The Difference Between Facebook Restricted and Acquaintances Friends Lists

*Update: This has become my most trafficked post from Google search. However, I never wrote it to be a “hit”. In fact, I wrote it in about ten minutes as an aside to my vlog post: “How To Use Facebook Friends Lists To Their Maximum Potential”. So while I’m glad you’re stopping by, you need to know that I was primarily writing for people and leaders in ministry of the Christian faith at the time.

While I’ve pivoted much of my content since then, I still believe what I said here and still use these lists to guard my heart and mind from unnecessary crap. So if you get snarky in the comments, I reserve the right to either delete it or use your silliness as an example for others to learn from. Your call. :) 

social media Facebook friends lists restricted acquaintances making managing differences difference

Making lists keeps you in control of your Facebook presence

So you’re wondering what the differences are in Restricted and Acquaintances lists? I was too once!

They both have the ability to group people and limit their exposure to your posts and vice versa, right? Well, that’s good, but then why two!? How do you know which list to put people in!? Does it matter?

It does. Let me explain…


You’ll quickly see that there is, in fact, two distinct reasons for these two distinct lists. To do this, I’ll give you my personal take on these.


Let’s start with the Acquaintances. These are people you don’t really care to see updates from that often.

Yes, you can also control what they see of you, which is good, but primarily this is about what you do or don’t want to see from them! No hard feelings…

We’re talking, maybe, the kids that added you and are always talking nonsense and filling your timeline with noise. You wanna be nice and accept their “friendship” but, “whoa, less noise please!” This is the list!

How about the 12019313239273652 girls that are trolling for attention by posting pictures of themselves all-but-nude? This is the list! How about that guy that’s always doing political or social rants of some kind? Prime candidate for this list! Ha, pun.

Maybe you’re a leader in the public eye and you have lots of people who think you’re “friends”, but in all honesty you don’t care what they ate for supper, or to see the 10th picture of their dog that day, or to hear about how she’s “so angry she’s about to go off on yada, yada, yada.” Well, Acquaintance those folks!

Again, yes you can control what these folks see of you as well by using your Audience Selector in your posting box (remember, go watch my post or check out the comments), but bottom line thinking here:

“I don’t wanna see _______ from _______.”


Then there’s the Restricted. These are the people you don’t want seeing your updates.

Yes you can control this in other ways, but this is more of a blanket fix. Ya know, for those people you just know, that you know, that you know, ya don’t want them creepin on ya! Ha!

Once someone goes in this list, the only way they see your content is if it’s posted as Public in your Audience Selector when you post, or if you directly tag them.

I’d have to admit that I rarely find use for this list. I guess perhaps if you’re wanting to hide things from your boss you might find it useful (but one of you has a problem then).

Perhaps though, again your someone in the public eye and you don’t want people seeing your baby pictures, status updates from your out-of-town trips, honeymoon speedo shots, etc., If that’s you, then, well, there’s a few uses for it.

Bottom line thinking here:

“I don’t want _______ seeing my ________.


The way I look at it is this: If I’m called to be an ambassador for Christ, then I want as many people seeing what I say and do as possible. This means I rarely ever have anyone just plain Restricted. I do at different times though for rare reasons.

Ya know, basically it’s that I think I’m pretty awesome. (Ha! Joke) I mean, If they want to be my “friend” then they get to see my stuff – with some discretion! I’m all about transparency.

If they don’t like it, they don’t need to add me as a “friend”.

The Acquaintances list though, is a huge deal for me. Here’s why this has been so helpful for me (and my wife feels more secure and loved because of it):

Females on Facebook are often looking for attention – like most all of us – with their bodies these days. I don’t believe this is a healthy situation for myself, or any one. It objectifies them, and stirs discontentment in others. Don’t we all agree that’s not the best way to be valued!?

So my Acquaintances list is loaded with tons of females who “troll for attention with their body as bait” – as I’m fond of putting it. They’ll catch something, and probably not what they’re wanting, but I want to guard myself from it being me.

I never have to see these 47 mirror shots, 33 new outfits, and 58 bikini photos per week. Less war on the mind, heart, and soul. It’s a good thing.

Outta site is usually out of mind for me. Thank you lists!

For men or other people who just seem creepy, annoying, or crazy, I can just control their population of my feeds on an individual basis with the selector box on their profile in the right hand corner.

It drops down, you select the updates you’d like and how often. Boom. Done.

