How to Turn Off Facebook's Facial Recognition Tags

Stop those annoying automatic name tags on Facebook Photos


Sure, it's fun—at first. A friend posts a picture of that event you went to yesterday and "tags" you in the image. Even if he doesn't tag you, Facebook will kindly suggest that he do so. So what happens next?

How Facebook Uses the Tag 

Facebook integrates the tag with your profile picture, with other images you've shared, and with others you've been tagged in. Now the facial recognition software kicks in, using an algorithm it's designed to create a template or number based on all this information.

The next thing you know, you'll be posting another photo and Facebook will cheerfully identity your friends in the picture for you based on this algorithm...just in case you've forgotten their names. And the same thing happens whenever another Facebook user tries to post another pic that includes an image of you. 

All this happens automatically unless you take steps to prevent it. 

What Can You Do About It? 

Facebook assumes that you'll want to use this neat facial recognition widget and it opts you in for it. This means that once you've been tagged in a single image, or after you use a profile image of your face, Facebook will automatically attempt to tag your name on any other images uploaded to the site. You would not necessarily know this is happening. Yikes. But you can opt right back out again and turn off the feature.

How to Do It 

Here's how to turn off, opt out, and stop those annoying auto name tags from appearing in Facebook pictures:

  1. Click on the little inverted triangle at the top right of your Facebook page to open the drop-down menu there. Click on "Settings."
  2. Now select "Timeline and Tagging" from the panel that appears on the left side of the new page. "Tagging" will appear at the top of the second section of the next page that opens. 
  1. Three questions appear here. The first asks you who you want to see posts that you're tagged in. Click on "Edit" beside the question, then on the "Friends" icon. You'll be given the option of selecting who you want to see these things, and you can change "Friends" to "Only me." Friends is the automatic opt-in. 
  2. Go through the remaining two questions and repeat the process. 

You'll have other options on the "Friends" drop-down menu as well, and you can customize your selections if you want only certain people to be able to see the tags. 

Other Tagged Image Privacy Tips 

You can also choose to hide who can see images you're tagged in by selecting "Photos and Videos You're Tagged In" and clicking "Only me."

You can also review and control your timeline and who can post on it on the "Timeline and Tagging" page.

Changing your Facebook privacy settings will not automatically delete any tags that have already been added to existing photos, but you can delete them manually by viewing any image you're tagged and looking under the image to find "In this photo: (names of tagged people) (photos · remove tag)." Then ask for your name to be removed.