How to view someone's private Facebook

Updated April 17, 2017

When looking for friends on Facebook, you may have encountered a page that has a lot less information than others. Some of Facebook's more private users opt to pick and choose which information viewers have access to. The "friends only" privacy setting means that certain profile information is blocked from the general public, even if the viewer is signed into his Facebook account. The only way to view this information is to have a friend request approved by the profile owner.

Visit the user's profile page. Click the "Add As Friend" button beside his name at the top of the page. If you are already signed into your Facebook account, a pop-up dialogue will appear that reads "Send [name] a friend request?" If you are not signed in when you click the button, you will be prompted to enter your login info before the dialog appears.

Click the "Add A Personal Message" link in the bottom left corner of the pop-up dialogue. A text field will appear within the dialogue. Type a brief message greeting the person or reminding them where they met you.

Click the button "Send Request" button. The dialogue will close and a friend request will be sent to the owner of the profile. Once the profile owner has confirmed your request, you will be able to view all of his "friends only" information.


If a Facebook user has chosen to make some of their information entirely private by using the "Only Me" privacy setting, this information will not be available to anyone, even approved friends.

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About the Author

Marie Cartwright began writing in 2010. Her work has appeared on various websites. Having held office jobs in copywriting and editing, Cartwright now works from her home in Northern California. She also maintains an events website geared toward the science and technology community.