The best news of all: Nope, your “friends” are never notified if they’re put on these lists! It’s super easy and private!


Have any other questions or suggestions? How do you use lists? Leave them in the comments below and let me know if this helped ya!


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  • ABeth

    Hello, I am somehow restrcited from my fiances page and niether of us can figure out how it got like that or how to undo it. He dosent have me blocked from seeing anything but somehow I still can’t. How can we fix this?

    • Riley Adam Voth

      Hey ABeth Sorry for the delayed response. Was traveling over the wknd and I’m just now getting back into the swing of things. So do you mean a Page or a personal Profile (there’s a big diff)? I’m guessing you mean his profile. If that’s the case, you must either be on a restricted list by accident, OR (most likely) you are the one that has him set so you can’t see him.

      Most likely, you need to log into your account, click the gear icon in the top right corner, then check your own Privacy and Blocking settings on the left hand side. If you don’t see him in there, then I’ll have another idea. If not: Can you see his profile at all? Like when you search for his name in the search bar at the top of Facebook?

  • Gallus

    I’m not sure how you can connect to the Internet when you’re so far into the closet.

    • Riley Adam Voth

      I’m not sure how you think that’s an intelligent comment. Thanks for your attempt at saying something.

  • Are you for real?

    “Females on Facebook are often looking for attention – like most all of
    us – with their bodies these days. I don’t believe this is a healthy
    situation for myself, or any one.” Maybe you should consider a psychiatrist. What cave did you grow up in?

    • Riley Adam Voth

      The cave that got me married to a super hott woman that loves Jesus, is kind and caring to me and others, faithful to me and to God, super intelligent, is a best friend, and keeps me totally uninterested in other women and fickle, unsatisfying silliness. …Oh, and she loves having sex that makes our relationship even stronger! We have great friends and God uses us and blesses us in amazing ways.

      Now you tell me about your cave.

      • Magnus Roe

        Apparently not disinterested enough to trust yourself with a peek at their flesh though? ;)

        • Riley Adam Voth

          Tell me why that would make any sense? I have a car I really like… so I don’t go cruise car lots. That would only make me discontent. I don’t love my car… so that could be allowable, just stupid.

          But love doesn’t go out of it’s way to tempt itself… it’s not worth it… and if you don’t believe that… you don’t love, you’re just selfish and love yourself only. People that love themselves wouldn’t understand that though.

          • Scott St. Onge

            Amen. This man, Riley, is a Christian man who lives God”s truth. He does not trust his flesh. That is wise. “i know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.” -from Romans, in the bible.

            It’s a Christian thing. “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”

            You are doing a good work here, Riley.


          • Riley Adam Voth

            Thanks Scott! – I appreciate your support and kind words!

          • Scott St. Onge

            Sure thing, Riley.

          • Self-Control Issues Much?

            I stumbled on this post looking for info on different lists, but now all I’m thinking is “Oh, here we go again.” Why, oh why do men make women responsible for men’s lack of self-control? A car analogy? Really? Do you avoid the streets with car lots, too? Because you can’t avoid seeing the shiny new things if you don’t. Clearly you have deep issues if you need to stay away from car lots to keep from wanting to replace the one you have, and the same for women on Facebook. I know the “in the world not of it” thing, but that doesn’t mean cutting yourself off from everything and everyone, it means learning to love yourself enough to learn to be secure with your choices. Also, women are human beings with actual feelings. Cars are not. Do you cover your eyes when you go to a swimming pool? Ask the women to cover up? Or maybe you just avoid swimming pools. Hm. Sounds like a life based in fear, which is not much of a life at all.

            I really do think it’s admirable that you make the choice to not have to look at certain content. But I do think you need to learn to look at women as more than just bodies or pieces of meat. Once you do, they won’t be so “tempting” for you.

            I will pray for you. I will pray God softens your heart and helps you to grow up a little, get a little more maturity under your belt and learn to be responsible for yourself.

          • Riley Adam Voth

            Really? You lecture on maturity and yet can’t put your name with your thoughts? :) I love comments like these, and I leave them on here, because it makes a great example for others of silliness that thinks it’s wise…

            How bout this… I love one woman who loves that I avoid being tempted, so I can continue to prize her above all others – which is, the hardest form of self control and the greatest expression of love! Is it possible to always avoid it – nope, and that’s when Christ’s power, not anything in my power and attempts at self control, is what makes it possible to overcome. God’s word makes this clear… but you don’t sound like one who knows much scripture…

            So I’ll just pose this to you. Which person views women more as “meat” or “bodies” as you put it? The person who avoids looking at them when all they are is their bodies (online without clothes on, at pools without clothes on) or the person who says, “na just go tell yourself they are more than that while you stare at nothing but that!” Hahaha… your “wisdom” is the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. It’s ironic when you tell me to be responsible for my self – when that’s clearly what I’m doing. I can’t be responsible for other’s choices… so I take care of myself and help others to do the same.

