Why is the Add Friend Button on Facebook Grey?

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Written by: Alex Popa

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Why is the Add Friend Button on Facebook Grey?

Are you trying to send someone a friend request on Facebook, and the “Add Friend” button is greyed out?

There are a couple of explanations for why the “Add Friend” button is grey on Facebook:

  1. You’ve reached your friend limit on Facebook (5,000 for regular accounts)
  2. The other person has declined your friend request
  3. The other person has restricted their privacy settings regarding who can send them friend requests
  4. They marked your friend request as spam
  5. Your current friend request is still pending, and they’re ignoring you
  6. You’ve blocked the other person
  7. You’re blocked from sending friend requests

Below, I’ll go into more detail for each scenario and tell you how to approach the situation. Keep reading!

Why is the Add Friend Button on Facebook Grey?

You’ve Reached Your Friend Limit

Did you know that Facebook has a friend limit? Once you reach that, you won’t be able to send any more friend requests.

That limit is 5,000. If you’re a very “friendly” person on Facebook or promoting something, chances are you’ve reached the 5,000 friend limit.

Once you do that, Facebook will stop you from sending more friend requests by graying out the “Add Friend” button or removing it entirely.

Unfortunately, you can do nothing other than remove one of your current friends to add someone else.

Once you remove a friend, you’ll go below the 5,000 friend limit, and at that time, the “Add Friend” button won’t be greyed out anymore.

I recommend only sending friend requests to people who will interact with you and bring you benefits if you want to promote something.

In most cases, a regular Facebook person won’t find any meaning in having more than 100-200 friends. There’s no way you talk to all of those people and maintain the same relationship with all of them.

The Other Person has Declined Your Friend Request

The “Add Friend” button may become greyed out if the other person has denied your friend request.

Facebook doesn’t allow you to send another friend request to someone who has denied your previous one for some time.

That period is one year. If someone declines and deletes your friend request, you can’t send them another request for at least a year.

This is Facebook’s way of preventing spam and helping people feel safe on social media.

However, the other person can still send you a friend request. If you can convince them to become your friend, you don’t have to wait a year to send them another friend request.

Just let them send you one!

The Other Person Has Restricted Their Privacy Settings

Another reason the “Add Friend” button is greyed out on Facebook is that the other person has intentionally restricted random people from sending them friend requests.

You can do this from the “Who can send me friend requests?” option in your Facebook privacy settings. There are two options to select from:

  • Everyone
  • Friends of friends

If the other person selects the “Friends of friends” option, you won’t be able to send them a friend request if you don’t have mutual friends.

The solution is simple – send a friend request to one of the friends. This way, you’ll become a “friend of their friend“, and you won’t be restricted by Facebook anymore.

This becomes considerably harder to pull off when the other person has set the “Who can see your friends list?” option to “Friends“.

It means you won’t be able to see their friends list, and this solution will become dead in the water from the start.

In this case, I don’t have a good solution for you. You can only contact the other person and ask them to send you a friend request.

You won’t be able to do it otherwise!

They Marked Your Friend Request as Spam

Maybe the other person has outright marked your friend request as spam? This could be why the “Add Friend” button is greyed out.

Not many people do this, but occasionally, someone will become incredibly irritated that you dared to send them a friend request.

Once they mark your friend request as spam, you won’t be able to send them another friend request indefinitely.

The “Add Friend” button will either be greyed out or disappear entirely.

There’s no good solution I can offer in this regard. You can message them on Facebook and ask them why they marked your friend request as spam.

Or ask them to accept your friend request. But you aren’t guaranteed success either way. It’s still worth a shot, though.

Your Friend Request Is Pending

After sending someone a friend request, you can’t send them another one. If the “Add Friend” button is greyed out, it could mean that your previous friend request is still pending.

The other person is ignoring you or hasn’t seen your friend request yet. If they’re ignoring you, try contacting them and asking them to accept your friend request.

Normally, the friend request will expire in 14 days if the other person doesn’t accept or decline it. After 14 days, you’ll be able to send them another friend request.

But if the friend request has been pending for 3+ days, it becomes clear that the other person is intentionally ignoring you.

They should have already seen the friend request because Facebook sends a notice to their account.

You’ve Blocked the Other Person

It happens to the best of us, trust me. If you’ve blocked them and forgotten about it, you won’t be able to send them a friend request.

The button will either be greyed out or missing entirely. To solve this, unblock them from their profile page.

After you unblock them, the “Add Friend” friend will become available, and you’ll be able to send them a friend request.

It’s good that the other person might not have realized that you’ve blocked them. Now, you can send them a friend request by acting innocent.

If they don’t accept the friend request, they must have figured out you’d blocked them before. So, now you’re in a position where you need to justify yourself. Good luck!

Facebook Blocked You from Sending Friend Requests

Lastly, you might not be able to send friend requests because Facebook restricts your ability. That’s usually because:

  • You sent too many friend requests recently
  • Many previous friend requests from you were ignored
  • Many previous friend requests from you were marked as spam

This type of action ban is not permanent, though. In a few days, you’ll be able to send friend requests again, and the “Add Friend” won’t be greyed out anymore.

Here’s how to avoid getting blocked by Facebook from sending friend requests:

  • Don’t send friend requests to strangers without being fairly sure they’ll accept it
  • Don’t send friend requests to celebrities. Follow them instead
  • Don’t use a pseudonym or fake name because people might ignore your friend requests
  • Try to only send friend requests to people you know

Remember, having many friends on Facebook isn’t a marker of fame or popularity. Having too many friends means most of them aren’t close friends.

You can’t possibly maintain a meaningful friendship relationship with that many people, so most of them are superficial friends.

Leave a comment below if you’re still experiencing the greyed-out “Add Friend” button on Facebook, and I’ll try to help you solve it!

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Alex Popa

My name is Alex and I have a knack for social media in all its shapes and forms. I’ve dealt with such things for quite some time and I noticed that many people have issues with social media and technicalities.

Unforeseen errors, bugs, and other problems make their use of social media problematic. These things will be discussed amply in the guides on Whizcase.

I'll present the facts as they are, and offer quick and easy solutions for them.

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