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How to Delete an Old Facebook Account When You Can't Log In

by Josh Kirschner on February 20, 2024

Updated on 2/20/2024 with the current methods you can use to regain access to an old Facebook account. Removed privacy options no longer available.

Do you have an old Facebook account that you’re no longer using with posts or pictures from your younger days that you don’t want people to see? It’s easy to delete your Facebook account if you still have access to it. But what if you can’t remember the login information?

Here are the steps you can take to try and recover account access so you can delete your account – and the associated unwanted former memories – permanently.

1. Try to recover your Facebook password

Go to https://www.facebook.com/login/identify to search for your account. You can search by the email or phone number you used to set up the account, or just by name (the search screen doesn’t mention that option but it works, too).

If the Facebook account you are trying to recover is old, try every email and phone number you've owned.

If you go the name route, your account may or may not show up, depending on your privacy settings. And you may have used a nickname or a variation of your name that you don't use anymore, so try a few variations. If you don’t see your account, click “I’m not on this list” and you’ll be prompted to enter the name of a friend and search again. Try a few friends if the first one doesn't work. They may also use a variation of their name.

Once you find your old account, you’ll be able to send a reset code to any of the email addresses or phone numbers you associated with your account. If you’re not sure which email address you used, Facebook will show you a redacted version (e.g., j*******h@hotmail.com) that should spark your memory in case it’s an old email that you don’t log into anymore.

If you don’t have access to that email address or phone number anymore, try hard to regain access to that old email account. Because it gets far bleaker from here…

2. Report your old account as fake

While Facebook makes deleting an old account difficult, thanks to the proliferation of Facebook account spoofing, deleting a fake account is far easier. So one of our clever readers told us in the comments he reported his old account as fake and it was quickly deleted. Another reader also had success going this route.

To report your old account as fake:

  1. Go to the profile of your old account.
  2. Click the three little dots on the bottom right of the cover photo and select Find support or report on your browser or Report profile in the Facebook app.
  3. Click on Pretending to Be Someone" and then click Me.

Let us know in the comments if this method works for you, too. It appears to be rather hit-or-miss.

3. There is no option three (at least no easy one)

For security reasons, Facebook will only allow you to delete your account if you can access it through the official method above (or our "unofficial" workaround). Those photos of your ex-relationships, nights of drunken bacchanalia and really, really bad choices of hairstyle are going to live on forever in the Facebook universe.

You can also try sending a snail mail letter to:

Meta Platforms, Inc.
ATTN: Privacy Operations
1 Hacker Way
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Since this isn't an officially sanctioned means of getting your account deleted, we don't know what your likelihood of success will be. If you go this route, let us know how you fare in the comments below.

Bad advice in Facebook Help

In my research, I came across a Facebook help page with a section entitled "Recover your Facebook account from a friend's or family member’s account." The steps don't work. They ultimately send you back to the same page that asks for the phone number or email address associated with your account.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Please do not put requests to have your Facebook account deleted in the comments. We cannot delete your account you must follow the steps with Facebook we outlined above.

[Image credit: Screenshot via Techlicious, laptop mockup via Canva]

Josh Kirschner is the co-founder of Techlicious and has been covering consumer tech for more than a decade. Josh started his first company while still in college, a consumer electronics retailer focused on students. His writing has been featured in Today.com, NBC News and Time.


Topics

Tips & How-Tos, Facebook, Privacy


Discussion loading

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From Grannyfae on May 28, 2021 :: 4:46 pm


Yeah, your article is techlicious and I appreciate it even if it’s somewhat dated so thank you.I have 1 or 2 old f.b. accounts I can no longer access and that’s ok cause I didn’t really leave much to worry about on them- I changed devices a few times, dabbled around trying to Like social media.When I went to shut em down I couldn’t so I was grateful I didn’t give out too much info or pics to be stolen. I have and will never put my personal info concerning money online but that don’t stop em if all they want is to steal a name or your friends list.
  I have received 3 emails from someone saying they are f.b. and it really didn’t look official and I can’t get to f.b. to ask and from googling the problem I see Alot of folks are having issues with similar problems.Your article was very clear it on how to solve several angles of these issues even an ole Granny can see that but on a button at the top of my Gmail account I reported it as spam and unfortunately I hit the report phishing embedded in the email from f.b. or almost f.b.
itself. Did me even doing that leave me vulnerable? I didn’t reply or click any other links. The hey seemed suspicious because there were several rows of xxxxx on top of the letter and While I really hope it was f.b….hum? These emails were found in my spam folder which I check before I delete being cautious.I always report spam that winds up in my inbox or unsolicited emails as well as unsolicited phone calls and robocalls. Did I mess up my Granny security protocols by clicking the phishing button embedded in the text sent from “Facebook” and then I reported it to Gmail.I felt like I had messed up 5 seconds after I clicked that report phishing button. I’m slipping…and if it is a concern what to do to fix it? I am usually so careful and while I’m sure they didn’t Get anything of value that I left on f.b., the fact is they can use it period, I will never use social media of any kind again because it is my protest to all the hate,division and conspiracy crap. I appreciate your article whether you can advise me on this or not.Keep on doing this work cause this Granny needs a go-to tech to keep up with all this!So help an ole lady out if ya can and if you can’t-please just delete this mess! Sorry for any errors, spellcheck hates me.lol, yeah I tweak those settings but spellcheck is a imp who likes to mess with me.

