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How to block and hide Facebook applications and requests

:: Saturday, January 26th, 2008 @ 12:05:16 am

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UPDATED on June 12, 2010: How to unblock Facebook apps

I took the time this evening to write a little guide on how to make Facebook less annoying (see my profile). Don’t get me wrong — I love Facebook, but there were some things I had to do to make it usable. This is for those of you who don’t like all the stupid little apps that clutter up your request page and the profiles of so many people out there.

There are four little Facebook tips that I like to share with folks in need:

  1. Disable Beacon
  2. When your friends send you application requests, block first, then ignore
  3. Use IgnoreAll to batch-ignore application requests
  4. Minimize all irrelevant applications on profile pages

Details follow.

1. Disable Beacon

Beacon, one of Facebook’s information-harvesting features, collects information about you as you take actions on third-party websites. You should turn this off immediately.

Steps to disable Facebook Beacon:

  1. Log into Facebook
  2. click on privacy in the upper-right hand corner
  3. click on External Websites
  4. Check the checkbox next to “Don’t allow any websites to send stories to my profile.”
  5. If there are any third-party websites in the list, select “Never” for each
  6. Click on the Save button

2. Block annoying applications immediately

I’ve seen too many of my friends login to Facebook, go to their pending requests, and then click “Ignore” for each request. You want to block each of these applications permanently the first time you see a request. Blocked applications still show up on your friends’ profiles, but cannot access any information about you. This means that those applications will no longer be able to send you annoying requests to join. Here’s my current list of blocked applications:

How do you block an application?

Go to your requests page, but do not ignore any of them yet.


three annoying apps: sunshine, past life, and you’re a hottie

Control/command-click on the application name link in each application request to open the application’s page in a new browser tab. On each application’s page, click on the Block Application link on the right-hand side.


click on block application

Click Block when the confirmation dialog box pops up.

It feels great to know that no one will ever be able to send me sunshine again.

Finally, Ignore the original request that you used to click through to the application.

Let’s say you’ve blocked an application and now want to unblock it? Just go to privacy -> Applications -> Other Applications. (UPDATE) Go to Account -> Privacy Settings -> Applications and Websites -> Blocked Applications. Scroll to the blocked application list and remove the application you want to reinstate.

3. Ignore all application requests at once (optional)

Someone has recently written a script called IgnoreAll that ignores all application requests in the requests list. If you decide that you don’t want to block applications explicitly, you can add the IgnoreAll script to your toolbar and use it to ignore all application requests at once.

Here’s a movie that shows how IgnoreAll works:

4. Minimize irrelevant application profile boxes

The visibility states of application profile boxes are global. This means that if you minimize the Hatching Eggs profile box in one of your friend’s profiles, it will be hidden across all your friends’ profiles. This is awesome.


i hate hatching eggs

Each time I see a new application I can minimize, I get excited. Yeah, it’s sad, but it’s the only way Facebook can be made to be useful for adults.

Some of my friends feel the need to add dozens of applications to their profiles. Instead of a page full of clutter, I only see a page full of minimized applications.


this is so much less annoying

Special thanks to Livia Sohn for letting me use her profile to make the screenshots and movie. I’ve already blocked most of the commonly-found annoying applications out there, and was unable to use my own profile for that purpose. :)

UPDATE: Unofficial response from someone at Facebook:

honestly, beacon was not meant to be a data harvesting product. the intent was to make it easier and seamless to share information that you want to share with you friends: yelp reviews, adding movies to your Blockbuster queue, and perhaps some purchases that you want your friends to know about. that said, the initial launch was not perfect, but we’ve since fixed it by giving the user better controls. now, all the stories need your explicit approval before they are stored and put into your minifeed. which means:

  1. the site sends facebook a story. if you don’t explicitly accept a story, we delete it completely
  2. if a site is shady, you can choose to opt out of that site forever; no stories are stored from that site
  3. the site never gets any info about you from facebook, not your name, not aggregated demographic data, not even your user id.

just wanted to clear this up :-)

UPDATE 19 Feb 2008 It looks like Facebook has added a “Block Application” action that you can invoke directly from an invite / notification.

| Oakland, CA | link | trackback | Jan 26, 2008 00:05:16
  • http://www.tonywublog.com tony

    Thanks Eric, I was about to ditch Facebook b/c of all the spam

  • http://ihatepink.com Caroline :)

    Oh Eric, I am forever grateful to you! snif! Now I can use facebk the way I want without being asked to rate this and hottie that 5 times a day!!!

  • Pingback: 4 ways to make Facebook less annoying | The Latest at Facebook

  • http://pjammer.livejournal.com kai chang

    Thanks, Eric!

    I think Wondermark says it best. :)

  • http://jaycine.com cyn

    er, how much are you charging to have facebook set up so it’s not super annoying? haha! i’ve avoided it like the plague thus far.

  • goopc

    Excellent selection of tips. Thanks for putting them together, I’m posting this on my facebook.

  • Pingback: Saving Face(book) « MEADOR.ORG ~ The virtual world of Granger Meador

  • http://bluebeetleone.blogspot.com/ Bluebeetle(one)

    Hi Eric,

    Thanks a million for this very useful post. ;o)

  • http://ihatepink.com Caroline :)

    Hmm. The “Block App” gods must be listening. There is now the option with these requests to directly block. So it’s two clicks (“Block” and “Are you sure?”) and you’re done, and it’s removed from your notifications area. Suh-weeet!

