Facebook Tip: Turn Off Close Friend Notifications

Ever since I started using Facebook’s new lists, I’ve noticed something very annoying: I get a bunch of random notifications when people in my Close Friends list posts an update.

Facebook Notifications
Apparently, Facebook thinks it's important I know about Two and a Half Men.

When I say “random,” I mean it. This list is a couple hundred people strong. So I don’t get a notification (thankfully) every time one of them posts an update. I only get a handful per day.

But those notifications have no utility at all. There doesn’t appear to be any rhyme or reason to the people and types of content Facebook chooses to notify me about.

So why is Facebook notifying me? I’m guessing it’s just an early bug. But that doesn’t matter. Whether it’s a casual “close friend” or my wife, I don’t need to be notified when they post something.

I did some poking around today, and I found a way to turn off those pesky notifications. Just click on “Close Friends” on the left side of your news feed. Then, at the top right, there will be a drop-down for Notifications.

Facebook List Notifications
There it is! Turn that bad boy off...

The default, of course, is “On.” Turn those puppies off. Unless, of course, you enjoy getting random alerts for no apparent reason.

  • Valene39

    Thanks for the update now if I could only figure out how to post again since all the updates have occured.

    • Anonymous

      Instead of a clear box at the top, now there’s a link/button for Update Status, Add Photo, or Ask Question…

      • Kathleane O’Leary

        If you change those options then you’re changing what you see on your Wall for your Close Friends. 

        What we’re trying to change are the unrelenting Notifications sent out every time someone on our Close Friends list posts a pic or updates their status … I haven’t found an answer to that one as the Turn On and Off Notifications as described above (as far as I can see) is no longer available. I’m probably just missing a step, but I can’t find a way to turn off the relentless Notifications which basically make the Notifications feature un-useable as I now just ignore it. I liked having a Notification if someone replied to my comment or some such thing, but  being notified every time some one posts a pic they found on Pinterest … not so much.

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  • Nbo

    Wow, thanks a lot! Been searching for how to turn these annoying updates OFF! Just went through your steps, hopefully this stops it!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • jonloomer

      You bet! It should work. I don’t get the alerts anymore! Not really sure what the value of these was intended to be, but it’s pretty worthless.

    • Anonymous

      Great! I’m not really sure why they have these alerts. They add no value for me. I guess… MAYBE if you have a very small group of “Close Friends” it makes sense. But for me personally, I really don’t care THAT much about whether or not these people post. I mean, I’ll read it and I care… but I don’t need to be alerted. Not to mention, it seemed to be completely random regarding when I was alerted and when I was not.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Grrr

    How do you get to that thought? When I go to update my status it doesn’t have that ontop :-/

    • Anonymous

      Grrr… What can’t you find? It’s possible that the Close Friends list isn’t listed in your Favorites like mine is. If it’s not, find Lists on the left, hover over that main Lists row and a link for More will come up. Click that. Then select Close Friends, and you’ll get the ability to edit Notifications.

  • Nanners

    I will gladly pay you Tuesday if you can tell me how to get rid of “recent activity” or to disable “recent activity” from public view of subscribers.  Reference Vadim Lavrusik, https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10101268321056370&set=a.10100111870342870.2825615.13930675&type=3&theater

    I have already set my activity of Likes and friending and such to show nothing.  Also, how to fix the “public” setting on photos when uploaded to a page to show my default setting of how I fixed it instead of “public”

    • Anonymous

      Nanners — Can you be specific about the exact recent activity you don’t want your subscribers seeing? I’ll also need more details about your issue with posting to a page. Anything posted to a brand page is public — whether photos or comments or wall posts.

      Can you provide some more details?

      • Justinmungal

        Hi there

        I noticed a strange thing about these notifications/activity.
        Basically I sent a friend request to somebody and dont think they added me and then I was able to make them a Close Friend.  So for a few weeks I was able to get their notifcations and corresponding wall activity.  However starting about a week ago I receive their notifications still but no longer see the corresponding wall activity.
        Is there a way to see the activity associated with the notifications or is this some bug that fb has now fixed that was displaying wall posts to non-friends?

        • Anonymous

          It’s tough to say, Justin. I’ve never seen this, but one possible explanation is that your adding the person to a list even though they weren’t yet a friend prompted a subscription of their content. Just as you can subscribe to my public content, your request created a subscription while your friend request was pending. That way, you could see all of that person’s public content (which could be a lot) even though they hadn’t accepted your friend request.

          It’s something I’ll keep an eye on next time I put in a friend request. Unless I am getting content from them that should be private and they haven’t accepted my request, it’s not a bug. And even if the content you could see changed over a couple of weeks, that’s not necessarily pointing to a bug either — they could have simply changed what was public and what wasn’t, and may have removed ability to subscribe.

