Facebook has updated how its face recognition features work and will be turned off for some users by default going forward. However, for those accounts in which the features have already been turned on, users will have to manually opt out. Read along for what’s changed, and how to turn off Facebook’s face recognition.

Facebook shared the update on its use of face recognition and the default settings in a Newsroom post today. The first part of the news is that there has been a shift from the previously used “tag suggestions” to the broader face recognition features now available. Some users have had the full set of face recognition features available, while some accounts were limited to the tag suggestions feature.

Our face recognition setting lets you manage not only whether Facebook uses face recognition technology on photos of you in order to suggest tags; it provides an easy on or off switch for a broader set of uses of face recognition, such as helping you protect your identity on Facebook.

New Facebook accounts and those who only had tag suggestions will see a new notification that describes how the most recent face recognition features work. If you’ve already had the features on your account, you won’t see the notification (and they are likely turned on, skip below if you want to turn them off now).

Facebook says that for those who receive the new notification, face recognition will be off by default.

If you do not currently have the face recognition setting and do nothing, we will not use face recognition to recognize you or suggest tags. In addition, features like Photo Review, which lets you know when you appear in photos even if you are not tagged, as long as you have permission to see the post based on its privacy setting, will not be activated.

Users can still be tagged in photos manually if they decide to keep face recognition turned off.

Facebook says it also uses face recognition to:

  • Provide accessibility features by telling people with visual impairments who’s in a photo or video.
  • Help protect you and others from impersonation and identity misuse, and improve platform reliability.

Notably, users who already had the face recognition features turned on will have to manually turn off the feature. We’ll cover how to turn off the feature on iPhone and iPad as well as the web below.

How to turn off Facebook face recognition

  1. Open the Facebook app and tap the three-line icon in the bottom right corner
  2. Swipe down and tap Settings & Privacy then tap Settings
  3. Under Privacy, tap Face Recognition
  4. Tap No to turn off the feature

Here’s how the process looks:

How to turn off Facebook face recognition walkthrough 1

How to turn off Facebook face recognition walkthrough

On the web, click the drop-down arrow in the upper right corner > Settings > and select Face Recognition on the left sidebar to turn it off.

To learn more details about how Facebook uses face recognition, read the fine details here.

If you’re considering deactivating or deleting Facebook, we’ve got a walkthrough for those steps.

For more help with getting the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how-to guide as well as the following articles:

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