Beth writes: I signed up for Facebook with my married name a few years ago, but my old friends from my single days (esp. high school and college) are having a hard time finding me. Is there any way to add my maiden name to my Facebook account without changing my current Facebook name?

Hi Beth! You can indeed add either a maiden name—or a plain-old nickname, for that matter—to your Facebook profile, and you’ll also get the option of doing so without changing the way your name is displayed to other Facebook users.

Once you add an “alternate” name to your Facebook account, your profile will pop up for users who are searching for you by that name, even if you don’t want your other name displayed publicly—handy if you don’t want your boss or your cool new friends to know that everyone called you “Scooter” in high school.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Click the little “down” arrow in the top-right corner of any Facebook page, then select Account Settings.
  • In the “General Account Settings” page, click the Edit link just to the right of your name.
  • Below the fields for your first, middle, and last names, you’ll see another blank labeled “Alternate name.” Enter your other name right there.
  • Want the world to see your “alternate” name in your Facebook profile? If so, check the box labeled “Include this on my profile.” If you leave the box unchecked, users will still be able to find you by searching on your maiden name or nickname.
  • All done? Click the Save Change button, but prepare hurry up and wait, as it may take Facebook up to a day to review and approve your new alternate name. Also, keep in mind Facebook may reject your name immediately if it runs afoul of the network’s name standards.

Got more Facebook questions, or a tip of your own to share? Let me know!