How To Unfollow on Facebook: The Ultimate Guide for Decluttering Your Feed

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We all know that feeling. You log into Facebook and your News Feed is filled with random updates from people you barely know or content that just doesn‘t interest you. It can make staying on top of the posts you really care about frustrating or overwhelming. Fortunately, Facebook provides an easy solution – unfollowing.

Unfollowing is a handy tool for tailoring your News Feed by removing updates from specific friends or pages without totally disconnecting. In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll explain everything you need to know about cleaning up your Facebook feed by unfollowing.

What Does Unfollowing on Facebook Actually Do?

When you select the unfollow option for a Facebook friend or page, here is exactly what happens:

  • You stop seeing new posts from that person or entity in your News Feed. Essentially, they become muted.

  • The unfollowed person or page is not notified or alerted in any way. Only you can see the change.

  • You remain connected as friends and can still view their full profile page.

  • They retain full access to your profile page and can see your posts.

  • You can refollow them at any time to resume getting updates in your feed.

So in essence, unfollowing allows you to remove clutter from your News Feed without hurting any relationships or severing connections completely. It‘s like hitting an online snooze button!

Now let‘s compare how unfollowing differs from blocking or unfriending someone:

Action Removes From Your Feed Disconnects Friendship Notifies Them
Unfollow Yes No No
Unfriend Yes Yes Yes
Block Yes Yes No

As you can see, unfollowing is the most subtle option giving you complete control over your feed without any social repercussions. Pretty handy!

Why Should You Consider Unfollowing People on Facebook?

Here are some of the most common reasons for using Facebook‘s unfollow feature:

  • Reduce noise from casual acquaintances or distant friends. Do you have old classmates or colleagues posting updates that you just don‘t care to see every day? Unfollowing them clears out the clutter.

  • Avoid spoilers and repetitive posts. Do you have friends that post endless selfies, political rants, or TV show spoilers? Mute them with unfollow.

  • Focus on close connections. Unfollow casual contacts to highlight posts from your inner circle of friends and family.

  • Customize based on interests. Unfollow friends or pages that share content you don‘t engage with. Curate based on your needs.

  • Take a break from someone. Temporarily unfollow a friend flooding your feed without defriending them. You can always refollow later!

  • Manage social anxiety. For some, seeing lots of social updates can induce anxiety. Unfollowing provides more control.

As you can see, the ability to fine tune your News Feed is extremely useful. But keep in mind that unfollowing should be used selectively, not as an excuse to ignore your friends!

How Many Facebook Friends Does the Average User Have?

To determine if you may need to prune your friend list, it helps to see how your network compares to the average Facebook user:

  • As of January 2022, the average number of friends per Facebook user is 338. That‘s up 115% from 155 in 2011.

  • Women tend to have more friends, averaging 393 vs. 290 friends for the average man.

  • People ages 18-29 have the most friends, averaging over 400. Those 65+ have just 134 on average.

  • On average, Facebook users actively engage with around 7% of their total friend networks.

So if you have well over 400 friends, chances are your feed contains plenty of noise from casual contacts, old coworkers, distant relatives and more. Unfollowing can help trim things down to just those you interact with regularly.

Step-by-Step Guide to Unfollowing on Facebook

Ready to clean up your News Feed? Unfollowing someone on Facebook only takes a few clicks. Here is a step-by-step walkthrough for both desktop and mobile:

Unfollow Someone on Facebook via Desktop

  1. Log into your Facebook account on a desktop browser and navigate to the profile page of the person you want to unfollow.

  2. Below their cover photo, click on the "Friends" button.

  3. In the dropdown menu that appears, click on "Unfollow".

  4. A dialog box will pop up asking you to confirm. Click "Unfollow" again.

  5. That‘s it! The button will now say "Follow" instead of "Friends" to indicate you no longer follow this person. Posts will stop appearing in your News Feed.

