How to Delist Your Facebook Profile From Search Engines

How to Delist Your Facebook Profile From Search Engines
The Facebook website seen through a magnifying glass

Facebook (stylized as Facebook) is an American online social media and social networking service based in Menlo Park, California, and a flagship service of the namesake company Facebook, Inc. It was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, along with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo SaverinAndrew McCollumDustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes.

The founders of Facebook initially limited membership to Harvard students. Membership was expanded to ColumbiaStanford, and Yale before being expanded to the rest of the Ivy LeagueMIT, and higher education institutions in the Boston area, then various other universities, and lastly high school students. Since 2006, anyone who claims to be at least 13 years old has been allowed to become a registered user of Facebook, though this may vary depending on local laws. The name comes from the face book directories often given to American university students.

Facebook can be accessed from devices with Internet connectivity, such as personal computerstablets and smartphones. After registering, users can create a profile revealing information about themselves. They can post text, photos and multimedia which is shared with any other users that have agreed to be their “friend”, or, with a different privacy setting, with any reader. Users can also use various embedded apps, join common-interest groups, buy and sell items or services on Marketplace, and receive notifications of their Facebook friends’ activities and activities of Facebook pages they follow. Facebook claimed that it had 2.74 billion monthly active users as of September 2020,and it was the most downloaded mobile app of the 2010s globally.

Facebook allows search engines like Google to index your profile and publicly available information. But if you don’t want people to be able to look up your social profile outside of Facebook, you can choose to delist it. Here’s how.

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First, head over to Facebook’s website using your Windows 10, Mac, or Linux desktop browser and sign in to your account.

Next, click the arrow in the top-right corner of the social network to reveal a dropdown menu, then select “Settings & Privacy.”

Open settings on Facebook website

Navigate to “Settings.”

Select Settings option on Facebook website

Select “Privacy” from the column on the left.

Visit Privacy settings on Facebook

Scroll down toward the bottom of the page, and under the “How people can find and contact you” section, you’ll find an option called “Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your Profile?”

Visit option to delist Facebook profile from search engine

Click the blue “Edit” button located beside that option.

Edit search engine setting on Facebook

Uncheck the box next to “Allow search engines outside of Facebook to link to your Profile.”

Uncheck search engine setting on Facebook

In the following pop-up message, click “Turn Off.”

Click the Turn Off button to Block Search Engine Linking on Facebook

Finally, select the “Close” option to save your new preference.

Click the Close button to save search engine setting on Facebook

That’s it. Now, Facebook will prevent search engines outside of the social network from linking your profile in their results.

Note: This setting will take at least a few weeks to come into effect. Even after Facebook processes the request on its end, your information and profile link will continue to exist in search engines’ cache and will surface in search results. Once Facebook relays the updated preference to sites such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, they will take some additional time to reflect the changes.

In addition, while search engines will no longer be able to directly link your profile in results, they can crawl your publicly available information, like posts and your full name. Due to this loophole, anyone with the right keywords can still locate your Facebook profile through search engines.

To further reduce your digital footprint, you can limit your posts’ visibility and lock down your Facebook account.

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