          But this is all just a theory. I haven’t had that situation myself, so I can’t say for sure. Is my explanation possibly a fit for your situation?

          • Justinmungal

            thanks for the reply jon. it does seem reasonable what you suggest about the whole subscription while pending period or simply made removed subscription.  In any case, I’ll keep an eye on this thread in case you find anything now that you’re aware of this and also any other possible posts you may do on this in future


          • Anonymous

            Sounds good, Justin! The one issue, of course, is that we need multiple test cases. If it doesn’t work with the first person, it may be because they don’t allow for subscriptions. But I’ll definitely keep my eye on it.

            Thanks for reading!

  • zoe

    thank you :)

  • Guest

    My “Close Friends” list is empty (never used it, never even knew it existed!) and I turned off all notifications just as pictured above, and I’m STILL getting random notifications from a handful of friends’ activities in my email. It just started a few days ago and it’s driving me NUTS! It’s equally aggravating that there’s no clear, direct way to contact Facebook to report this specific problem.

    • http://jonloomer.com/ Jon Loomer

      It sounds like what you’re getting is just regular old Facebook notifications, not Close Friends notifications (which aren’t via email). Go to Account Settings, then click Notifications. You have all sorts of control in there.

      Hope this helps!

      • Josierevisited

        No, they are ‘close friends’ notifications. It didn’t start until this
        ‘close friends’ nonsense, and the unsubscribe link takes you directly to
        the notifications button on the ‘close friends’ page. I, too, have no
        one on my close friends list, and have turned off every single
        notification throughout facebook and get these random updates. The email
        updates even used to state that ‘you are receiving this update because
        you listed so and so as a close friend’ but it looks like they changed
        that now. Annoying.

        • Josierevisited

          in fact, I even just got a notification from someone whose news feed I unsubscribed from! What’s up with that?

          • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

            If I were you, I’d reach out to Facebook. I’m not having these problems, so it sounds like a bug.

            Try this: https://www.facebook.com/help/contact_us.php?id=235210136497081

          • Emma27 27

            complete nonsense, I get these notifications myself even though everything’s off. the who FACEBOOK IS ONE BIG BUG!

          • Shawn Conn

            I have the same issue; no one is in my close friend list yet I still get periodic close friend notifications. Yet again, another FB antic to squeeze more eyeball time out of its users at the cost of annoying everyone else.

            FB needs to learn there are other ways to advertise new features without making it opt-in by default.

          • Josierevisited

             Thanks for that link. I reported it. It’s such a pain in the rear to have my inbox spammed every morning with notifications for ‘close friends’.

          • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

            I’d feel the same way! I was annoyed with just the alerts on Facebook. I like the way it’s set up for me now where I only get emailed if someone tags me.

            Good luck! Can you let me know how it goes? Could be helpful for others with the same issue!

  • kalimba

    Same here – it just started a few days ago – every day a few updates from friends in my email box. I keep going back to turn notifications off but they are already off. Must be a new bug. I just reported it to facebook – can’t believe more people aren’t complaining.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Cross/737543522 Paul Cross

    Thank you!  It took me forever for someone to actually give me a solution to this. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/wilmot3 Laura Wilmot

    Thank you!!! It worked!!

  • Gemini Audax

    Thank you! This was driving me nuts.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CRYCF6OQFXH4HS56HNPTHJAZRE A

    Thank you.

  • ihateit

    i cant find it on the left side of my news feed…how can i find it again??

  • Mylildante

    i cant find it on the left side of my news feed…how can i find it again??

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1646411480 Debbie Lynn Brown Wieske

    Mine is off but I notifications in my email every time I post something on facebook.

  • BassPilot

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve been getting notifications about one particular friend who posts throughout the day, and they’ve been driving me crazy!! I’m glad to know how to turn them off.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ckL.Swaggerific Geofrey Jetlyfe Ddy

    i don’t see the close friends at all

  • http://www.facebook.com/ckL.Swaggerific Geofrey Jetlyfe Ddy


  • Wagabund

    sweet. thanks!

  • Skullmaster99

    THANK YOU..THANK YOU..THANK YOU..THANK YOU..THANK YOU..THANK YOU..THANK YOU..THANK YOU..THANK YOU..THANK YOU..THANK YOU.. This app facebook done is the most annoying one I ever know and u just help me after months and months of annoying friends rubbish…!! and you had the answer…a big THANK YOU..

  • HatesFB

    Thank you, this was sooooooo retarded and annoying. I almost started deleting people because of it and as usual, FB made it impossible to find.

