How To Turn Off Facebook Link History Tracking and Why You Should

Yes, you absolutely should disable Facebook’s new link history feature, not only because it’s creepy but also because it could get you hacked or worse.
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Meta’s facing new restrictions on how it gathers your data. In an effort to keep its investors happy, it devised a way to keep selling your data with your permission. Facebook link history is billed as a cute little tool that’ll help you see where you’ve been in the past 30 days. In reality, this is a way for Meta to get your permission to track you. This allows the company to create more targeted ads for you as well as sell your data.

The feature is initially disabled, but the service will prompt you to enable it. If you did by accident, or are just now realizing you don’t want to trade your privacy for a 30-day history, then we’ll teach you how to disable it. We’ll also give you some extra tools to help increase your online privacy and security, including the best ad blockers.

In this article
How do I opt out of Facebook link history?
Why is Facebook tracking link history?
Should I turn off Facebook link history tracking?
Facebook link history tracking FAQs
Bottom line

If you do end up turning on the link tracking feature and then decide you aren’t interested in it, you can follow these steps to turn it off. We recommend keeping it disabled. While it may help you remember what you’ve looked at, Meta is known for violating its own privacy policies. It doesn’t need any additional help spying on you.

  1. Open the Facebook app on your phone.
  2. Go to the Menu button
  3. Click Settings and Privacy.
  4. Select Settings.
  5. Scroll down and select Browser.
  6. Click Browsing data.
  7. Toggle off Allow link history.

Well, we can talk about the reason Facebook says it’s tracking link history, which is to give you the option to see all the links you’ve visited in the past 30 days. While this is a nice way to grab something you were looking for that you may have forgotten to save, we don’t know if that’s the real reason. If you read the fine print, the reason becomes a little clearer.

The help page on turning off link history mentions that Facebook can use this data to improve your ads across all Meta technologies. This is just a fancy way of saying Meta’s watching you and you’re actually giving permission. Considering that Meta is being called out again as of December 2023 for violating its own privacy policies, it’s a wonder any of us keep these apps on our phones. Data sales is a big business, and Meta is raking in the cash.

Yes, you should turn off Facebook link history tracking. By collecting and using your data for targeted ads (and whatever else it isn’t disclosing), Facebook is leaving you more susceptible to spam, phishing, fraud, and other malicious activities you find online, not to mention the risk of identity theft from credentials that are sold to data mining companies.

As a general rule, you shouldn’t give companies the permissions necessary to track you. This means disabling every possible cookie, using ad blockers and anti-tracking technology, and, yes, disabling Facebook’s link history tracking. The slight benefit of having the link tracking isn’t nearly worth having all your data viewed, especially considering Facebook and Instagram are tracking your activity on your entire phone, not just when you’re on the app.

How to protect your privacy on social media

If you’re serious about your privacy, we suggest deleting social media apps from your phone and using the browser option. Your browser has more allowances for security-based software and apps to protect you.

This may sound a little extra, but using your mobile browser to access social media platforms like Facebook can help increase security by incorporating content blockers that may not reach apps. Also, by deleting the apps from your devices, you’re removing Meta’s ability to look at other data on your device. Meta is known for using its apps to snoop into other parts of your phone or computer.

If you’re wondering what kind of security-based software and apps you should use, we’ve compiled a list of what we use and what we think is worth your time and energy:

  • Ad blockers
  • Anti-trackers
  • Virtual private networks (VPNs)
  • Identity theft protection services
  • Private browsers (like Brave)

Best ad and tracker blockers for social media

Ad and tracker blockers can stop companies like Meta from following you around the web. They work best with browsers rather than apps, but that doesn’t mean they can’t stop some of the tracking Meta does on your mobile device.

Below we’ve included some of the best ad blockers we’ve tested. We especially like products that offer a variety of security solutions like antivirus and VPNs with blockers.

  • Total Adblock: This ad blocker can be added to Google Chrome browsers or downloaded from the Google Play (for Android) or Apple’s App Store (for iOS). Total AdBlock Premium goes a step further than other ad blockers by including antivirus options and blocking browser notifications. If you’d like to go online without being bombarded by every ad imaginable, this is a great option.

    Get Total Adblock | Read Total Adblock Review
  • NordVPN Threat Protection: You probably knew NordVPN provided a secure and feature-rich VPN, but did you know it also comes with additional security features like an ad blocker? It blocks ads and trackers, but also scans files and downloads as well as warning you about sketchy sites. We love a good bundle, so getting a top-rated VPN and security against Meta’s trackers in one product is a win for us.

    Get NordVPN Threat Protection | Read NordVPN Threat Protection Review
  • Surfshark CleanWeb: CleanWeb is another privacy feature that comes as part of a security stack. It goes the extra mile by not only blocking ads but also auto-declining cookie requests on websites for you. If you’ve never had a product that gets rid of cookie requests, trust us it’s not something you want to go without ever again.

    Get Surfshark CleanWeb | Read Surfshark CleanWeb Review

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On Total Adblock's website
Total Adblock
  • Remove ads & trackers on YouTube, Facebook, and most websites
  • Hands-off ad-blocking experience
  • Easy to set up
  • Free version excludes top 15,000 websites


What is link history?

The link history feature tracks all of your links visited in the past 30 days, according to Facebook. This means anything from that blog post about homemade Velveeta (not kidding) to a GoFundMe to miracle undergarments; it’ll all be saved in your link history.

That’s a little creepy for us. From a security perspective, just disable it and save anything you think you might want to revisit.


How do I clear Facebook’s link history on my iPhone?

To clear Facebook’s link history, you’ll first need to open Facebook. The next step is to go to Settings & Privacy and then click Link History. Once you’re in the link history archive, you can hit the Clear All button to clear your link history.

If you just want to delete one or two, you can manually delete them in the same place by tapping the X next to the link itself. This is the same process no matter if you have an Android or an iPhone. You can change your Facebook privacy settings to reduce the amount of data collected about you.


How do I delete my Facebook connection history?

You can delete your Facebook connection history through the Accounts Center:

  1. Go to Settings and Privacy.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Load the Account Center.
  4. Pull up Your Information and Permissions.
  5. Access Your activity off Meta technologies.
  6. Tap on Clear previous activity.
  7. Click Clear.
  8. Then click Clear previous activity.

You can also delete the data through your Facebook settings:

  1. Go to Settings and Privacy.
  2. Access Your Facebook information in the left menu.
  3. Click View.
  4. Tap on Clear previous activity.
  5. Click Clear.
  6. Then click Clear previous activity.

Bottom line

Being tracked online isn’t completely avoidable, but it is worth your time and effort to reduce it as much as you can. If you can do so, it will help protect you from spam, scams, identity thieves, and so much more.

Ad blockers and tracker blockers do a lot, but you can help the process by rejecting any prompts that give your permission, like Facebook link tracking. It might seem like a nifty little tool, but the real reason behind it is just to use your data to make more money.

Limited-time offer: 80% off
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Total Adblock's website
Total Adblock
  • Remove ads & trackers on YouTube, Facebook, and most websites
  • Hands-off ad-blocking experience
  • Easy to set up
  • Free version excludes top 15,000 websites

Author Details
Mary lives in Los Angeles and has been a cybersecurity writer for over five years. With a B.S. in Liberal Arts from Clarion University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, her career in online security began in sales and content creation for a private cybersecurity firm.