Can Someone Tell When You Unfriend Them on Facebook?

By David Nield

Friend links can be broken by either party on Facebook.
i Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Choose to break a friendship with someone on Facebook and the other user won't receive any kind of notification to this effect. If you didn't interact often on the social networking site, the person in question may never notice that the link has been broken. However, users you've unfriended may eventually notice that they cannot see all of your posts or all of the information on your Timeline page.

Unfriending Other Users

You can unfriend any of your current Facebook contacts by opening up the Timeline of the friend in question, opening the "Friends" drop-down menu and choosing the "Unfriend" option. Alternatively open up the "Friends" page from your Timeline and you can access the same drop-down menu and "Unfriend" option next to each of your current contacts. Neither you nor the other person involved will be sent a notification that the Facebook friendship has ended.

Key Differences

Contacts you choose to unfriend on Facebook won't receive any alert about the action you've taken. They may or may not notice that your posts no longer appear in their news feeds; in addition, they won't be able to see posts on your Timeline that you've restricted to friends only. Posts created and photos uploaded by mutual friends in which you're tagged may still appear in the news feeds of people you've unfriended, depending on the privacy settings applied to the updates.

Other Signs

There are other small signs that contacts you've unfriended may notice in the future: when visiting your Facebook Timeline, they'll see an "Add Friend" button rather than a "Friends" one. In addition, you will no longer be listed on their personal Friends pages or on the list of mutual friends that appears when viewing a contact that you both have in common. How soon your unfriended contacts notice these changes -- or whether they notice them at all -- depends on how often they use Facebook, how much time they spend there, and, perhaps, how few friends they have in total.

Setting Post Privacy

Whenever you post new content on Facebook, whether it's a status update, a place check-in or a photo upload, an audience selector drop-down menu appears enabling you to choose who can see the content in question. If you set this to public, anyone on Facebook can view the update, whether or not you are friends. If most of your published content is marked as public, then newly unfriended contacts may not notice much difference when visiting the posts on your Timeline.