  • Jgibler


  • Fgrgw

    THANK YOU!!!

  • dreu


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505150178 Grace Abernathy

    few!! thank you sooo much. that was driving me crazy!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000226423026 Daniel Smith

    Thank you so much for this article. Those ****ers have been notifying me about stupid **** for the past couple of days. It’s so annoying. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/bojan.hrnkas Bojan Hrnkas

    Thanks a lot! It was really annoying.

  • Bridgitte

    Thank you thank you!!  very tired of getting these random middle of the night notifications on my phone!

  • Nancy

    Before timeline, I had my notifications to go off at 11 pm and on at 7 pm,.  Things were fine and dandy…now i get notifications all the time.  What do I have to do to get it back to off at 1 to 7.  I have to turn off my phone at night and it is the only way my kids can communciate with me.  I have checked the notification time thing and it still says 11 to 7.  But it doesn’t matter.  Thanks for any suggestions.   Nancy

  • Antnlo

    Facebook’s website didn’t even tell me how to do it correctly. Thank you!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9507030 Andrew Jiang


  • Dominic Duncombe

    Thank you! I have been wondering what the phuk was going on. I get like 20 a day and can’t even see the ones actually meant for me.

  • Leonardo Cohen

    YOU JUST SAVED MY LIFE!!!!!!!! Thanks SO MUCH!! You ROCK!!!!!

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Nice! Rock on, Leonardo.

  • od

    thanks man

  • Sarah

    this was super helpful ! thanks so much :)

  • Kamrn

    Thanks!!!! I was so tired of all the notifications!

  • Ankit

    Thank you so much its helps a lot

  • kiki

    I’ve actually done this on my computer and on my mobile devices such as my phone and iPad and I’m still getting updates on them even though all notification options are “off” someone please help, this is so annoying?

  • vaibhav

    thanks it was helpful and i find the notification thingy irritating.

  • Tanyajt

    I came across your video while looking for a solution to turn these notifications back on because I noticed that I’m no longer receiving them. However, when i follow the steps, there is no “notification” button on my close friends page. I made sure Firefox is up to date, but still not button. Any ideas? Thanks!

  • annoying.

    it gets really annoying. My Close friend list does not have anyone on it. And I also turned the notifications off but I still get notifications. WTF

    • http://www.facebook.com/nathan.hamlett Nathan Hamlett

      this is the case for me as well, not sure what’s causing it but it is pretty annoying

      • Mike

        Same thing is happening to me wtf

        • lior

          Same here, it’s becouse they added you as a close friend,,,
          I have no idea how to disable this, very annoying!

          • Amber

            I thought I was the only one! I have no one in this “Close Friends” list AND I tried turning off such notifications regardless – still receiving notifications! This has been driving me crazy, I hope someone discovers a way to stop this :(

  • Brendan

    Wow, I’m surprised to see this article was penned so long ago, because this JUST became an issue for me. I was spared from Facebook automatically adding people to my close friends list, so it was empty. I was still getting notifications from random people when they updated their status or uploaded a picture, so I turned notifications off on the Close Friends list for good measure. Still got notifications. However, I just discovered that, to the right of the list when you’re in it, Facebook gives you suggestions for people to add to the Close Friends list, and I noticed that these were the people for whom I was getting useless notifications. I just removed all suggestions and am hoping that works. Very glitchy. These programmers are careless…. and annoying.

  • scately

    How come those that are in my close friends list.. The pictures they like and comment on won’t show up anymore?

  • EddyMac7

    Thanks! This has been annoying me for some time with no response to the issue from FB. You would think they would have corrected this by now on their own.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pereira2088 Luis Pereira

    i have the notifications off, and i still receive notifications…

    • Miroslav Dochev

      If you have other lists – try disable the notifications for them too !

  • Jen

    This just started happening to me two days ago…
    I added a few people into my “Close Friends” list a while back then I deleted all of them, so there shouldn’t even be anyone on there anymore. Then I recently started getting notifications through my iPod and my phone, so I came here looking for an answer to turn it off… The extremely weird thing about my situation? I don’t even have a freakin “lists” category; nor is “Close Friends” part of my “favourites”. Now, I don’t even know what I’m supposed to do! Facebook has to fix this NOW. I’m getting so annoyed.

    • Ragwho

      Do they know I’m receiving notifications about them?

      • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

        They do not.

  • serena

    I think you get them from people that added you as a close friend. I had noticed this was happening to me with the same people over and over, and then one of them I was getting the notifications from told me she added me as a close friend so she could stalk me (jokingly). I never heard of the close friend thing and when I checked my list it was empty. Maybe its facebooks way to get us using the close friend thing? but probably a glitch since it is supposed to be private if you mark someone as close.

