How to Get on Facebook Without People Knowing I'm Online

By Matt Koble

You love your friends, but sometimes you love privacy more. You may feel the same way about your Facebook friends. By turning off Facebook chat and refraining from posting, liking or commenting on anything, you'll remain completely incognito while enjoying your Facebook news feed.

Silence Is Golden

Your name appears with a green dot next to it in the chat sidebars of your friends, indicating you're online. Click the chat sidebar's Options menu, which features a cog icon. Select "Turn off Chat" to appear as if you're offline, eliminating your revealing green dot for friends. Turning off chat is a two-way street; you won't see who else is on Facebook. If anyone tries to chat with you while you're offline, the message goes to your Facebook messages. If you view the message, Facebook time stamps the message with the date and marks it as viewed, possibly revealing your clandestine presence.

Customize Chat Settings

If you choose "Advanced Settings" from the Facebook chat Options menu, you can allow or prevent specific friends from seeing that you are online. Choose an option and enter a name to add it to your list.

Isolate Yourself

Facebook's ticker shows your friends' posts, comments and like activity in real time. When you like a post or photo, a friend might see it in the ticker and know you're online. For total secrecy, refrain from posting, commenting on or liking anything during the time you want to remain incognito. Posts and comments are time stamped too, so even if your friend misses you in the ticker, she'll know you were online at the specific time you posted. When you're ready to uncloak and be sociable, turn Facebook chat back on.