Unfollow Someone on Facebook via Mobile App

  1. In the Facebook app, tap on the three-line menu button and select "Friends"

  2. Tap on the profile of the person you want to unfollow.

  3. At the top of their profile, tap on the "Following" button.

  4. Select "Unfollow" to confirm your choice.

  5. The Following status will disappear, indicating you‘ve successfully unfollowed them.

See how quick and easy that was? You‘ve just taken control over your News Feed without hurting any feelings or causing offense.

How to Unfollow Pages on Facebook

In addition to friends, you may want to unfollow pages that clutter up your News Feed with irrelevant or annoying updates. Here‘s how to unfollow pages:

Via Desktop:

  1. Navigate to the page‘s profile.

  2. Click the "Liked" button below the cover photo.

  3. Select "Unlike Page" from the dropdown menu.

  4. Confirm by clicking "Unlike" on the pop-up.

Via Mobile App:

  1. Go to the page profile.

  2. Tap the "Liked" button at the top.

  3. Choose "Unlike" to confirm unfollowing the page.

And just like friends, you can always refollow a page in the future if you change your mind!

How to See Who You Have Unfollowed on Facebook

Since unfollowing happens privately, you may forget who exactly you‘ve muted over time. Unfortunately Facebook doesn‘t have a native feature to show you a list of unfollowed accounts. However, here are some tips to keep better track:

  • Periodically scroll through your main News Feed and make note of any friends or pages you thought you had unfollowed. Their posts popping up likely means you accidentally refollowed them.

  • On mobile, use the Friends page to browse your list alphabetically. Note any friends without a Following status since those are unfollowed.

  • Try a third party analytics app like Social Insider or Quintly. Several offer an “Unfollowed” report. But be wary of privacy concerns with third party apps.

  • Maintain your own manual list somewhere, like in a spreadsheet. Add the name of any friend or page you intentionally unfollow for reference.

While a bit tedious, taking note of those you unfollow means you won‘t be surprised by any errant posts cropping up later!

Should You Periodically Refollow Unfollowed Friends?

Once you‘ve unfollowed some friends for a clean, clutter-free feed you may wonder – should I re-enable their posts after a while? Here are a few pros and cons to consider when revisiting your unfollow decisions:

Pros of Refollowing

  • Don‘t miss major life updates from old friends like weddings, babies, new jobs, etc.

  • Leaves the door open for reconnecting and rekindling dormant relationships. Absence makes the heart grow fonder!

  • Prevents hurt feelings if someone discovers you secretly unfollowed them long ago.

  • Allows you to take breaks from friends when needed without cutting them off forever.

Cons of Refollowing

  • Clutter and noise could quickly return if you refollow many people.

  • Friends may continue the same repetitive or annoying posting habits that caused you to unfollow in the first place.

  • Can feel like an emotional rollercoaster if you frequently unfollow and refollow the same people.

  • Goes against the purpose of curating your News Feed to your exact preferences.

Overall, periodically refollowing some friends you muted in the past can be a nice gesture – but be selective! Evaluate if someone truly adds value before letting them back into your feed.

Facebook Unfollowing Case Study

To give you an example of how powerfully unfollowing can transform your feed, let‘s walk through Connie‘s experience.

Connie accepted tons of friend requests over the years and wound up with 724 Facebook friends. She noticed her News Feed was dominated by a few loud personalities while posts from close family got lost in the noise.

Using the unfollow steps covered above, Connie muted about 520 casual acquaintances, old coworkers and distant relatives. This left her with 204 friends whose posts she genuinely cared about.

The results were dramatic. Connie found her Facebook time dropped from 2 hours per day down to just 30 minutes per day. But her enjoyment increased substantially!

By pruning away the clutter of virtual strangers, Connie‘s feed became filled with meaningful updates from those she truly wanted to keep up with. Unfollowing proved a simple way to drastically improve her Facebook experience.

Expert Tips for Smartly Using Facebook‘s Unfollow Feature

Here are my top pro tips for harnessing Facebook‘s unfollow feature to craft the perfect custom feed:

  • Audit your friend list – Scan your list to identity casual contacts prime for unfollowing. Sorting by most recent interactions can help.

  • Turn off notifications – Disable notifications from acquaintances so their every post doesn‘t alert you. Reduce distractions.

