How to Force a Chronological Feed in Facebooks New Design

Illustration for article titled How to Force a Chronological Feed in Facebooks New Design

Screenshot: David Murphy

New Facebook is here, but a new chronological News Feed is not—not without a clever little hack, that is.

You can test out Facebook’s redesign right now if you pull up your desktop browser, click on the drop-down arrow in the upper-right corner of the UI, and select “Switch to New Facebook,” like this:

Illustration for article titled How to Force a Chronological Feed in Facebooks New Design

Which turns its look and feel into this—if you go for dark mode, that is:

Illustration for article titled How to Force a Chronological Feed in Facebooks New Design

Whether you love or hate the new design, let’s focus on annoyance that persists. On your left-most sidebar, you could previously click on the dots next to your News Feed to switch between Facebook’s curated feed and a strict, pure chronological feed of posts.

I absolutely love the latter and wish Facebook would let me default to it—alas—and the company has now buried this option in its new design. If you click on that “See More” link on the left, and scroll down for what feels like forever, you’ll see a “Most Recent” option at the very bottom. (Or, at least, that’s where mine was the other day; the option has since shifted up a bit.)

Illustration for article titled How to Force a Chronological Feed in Facebooks New Design

As mentioned, Facebook doesn’t let you default to a “Most Recent” feed, so we’re going to have to get creative to fix that. The simplest method is to create a bookmark to Facebook in your browser—in the the toolbar, ideally—and make sure it’s using this link: https://www.facebook.com/?sk=h_chr

When you do that, clicking on your bookmark will always pull up Facebook in “Most Recent” mode. Easy. But if you don’t want to make a bookmark, because you’re more used to typing “facebook.com” into your browser’s address bar, we can manage that, too.

If you’re on Chrome or Firefox, simply grab and install the Redirector extension (from either of those links). Once you’ve set it up, click on its icon and select “edit redirects.” The screen that appears looks like this:

Illustration for article titled How to Force a Chronological Feed in Facebooks New Design

You’ll want to click on “Create new redirect.” The next screen might look a little confusing, but it’s simple. I’ll break it down:

Illustration for article titled How to Force a Chronological Feed in Facebooks New Design

  • Description: Name your redirect whatever you want.
  • Example URL: Just enter good ol’ facebook.com/. Nothing more to do here than that.
  • Include pattern: To make sure that all you have to do is type facebook.com into your browser’s address bar, you’ll want to take your Example URL—facebook.com/—and slap a wildcard before it. If you want to get crazy, you can change the Example URL to just “fb,” no quotes, and make the pattern *fb*, which would mean that all you have to do to access Facebook via your browser’s address bar is type in those two letters and hit Enter. Your choice! And, yes, that forward slash in the “include pattern” is critical to this process; it took me forever to realize that, so don’t forget it.
  • Redirect to: Enter the URL you want facebook.com to go to. In this case, that’s https://www.facebook.com/?sk=h_chr
  • Pattern description: Enter whatever you want!

That’s it! You’re probably wondering why I didn’t just wildcard the entire include pattern, or *facebook.com*. Well, doing that means that any other Facebook URL you enter into your browser—like a copied and pasted link to a group, for example—would immediately redirect to the aforementioned “Most Recent” news feed URL. That gets annoying. In this case, we’ve restricted the rule so that only typing facebook.com in your browser sends you to the new URL you want; you can still enter other facebook.com/whatever URLs without issue.

The one caveat with this whole process is that it’s a one-time deal. Navigating around Facebook’s site, and clicking the big logo in the upper-left corner to revisit your News Feed, is going to give you the crappy non-chronological feed. Unfortunately, the extension only catches that which you enter into the address bar, not that which exists regularly. If I find a better solution for that, I’ll let you know.

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