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Getting Rid of Deactivated Facebook Friends

Last updated in Dec 31, 2017 as many things have changed.
Not only that, I also noticed that "dead" accounts are not always really dead.
Read below to learn more.

I was slowly nearing 5,000 friends when all of a sudden I had 5,089!

Wondering what was happening, a post on the Blackhat World forum caught my eye as someone mentioned the fact that he had 5,700 friends. The answer was that deactivated friends do count against your 5,000 friends limit. They are counted as part of your friends even though they do not have an account anymore and they don't get automatically removed from your list of friends either!

I went on asking how I could get find those and you actually simply have to look at your list of friends. Go to your account and then the Friends button:

Screenshot of my account menubar with the Friends button highlighted by an arrow.

A list of your friends appears. At first you see your top ones. It's going to take you a while to go through 5,000 fiends if you are at that level...

The accounts you are looking for are those without a picture and that have no information under their name. Friends who still have an active account will always have some kind of info in gray under their name. In most cases it will be the number of friends you have in common if you have such. Otherwise the total number of friends they have is displayed, unless they keep that information secret (many people do). If you don't have friends in common and that person does not share their friend's list, then something else about them will be presented such as the school they went to, the job they're at, where they live, etc.

There is an example in my list of a friend who deactivated her account (or at least blocked me). We see that the picture is just the default gray portrait and there is still a Friend button that's checked.

Screenshot of my Friend's list with one who either blocked me or closed here Facebook account.


So this looks like a Facebook friend you can disconnect from. After all, their account is shown as deactivated... Is It?

As I have been at it for years, I have noticed that once in a while an account would change from being "deactivated" to back to normal and kicking. I have had several good friend's account shown as deactivated before it just reappeared. This happens all the time. I think it happens less but I've been checking my friend's list much less lately. The reason for this sort of a thing to happen is the way the Database used by Facebook functions. It's a lousy type of database system. It will save the data on computer A and then you attempt to read it from computer B. The data may not yet have been replicated between A and B. It will eventually get there making the environment more correct, but at that time it can fail for you.

When you have a large number of friend that are scattered all around the globe, this is more likely to happen. If you mainly have very local friends (i.e. within your city) you are much less likely to notice this problem. It's still good to know about it because you can be affected at any time.

Shows a screenshot of the Friend Dropdown Menu for any one friend.So what I've done in an attempt to prevent myself from removing friends that are still all good and kicking, is to use that Friend menu and add them to a list I called Removed (see the Add to another list... menu option). This ease the search for these so called deactivated accounts that you can check later in no time (people attached to a list can be viewed from your wall and all those accounts will be in one specific list that way!) If someone from that list reappears later, I move them from my Removed list and add them to my Zombies list. That way I know that this account tends to disappear and reappear on me. At some point, it should stop disappearing. If it stops disappearing for long enough, you should take it out of the Zombies list.

This is hardly a perfect system as it requires you to kind of more or less remember when you added a user to one or the other list. Facebook does not give you that information (which they may not even have.)

Now... if you have 5,000 friends and really need space to add new fresh ones that would do good for your business, feel free to unfriend such Removed friends quickly. You could have a list of close acquaintances and not so close acquaintances that you never want removed, though. This is particularly important if you have someone helping you with your account and doing the cleansing for you. That way that person can check and see whether the person is in a list which prevents their  removal at least until you confirm that it can happen.

So... if you are ready to remove that friend, you can just select the Unfriend menu item in the Friend's Dropdown Menu. That's the fastest way, but note that it takes a while and your browser is likely going to look frozen while Facebook works on it. (I'm not too sure why it's so intense, but they run some client side JavaScript and it can slowdown your whole machine for a little while.)

