Quick Tip: How to Sort Your Facebook News Feed

Facebook is a part of everyday life for a lot of us. We’ve become reliant on it for social interaction and staying up-to-date with our friends and family who live throughout the world. The problem with Facebook is that it seems somewhat difficult to get it to deliver the news and updates that you want instead of what they think you want. In this article you’ll learn how to sort your Facebook News Feed not just on the desktop, but on your iPhone or iPad as well.

Top Stories vs Most Recent

Before I talk about how to sort your News Feed on Facebook, we first need to understand the different sorting options that you have available to you. Nowadays Facebook actually doesn’t show you the most recent thing(s) happening within your ecosystem of friends. Instead, Facebook now defaults to something called “Top Stories” which serves up its best guess and what you might be interested in from your friends. These are usually pictures or posts that have a lot of activity on them or people that you frequently interact with on Facebook.

I’ve yet to fully understand the algorithm here, so I won’t pretend to know anymore than that. The issue with this new way of delivering information is that it leaves out a good portion of your friends from your feed entirely. If you’re anything like me, you just want to see a chronological rundown of what’s going on with EVERYBODY, not just what Facebook thinks is important. Well, that’s (hopefully) what we’re going to remedy here today. That is, until they change it up again or remove this option altogether.

Sorting on Facebook.com

In order to sort your News Feed on the actual Facebook website, you need to use the sorting menu which is located at the top of the News Feed itself. Once you locate that, do the following:

  • Click the Sort Drop Down Menu
  • Choose either Top Stories or Most Recent
  • Smile and enjoy your victory over the Facebook overlords

website

Once you’ve sorted your News Feed it should update to reflect that change and show you the Most Recent posts from all your friends. The site should also remember this setting for at least a few days. If you log out and log back in again, chances are you’ll have to sort it out all over again. To my knowledge there is no way to make this option permanent, unfortunately.

Sorting on the iPhone

The Facebook iPhone app works much the same that the website does, but the sorting menu is somewhat deceptive in its appearance. When viewing the News Feed on your iPhone, do the following:

  • Scroll to the top and locate the header that says News Feed
  • Tap the News Feed icon to expand the menu
  • Choose Most Recent

iphone

The interesting thing about the News Feed on the iPhone is that you also have the ability to show news from very specific groups of people. If you tap the little arrow at the bottom of the sort menu while it’s expanded you’ll get a laundry list of groups, lists, and other ways to sort your News Feed, which gives you a lot of control that you don’t get from the main sort menu of the website.

iPhone-expanded

Again, just like with the website, the iPhone sorting doesn’t last forever. You’ll need to do this 2-3 times per week in my experience. I’ve yet to find a way to make this sticky as well, unfortunately.

Sorting on the iPad

The iPad is a totally different process when it comes to sorting your Facebook News Feed. In order to do it you’ll need to tap on the main navigation icon in the top left corner and do the following:

  • Locate the tab labeled News Feed
  • Tap the small gear icon on the right
  • Choose Top Stories or Most Recent

iPad

Like the iPhone and website, the iPad app has trouble remembering your preferences here, but it does seem to last much longer than the previous two. I only re-sort my feed on the iPad once every other week or so.

Conclusion

Facebook is an ever-changing environment, and the more they tweak and change things, the more we’ll have to learn and adapt. Lucky for you, I’m always on top of stuff like this because it’s my job! I regularly update my Up and Running with Facebook course for lynda.com to reflect interface and functionality changes with Facebook, and also to extensively explore the privacy options (or lack thereof) of the service as well. Not a member of lynda.com? That’s ok, here’s a free 7-day trial offer to get you started. Thanks for reading!

Posted by Justin Seeley

  1. Thank you. I have an iPad and was able to sort my news feed in Face Book by most recent with your instructions. I appreciate it.

    Reply

    1. Glad to hear it, Chris. Thanks for reading!

      Reply

  2. Yeah… That doesn’t work. There is no button for me to push on the ipphone 5c to change that. I can do it fine on the computer or kindle, but there is no way to do it on this phone and that is extremely annoying.

    Reply

    1. It works, I do it on my phone daily.

      Reply

  3. The Sort button has been removed from the web client, so all this is moot.

    Reply

    1. I’m still able to sort via web, so I think it’s still valid.

      Reply

    2. It’s still there… however, the position of the sort arrow mark has been moved near to “News Feed”.
      Thanks,
      Prawin

      Reply

  4. Thank you. Yours is the first posting anywhere where I could verify that the iPad newsfeed menu is totally different from the iPhone one! I thought I was having a unique problem. This difference (at least for me) makes the iPad Facebook app almost completely useless, since I look at newsfeeds Pages and Public Figures quite often. And the Pages I follow are not Groups, they are almost impossible to find in Most Recent or Most Popular.

    Reply

  5. Thank you for the quick fix, I will share 🙂 This was doing my head in! Don’t want FB to choose what I see with some algorithm. Much appreciated 🙂

    Reply

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