How to Request a Friend on Facebook: All You Need to Know

Sending a friend request on Facebook is necessary knowledge to grow your social circle. But, as a platform designed to allow safe sharing of real-world information and content like personal photos, names, etc, Facebook allows you to personalize your privacy settings to control who can or cannot contact you or interact with you on the app.

As a result, the friend requests feature on Facebook is also fortified with a personal layer of privacy firewall which you must pass to successfully make a friend request to someone. So, here’s everything you need to know about sending a Facebook friend request.

How to send a friend request on Facebook on computer

There are 2 ways to find and add friends on the Facebook web. One is finding them up by their name on the Facebook web “search” tool, and the other is by adding a mutual friend suggested to you by the algorithm. Let’s see the processes involved in both methods.

Method 1: Find and add someone using Facebook search

Go to facebook.com on your web browser.

Click in the search box at the top left corner of the page.

Input the name of the user you wish to find on Facebook and hit the Enter key on your keyboard.

If there are any matching entries, they will be listed under the ‘People’ section on the results page. If you do not see the person you are looking for at the top of the results, hit See all to expand the results.

To send a friend request to the user you have identified as the right person, there is a direct Add Friend button to send them to do this. Hit Add Friend to send the friend request.

If you are not quite sure the profile you found is of the right person right off the results page, confirm the identity by visiting their profile. Click on their name or profile picture to visit their profile.

Once you have confirmed the identity of the person, click Add Friend near the top right of the page, below the bottom right corner of the profile cover picture.

Once the request is successfully sent, the Add Friend button turns to Cancel Request as shown below. If you tap Cancel Request, the friend request you sent will be canceled immediately.

Method 2: Add a friend suggested to you

Go to your Facebook.com. Log in to your account and go to the Home page.

Scroll down the home feed until you reach the People You May Know block. You will see a reel of friend suggestions (profiles with mutual friends). If you find a profile you wish to add, tap Add Friend on their profile tile under their username.

If you want to take a look at their profile before sending a request, click on their profile picture or username to visit their profile.

On their profile, you will find the Add Friend button below their username.

On the People You May Know block, to see more friend suggestions, tap the rightward pointing arrow button on the right side of the reel or hit See all at the bottom of the block.

If you tap See all, you will be taken to the Friends page. Tap Suggestions on the side panel to view friend recommendations.

You will see a list of friend suggestions on the left side of the page. Scroll down to view more suggestions.

Tap a profile to preview their profile on the right side (as shown in the screenshot below) or hit Add Friend on their profile tile or profile preview to send a friend request.

Related: 6 Ways To See Who is Following ‘Me’ On Facebook

How to send a friend request using the Facebook app

There are 3 ways to find and add someone using the Facebook app. One is by finding them up by their name on the app search feature, secondly, by adding a mutual friend suggested to you by the algorithm, or by adding friends from your phone contacts. Let’s take a look at the process now. 

Method 1: Find and add someone using Facebook search

Open the Facebook app on your phone and tap the search icon near the top right corner of the page (to the left of the Messenger icon).

Tap the Search box at the top of the page.

Enter the name of the user you wish to find and add as a friend on Facebook in the search box and hit the arrow “search” button on the keyboard.

If there are any matching entries, they will be listed under People on the results page. If you do not see the person you are looking for at the top of the results, hit See all to expand the results.

There is a direct Add Friend button under their username to send a friend request to the user you have identified as the right person, to send them a request to become friends on Facebook. Hit Add Friend to send the friend request.

If you are not quite sure the profile you found is of the right person right off the results page, confirm the identity by visiting their profile. Click on their name or profile picture to visit their profile.

Once you have confirmed the identity of the person, click Add Friend below the profile name.

Once the request is successfully sent, the Add Friend button turns to Requested as shown below.

Method 2: Adding a friend suggested to you

Open the Facebook app. Log in to your account and go to the Home page. You can tap the Home icon in the top right for that on Android.

While, on an iPhone and iPad, you can find the Home button at the bottom left of the screen. Tap on it.

Scroll down the Home feed until you find the People You May Know block. If you see a suggested profile you want to add as a friend, tap Add Friend below their username in their profile tile.

Tap their profile picture or username to visit and send a friend request from their profile.

On a user profile, you will find the Add Friend button below their username. Click Add Friend to send a friend request.

To view more suggestions, swipe left or right or tap See all at the bottom of the People You May Know block.

If you tap See all, you will be taken to the People You May Know section on the Friends page on the app.

Scroll down to view more friend suggestions. Tap a profile to view a profile and send a request from their profile page, or hit Add Friend button on their profile tile to forward a friend request.

Method 3: Uploading contacts from the phone to add friend

Launch Facebook and tap the burger menu button near the top right corner of the page on the Facebook app for Android.

If you are using the Facebook app for iOS, tap the burger button at the bottom right corner of the page.

Tap the gear icon near the top right corner of the Menu page to access Settings & privacy.

Under Permissions, tap Upload contacts.

Tap the toggle to turn on Continuous contacts upload

When you turn on the toggle, you will be brought to the permissions page. Tap Get started.

On the popup asking permission to access your contacts, tap Allow.

Once the process is complete, you will land on a People you may know page with a list of friend suggestions. Tap Add Friend button against their name to send a friend request.

How to send a Facebook friend request to someone you do not know?

Well, it is pretty straightforward. Simply visit their profile by searching for them on Facebook and then tap the ‘Add Friend’ button (as given in the guides above). But if you don’t see an Add Friend button, then maybe it is because they have restricted who can send them friends requests to ‘Friends of friends’. If that is the case, then you can’t sent them a friend request.

