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5 Facebook secrets you should be using

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 29-08-2016 Kim Komando

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 03: A person holds an iPhone displaying the Facebook app logo in front of a computer screen showing the facebook login page on August 3, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 659228091 ORIG FILE ID: 586113560 © Carl Court, Getty Images LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 03: A person holds an iPhone displaying the Facebook app logo in front of a computer screen showing the facebook login page on August 3, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 659228091 ORIG FILE ID: 586113560

The number is simply astounding. In the second quarter of 2016, Facebook had more than 1.7 billion people active monthly users. And it’s a safe bet that many of them do not know these five secrets.

1. Erase your search history

Maybe you were just mildly curious, but the evidence is still there. If you have ever looked up an ex, this will show up in your Facebook search history. So will any groups, photos, posts and anything else you've tried to find.

Fortunately, you can erase your Facebook search history. To do this, login your Facebook account, click on the upside-down triangle in the top-right corner, and click Activity Log. The Activity Log is where Facebook tracks your actions within the site.

Note: The Activity Log stores a lot of data about your past activity. 

In the left column of the Activity Log, under "Photos, Likes and Comments," click More. Then scroll down and click the "Search" link.

You’ll see a list of your Facebook searches, organized by date. You can clear searches individually by clicking the crossed-circle icon on the right and selecting Delete. You'll be asked to verify that you'd like to take this action. Once you click Remove Post, the search will be deleted from your history.

To clear every search without the hassle of sifting through years of individual entries, click the "Clear Searches" link located at the top-right of the list.

Unfortunately, Facebook doesn't let you completely turn off its search history feature. You'll have to remember to manually clear your searches every now and then.

2. Play chess

You've seen those Facebook game requests for Candy Crush and Farmville, but did you know there's also a way to challenge your friends to a game of chess?

The game is played in Facebook Messenger. Start by choosing the friend you'd like to challenge. Open a new message, or insert the game into a conversation you already have going. Type @fbchess to get started.

When you type @fbchess, a chessboard will be inserted into your conversation feed. Typically, whoever initiates the game will be assigned the color white, and will have the first move. However, you can assign colors by typing @fbchess play black, or @fbchess play white (enter your friend's name here).

Although the gameplay isn't as simple as some online chess games, moving your pieces around the board is still easy to do. At the bottom and top of the board, you'll see the letters A through H assigned to the grid. On the right- and left-hand side of the board, you'll see the numbers one through eight.

To move, just combine the letters and numbers with a piece command. Typing @fbchess Pe4, for example, will move your Pawn to square E4. A list of more advanced commands, such as moving your Bishops and Knights can be found by typing @fbchess help. And, if you ever happen to make a mistake, you can correct it by typing @fbchess undo.

3. Check other messages folder

Facebook is designed to help you keep in touch, but that doesn't mean all your messages get through. In fact, some messages are actually tucked into a special folder you probably didn't know existed.

Messages are stashed in this folder when they're sent from someone who's not on your Friends List. Facebook flags these messages as spam, even though it's still possible that you know them. Old friends, for example, could be reaching out without you knowing it. I recently mentioned this folder on my national radio show. A few weeks later, a listener told me that she checked the folder and found an email from her birth mother!

You'll find this folder in the Messenger app. Tap the Me icon in the bottom right-hand corner, then tap People. Once there, look for the option for Message Requests, and then a link that says, "See filtered requests."

You can also access these messages when you're logged into the Facebook site. 

4. See who's ignoring your friend requests

At one point or another, maybe you wonder who has ignored your Friend request. To see which Friend requests are still pending, login your Facebook account and click the Friends icon at the top of the page. From there, select See All, and then, View Sent Requests.

If you wish to cancel the friend request, hover over "Friend Request Sent" and select Cancel Request.

5. Download your whole Facebook history

When you consider how much of your life is shared on Facebook, it makes you wonder what else you can do with all of that information. The good news is there's actually a way to archive everything you've ever shared on Facebook, including the things you've deleted.

To do this, open your Facebook Settings and click "Download a copy of your Facebook data." There, you'll see a button that says "Start My Archive."

Once you begin your archive, you'll be asked to confirm your password. Another email will be sent once your download is complete. It will contain a link that will allow you to download a Zip file that contains the data from your Facebook history.

With these tips, you'll be using Facebook like a pro in no time at all. Finally, be sure to Like my page at

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