New Facebook News Feed: Remove Top Stories [Now with 6 solutions]

by wrylilt

The new Facebook news feed hasn't impressed everyone. If you don't like it, here are some tips on getting it to work how you want.

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These solutions are for Facebook in a browser. Do you know of a solution for the Facebook mobile interface? Please leave a comment, thanks!

Facebook has been making quite a few changes recently, coincidentally right as Google+ comes out of closed beta into open beta. Of course, Facebook denies making the changes based on competition with Google's new social network, but we're sure to see many more of these "non-competitive" changes.

One of the most recent changes involves the way the News Feed on the home page works. No longer do you get a simple choice between 'top' and 'recent' stories. Instead, you're forced to look at a mix of both, based on your past history, your friend's history and how recently an update was posted.

Fix Your News Feed Solution 1: Teach Your News Feed To Behave

Remove Top Stories

The new News Feed selects and displays stories based on a range of factors from time of update through to your own history and how often you interact with your friends. Here's one way to get rid of the top stories:

1. Look for the blue triangle in the top left hand corner of any update on the feed. When you wave your mouse over it, it should say 'Top Story'.

2. Click on the triangle to unmark the update as a Top Story.

3. Repeat this for all top stories. Once you've done that, you'll only have 'Most Recent' stories displayed, with a bar designated as such at the top left of your news feed.

4. Whenever a top story appears, repeat. The 'Top Stories' should become less and less common and you can slowly teach your news feed not to give them to you.

Fix Your News Feed Solution 2: Use Lists

Currently, the Facebook feature that allows you to track different groups of friends does not feature the new Top or Recent features - it just shows the latest updates based on a standard timeline. This solution involves moving all your friends into one list. Note that this may take a little bit of time if you have a lot of friends, OR you may want to make different lists for different people.

1. On the left hand side of your Facebook home page, click on the heading 'Lists.' 

2. Click on 'Create a List' at the top right of the 'Lists' page. Name it something like All Friends or News Feed.

3. In your new list area, click on 'Manage List' at the top right hand side. Then click on 'Add/Remove Friends'.

4. Add all your friends to the list, then click on 'Done'.

5. Whenever you want to view the most recent updates, simply click on this list on the left hand side of your home page. 

[NO LONGER WORKS] Fix Your News Feed Solution 3: Change Your Country/Language

This solution did work up till a few hours ago, however the new feed has been rolled out on the Facebook UK too. =( However you can try other language version servers (at your own risk), until this feature is rolled out to all Facebook versions.

This only works because the feed has not been fully rolled out across all Facebook versions. However, if you want your old feed back for a little while, you can use this solution!

1. At the top right of the Facebook page, click on the down arrow and click 'Account Settings'.

2. At the bottom of the list you'll see 'Language'. 

3. Select 'English UK' from the drop down list.

4. Save changes.

Fix Your News Feed Solution 4: Use a Link

Note that these solutions may not work for long. Thank you to K for the second link.

1. Use the Facebook mobile interface: [No longer works, new feed has been rolled out for mobile too.]

2. Use this link to force your news feed into chronological order:

Fix Your News Feed Solution 5: Use a Plugin

This plugin allows you to easily browse around Facebook no matter what type of updates they do, plus keep organized a lot more efficiently. Please note that as Facebook rolls out changes, the plugin creator is too, so if it doesn't work, make sure you download the latest version.

Visit the Better Facebook plugin page, download for your browser and you're set! If it doesn't work straight away, close your Facebook tab/page and re-open.

This plugin ALSO fixes things like the recently updated chat, if you prefer the old type!

Better Facebook Tabs
Better Facebook Tabs

Fix Your News Feed Solution 6: Notifications Trick

Please note that this only seems to work for some people and is not completely tested.

1. On the drop down arrow at top right of your Facebook page click 'Account Settings.'

2. On the left click 'Notifications'.

3. Uncheck the box that says 'Email Frequency'.

4. On  your main feed, UNmark any top news story.

Your page should go back to being based on chronological events, not top stories.

So which is the best solution?

I personally prefer solution #2 or #5. Why? Here's a quick run through.

  • Once you've set up a list, you don't need to keep clicking and teaching the News Feed. Instead you just click the list to see all the latest updates.
  • A list will override the new "Subscription" feature. This way, you don't miss out on ANY stories from your friends.
  • You can quickly set up a list, and then visit your News Feed occasionally to either teach it, or just to have a quick peek and see what Facebook thinks is important.
  • You can use your List as your 'Most Recent' and your Facebook Feed as your 'Top Stories' page. 
  • Solution 3 no longer works and solution 4 will probably soon follow!
  • Solution 5 requires a little bit of learning but a good option for a more permanent solution.

Got a Problem With These Solutions? Know Another One?

If you know of any more solutions, or want to offer a correction, feel free to leave a comment.

Of course there are problems with all the solutions, but these are the best we can find at the moment, till Facebook decides that it wants to let us have more options or sees that people don't like the new News Feed. =(

Updated: 09/22/2011, wrylilt
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Decimic on 11/13/2011

According to some sources, Facebook is rolling out a "Sort" option which will give you the option that sorts by most recent stories or by top stories.

Tor on 11/11/2011

Solution #4 seems to work - THANK YOU!

On another bl%&% annoying change to the home page, I found out that at least Firefox and Chrome users can use the free add-on "AdBlock Plus" to remove the right side ticker completely. Just ad your own filters and copy - paste these two strings:[id="pagelet_rhc_ticker"][id="pagelet_ticker"]
Works for me, and I don't very much miss the over-flow of updates...

Michelle on 11/01/2011

This "lists" solution no longer works. It has "top stories" just like the regular news feed :(

Martha on 10/19/2011

The problem with lists is that if I use them, I lose all my 'like' pages newsfeed to public pages. I can only add "friends" to lists. So, when I go back to newfeed to see updates of my fav celebs or other pages i follow, I have to sift through top stories and dup entries I already read on lists...I hate top stories and dup entry reading is a waste of the little time I already have.

Yuri Constantinoff on 10/14/2011

None work now due to story hiding inGRUBbed in clumsybook's SPEWS feed.
Solution 5 (for how long?) Use an UNofficial addon (or reader, if mobile)
YOONO (win32/lin/osx desktop client, FF/Chr addons, iOS 4+ app)
ROCKMELT (win32/osx browser, iOS 4+ app) - in this one, don't go to, but use the Facebook "feed".
Or, any mobile feed-reader that supports Facebook

Expect API to wriggle to let loose of those workarounds, or a CnD letter to Yoono/Rockmelt development teams

La Huerita on 10/14/2011

I don't seem to have any box called 'Email Frequency' on my notifications page. What's up with that?

grateful on 09/29/2011

thanks @webslaker for that new URL, as i was using the one in #4 above, too.

webslaker on 09/28/2011

#4 does not work, however it does work when modified to:

RyanTV on 09/28/2011 seems to still work

Robert on 09/27/2011

There is one other solution which seems to be working still: if you pretend to be working with an iPad using the User Agent Switcher in Firefox (extension) you still have the 'old' facebook. Downside is that the font is a bit weird and that chat does not work, but still...

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