How to Turn Off Friend Suggestions on Facebook


Facebook friend suggestion notifications have been around since the early days of Facebook.

Although sometimes you might stumble someone you know, many times this might be someone you don’t want to be friends with or maybe even someone you never crossed paths with.

Many Facebook users see this feature as rather creepy and prefer to stop or disable friend suggestions altogether.

Constantly getting “You have a new friend suggestion” notifications can be pretty annoying, even for a social person.

Thankfully, there is a solution.

In this short guide, we will show you how to turn off friend suggestions on Facebook once and for good.

If you want to learn how to stop friend suggestions on Facebook, follow along!

But first, let’s clarify something…

What’s the deal with these Facebook friend suggestions?

Facebook spent years polishing its recommendation engine for a very good reason: user growth.

In the early days of the platform, their team discovered that users who added at least 7 Friends in 10 Days are more likely to come back to the platform and continue using the app.

This is also called the “aha moment” that propelled Facebook’s growth in its initial stage.

OK, since you know the context, time to get rid of them!

How to Turn Off Friend Suggestions on Facebook

For your convenience, I will show you a step-by-step process on both the Facebook app and from the Facebook website.

via a Facebook app on mobile (Android, iOS/iPhone, and iPad)

Step 1: Tap the hamburger menu icon in the top-right corner.

Step 2: Select Settings and then scroll down and select Notification settings

Step 3: In the Notification settings, select People you may know

Step 4: Switch the “Allow notifications on Facebook” to off. Alternatively, if you just want to turn off specific types of notifications (eg. push notifications, SMS notifications, email) you can do that instead.

Step 5: Tap Turn off to confirm the change.

via Facebook.com website

Step 1: In the upper right corner, click the bell icon to open the notifications panel.

Step 2: Click 3 little dots on the right side of the “Notifications” text and then select Notification settings.

Step 3: In the Notification settings, find the “People You May Know” section and click it.

Step 4: Turn off “Allow Notifications on Facebook”. Alternatively, you can just disable particular types of notifications (like push notifications, phone SMS, etc.) on your account.

Whether you change the “suggested friends” notification settings via the website or mobile app, the above steps should stop Facebook from sending you notifications across your Facebook account on any device.

What are Facebook friend suggestions based on? How Does Facebook Suggest Friends?

Facebook friend suggestions algorithm is based primarily on your contacts, location data, and other mutual friends you have with people who are currently your friends on Facebook.

If you don’t have any mutual friends, the former two will be used to determine people you may know.

How Does Facebook Suggest Friends Without Mutual Friends?

Facebook might still suggest friends without mutual friends based on your location data, places you have been to, your interests, and people you crossed paths with on events or meetings you both attended.

How to Stop Facebook from Suggesting Me to Others?

Keep in mind that disabling notifications on your end does not prevent you from showing up in suggestions on accounts of others.

If you do not want to show up in suggested friends on other people’s profiles, you can change your profile’s privacy settings:

  • change the “Who can see the people, Pages, and lists you follow?” to “Only me”
  • change “Who can send you friend requests” to “Friends of friends”
  • change “Who can see your friend lists” to “Only me”
  • disable public visibility in search engines
  • disable location service for the Facebook mobile app in your iPhone/Android settings

If you want to know how to change these settings on the Facebook app or website, check out our guide to privacy settings on Facebook.

If you search for someone on Facebook will you show up as a suggested friend?

Although Facebook does track and keep your search history, there is no official statement from Facebook regarding this matter.

In general, people on Facebook won’t know you’ve searched for them or visited their profile, however, some Facebook users reported that they ended up in friend suggestions after they visited someone’s profile.

How to Stop Friend Suggestions on Facebook: Final Note

Friend suggestion notifications on Facebook are not going away anytime soon.

The good news is that is fairly easy to disable them and we described this process above.

Doing so not only stops friend suggestion notifications from appearing but also will bring the friend request number down.

If you want to know more about the Facebook friend recommendation engine, I suggest you also read our guide to people you may know on Facebook.

About the author

Karen is a senior technical writer and copywriter here at GrowFollowing. Her area of expertize are social media apps and new media.