How to Hide or Limit Past Facebook Posts and Make Photo Albums Private

Facebook has had a knack for having privacy issues with personal profiles and it’s mostly due to their garbage default settings and users being unaware of platform updates and the visibility options available to them.

With each type of post having it’s own security setting, an average user doesn’t necessarily realize exactly what he/she is leaving visible to the prying eyes of the public (non-friend connections), including recruiters, strangers, and creepers.

Though Facebook does provide tools to limit past posts as well as providing an audience selector for photo albums, many are finding just how frustrating it can be to set these up correctly.

Thankfully, that’s what I’m here for!

This week’s #SocialMediaMinute will teach you how to change Facebook photos, posts, and albums to private.

SEE ALSO: Using Facebook View As to Check Privacy


Watch the helpful minute-long social media tutorial video below for a full walk-through:

Video Tutorial:

How to Hide or Limit Past Facebook Posts and Make Photo Albums Private – #SocialMediaMinute

This social media tutorial will cover how to hide your past Facebook pictures from the public, changing photo albums privacy with audience selector, and limiting old Facebook posts

Watch the video on YouTube.

Limiting Old Posts

Facebook introduced an option in your Facebook profile privacy settings that allows you to Limit Old Posts. Before you confirm the changes to limit your old posts on your timeline, read the prompt fully:

“If you use this tool, content on your timeline you’ve shared with friends of friends or Public will change to Friends. Remember: people who are tagged and their friends may see those posts as well. You also have the option to individually change the audience of your posts. Just go to the post you want to change and choose a different audience.”

“You are about to limit old posts on your timeline without reviewing them. Note: This global change can’t be undone in one click. If you change your mind later, you’ll need to change the audience for each of these posts one at a time.”

Now this is supposed to hide all of your old Facebook posts from the public. But by using Facebook’s “View As” public function, you can see if it indeed has changed the settings for all of them. In my case it still left my timeline photos and albums visible to the public.

Facebook Album Privacy – Audience Selector

Many people have found that Facebook’s photo album privacy audience selector is not currently working as intended. You can hover over the cog but it cannot be clicked on to modify the setting.


Here’s the work around and it’s done by using Facebook’s activity log. Now the trick here is to navigate to the “shared with” drop down and select “public” so you won’t have to sort through all your photos. This option will pull up photos you’ve been tagged in as well as the times you updated your cover photos which always appear as public.

You’ll want to select YOUR Facebook PHOTOS which allows you to conveniently change each of their privacy settings and hide them from the public. This can also be done with your post.

Remember: Your uploaded COVER PHOTOS will ALWAYS be PUBLIC and you will not be able to change that setting.

Finally, always check your work using the “view as public” function.


This is what you want. Remember that your cover photos will always be available for public viewing.


It’s always a good idea to understand the type of information you have openly available to the public for any of your social media accounts.

In this instance, Facebook has taken some steps to help its users better protect themselves, however it’s important to educate yourself on the newest changes and to inform your friends (who may be tagging you) as well.

What other ways do you protect your privacy online? Comment below!

Author: Jacob Curtis

An early advocate of digital media, Jacob has observed and participated in the evolution and adoption of social media in connecting people online.

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  • Beth

    sounds like a great idea but it doesnt work… when u get to each pic and click the public icon, nothing happens to enable you to change it.

    • Jacob Curtis

      Hey, Beth. Did you follow the video tutorial? I just checked if the work-around I found is still working and it is. Let me know if you’re still having trouble. Just follow the instructions I provide closely and you should be ok!

  • diana

    I’m having the same problem as Beth. I hover over the Public icon and there is no drop down menu. Tried clicking on it as well.

    • Jacob Curtis

      Hi Diana, could you attach a screenshot of it not working? I just check it out again and it works. Also, make sure you aren’t talking about FB cover images.

  • Leanna

    That doesn’t work. Clicking or hovering over the globe does not provide any drop down to allow me to alter anything!

    • Jacob Curtis

      Leanna! You currently cannot make Cover Photos private. Those photos are the only ones that will not allow you to click on the globe to change the setting.

  • Tony

    the workaround isn’t working for me….like beth said, hovering over the globe does not provide any drop down.

    • Jacob Curtis

      Hey @disqus_QhKotSgGD8:disqus, the only way this doesn’t work is if you’re trying to make your Cover Photo private. If you’re still having trouble let me know!

  • Duarte

    The title for this article/tutorial is misleading. I want to be able to make an entire album private without clicking on each picture one-by-one.

    • Jacob Curtis

      @disqus_3VLuQ0SVTY:disqus, thanks for stopping by. Unfortunately Facebook currently has no other option for the making albums private without clicking on each picture.

      I can assure you this tutorial using the Activity Log shows the most time efficient way to make Facebook photo albums private.

      We all want a single-click way to make an entire album private. Believe me!

  • Linda Reed

    Can you tell me how to solve my different problem? I’m a member of a small group on Facebook (14 members). We like to take photos to share with just our small group. They share just fine if posted on the main group page. But I would like to put all my own photos into a folder for organization. When I do that, no one else in the group can view them. Is there a way that I can easily make them visible for all 13 other group members? Or does the admin have to change a setting? Please don’t bother to tell me I have to click on each individual picture. That’s not workable for me.

    • Jacob Curtis

      @disqus_ogI2RoDosU:disqus hey Linda. So you want to put all of your photos into an album WITHIN THE GROUP? or on your PERSONAL PROFILE that only group members can see? If you’d like to have a personal Facebook album (not within the group) that only those group members can see you’re going to want to follow these instructions.

      First of all, you’ll want to add those 13 people to a Facebook friends List. From there, in your personal albums, you’ll want to change the visibility settings to that list only. For example, I have a Facebook friend list of gamers which I can select for a specific photo album on my personal page.

      Does this answer you question?

      • Linda Reed

        Thank you, Mr. Curtis. I guess the method you outline will do what I want to accomplish. To date, I have made an album within one specific group, and would appreciate it if you know a way to make the pictures in that album visible to the other group members (only). The group has 13 people in it, as I said.

  • ld

    Can I somehow make lets say everything that happened in 2013 and before private? Like by the year? So that my friends can only see my posts from 2014 onwards?

  • Shy Girl

    Thank you!

  • Clean My FB

    worked nicely

  • JR

    Thanks Jacob!! Can I do the same with videos?