How to receive a friend request from someone you don’t know on Facebook

Facebook privacy settings are honed to cater to the privacy protection requirements of users. So, if you wish to receive a friend request from someone you do not know on Facebook, then you need to make sure that you have selected Everyone under the option ‘Who can send you friend requests?’ option under privacy settigns on Facebook. Here’s how to check and change your selection if need be.

Visit Facebook privacy settings here: https://www.facebook.com/settings?tab=privacy

Now, scroll down a bit if need be and look for ‘Who can send you friend requests?’ under ‘How people find and contact you’. It should be set to Everyone, as shown below.

If it is set to Friends of friends, then click the edit button next to it and then select Everyone from the dropdown.

Tap Close when done.

Why can’t you send a friend requests on Facebook?

There are quite a few reasons why you may not be able to send or accept friend requests on Facebook. Let’s review them briefly.

  • If the receiver’s privacy setting is limited to Friends of friends for “who is allowed” to send them friend requests, then you will not be able to send them a friend request unless you have mutual friends.
  • If you have already sent a request to them in the past, but they “deleted” it without accepting it, then the Add Friend button will not show on their profile for you for 1 year.
  • If you are blocked by the user, you will not be able to send them a friend request. However, you will not be able to find or access their profile at all if they have blocked you. So, you’d know if the reason is because of “blocking” with just a little bit of sneaky probing with an alternate account.
  • If they have reported your account as “spam” post a friend request, then, you will not be able to send them a friend request.
  • If you have reached the maximum quota of 1000 Friend Requests made on Facebook, then you will reach the restriction mark. The older requests get deleted when you send new friend requests.
  • If either you or the receiver has reached the maximum number of allowed Friends on Facebook, which is 5000, then you cannot send a friend request.

Difference between “Friends” and “Follow” on Facebook

When a friend request you sent gets accepted or you accept someone’s request to add you as a friend, you become mutual “friends” who mutually follow each other. You can see each other’s public and “friends only” posts and enjoy all other allowed interactive features (as per account settings).

On Facebook, following someone happens by default when you become mutual friends, However, the Follow feature can also exist independent of the “Add Friends” feature. That is, you can “Follow” someone without being mutual friends or vice versa as long as the Public posts setting allows it. You can adjust the Public posts settings following the steps that follow — Menu > Settings & privacy > Settings > Public posts.

If Who can follow me is set to Public, then anyone can follow the user to view their updates without becoming mutual friends. If it is set to Friends, then only mutual friends can see their posts.

Similarly, you can also be mutual friends with someone without following them. This is done by “unfollowing” them without “unfriending” them. When you unfollow someone, their updates (new posts, status), etc won’t get pushed to your News Feed. To know what they are up to, you will have to visit their profile and take a look consciously.

How to know if someone rejected your friend request on Facebook?

Well, as long as you can still view their profile, the premise of being blocked can be taken off the table. Under the condition that you are not blocked, then you can know if someone rejected your friend request when the “Add Friend” button is no longer visible to you from the account you sent the request.

If your friend request was ignored — neither accepted nor rejected — you’d see “Requested” when you visit their profile. Your request can also be found under your list of sent and pending requests on your profile.

However, if they “delete” your request, then the Add Friend feature completely disappears from both your profile. In appearance, it might look like they turned their privacy settings for receiving friend requests to “Friends of friends”; but this is also the case for a rejected friend request. 

To confirm, you can use an alternative account to check their profile to see if the Add Friend button is still viewable to others.

Alternative ways to follow someone who has blocked you on Facebook

Well, if they blocked you, they sure don’t want you to see their posts. This is the purpose after all, for a blocked user cannot view the profile of the initiator unless the action is reversed. What you can try is sending them a friend request again from an alternative account.

If there is a Follow button on their profile, tap it to “follow” their public posts and updates. Using your alternate account to follow their activities won’t be the same as being moots with them, though. But, at least you will be able to see their public updates!

FAQs

Here comes the answers to some questions that might be puzzling you still.

How do I add a Facebook friend when they don’t have the add friend button?

If you do not have any mutual friends with them, you cannot send a friend request to some who has set their friend request settings to Friends of friends (as opposed to Everyone). Then, what you can try to do is Follow them if they have enabled the option or try sending them a message requesting to add you as a friend.

Alternatively, you also may need to check if you cannot see the Add Friend option on their profile because they have reported your account for some reason. You can confirm this by visiting their profile using an alternative account.

Why is there only a Follow button on a user’s Facebook profile?

Facebook allows users to share posts with the public without adding them as mutual friends (mostly for the benefit of influencers and celebrities). If you follow someone, you can stay in the loop about all their public posts and updates on your Feed as if you were mutual friends but without the obvious glory of being a mutual friend.

If you contrast the Follow only feature against the Friends feature, then it can be seen that mutual friends also get notified of their friends’ posts on the Feed but they are not limited to viewing only their public posts.

Why can’t I a resend friend request to someone on Facebook?

Because you once successfully sent them a friend request but did not get accepted, it is an indicator they rejected your request without blocking your account. If someone deletes a friend request, then both parties lose the ability to send the other friend request again for a period of 1 year.

So, the friend request button that just vanished after you sent them a friend request is because they rejected the request.

Why can I only message someone on Facebook and not add them as a friend?

One possibility is that they have set the friend request settings under their privacy settings to receive friend requests from friends of friends. So, if you do not have any mutual friends with them, you won’t see an Add Friend option when you visit their profile.

The second possibility is that they might have reported your account under some charge like spamming, for instance, whereby, Facebook revokes the right for either party from adding each other as friends.

If it is the first case, then you can make use of the message option to contact them directly to express your interest in becoming their friend on Facebook.

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