            My way is working out awesome (because it’s the way God says to do it in his word)… and God’s blessing it like crazy… So let me know if I can help you anytime.

      • Tammy Bridenbeck

        always be suspicious of people who hide behind a handle or made up name and don’t use their real names (like “Are you for real?” above). They have cowardly ulterior motives.

        • Riley Adam Voth

          So sadly true, Tammy. It’s a cowardly way to interact online, but it’s sadly how many people do things these days… Ridicule others when they feel their own actions being challenged.
          If anyone is so cowardly that instead of stepping up and loving one person rightly, we’d rather hide behind a screen and feed ourselves on the emptiness of looking at people online… it’s no surprise that I’d offend that person.
          Thanks for stopping in Tammy! :)

  • Hallgerður

    Hey Riley! Looks like you know a lot about the facebook business so i wanted to ask you:
    Untill now, I have not used the acquaintences list but when I don´t want news from friends I un-check the “Show in news feed”. button. Is there any difference to these options? If so, what are these cons of having the list? AND where can I manage the list? (Then I mean manage what they see on my behalf)
    Thank you!

    • Riley Adam Voth

      Hey Hallgerður , sorry for my delayed response. Been moving!

      There really isn’t too much difference in what those two options would do for you and your viewing. However, when you put them on the Aquaintances list, it can affect what they see of yours as well if you post something (if you use the audience selector). See attached photo.

      The other perk of lists is that it can keep people collected. Just using the the check mark system like you do will work alright but you’d have to go to their profile and check and uncheck if you change your mind.

      The list management is down the left side column under the heading “Friends” and in your settings. Let me know if I can help anymore!

      • Riley Adam Voth

        Woops here’s the screen shot.

  • Ferb Huynh

    This explanation is amazing and it helps a lot but how about you can be friend with them but you don’t them to see what you doing can you do that? – Thanks

    • Riley Adam Voth

      Hey Ferb! You may have figured this out already, and I’m sorry I didn’t reply faster, but the Restricted list will be the best for what it sounds like you want. If you put them on the Restricted list then they won’t see your updates unless you tag them specifically or you mark your post as Public. Make sure you change your default posting audience so it’s not Public.
      Glad I could help out! :)

      • Ferb Huynh

        It’s all good, thanks so much! Your way is way better than mine and Restricted list will be it (Y) :D

  • Satan (kidding, it’s Frank)

    “Just know that I primarily *right* for leaders…”

    Apparently not…

    You’re a cutie tho ;) I’m gay by the way. I can’t marry someone who is kind and caring to me and others, faithful to me, super intelligent, is a best friend, and keeps me totally uninterested in other men and fickle, unsatisfying silliness. …Oh, and he loves having sex that makes our relationship even stronger — only the majority of Christians think it’s sinful, wrong, and will have us burn in hell. Even if they’re not generally so straight forward with it..though many are, they still think like that in some way, shape, or form. Now some are progressive but most? Notsomuch.

    Please enlighten this homosexual man why my boyfriend and my love are any less deserving of marriage; why a government contract (not a religious institution) should not be allowed. Furthermore, why our love is so bad when we were born that way — and yes. We were born like this. I would not choose to live a life of being feared, hated, forced to hide in the closet, called faggot by supposed believers in Christ, and just otherwise despised. Never mind the scientific evidence pointing to it not being a choice, but just common sense. So…why can’t we be given a government issued statement saying that we are married. Churches do not perform marriages, they perform weddings. There’s a difference. More over, why would God banish us just for being gay? OR for being a nonbeliever. That is not a nice god. The usual response is that we get to choose to accept him or not but that’s not a real decision — it’s the illusion of choice; an ultimatum. I’d like to think that if God exists — he just cares that you do what’s right. Regardless of whether you believe or not. Like the pope recently said, Atheists are saved because Jesus died for us. Jesus doesn’t need our acceptance, he gives his paradise to those deserving. Or would if he does exist. I bet God would love a good gay party now and then up in heaven.

