I thought I was able to turn of the ability for non-friends to search me but apparently not. I'd prefer that only friends can view my profile (and if I wanted new ones I would add them). This doesn't seem possible. Is there a way to turn off the "add friend" button on my account? Also how do you limit the content such as timeline and photos non-friends can view? I used another Facebook account that isn't a friend of my own and I could see lots of my personal information.

3 Answers 3


Your choices for who can send you friend requests is "Everyone" or "Friends of Friends". You'll find that setting under "Privacy Shortcuts". Click the padlock icon and expand "Who can contact me".

who can send friend requests

For your future postings, you can set the default to friends only. Expand "who can see my stuff" and set the value for your future posts.

who can see my stuff

If you want to be more restrictive, choose "more options" and choose who you want to limit your postings to by default. (You can always change the privacy setting of a post individually.)

who can see my stuff - more options

There are an epic ton of privacy settings in Facebook, but they don't make it particularly user friendly.

You may need to go back to your old postings and change the privacy level of each one individually. There may still be an option when you change your "future postings" setting to something more restrictive, you'll be prompted to change the privacy level of your old stuff. It did when I tightened up my privacy settings in the wake of some Facebook privacy faux pas.

Otherwise, you can go deeper into your privacy settings (click "See more settings"). Click on "Limit past posts".

privacy settings

Heed the warning.

limit past posts warning

If you use this tool, content on your timeline you've shared with friends of friends or Public will change to Friends. Remember: people who are tagged and their friends may see those posts as well.

You also have the option to individually change the audience of your posts. Just go to the post you want to change and choose a different audience.

This will let you set anything you've posted in the past as "Public" or "Friends of Friends" to just "Friends". As they note, people who are tagged and their friends can also see what you've tagged them in. (If you want to keep it really private, don't tag anybody.)


When you are logged on to Facebook you will see a lock button in the top right corner next to the notifications button. It will give you access to who can see your stuff and who can send you friend requests/messages. I don't think you can turn off the ability for non-friends to search for you but you can limit what they see. And I don't think you can completely turn off the "add friend" button but you can limit it to just friends of your friends.

Image of Privacy Shortcuts


You might also submit feedback/suggestion to Facebook so they can consider implementing something that serves our needs (rather than their desires to link users and earn more income).

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