What is the Best Way to Unfriend People on Facebook?

October 7, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Here’s a funny thing. A good friend of mine recently announced that he was quitting Facebook. Impressed, I congratulated him, observing that I would love to do the same. His reply came as something of a shock; something along the lines of: “Oh, I’ll still be using it, just with fewer friends.”

Now, I was slightly baffled by this, until he clarified things a little. Basically, my friend had accumulated far more contacts than he had any need for, and had taken the decision to cancel his account and create a new one, simply because he didn’t know that he could unfriend people.

It seems like an awful lot of work to cancel an account and then create a new one, doesn’t it – except, of course, that it depends on how many friends you want to remove. Even then, you may have photos and a history of interesting status updates that you might want to preserve.

So which is the best option: Facebook’s unfriend option, editing what information appears from that person or deleting your account and starting over?

What is the Best Way to Unfriend People on Facebook?

Unfriend Contacts

Using the unfriend option is pretty simple, although it is hidden away in the Friends screen and the Friends button that appears at the top of each profile that you have in your friends list.

Dismissing one of your friends in Facebook can be done without them knowing, although you should be aware that I you and the friend in question are both using certain apps, then this information might be shared nevertheless.

To revise your friends list, identify the contact in question and either via their profile or the Friends page find the contact, click the Friends button and select Unfriend from the drop-down menu.

Shortly all of the information about this person that appears on your page will cease to appear.

Editing the News Feed

An alternative to ostracising people on Facebook is simply editing what information you see about them. This might be much simpler with unfriending or dealing with the consequences of that action, after all.

To do this in the latest version of Facebook, click the Home button and find an item by the person in question. Via the down arrow in the right-hand side of their status update, you can select from news feed subscription options, which include Unsubscribe from status updates by [FRIEND] and Unsubscribe from [FRIEND].

If you’re concerned about hurting anyone’s feelings by unfriending them (something they will soon notice when Facebook suggests you to them) then this option (which can also be found via the Subscribed button on their individual profiles) if probably best.

Deleting Your Profile

We’ve dealt with deleting a Facebook profile in depth previously – pretty much all you need to know at this stage is that it can be tricky to do, and requires you to never sign into the account in future. Additionally, you will lose all of the photos that you have uploaded, which might be a problem if they were sent to Facebook via a mobile phone that was lost, stolen or wiped.

When recreating your profile, note that you will need to use an alternative email address otherwise Facebook will simply revive your original account.

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