    Anyway — I’m glad you and your love are happy. Sincerely, I am. People who find true love are lucky. I found mine but hey, some are luckier than others.

    • Riley Adam Voth

      Hey thanks for getting in touch Satan Frank. :P Haha.
      I’m glad you pointed out the typo there. I get literally thousands of page views on this post per month and nobody has pointed that out. Sheesh. I’ve got write right now!

      As for the rest of your comment, perhaps I’ll write a post or do a vlog on that very soon (like this next week). You ask some good questions and I really appreciate your respectful manner in which you do. Thanks for that! I’ll link to it right here very soon!

  • Kent

    Thanks for the post. I have an unanswered question. Not just here, but unanswered even on the FB site itself. Maybe you know the answer…
    If I add someone to my Restricted list, do you know if that also prevents them seeing any longer my posts PRIOR to adding them to that list? Or, are they still able to see all those old posts they used to see, except now and in the future they can’t see anything new I post, now that I’ve added them to that list?

    • Riley Adam Voth

      Hey Kent! That’s a great question! I’m actually not completely sure, but I think the answer is that they can’t see anything prior.
      Cause here’s what I know for sure: If you go to the gear icon in the upper right, then click
      Privacy Settings” you can give a blanket setting to all your past posts of “Friends” only. Then for sure anyone in Restricted couldn’t see them cause they aren’t considered a “Friend” anymore – just “Public”. So make sure you have that set. You can do it individually to.
      Then, go to your personal profile, click the gear icon to the right of your picture next to “Activity Log”. Click “View As” and use that to put in a specific person’s name. You’ll then know for sure what they see.
      Thanks for commenting. Hope it helps!

    • Riley Adam Voth

      Hey Kent! That’s a great question! I’m actually not completely sure, but I think the answer is that they can’t see anything prior.
      Cause here’s what I know for sure: If you go to the gear icon in the upper right, then click Privacy Settings” you can give a blanket setting to all your past posts of “Friends” only. Then for sure anyone in Restricted couldn’t see them cause they aren’t considered a “Friend” anymore – just “Public”. So make sure you have that set. You can do it individually per post too.

      Then, go to your personal profile, click the gear icon to the right of your picture next to “Activity Log”. Click “View As” and use that to put in a specific person’s name. You’ll then know for sure what they see.

      Thanks for commenting. Hope it helps!

      • Kent

        Thanks, Riley. I did the “View As” thing and yes, someone on my Restricted list can no longer see anything except the most basic skeleton of my timeline. It does block them from seeing past posts, too. Thanks for getting back to me :)

        • Riley Adam Voth

          Super! Glad you’re all set!

  • Victoria

    Thanks for explaining the diff between acquaintances & restricted lists. That was really helpfu!

    • Riley Adam Voth

      You’re welcome Victoria! Thanks for getting in touch and glad I could help out. :)

  • Aliana

    what if I dont want certain friends of mine see what posts I like or what see my comments? Is restricted list good enough?what if I like someone’s profile picture? How does that work? Since profile picture are public?
    Does it mater if the person in my restricted list and I have mutual friends? would they be able to see my comments on a mutual friend’s photo??

    • Riley Adam Voth

      Hey Aliana, good questions here! Often it depends on *your friend’s* audience settings as far as your likes and comments go. So if you’re liking or commenting a public post, it will show up to everyone. Check the audience of each post you comment on by hovering over the icon on that post if you’re concerned. Yes if you have mutual friends they’ll see it unless that other friend has them restricted from the audience for that post.
      Basically, if you’re uncomfortable about who might see, my best advice is don’t “like” it. Or, if you have a specific person you don’t want seeing you anywhere, block them.

  • zaiby

    If i am in someone s restricted friend list …and he comments on the post of his friend (not my friend )but that post is shared with ,,Friends of Friends ,,will i b able too see that post

  • Tonia

    Wondering if I have been put into a restricted group does that mean when my boyfriend adds new friends I won’t see his new friends on his list will that restrict me from seeing?

    • Riley Adam Voth

      Hey Tonia! Good question – if you’re on the Restricted list then you’ll only see Public posts, so that probably does exclude added friends. Anyone can hide their Friends lists though (except from mutual friends). So my advice is this: If you’re in a relationship where you even SUSPECT that your significant other is hiding “friends” from you… GET OUT OF THAT RELATIONSHIP FAST! Run fast and far. That’s not good at all.