Your Facebook News Feed can be a busy place, particularly if you have lots of active friends. You might find some of their posts interesting, but chances are you'll ignore a lot of it. Let's face it: when you've seen one baby photo or holiday snap, you've seen them all.

Add to this all the updates from 'friends' you've only met once, colleagues you felt obliged to friend, people you fell out of touch with years ago and friends of friends whose updates appear when you mention the mutual friend, and it can soon become an unmanageable mess. So let's fix it.

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Change your News Feed priority

By default, your Facebook News Feed sorts the stories you see to show ‘top stories’ first. These are posts from your friends, groups and pages that Facebook deems more important in some way, and so thinks you shouldn’t miss.

This can mean you see the same post at the top of the News Feed for some time, with other more recent posts buried further down. To sort the News Feed so that the most recent posts always appear at the top of the list, click the three dots to the right of News Feed in the column on the left of the News Feed page and select Most Recent.

Facebook News feed priority

Filter your friends

Some friends are more important than others, but Facebook treats them all as equals when it comes to your News Feed — unless you tell it otherwise. Facebook lets you put people in different groups which in turn affect how their posts appear in your News Feed.

By default, all new friends you make on Facebook are simply ‘Friends’ and everything they post appears in your News Feed. If some of these friends really aren’t that close and you’re not that interested in what they’re up to, you can demote them to an ‘Acquaintance’, which means you’ll see fewer of their activities in your News Feed.

To do this, move your mouse pointer over their name or photo in your News Feed (or anywhere else you see them) until their profile window pops up. Then click the Friends button at the bottom of this window and select Acquaintances from the list.

Change Facebook friend types

You can do the same thing for Close Friends, which has the opposite effect — you see more of their posts in your News Feed.

Friends don’t know whether they’re Friends, Close Friends or Acquaintances, but take care when publishing your own posts to just Close Friends or Acquaintances with the Who should see this? option. Members won’t see the group name, but they will be able to see who else is in the group and that might give the game away.

Hide posts you’re not interested in

Even close friends can overwhelm your News Feed with things you’re not interested in. Thankfully there’s an easy way to limit the kind of posts you see — and it works for all kinds of friends.

Click the arrow at the top-right corner of a News feed post and you’ll see an option to hide the post. This option will vary according to the post. Hide post instructs Facebook to use its automated judgement to hide posts of that particular type from that person or page, whereas Snooze XXX for 30 days (previously Hide all from XXX will hide all posts about that particular website, app or person (if it’s a post by a friend of a friend).

Hide posts on Facebook

Alternatively, if there’s a friend who still appears too frequently in your News Feed, you also have the option to Unfollow them. You’ll see this option both by hovering over their name on a News feed post, or by clicking the arrow at the top-right of one of their posts. Unfollowing doesn’t ‘unfriend’ the person, it simply hides everything they post, so they’re none the wiser.

Facebook unfollow friend

Remove unwanted apps and likes

Using apps and ‘liking’ pages will lead to posts from both appearing in your News Feed. If there are some you’ve long since lost interest in, removing them will help clean up your feed.

Facebook settings

To see and remove apps attached to your profile, click the arrow at the top-right of any Facebook page and select Settings, then click Apps in the left column of the Settings page.

If you're having trouble with apps posting on your Facebook Timeline, read our full guide to stopping them.

To see and remove ‘liked’ pages, open your profile page and click View Activity Log on the page banner. Click Likes in the column on the left of the Activity Log page, then click the pen icon at the top right of entries on the right and Select Delete to remove them.

Facebook unlike pages

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No more notifications

That should be enough to make your News Feed more manageable – but you might also want to review your notification settings to limit what Facebook alerts you about. Investigate the settings on the Notification Settings page for that.

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