5 Ways to Clean Up Your Facebook Friends List

Facebook is fun. In fact, one would think, the more the better. I would beg to differ. Obviously, we don’t run professional, marketing fan pages on Facebook – that’s a totally different ball game, but we all have our long list of friends on Facebook.

Childhood buddies, and colleagues who’re in the same league, girlfriends and exes in the same group and not to mention those anonymous folks you don’t even know.

So, how do we manage this whole clutter of potentially catastrophic friend list on Facebook? Here are some options.

1. Group “friends” based on intimacy.

You don’t want your party pictures to be seen by your boss, right? But if you haven’t grouped them into different groups, it’s very likely that whatever picture you post, will go evenly to all of them. Embarrassing! The solution is to group them into different lists. Facebook allows you to split your friends into different groups or lists so that you can selectively update one set of folks and not the other.


First, go to this URL > https://www.facebook.com/bookmarks/lists

Then click on the top button that says “+ Create List”.

Now you can type in a name for the list and select the members from your friend’s list by typing in their name.

2. Update statuses selectively to one group of friends and not others

Create the list as mentioned in Step 1, and next time when you post a status update, choose which list you want the update to be shown from the drop-down menu right next to the status update box.


3. Remove “friends” from Facebook without them knowing.

Admit it, you don’t want all of them. Not all “friends” are friends. You want to remove that annoying guy without him knowing.

Here’s a simple way to do it.

1. Find the person in your feed or go to his profile.

2. Hover mouse on his profile picture and you’ll get a drop-down menu as shown in the screenshot below.

3. Choose “Unfriend” from the drop-down menu. SImple!


4. How to get rid of annoying status updates from friends.

Now, this is a relative term. What’s annoying to me may not be annoying to you. But there sure are certain things in general. Like “game invites” and “spam”.

Admitting that there are no sure shot ways of avoiding this (unless you unfriend each of them as mentioned in Step 2), there is a “next better way” out.

Go to your news feed and check out the “Sort” link. It’s on the top right corner of your feed, right below the status update button. Now, click on it and you’ll get two options to select.
a) Top Stories and
b) Most Recent


If you select “Most Recent”, there is a huge possibility that your newsfeed is cluttered with all non-important status updates. On the other hand, if you select “Top Stories”, Facebook will smartly show you only the most important updates.

5. Get Rid of Inactive, Deadbeat “friends”.

This is a good idea if you have a lot of friends and don’t really find it necessary for all being there. Of course, not all deadbeat friends would be inactive, and there might be genuine cases in there. But this is your decision, while I don’t agree that all deadbeat or inactive friends should be removed, I think it’s a good idea to do little but of spring cleaning once a while to keep that list trimmed.

Here’s how you do it.

Go to your friendship page here: https://www.facebook.com/[your_username]/friends (Substitute your username in the field with square brackets.)

Hover mouse over each friend that is unfamiliar to you, and select “See Friendship” from the drop-down menu.


Now the page will show you all the activity you and the selected person have had in the previous years. Information like when you became friends, any posts that you guys liked or tagged each other, comments, etc.

Now, if you don’t see any activity between you two, I guess it’s safe to unfriend him/her. Obviously, this is not a foolproof method but an alternative way out. You have to use your judgment here as to whom you want to keep and whom you don’t want to, as only you would know who a real friend is whether he is active or inactive.


As I said, Facebook is fun. Sometimes, having a lot of friends is a good thing. But unless you know how to manage them, it could really be a mess. Although there are no black and white ways to do “friend management” on Facebook, use your judgment and follow the tips above, I hope it helps you curb the curve a little bit at least in an effective way, if not completely.

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Mani Karthik

About the Author

Mani Karthik

Entrepreneur, Mentor & Blogger.
I help business grow & scale. Have helped 15+ companies scale in US, Middle East and India.
I share everything I learned on this blog, so that you benefit. Here’s more about me.

2 responses to “5 Ways to Clean Up Your Facebook Friends List”
  1. Matt Maldre

    Facebook doesn’t allow users to short their “Friends List” by “most recent” anymore. Thus, I’m sad to say that your step 4 is out of date. I really liked that feature. I wish Facebook would allow me to sort my Friends Lists by most recent.

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