  • Unfollow silently – Resist the urge to announce you unfollowed someone. Doing so causes drama. Just subtly remove them.

  • Limit political posts – Unless you enjoy heated debates, unfollow friends sharing too many partisan posts. Social media has enough politics already!

  • Stay positive – Avoid unfollowing friends during temporary disagreements. Focus on muting truly negative influences.

  • Prune regularly – Reassess your feed every few months for new unfollow candidates. Your preferences evolve over time.

  • Keep a list – Track who you unfollow either digitally or on paper. So you can periodically review and refollow certain friends when appropriate.

The key is being intentional about who you connect with on Facebook. Take control by unfollowing anyone bringing negativity or clutter!

Can You Unfollow on Facebook Anonymously?

A common concern around unfollowing friends on Facebook is whether it can be done anonymously. The short answer is yes – 100%!

When you unfollow someone, absolutely nothing changes from their perspective:

  • They DON‘T receive any type of notification in their app or email.

  • There is NO indication shown that you unfollowed them.

  • Your name STILL appears in their friends list.

  • They CAN continue to view your full profile and posts.

So rest assured that unfollowing happens behind the scenes without any social stigma or awkward conversations. Your Facebook friends will be none the wiser!

The Pros and Cons of Unfollowing on Facebook

Like any feature, Facebook‘s unfollow option has both advantages and potential drawbacks. Let‘s examine them:

Pros of Unfollowing

  • Declutter your News Feed from annoying or irrelevant posts
  • Avoid offending friends by discretely muting them
  • Refocus your feed on posts you most care about
  • Custom tailor content based on interests and connections
  • Temporary option that allows refollowing friends later

Cons of Unfollowing

  • Could miss meaningful life updates if you unfollow close friends
  • Enables tuning out differing opinions or important discussions
  • Overuse may increase isolation from your broader social network
  • Those unfollowed might be hurt if they eventually find out
  • Can become addictive and damage real relationships if taken too far

As you can see, the pros generally outweigh the cons when used in a balanced, thoughtful way. But take care not to go overboard living in a curated bubble!

Frequently Asked Questions About Unfollowing on Facebook

Here are answers to some of the most common questions around muting friends and pages using Facebook‘s unfollow feature:

What‘s the difference between unfollowing and unfriending someone?

Unfollowing simply removes their posts from your feed while staying connected as friends. Unfriending disconnects you completely by removing them from your friends list.

Can someone tell if I unfollow them?

No, Facebook does not notify or give any indication to a person that you unfollowed them. The change is only visible to you.

What happens if I unfollow someone I‘m friends with in real life?

Your real life friendship will be unaffected. Unfollowing just removes their Facebook posts from cluttering up your News Feed.

If I unfollow someone, can they still see and contact me on Messenger?

Yes, unfollowing has no impact on your connectivity on Messenger. You remain fully visible and can message as normal.

Is there a limit to how many friends I can unfollow?

No! Facebook does not impose any limits on how many accounts you unfollow. Feel free to clean up your feed.

Can I re-follow someone after unfollowing them?

Absolutely. You can choose to refollow anyone you previously unfollowed at any time to resume seeing updates.

What happens if a friend I unfollowed sends me a new friend request?

If someone you unfollow sends you a new friend request, it will be treated as a new connection request the same as anyone else. You can accept or ignore it.

I hope these answers help address any lingering questions you might have around the mechanics of Facebook unfollowing. Now that you‘re an expert, it‘s time to put your knowledge to work!

Take Control of Your News Feed

Facebook‘s unfollow feature is a handy way to tame an unruly News Feed by removing posts from friends or pages you don‘t necessarily want to disconnect from entirely, but don‘t need updates from constantly cluttering up your timeline.

I encourage you to take a few minutes applying the steps in this guide to unfollow a few of the top offenders making your News Feed noisy and frustrating. As you finely tune your feed by muting select people, you may find your overall Facebook experience becomes less anxiety inducing and more enjoyable.

Here’s to a clean, perfectly customized feed highlighting the things and people you care about most! Don’t settle for less.


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.