  • http://www.anne-blythe.blogspot.com Anne

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

  • http://echeng.com echeng

    UPDATE: It looks like Facebook has added a “Block Application” action that you can invoke directly from an invite / notification.

  • Moots

    Great info, thanks. I’d more than had enough of Zombie updates!

  • l dorman

    very informative. I blocked a game application on the facebook live feed that I now want to see there. do you know how to “unblock” this game? everything I read says I have nothing blocked but I know I do.

  • Lavender

    Big thanks for this Eric! There’s now a chnace I may be able to use Facebook without sinking in the oceans of spam!

  • http://facebook wendy

    i sorry some of this i dont understand when i go to privicy it dosent show website external all i want to do is to block stupid tings that people invite u to and i cant understand how to do it as its blurred on my laptop ty wendy

  • twyla

    wow! such a help, I unblocked Mafia Wars requests after trying to figure it out for 1 week. I have been happy to block and leave all other games, but mafia wars finally sucked me in. Thanks Eric!!

  • bigjams11

    How do u UNBLOCK an app?

  • bigjams11

    how do u unblock 1????

  • echeng

    Go to Account -> Privacy Settings -> Applications and Websites -> Blocked Applications and remove the one you want to unblock.

  • Priscilla

    I accidentlly blocked (2) of my games..How do i get them back..Cafe World and Petville

    Help please

  • http://echeng.com/ Eric Cheng

    I feel like I should place the comment box at the bottom of all of the comments to make people READ.

  • keith13b

    This information is outdated!!!!!! Can you post how to block with the new Facebook?

  • http://www.facebook.com/LauraHiggins83 Laura Higgins

    I need help with unblocking an application as well! Please help me!!!!

  • gail

    is there any way to unblock an app that i have chose to block ?

  • Livanbecjr19

    Yea. that was my question. How do you unblock and app. (Farmvile)

  • http://echeng.com/ Eric Cheng

    I've posted directions on how to unblock apps.

  • BrinaBaby

    YOUR DIRECTIONS ARE OLD. They DON'T work. Duh.

  • http://echeng.com/ Eric Cheng

    Funny how old content on the web may not still be applicable. Duh.

  • http://enheng.com/journal/2008/01/26/ Ashley c. fuentes

    oh ashley. i am forever gratefull to you!snif! now i can use facebook the way i want without being asked to rate this and hottie that 5 times a day!!!

  • aryan tunio

    hi chang

  • ladybutterfly

    i blocked an app but im still geting pop ups from it, is there a way to stop it???

  • Sandy

    I would like to uninstall Farmville, but forgot how. Would you help me please? Thank you.

  • Sivasithara

    Thanks Dude Keep it up like this

  • Brian

    What’s frustrating is that if I block an annoying app, I don’t see it on my profile page — but my FRIENDS still see it when they go to my profile.  That’s infuriating!  The whole point of my profile is to manage what my friends see…and they still see crap that I’ve supposedly blocked.  Is there any way to block an app so that it is GONE from the profile that shows up for my friends? http://www.facebook.com/bfreemanbooks

  • Pingback: ¿Asfixiados por la red social? | El Cuarto Bit

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gemma-Clayton/658009513 Gemma Clayton

    Is there a way for the people who play games like cafeworld etc. to have their posts from the game only go to those of their friends that play the game?

    I can understand how annoying it is for people to constantly have these types of pop ups, when they are not playing the game.  But in a lot of these games the pop ups are quite pivotal in completing tasks (such as cityville).

    So if anyone hears of a way to change the settings on the account of the person playing the game, rather than making all of their friends change the settings because they are so annoyed, please let me know.

  • Davisclaude

    Now that makes sense. Will try to follow through! Thanks

  • Pingback: Social Media Overload. Do You Have It? at i live in science land

  • http://www.wildriverreview.com/wildtable Warren Bobrow

    candidly, I’m married and cannot tolerate “dating” websites to ask me through deceptive business practices from signing me up through ambiguous invites.  One of these was received today by someone at Facebook in “marketing”.. This is a marriage ender if there was one. Yangutu is unkind and unwanted.. I followed your clear instructions to cease and desist.  Thank you.

  • Guest

    Yangutu employes deceptive business practices through Facebook invites sent by a supposed marketing employee.  It is unkind, unwanted and unappreciated.  I used your informative site to help me block this application and all like it.  Thank you!

  • Ratansan706

    a one people was changed my password and name too please close my identity

  • Taimoor Azad

    Pls help me facebook Staff. please if any one in future use my pictures or name like in this account then block it. misuse(gay taimoor and taimoor gay) block.but i am send to block this id and pic no return reponse me to facebook. plz i request help urgent.

  • Luvinhbomb

    thank you soooo much!

  • Megan Atwood

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!! So much!!!! Awesome.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.bernazani Dave Bernazani

    Yeah, but how does that help you after you’ve already started an app, like the $&@€£%# past life one?

  • nora

    is there any way i could just block everyone from sending me app requests?

  • Noman Shafiq Tanoli

    samajh nhi ayi yr kasay unblock ho gi yr

  • Noman Shafiq Tanoli

    koi explain kry plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…….

  • Rachel

    Great article but some of it is a bit dated, so if you want to block apps in 2013, watch this – http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....cy0PHrbtXs

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