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Navigating the Blue Bar at the Top of Facebook

Most people can tell at a glance when someone is browsing Facebook by the big blue bar across the top of the page. The blue bar is home to many of the important navigational links on Facebook. And anytime you’re looking at a Facebook page, you’ll have the blue bar accompanying you, like a really loyal puppy.

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Here’s what you need to know about the different parts of the blue bar:

  • Facebook logo: The “f” Facebook logo on the left of the blue bar serves two purposes. First, it reminds you what website you’re using. Second, no matter where you are on Facebook, if you click this icon, you’re back at the Facebook Home page.

    When you move your mouse to click this logo, you might notice it suddenly morph into a different icon and then morph back. Chances are you just ran your cursor over the search bar. Don’t get confused by this; as long as the icon looks like the “f” logo when you click it, it will take you to your Home page.

  • Search: The white text next to the logo reads Type to Search for People, Places and Things. This text area is where you can type any sort of search query. Simply click that text and start typing what you’re looking for. After you click, Facebook opens up a menu with suggested searches.

    The area of the blue bar that lets you know about Search on your Home page will actually change depending on where you are on Facebook. For example, when you’re on a friend’s Timeline, it will show your friend’s name. When you’re exploring a group, it will show the group’s name. This is one way to keep from getting lost.

  • Home: This link is always there to bring you back to the Home page. When in doubt, just go Home and start over.

  • Friend Requests: Next to the Home link is an icon of two people, intended to depict friends. Clicking this icon reveals a menu that shows you any pending Friend Requests you have. Whenever you receive brand-new Friend Requests, a little red number totaling the number of new requests shows up on top of this icon. When you view the new requests, the red flag goes away.

  • Messages: An icon depicting two speech bubbles lets you access a preview of your Messages Inbox. Clicking it shows you message snippets, along with links to use if you want to send a new message or go to your Inbox. A red flag appears to show you how many new messages you have. When you click that flag and view the preview of the new messages, the flag disappears.

  • Notifications: When someone on Facebook has taken an action that involves you, you’re notified by a red flag on top of the next icon — the globe. Maybe the person has tagged you in a photo, posted to your Timeline, liked a comment you made, or posted something to a group you belong to. Click the globe to scroll through your most recent notifications.

  • Account menu (down arrow): This is the menu that appears when you click this arrow. Here’s a rundown of some of the options you can find on the Account menu:

    • Settings: Choosing this brings you to the Settings page, where you can change your name, your e-mail address or password, your mobile information (which allows you to access the site from a mobile phone), or the language you want to use on the site. This is also where you go to find privacy settings, notification settings, and to deactivate your account.

    • Log Out: Clicking this ends your Facebook session. If you share your computer with others, always be sure to log out to ensure that another person can’t access your Facebook account.

      If you have the Remember Me option selected when you log in, you won’t ever be logged out until you click Log Out. Remember Me keeps you logged in despite closing the browser; therefore, use the Remember Me option only on a computer you don't share with others.

    • Help: Clicking Help switches over to a Help menu with links to frequently asked questions and a search box. If you ever have a problem and you can’t find the answer, the Help menu and the Help Center are good places to start.

    • Your Pages: If you create or manage Pages, you’ll be able to find links to use Facebook on behalf of your Pages from the Account menu.

  • Your Ads: If you create an ad to be shown on Facebook, you’ll find links to manage and create more ads in this menu.

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