How to View Facebook Profile as Public on Any Device

Find out what other users see on your Facebook page

By Elise Moreau Elise Moreau Facebook Twitter Freelance Contributor University of Ontario George Brown College Elise Moreau is a writer that has covered social media, texting, messaging, and streaming for Lifewire. Her work has appeared on Techvibes, SlashGear, Lifehack and others. lifewire’s editorial guidelines Updated on February 4, 2022

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How to View Facebook Profile as Someone Else

Facebook had to take down its “View As” feature pr

Facebook had to take down its “View As” feature previously since it was causing security breaches. The news reported that it impacted approximately 50 million users. Thus, the function was disabled and doctored the looks up a bit. Now it is back up and functioning with more safety when using the settings than ever before. It helps to protect what people share.

Read the best three ways on how to view FB profile as someone else below.

Via Desktop

It is useful to know how to enable Facebook “View As” on any type of device since an account appears different when viewed through various mediums.

  1. Head over to Facebook and click on your profile.
  2. Look towards the bottom-right corner of your cover photo. To the right of “Activity Log” is a button with three dots. Click on this.
  3. From the drop-down menu, click on the “View As” feature

After selecting this feature, Facebook will pull up the page that displays the perspective of the account, as seen by the public. There is a banner on the screen saying, “This is what your profile looks like to Public.”

Via Android

On an android device, it is also possible to use Facebook “View As”. Mobile devices were the first way that Facebook reinstated its old feature.

  1. Grab the phone and log into the app.
  2. Go to the personal page by tapping on the profile photo. Also, access it by tapping on the hamburger icon that is in the top right corner of the app and selecting “View your profile”
  3. The next screen that pops up will display the “View As” button directly to the left of the “Add to Story” button. Click the feature to see the account.

Via iOS

Products made by Apple always work a little differently than other devices generally do.

The process is much the same to use the Facebook “View As Public” feature, but here is a short guide for easy access.

  1. Use an Apple product to log into the app.
  2. Head to the personal page by tapping on the profile picture on the left of the screen.
  3. Click the triple-dot icon on the right of the page.
  4. From the drop-down box, select “View As”.

Did Facebook get rid of View As?

Initially, the social media platform had created a 'View As' feature that directed you as an account holder on how to view your Facebook profile as someone else.

Unfortunately, the feature exposed most accounts to security threats. Hackers were able to steal account access tokens, which they would then use to take over those accounts.

Image: pexels.com
Source: UGC
Image: pexels.comSource: UGC

Access tokens are digital keys which keep people logged into their accounts so that they do not need to re-enter their password every time they want to use the account. Because of the security issues, FB disabled the tool for a while as a measure to mitigate the threat.

The feature was later brought back. However, as it is, you can only see the social media account as public and not as specific friend like it was initially possible.

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Viewing Your Timeline (Profile) As Someone Else

There are 2 different ways to get to the Facebook “View As…” tool :

1. (as an alternate to #2) Click on your name in the upper left hand corner of Facebook to go to your Facebook Timeline (aka Facebook Profile). Near the lower right hand corner of your cover image, you will see a gear (settings) icon. In this dropdown menu, select “View As…”

How To View Your Facebook Profile As Someone Else How To View Your Facebook Profile As Someone Else (Or As The Public Does)

2. (as an alternate to #1) In the upper right hand corner of your Facebook, you will see a little padlock icon just to the right of your name. Open up this dropdown. Then select (click) “Who can see my stuff“, and then click “What do other people see on my timeline? View As…

How To View Your Facebook Profile As Someone Else How To View Your Facebook Profile As Someone Else (Or As The Public Does)

3. The “View As…” bar now shows up near the top of your Facebook profile and indicates which privacy group (Public… Friends of friends… Friends… etc) or individual you are currently viewing Facebook as. You can easily close it, when you are done, by clicking the X.

How To View Your Facebook Profile As Someone Else How To View Your Facebook Profile As Someone Else (Or As The Public Does)

A popup reminds you to: “Remember: Things you hide from your timeline still appear in news feed, search, and other places on Facebook.” (If you want something to not be visible

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Step 3: Click “View As”

On your page, you will see various subsections. Click “View As” under the “Who can see things on my Timeline?” subsection.

After clicking to view, Facebook will direct you t

After clicking to view, Facebook will direct you to your timeline that people who aren’t your Facebook friends can see. If you can see certain posts and photos, this means those posts and photos are available for public eyes because you posted with a public privacy setting. If you don’t see any content at all, it’s because your profile is private.

Although the example profile below is a private profile, it contains images, information, and photos that are viewable to the public because those posts’ privacy settings were set to “public” rather than to “friends.”

Who To Investigate, How They See Your Stuff?

Who To Investigate, How They See Your Stuff?

Start by viewing your profile as Public: Pay careful attention to this filter because this defines how Facebook subscribers and non-friends see your profile. This is where you want to be sure they are seeing the “right” things without seeing too much. If you have Subscriptions enabled and/or post publicly, this will have more “stuff” than if you do not.

However, if you are a marketer, be sure that this limited view still conveys your brand and how to reach you, etc. When you post to public, it means everyone, and you can not suppress the post from being seen by any trouble maker.

Consider friends of friends: These people are important because you can not directly control who they are… yet they are not exactly the public at large. Friends of Friends is the first level where you can use Custom Privacy to keep a person (or group of people – a list) from seeing an item. Unfortunately, the Facebook “View As” tool can not show you this view. However, keep it in mind.

How To View Your Facebook Profile As Someone Else How To View Your Facebook Profile As Someone Else (Or As The Public Does)

Check an Individual to check the “Friends” filter: Regardless of whether or not you use this often (or rarely) you still want to take a look and make sure it’s contained. It only takes a couple of moments to be sure. If you post regularly to the Friends filter, pay attention that the right posts are there… and that none of them are “bleeding over” into the Public or friends of friends without your knowledge. Select the name of a friend – preferably one that is NOT in a list that you publish specialized content to – to have a look at what they see.

Check an Individual to check on a Custom List: If, like me, you maintain custom Facebook lists, for selective posting…. you will need to view your profile as a member of that list would see it. (Keep in mind that that individual may be a member of multiple lists of yours so do not immediately freak out if they seem to see more than you think they should.) I have one very-important custom list, that I share very personal things with, where I do NOT want that content being seen by all of my friends in general.

Check an Individual to check on the “Restricted” List: If you utilize the restricted list on Facebook, to prevent a friend from seeing any non-public postings… then you will want to view one of those “friends” and be sure that they are only seeing public content rather than seeing content labelled for friends.

Check on any person you regularly do not share content with: The custom privacy box above lets us suppress content being shown to any friend even if they are not on the restricted list. If you take advantage of this (as many people do with an ex-relationship partner) be sure to check it.

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