealing…at least to some!

The Case Against Reels

However, Reels have some definite downsides that explain why millions want to remove them from their feeds entirely.


  • Disruptive autoplay. Facebook automatically plays Reels with audio as you scroll which many users report finding annoying, jarring and distracting.

  • Repetitive low-quality content. Much Reels content is cringeworthy, repetitive or straight up ads from influencers and brands. Only around 15% of Reels go "viral."

  • Less originality. The majority of Reels are just people jumping on the latest meme trend or sound rather than creating novel content.

  • Data privacy issues. Facebook collects data on how long you watch each Reel and uses it to target ads – which many find creepy.

  • Negatively impacts mental health. For heavy social media users already prone to comparison and envy, the highly-edited perfect clips presented on Reels can be damaging.

  • Fatiguing and overwhelming. Numerous users report feeling overwhelmed and exhausted trying to keep up with the endless influx of Reels every time they open Facebook.

As you can see, Reels are a double-edged sword. Which side you land on likely determines how eager you are to remove them from your Facebook experience.

Now let‘s look at how you can actually gain more control.

6 Ways to Remove or Limit Facebook Reels

The good news is you have options to tailor Reels to your liking or avoid them altogether.

Let‘s explore the pros and cons of each method:

1. Hide Reels from Facebook Shortcuts

This takes just a few taps:

  1. Tap the Reels shortcut at top of your Facebook feed.
  2. Select the 3-dot menu.
  3. Choose "Hide Reels."


  • Removes Reels tab from your homepage
  • Very quick and easy to do


  • Doesn‘t stop Reels shared by friends from appearing in main feed
  • Reels shortcut could return in future updates

2. Turn Off Autoplay for Videos

Switch autoplay off and Reels won‘t start automatically:

  1. Go to Settings > Media Preferences
  2. Disable "Autoplay Videos" and "Autoplay Short Videos"


  • Stops Reels from playing without consent
  • Lets you manually control which Reels play


  • Doesn‘t remove Reels visually from your feed
  • One extra step to view Reels you actually want to watch

3. Revert to an Older Version of Facebook

Note: This method involves downloading outdated APK files which has security risks. Use caution.

By installing a pre-Reels version of Facebook you can avoid them.

  1. On Android, uninstall the Facebook app
  2. Download a 2020 or earlier APK file
  3. Turn off auto-updates for Facebook


  • Completely eliminates all Reels
  • Light version has less bloatware


  • Lose out on latest Facebook features
  • Safety/performance risks running outdated APKs

4. Use Third-Party Facebook Apps

Apps like Swipe or Frost offer more customization and Reels controls:

  • Swipe claims to cut out "clutter" like Reels
  • Frost has option to disable Reels


  • Fine-tune feed with greater precision
  • Ad-free experience in some apps


  • Features and reliability vary across third-party apps
  • Still risks of Reels slipping through

5. Access Facebook Via Web Browser

Since Reels are designed for mobile, the desktop site has far fewer:


  • Avoid Reels altogether
  • More control over feed in general


  • Lose convenience of mobile app
  • Web interface not as seamless

6. Limit Sharing Your Own Reels

You can restrict who sees Reels you create in just a few taps:

  1. Go to Settings > Privacy > Reels
  2. Adjust sharing settings as desired


  • Customize audience for your content
  • Delete old Reels retroactively


  • Time consuming to update settings for each Reel
  • Can only control Reels you‘ve shared yourself

As you can see, each method has its own pros, cons and limitations. I recommend trying a combination of approaches to see what works best for your needs!

Now let‘s dig into some common questions and expert tips.

FAQs and Expert Tips on Managing Reels

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions along with my best expert advice:

Are Facebook Reels the same as Instagram Reels?

They share certain features, but Reels don‘t automatically cross-post between the apps. You have to manually re-share Reels from Facebook to Instagram or vice versa.

What‘s the best way to avoid Reels completely?

Using the desktop website on a computer is likely the surest way since Reels are so mobile-centric. But you‘ll sacrifice convenience. A combination of disabling autoplay, hiding Reels tab, and using a third-party app may be your best bet to eliminate Reels while still using the mobile app.

What‘s the best way to limit Reels without cutting them out entirely?

I suggest turning off autoplay and hiding the Reels tab from your shortcuts. This prevents Reels "shoving" but allows you to manually watch ones that seem interesting.

Will turning off Reels affect my Facebook experience otherwise?

It shouldn‘t impact anything else. You may miss out on some viral moments and new features launched on Reels, but core Facebook functionality will remain the same.

Why do I still see Reels sometimes even after hiding them?

Friends can still share Reels to their own profiles which may appear in your main feed. There‘s no way to block Reels 100% as long as you have friends actively posting them.

Can I report Reels that are inappropriate?

Yes! Tap the three-dot menu on any Reel to report nudity, hate speech, harassment, false information, and more. Facebook reviewers will check it out.

Will Facebook add more Reels controls in the future?

I expect so based on past experience. Social apps tend to roll out more granular controls over time in response to user feedback. We should see additional customization options soon.

What‘s the best way to find quality Reels I actually want to see?

Follow some of your favorite creators directly so their Reels show up first in your feed. Also check out the Browse and Explorer tabs to find trending topics and sounds that appeal to your interests.

How do I stop getting served the same Reels over and over?

Tap and hold a repetitive Reel, then select "See Less Like This" to train Facebook‘s algorithm. You can also unlike pages and accounts posting constant low-quality Reels.

Let me know if you have any other Reels questions! I‘m always happy to help.

The key is experimenting to get your feed just how you like it. With this guide‘s step-by-step instructions, expert tips and pros and cons comparison, you now have all the tools to take control of Reels.

Here‘s to a more positive scrolling experience!


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.