Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Blocking Facebook from your computer is ultimately not possible. There are a few steps you can take to manage how it affects your life, including not letting it bug you.

I keep getting Facebook all over my pages plus stuff from their users. How can I block all Facebook from coming into my computer?

In this excerpt from Answercast #83, I look at the prevalence of Facebook on the web and how that is basically out of your control.

Block Facebook from my computer

Well, the short answer is that you can't.

Facebook is extremely popular. You can certainly try and block email that comes from facebook.com - to prevent people from, perhaps, inviting you to join Facebook, or sharing things with you on Facebook.

Facebook "Likes" on the internet

But - the other part of this is getting rid of it on web pages.

You know what? It's there. It's not something you control; it's not something that's controlled by anything that happens on your computer. It is something that's placed there by the web page authors, to varying degrees.

I, for example, at the bottom of every Ask Leo! article, have a Facebook "Like" widget because liking things on Facebook is one way that people share what they find on websites around the web. Other sites do exactly the same thing. They include Facebook controls to make it easier for the people who do use Facebook to actually use Facebook to share things they find of interest around the web.

Facebook logins

Many sites are now using Facebook as their authentication source.

In other words, they allow you the option of logging into their function using your Facebook login. You'll probably see a lot of that. Again, that's not something you control.

You don't have to use it if they provide an alternative. You don't have to use a Facebook login if you can login in other ways. It's just an option - a convenience for the millions, and millions of people that are using Facebook.

Waste of energy

Ultimately, I think that wishing Facebook would go away, or getting annoyed by Facebook, is a waste of energy.

It is so incredibly popular, and being used by so many people right now, that the best thing I would suggest you do is to simply tolerate it. Delete any emails that you don't want; mark them as spam if you like.

I mean: consider it spam.

If you want to go so far - set up an email filter that blocks any emails that come from Facebook.com, if it's really that upsetting to you.

But in reality, life's too short. This isn't something worth getting upset about and it certainly is not something that's going to go away any time soon.

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

Article C6195 - December 30, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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7 Comments
Doug Brace
December 30, 2012 10:22 AM

two things

1. set your spam filter so that all facebook messages are immediately deleted

2. modify your HOSTS files so that facebook.com reroutes to something else

Bill
December 31, 2012 2:15 PM

There's an add-on called ShareMeNot, with the aid of which the browser I use foxily disables those awful "share" buttons on any web page. Pure Bliss.

You'll need to investigate whether it is available for the particular browser you use. If not, there may be similar alternatives.

Gary M
January 1, 2013 9:13 AM

Ghostery (for Firefox browser platforms) also blocks the "share" buttons for Google+, Facebook, and others.

Sandi
January 1, 2013 9:40 AM

I would like to know how you modify host files so FB.com reroutes to something else?

Benjamin
January 2, 2013 6:35 AM

Leo, why on earth would you say this is "impossible"? At worst, it is difficult for the average user.
Look at the other comments before mine; they have some good points. The hosts file is one way to do it. Some home routers allow a block list. Some parental control software, and even firewalls, may even allow this.

You normally give excellent advice but this article is 100% false.

You'll note I have a facebook Share button beneath my articles. None of the techniques listed will make it go away. The "Like" box to the right of that can be removed using hosts file manipulation, but I'm not talking about that - this is the SHARE button to the far left on below every article.
Leo
03-Jan-2013

connie
January 2, 2013 9:14 AM

@Benjamin,
I am a web designer and I can put Facebook on a webpage in a way that no one can get rid of it. All I have to do is put an actual graphic on a page in the shape of an "f" and link it to a Facebook page. You can't get rid of it other than to put a piece of tape over your screen. Some ad-blockers may work on some pages... but not all.

The point is that Leo is absolutely right - not only can you not get rid of it 100%, but letting it stress you out is a complete waste of stress!

Actually there is one way to completely get rid of Facebook... that would be to never go online. Just stay off the internet. That goes for Facebook and whatever new things may actually pop up this year - things that become popular by the vote of the people.

David
January 10, 2013 9:34 AM

"You don't have to use [a Facebook login] if they provide an alternative. You don't have to use a Facebook login if you can login in other ways. It's just an option - a convenience for the millions, and millions of people that are using Facebook."

Unfortunately, more and more pages don't offer an option. It's Facebook, Twitter, Disqus, or whatever else they allow, or you just can't log in.

People complain about privacy, and then give their life stories to people they know will use the information in whatever way makes the most money, privacy be hanged. Yep, the sheeple have voted, and if you don't like it, you may as well command the tide not to rise.

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