Trying to send a friend request on Facebook?
It’s one of Facebook’s key features.
And now you want to add someone to your list of connections. But something happens and you can’t!
There are a few reasons why you can’t send a friend request to someone on Facebook.
And a few possible issues that are out of your control.
Let’s look and see if we can solve the problem!
How to Send and Cancel a Friend Request on Facebook
The process to add someone on Facebook hasn’t changed much.
You can search for them by name, as with most social media platforms. If they have a public profile, you’ll be able to find them this way.
You may also see them if they have a ‘friend of friend’ setting, and you have a mutual friend.
If you do, you can go to that mutual friend’s profile and scroll through their Friends tab until you find the person you want to add.
From here, you can just select the ‘add friend’ button and they will receive a standard Facebook friend request.
If you suddenly realize it’s the wrong person, go to their profile.
The ‘add friend’ button will now become a ‘cancel request’ button you can click, and the request will vanish.
Why is there no add friend button on some Facebook profiles?
Occasionally, you will see a profile where there is no ‘add friend’ button.
That’s because they have their privacy settings in a way that anyone who doesn’t have an existing connection can’t send them a friend request.
If this is the case, you might have to accept you can’t add them as a friend.
Why can’t I add someone on Facebook, only follow?
Another situation you might encounter is the option to follow someone but not send a friend request.
Again, this is a privacy settings choice the person has made. It allows people to follow them but not to send a friend request.
So, you can follow them to see the updates they allow followers, but that’s all.
With each post they make, they can choose if the want it seen by only friends, or an even more selective audience.
Why Can’t I Add Someone on Facebook?
Now we know a few of the basics of adding, or not being able to add, someone on Facebook, let’s look at the most common problems.
These sometimes come from your profile, but sometimes from the person you are trying to send the request to.
That means there isn’t always a lot you can do about it.
Their privacy settings mean you can’t see their account
Privacy settings is something Facebook spends a lot more time highlighting to users these days. This means that people are more likely to change their settings to tighten privacy.
If someone has their account set to ‘friends of friends’ and you don’t have a mutual friend, you won’t be able to send them a request.
You can still try to send them a Messenger message, but this will go into the ‘message request’ section. Then it depends on how often they check this for them to see the request!
They have blocked you on Facebook
Another common reason for not being able to add someone on Facebook is if they’ve blocked you.
There are loads of reasons they can do this. It may be an accident, or intentional.
However, if they’ve blocked you, you can’t see their profile or any public content.
You also won’t be able to message them.
Have you blocked them?
If the person is someone you’ve had contact with before, you may have blocked them. The result is similar to them blocking you.
But you can check for this.
Just go to your Settings then Privacy > Blocking.
Here you’ll see a list of the people you’ve blocked on Facebook. If the person you want to add is there, you can unblock them and then send the request.
Their account has been deactivated
If someone has deactivated their account but not deleted it, you can’t send a friend request. But you can still see them on Facebook.
Unless they’ve scheduled the account to be deleted, at which point it will vanish.
While it’s deactivated, you can still send a Messenger message.
Has Facebook restricted their account?
If someone ends up in ‘Facebook jail’ for various reasons, they won’t show up for you to send a request.
Most of the time, people are restricted from using Facebook for a set period. It might a day, a week, or a month. So it can be worth checking back later to see if they reappear.
Sometimes you still have the option to send them a Messenger message, depending on how much trouble they are in!
They have the maximum number of friends
It seems weird with billions of users, but there is a cap on the number of friends you can have on Facebook.
Currently, there’s a limit of 5,000 friends. If you try to add someone that has this number, you won’t be able to.
But you can still go down the Messenger contact route. If they want to add you, they can unfriend someone else.
Have you sent a lot of friend requests in a short time?
It can be fun to find new people to connect with. Sometimes we get a bit excited and send a whole bunch of friend requests in a short time.
But that can also look a bit like bot behavior and make Facebook suspicious! It may then limit your ability to add someone for a while.
You should get a notification if this happens, so you’ll know when you’ll be able to add friends again.
Then just add them a little slower next time!
Have you already sent a request?
If you have sent a request and the person hasn’t actioned it, then you won’t be able to send another.
Maybe it’s been a while since you sent the request, and it’s become lost among other notifications.
While you can’t send another, you can send a Messenger message.
They have denied your friend request
Sadly, if you send a friend request and the person declines it, you won’t be able to send another one.
However, if it was done by mistake and you reach out to them, they could send you a friend request instead. Once again, try Messenger.
Sometimes it’s a Facebook glitch
Occasionally, the problem is something as random as a glitch on Facebook. A ‘Facebug.’
You can always try again later.
Check that your app doesn’t need any updates, and see if there are any notifications about problems.
If the problem persists, you can always get in touch with Facebook support for more help.
You might also enjoy: How to Find a Facebook Account by Phone Number.
6 Solutions to “You may not know this person”
UPDATE: Here’s a new glitch that has been reported by several readers. You try to send a friend request, and this error message pops up:
It looks like you may not know this person. Send requests to people you know personally to see their updates on Facebook.
I found that a few years ago, some people got a similar error:
Only add people who you know
Please only send friend requests to people who you know personally. If you think you’re seeing this by mistake, please let us know.
A possible reason is that Facebook is trying to improve their security and the privacy of accounts. But it seems like a strange way to go about it. Facebook usually loves for users to add friends – I’ve recently gotten suggestions from FB to add people I don’t know at all!
But if you just created a new account, beware. If people ignore your friend requests or report them as unwanted, your account may be flagged as violating community standards. Be sure to start by only adding people you know, who would want to be your Facebook friend!
Here Are the Solutions to “Only add people you know personally”
1 | Make sure you’re using your real name, and your own photo as your Facebook profile picture.
2 | Slow down! If you’ve sent a bunch of requests before getting the error message, take a break for at least 24 hours. Then…
3 | Sync the contacts from your phone:
- Go into the Settings in the mobile app.
- Scroll down to Permissions and tap Upload Contacts.
- Tap Learn More for additional info.
- Turn on Upload Contacts, if you decide to.
This might help FB recognize who you do know when sending friend requests!
4 | Text the potential FB friend and ask them to send you a friend request.
5 | In person ask: this is guaranteed to work, if they agree to it.
- The next time you see them at school, work, or wherever you know them from, ask if you can friend them on FB.
- Ask if they have a minute right then so you can “help them find you.”
- Have them open the FB app and prompt them on how to find your profile.
- Then accept their request right away! Problem solved.
6 | New account? Once you start building a few friends, only send requests to people you know in common. That is, FB friends of your new Facebook friends. This should help Facebook trust your new account.
Please enlighten the community if you know more! Leave a comment below.
Adding someone on Facebook
Adding someone to Facebook is a natural part of using the platform. But there are times when things just won’t work as they should.
Use these tips and ideas to help you troubleshoot the problem.
And know there will be some times when you just can’t send a friend request – but you could contact them off FB and ask them to add you.
Next, check out How to See More Friends Posts on Facebook.