How to limit the audience of past posts on Facebook

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 3, 2013
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Facebook

Up until recently Facebook's Graph Search was limited to recent posts and activities. Facebook a couple of days ago changed that so that the search is now covering all of the social networking site's database. What this means for users of the service is that searches may reveal information posted years ago.

Depending on what is being posted on Facebook, and the access rights associated with those posts, it may either be a big deal or no big deal at all.

For some, it may bring up posts that they have made during their wild college years, or when they were in school, which may paint them in a bad light, for instance when a job interviewer searches on Facebook for information.

It all depends on who can see stuff that you post on Facebook though. If you have limited all posts to friends or maybe only a selection of users, then you should not really be that concerned about the all-seeing Graph Search. If you posted publicly on Facebook or used friends of friends, then you may want to address that by limiting the audience of past posts on the site.

Limit past Facebook posts

facebook graph search

It is really easy to use Graph search to find specific information about a Facebook user or users. Depending on what you have liked and posted on Facebook in the past, you may end up in those search results. A basic example is making your relationship status and likes publicly accessible. If you have done so, it is easy to find you by searching for "single women who like alcohol" (or men).

You may want to limit your exposure on the site, if you are not comfortable with that. Changing the visibility of posts that you have shared with the public or friends of friends is thankfully not difficult. Good news is, you do not have to change the visibility for each post individually as there is a preference for that.

Open the Privacy Settings page on Facebook either by following this link, or by clicking on the small drop down arrow on the right side of the main bar (the one that contains the search and notifications), and select settings from its context menu. When you are on the settings page, select Privacy from the left sidebar.

Here you find "who can see my stuff". The third option on this page offers to limit past posts on Facebook. A click on the link displays information that explain what is happening if you go forward with that change. Basically, all content that you have shared with friends of friends or the public will be set to friends only.

facebook limit old posts
Limit Facebook posts

If you want to go ahead with the change, click on limit old posts to go ahead with the change. A confirmation prompt will be displayed to you, and you need to click on confirm here to enforce the change.

As far as other data is concerned, you may want to check up your likes and other data as well. You can do so with a click on "use activity log" on the very same page and use the sidebar links to remove likes or change their visibility.


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  1. The Dark Lady said on July 9, 2023 at 11:19 am

    Martin, I would appreciate that you do not censor this post, as it’s informative writing.

    Onur, there is a misleading statement “[…] GIFs are animated images …”. No, obviously you don’t seem to have take much notice of what you were told back in March regarding; Graphics Interchange Format (GIF).

    For example, (if you had read my replies within that thread, you might have learnt something useful). I even mentioned, “GIF intrinsically supports animated images (GIF89a)”.

    You linked to said article, [Related: …] within this article, but have somehow failed to take onboard what support you were given by several more knowledgeable people.

    If you used AI to help write this article, it has failed miserably.

  2. KeZa said on August 17, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    AI is stupid, and it will not get any better if we really know how this all works. Prove me wrong..

  3. Database failure said on August 18, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    Martin, [#comment-4569908] is only meant to be in: []. Whereas it appears duplicated in several recent random low-quality non relevant articles.

    Obviously it [#comment-4569908] was posted: 9 July 2023. Long before this thread even existed… your database is falling over. Those comments are supposed to have unique ID values. It shouldn’t be possible to duplicate the post ID, if the database had referential integrity.

  4. Howard Pearce said on August 25, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Don’t tell me!

    Ghacks wants the state to step in for STATE-MANDATED associations to save jobs!!!

    Bring in the dictatorship!!!

    And screw Rreedom of Association – too radical for Ghacks maybe

  5. Howard Allan Pearce said on September 7, 2023 at 9:13 am

    GateKeeper ?

    That’s called “appointing” businesses to do the state’s dirty work!!!!!

    But the article says itself that those appointed were not happy – implying they had not choice!!!!!!

  6. owl said on September 7, 2023 at 9:50 am

    @The Dark Lady,
    @Database failure,
    @Howard Pearce,
    @Howard Allan Pearce,

    Note: I replaced the quoted URI scheme: https:// with “>>” and posted.

    The current is owned by “Softonic International S.A.” (sold by Martin in October 2019), and due to the fate of M&A, has changed in quality.
    Many Authors of bloggers and advertisers certified by Softonic have joined the site, and the site is full of articles aimed at advertising and clickbait.
    As it stands, except for articles by Martin Brinkmann, Mike Turcotte, and Ashwin, they are low quality, unhelpful, and even vicious. It is better not to read those articles.
    How to display only articles by a specific author:
    Added line to My filters in uBlock Origin:,.home-posts,.home-category-post:not(:has-text(/Martin Brinkmann|Mike Turcotte|Ashwin/))

    By the way, if you use an RSS reader, you can track exactly where your comments are (I’m an iPad user, so I use “Feedly Classic”, but for Windows I prefer the desktop app “RSS Guard”).
    RSS Guard: Feed reader which supports RSS/ATOM/JSON and many web-based feed services.

  7. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 6:41 pm

    We all live in digital surveillance glass houses under scrutiny of evil people because of people like Musk. It’s only fair that he takes his turn.

  8. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:31 pm

    “Operating systems will be required to let the user choose the browser, virtual assistant and search engine of their choice. Microsoft cannot force users to use Bing or Edge. Apple will have to open up its iOS operating system to allow third-party app stores, aka allow sideloading of apps. Google, on the other hand, will need to provide users with the ability to uninstall preloaded apps (bloatware) from Android devices. Online services will need to allow users to unsubscribe from their platform easily. Gatekeepers need to provide interoperability with third-parties that offer similar services.”

    Wonderful ! Let’s hope they’ll comply with that law more than they are doing with the GDPR.

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