One of the best parts of using Facebook is the ability to friend all of the people that you know in real life and stay in contact with them. However, there’s one thing that can get in the way of this: When you find a user who you can’t seem to add as a friend. So, why can’t you send a friend request to certain users on Facebook?
If you’re not able to send a friend request to someone on Facebook, it may be due to their privacy settings, a deactivated account, or because they blocked you, among other reasons. If the privacy settings are the issue, you can simply message the person and ask them to send you a request instead.
As you can see, there are several situations that could be preventing you from sending a friend request to a specific user on Facebook. Let’s go through the most common situations as well as how to address them.
Why Can’t I Send a Friend Request on Facebook?
If you can’t send a friend request on Facebook, the reason may not be immediately apparent — and that can get pretty frustrating. Let’s go through the five most common issues that can cause this problem and how to get around them so that you can finally friend the user you want to.
Their Privacy Settings Only Allow Mutual Friends to Send Friend Requests
The most common reason you may not be able to send someone a friend request on Facebook is if their profile has certain privacy settings in place. For example, there’s a setting in Facebook’s privacy settings that makes it so the only people who share mutual friends with you can send you friend requests. But what are mutual friends?
Mutual friends are friends that you have in common with another user. This mutual friends setting makes it so that the the user only gets friend requests from users who are friends with at least one of their friends.
So, if you want to send a friend request to someone with this privacy setting set, then you’ll need to become Facebook friends with someone that they’re friends with first.
Another option for friending someone who only allows friend requests from mutual friends is to have them friend you instead.
If you know your desired friend outside of Facebook, all you have to do is ask them to send you a friend request. This way, you don’t have to friend another person just to reach the person you wanted to add in the first place.
They’ve Blocked You
Another thing that may prevent you from sending someone a friend request on Facebook is if that person has blocked you on the platform. This is probably the worst case scenario if you’re trying to become someone’s friend.
Thankfully, figuring out if you’ve been blocked is relatively simple. If you’ve been blocked by someone on Facebook, then your account will be limited from interacting with them in any way.
This means that all you have to do to see if you have been blocked is try to message them. If you can’t message them, then it’s likely that they blocked your account.
In this case, the only thing you can do is attempt to get in contact with that person via some other means and ask for them to unblock you. However, sometimes it’s better to just leave the other person alone in such a situation.
Their Account Has Been Deactivated
A less likely but still possible reason why you may not be able to friend someone on Facebook is if that person has deactivated their account. On Facebook, there are two different ways to leave the platform. The first is to delete your account, and the second is to deactivate your account.
Deleting and deactivating may sound like two different ways to describe the same thing, but they’re actually very different. Deleting your account is permanent, as this completely erases your account from the platform. In contrast, when you deactivate your account, certain features of your account are disabled until you decide to reactivate your account.
One of the features temporarily disabled when you deactivate your account is the friend request feature.This means that you won’t be able to send that person a friend request until they reactivate their account.
Facebook Has Restricted Their Account
Another possibility is that the account you’re trying to add has been restricted by the Facebook moderators. If someone’s Facebook account has been reported enough times by other users, or if their account has been found to break Facebook’s community guidelines, then their account may be restricted for a certain amount of time.
If an account has been restricted on Facebook, then it loses access to certain features. One of these features is the ability to send and receive friend requests.
In this case, if you’d still like to friend this user, the only thing you can do is wait for their account to be unrestricted. There’s no set timeframe for how long an account may be restricted on Facebook. For example, some accounts are only restricted for a couple of hours while some are restricted for weeks. So be sure to check their account later on.
They Have the Maximum Number of Friends Allowed
Many people may not know this, but Facebook actually has a maximum number of friends that you can have at one time. This magical number is five thousand. You can only have five thousand friends on Facebook at once before the platform won’t let you have anymore.
Thankfully, figuring out if this is the problem is simple. If you try to send a friend request to someone with 5,000 friends, Facebook will send you a notification letting you know that the friend request failed to send due to the fact that the user already has the maximum number of friends.
So, if you’d still like to friend this user, you’ll need to get them to unfriend at least one person on their friends list.
This may sound like a big deal, but it usually isn’t. Typically users that have the maximum number of friends allowed don’t actually know everyone in their friends list, and unfriending someone they don’t actually know usually shouldn’t be that big of a deal to them.
How to Prevent Your Account From Being Restricted
As we mentioned earlier, one of the reasons why you may not be able to send someone a friend request is because their account has been restricted. But how do you prevent the same thing from happening to you? Let’s quickly go through three different ways to make yourself less likely to be restricted on Facebook.
Don’t Send a Bunch of Friend Requests in a Row
When you first open up a Facebook account, it can be tempting to instantly send a friend request to everyone you know. However, if you do this too fast, it’s possible that Facebook will see it as suspicious activity coming from your account.
This is due to the fact that Facebook has a problem with bot accounts. These accounts are run by an AI that will attempt to friend and message as many users as possible as quickly as they can in order to get money from whoever responds.
In order to combat these bot accounts, Facebook’s moderation algorithm will automatically flag any account that attempts to friend too many users at once. This can lead to your account getting restricted for a few hours or even for a few days.
Use Your Real Name and Photos
Another big problem that Facebook has to deal with is catfishing. This is a technique whereby a person pretends to be someone else to get you to say something compromising for blackmail, to convince you to send them money, or just for their own satisfaction.
So, it’s important to use your real name and photos of yourself on Facebook, otherwise you may be accused of catfishing and restricted from the platform.
Unlike with large amounts of friend requests, however, the Facebook algorithm won’t detect whether or not you are using your own face or name for your facebook account. Instead, you may get reported by other users if they learn that you’re not who you say you are.
If your account gets enough reports from other users, your account will be suspended while Facebook reviews the situation.
Sync Contacts From Your Phone to Facebook
Another great way to prevent your account from being restricted is to sync your contacts from your phone to Facebook. This will serve to protect you in two different ways: It will let you add a bunch of friends without having to worry about being restricted, and it will verify your account with a phone number.
If you sync your account with your phone’s contacts list, then Facebook will allow you to send friend requests to everyone on the list who also has a Facebook page.
This is a great way to send a lot of friend requests at once without getting flagged by Facebook’s automatic moderation.
Another benefit of syncing your phone’s contact list to your Facebook account is having a phone number tied to your Facebook account. This will make the automatic moderation system less likely to flag you as a catfish account, as this is a verifiable way for people to confirm that you are who you say you are.