  • http://bluecollarliving.com/ James Dibben

    Thank you for this! just started for a me a couple of days ago and I am ever annoyed. I don’t care that XYZ just added a photo!

  • http://onlineguitarcoaching.com Will Kriski

    this doesn’t solve the problem. try clicking on the ‘world’ symbol to see your notifications and hover over the one in question there will be an ‘x’ to turn it off. I just tried it, hope it works!

    • Bee

      Thanks so much – I was still getting the notifications til I tried this! It said something about top friend activity, too… Hilariously enough, the people who Facebook have randomly listed as my ‘close friends’ are people I think are total idiots haha

    • ReliefAtLast

      THANKS! This worked! I too was receiving random notifications every time my friends would post. I clicked the ‘world’ symbol on the top left banner of the home page, hovered over one of the recent, random notifications, and clicked on the “X” on the top right corner. It says, “You will no longer receive notifications about recent friend activity.” Whew! I thought I’d never find a way to turn them off…

  • Desert2Mountains

    I’ve experienced this same issue and it’s once again Facebook doing some dirty work to work around iOS. I’d suggest people complain to APPLE not Facebook, as the program is not adhering to the notifications settings (turned OFF for Facebook in both areas).

    In the meantime, here is how to get around it, it’s not really clear in this article.

    Go to Facebook, log in, and go to one of the “updates” you got on your iPhone that you did not want. There is a small “x” next to it. Click it. You’ll get a pleading confirmation from Facebook asking if you “no longer want to receive notifications from your “top friends”–evidently a new secret ‘close friends’ list that Facebook programmers decided to make without telling you–and then confirm it.

    You *should* stop receiving these iPhone notifications. Now, the next step? Report Abuse to Apple in iTunes store for this app. Perhaps they’ll fix it.

    • http://twitter.com/rhar75 Rhar75

      thank you dude!

    • Sam

      Thank you so much for posting this. A simply explained solution to what was a very annoying problem.

    • Kev

      Just so you know, you don’t have to have an iPhone (or any phone for that matter) to be badgered by these notifications so there is no reason to complain to Apple. This is definitely an issue with Facebook. The notifications pester you whether you use Facebook on the phone or computer, and you can disable the notifications through either medium by the method you described (1. Log into the Facebook, 2. Click on the globe in the upper lefthand corner, and 3. Hover over one of those recent, pestering notifications, and 4. Click on the “x” in the corner).

      • Evee

        Thanksssss, Kev !!
        I can finally get rid of that bit#h doin shit on fb..
        Sorry, I just get to excited ;D

  • http://twitter.com/Liofa1 Liofa

    It’s always been off, but I still get the notifications. I’ve just tried to delete all of the SUGGESTED friends at the side… because they were mostly the people I get notifications from… Facebook coders are so useless.

  • http://twitter.com/RobstenWhispers Maria, Margo, Em…

    It’s not that’s guys. My close friends list was empty and the notifications were off but I still received them. I went from my iPhone to settings>account settings>notifications>push notifications>top friend activity and I unchecked it. I’ll try to see how does it work from the desktop site but I suppose it’s the same way

  • Heather

    I have the same issues as noted below: 1) I have no one on my “close friends” list, AND 2) notifications are turned off. I STILL get random notifications.

  • Kirk Snyder

    Good god. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  • Koosal

    i can see all my notifications, but photo cannot be seen, what sort of problem is this?

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshua.cook.3192 Joshua Cook

    Good stuff! Be sure to read the other comments for other work-arounds and fixes!

  • mati

    God, those notifications are annoying.

  • Evee

    But there’s no CLOSE FRIEND underneath or above the NEW FEEDS !!
    !@#$%^&*() I cant wait to undo that bit#hhh!!

  • Merl

    I’m looking for a solution to the opposite problem: finding a way to turn off notifications to friends every time I post something to my timeline. Any ideas? Thanks so much!

    • Fela

      did you find a way? same issue here

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  • http://www.facebook.com/dbrtalks Dibin Raj R


  • auburnchick

    Thank you!!!

  • Fela

    this is grate, but I need to do the opposite, I HATE that people that put me in their close friend list get every single notification of what I do, comment or like, how do I stop this?

  • CaliGirl

    thhaaaannnnnnkkkk yoooouuuu!!!! omg that was so annoying! you’re a life saver!

  • billmac2

    Great info – but for me of greater import is how can I stop MY OWN annoying LIKE updates from being emailed to others. This has proved both annoying and embarrassing.

  • disqus_qENx9mf2p9

    what is a spouse alert on facebook

  • muhammad

    just clink your annoying friend and unfollow him