In the newer version, you can even click on the person's name, which would take you to their account if it weren't considerd deactivated at the moment (as mentioned above, the account may still be just fine, only disconnected from you at the moment because Facebook's database is lousy and just can't find that user... I think that should be a different error than finding an account that's clearly marked as deactivated or blocking you.) If clicking on the name takes you to the user's page, then the account is not considered deactivated, so this is a good method to avoid mistakes (i.e. instead of using the Unfriend option in the Dropdown menu.) WARNING: going to a friends wall is all good, but it's a huge waste of time if you have many friends because you will have to reload that whole list each time you come back. What I do on my end is attempt to open it in a new tab. With my browser I can do that by using the middle mouse button. If the account is considered deactivated, the middle mouse button will be captured and a popup as follow appears on the screen.

Screenshot of the popup dialog that appears when a friend's account is deactivated and you click on their name.

As we can see, the dialog says the account was deactivated. Remember, this dialog is always going to say that, whether the account is indeed deactivated or just not accessible at the moment.

To remove that friend from your list, click the "unfriend <name>" link in the dialog. Click OK or close the dialog to keep the friend. You can also click anywhere else than the dialog to close it. Then you can use the trick I mentioned above to add the user to your Removed list.

If you decided to use a Removed list, then you will want to go check that list once in a while. This is done on your Wall. So click on Home on the top menu bar and on the left side, you will see an entry called Explore. Click on it and one of the options will be Friend Lists, click on that.

Screenshot of my Facebook wall (with an ad...) showing the Explore menu including the Friend Lists option on the left side.

That new page shows you all your lists which you can manage from there. That should include the Removed list you created earlier to add your disappearing friends.

Screenshot of people who were added to my Removed list. As we can see, some pictures reappeared meaning that their accounts were not actually deactivated.Click on that Removed list to see what's in it. It is likely going to be empty if you just created it. After a month or so, you can come back and see whether you see posts from some people or even if you see pictures of people at the top-right (screenshot shown on the right). That is your instant clue that those people were not really deactivated! You can just re-add them to your official list of friends by removing them from the Removed list. I suggest you take the time to create a Zombies list and add them there so that way you will know that these accounts tend to disappear and thus probably don't need to be re-added to the Removed list. As mentioned above, there is unfortunately no date when you add/remove users from a list or another. If you have someone managing your account you could create a 12 Removed lists, one per month. And another 12 Zombies lists, again one per month. That way you could decide how long the account has to reappear or get killed forever.

The See All button at the top-right should allow you to see all those users in a popup and manage them there. It does not always work. The people who have a picture can be clicked on so you can go to their account and you can manage the list from there.

People who are considered deactivated will appear in the popup without a picture. You can click on their name and you're given a the option to unfriend that account.

To remove a user with a picture from that list, you can simply click the little cross that appears at the top-right corner. This is fast, but it won't add the user to the Zombie list where you may want to have it included before removing it from the Removed list. To do so, going to the user account is probably the easiest. I can use the middle mouse button (I like that Unix feature!) On your end, you may be able to use the right mouse button and select Open Link in a New Tab.

Obviously, you could make it simple, Unfriend all those people and if they wanted to stay friends they can just ask to be re-added later. That would not prevent the unwanted random disappearance of the accounts from your friend's list, though... meaning that they could get re-added, re-removed, re-re-added...


inactivated hidden friends in facebok

Hi. I got inactivated hidden friends in my facebook friend list that can´t remove, i can see those hidden people with help of, Super viewer for facebook, but i can´t remove thoes with Friend Remover PRO - Delete All Friends 2017. i maybe been hacked or ?, what tool could help me?.

Can't remove...

I don't use a tool. I just go to Facebook directly. With too many friends, most tools don't work anyway. They time out all the time.

Hidden Deactivated Ghosts friends in facebook

Problem is this Ghosts friends in my facebook friend list is not visible in usual viewing, they only appear them self in Super viewer for facebook, i have there´s user ID numbers with help of Super viewer for facebook

thanks for the help with

thanks for the help with getting rid of repapearing Friends

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