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From Grannyfae on May 28, 2021 :: 5:11 pm


Ok, I forgot to mention the emails said someone named animul was trying to access my account and the names of the f.b. folks listed in the email seemed somewhat suspect as well. So, after reading it thru, I instinctively hit their embedded report phishing button on one of the 3 emails, and it offered a no it’s me button side by side.And after I thought it thru I mentally kicked myself for doing that.Did I mess up?

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From Josh Kirschner on June 01, 2021 :: 5:47 pm


If you clicked one of the buttons but never entered your Facebook login, you’re probably fine. But if you did enter your login (or aren’t sure), you should change your Facebook password as soon as possible and set up two-factor authentication for Facebook (which you should have, anyhow).

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From Tripper on May 29, 2021 :: 2:54 am


Doesn’t go against community stands how do i work that out

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From Josh Kirschner on June 01, 2021 :: 5:50 pm


As I suggest above, when you report the account, click on “Pretending to Be Someone” and then click “Me”. Imposter accounts are always against community standards, unless they are obvious satire or similar.

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From Chris on June 02, 2021 :: 11:42 am


When my wife’s account was hacked, the hacker set up 2-factor authentication (2FA) with their phone number, so although she could change the password, she’s still locked out because she can’t get that auth code. Facebook is happy to tell you what you *should* have done before you were hacked, but that’s useless once you’re hacked. And FB has no customer service by phone or email, and they don’t answer snail mail (we tried).

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From Lisa on June 15, 2021 :: 2:52 am


Hi there, every year on the anniversary of my father’s birthday his name pops up and it triggers both myself, my sister and my mum into a bad spin.

We need his account removed from Facebook especially the birthday part, but don’t have the codes.

He passed eight years ago!

is there any way that we can report somebody deceased and get their account removed?

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From Josh Kirschner on June 15, 2021 :: 4:43 pm


You can submit a request to have your deceased father’s Facebook account removed. There are certain documents you will need to submit along with your request. More information can be found on this Facebook help page: https://www.facebook.com/help/1518259735093203

Note that it is also possible to choose a digital heir for your Facebook account before you die to make it easier for them to “memorialize”, but not close, your account. Here is more information on the Facebook legacy contact process.

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From cha hankook on June 16, 2021 :: 9:08 pm


I got locked-out from my first account because I can’t remember my current password. It says that I always enter a previous password or a wrong password. The email and phone number added in my account was not mine but my brother’s. He himself can’t remember about it. It says that I’ve changed it a few days ago but I just can’t remember about it. Do you have any tips? Or ways to recover my account?

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From Josh Kirschner on June 17, 2021 :: 8:49 am


I’m actually going through a similar process helping a friend recover his account, and Facebook doesn’t make it easy. All you can do is follow these steps to recover your Facebook account and hope they take action quickly and don’t have you run around in circles as with my friend’s issue.

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From Very sad now on August 19, 2021 :: 1:04 am


Tried to report it as an impersonation of me, as suggested. Was told it “doesn’t go against community guidelines”. No Bueno.

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From Donald Perez on September 15, 2021 :: 1:29 pm


I can’t seem to delete one of my Accounts on FB and i even went the the Authorized Sprint Store for help but we couldn’t delete it due to the fact that im logged in to it, i can’t remember my Old Password to it to try to Closed it so that i can have ONLY ONE ACCOUNT! THANK YOU VERY MUCH IF YOU CAN TRUELY HELP ME OUT! SINCERELY A PUZZLED AND HOPEFUL CUSTOMER!

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From Josh Kirschner on September 16, 2021 :: 11:26 am


You should be able to recover the password using the email address or phone number associated with the account. Did you try that already?

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From VARFLEY dukuly on September 20, 2021 :: 5:40 am


I have try pretending to be someone else and me just to delete my old account but it’s not working please help me. Facebook team someone is trying to blackmail me on my old account. My account name is Varfley Dukuly please help me Facebook community team 🙏

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From Is there still hope? on September 25, 2021 :: 7:36 pm


I was recently incarcerated, unfortunately while there I not only lost my password but phone I had and numbe(got new phone and number when I got out) but I also lost my daddy which was one of my trusted contacts! He was hit by a tractor and trailer drunk/&high; driver dead on! Surprisingly he lived 3 months and 10 days after the accident but still yet passed. I wasn’t incarcerated when the accident happened but shortly after like 4 days later I was! Then I was told out of nowhere he passed and I say out of nowhere because I had recently spoke to him and he at the time was getting my little boy off the school bus!!!! Yea!! Also walking in to church on Sundays to hear the good word!! So that’s why I say out of nowhere! But my password to my email was the same as my Facebook password which I could only retrieve had the phone number I had prior to incarceration not been recycled even though it was paid up it was a prepaid account. So if there is anyway you can think to help I would greatly appreciate it because it has photos of my father and my kids that are irreplaceable.

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From Colida Harper on October 11, 2021 :: 12:56 pm


I was taken to this article after searching for how to recover a Facebook account without official ID, I still don’t have my answer. Please help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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From Colida247 (Colida Harper) on October 15, 2021 :: 5:48 pm


I want to sue Facebook for unlawful conduct and execution of their business practices.

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From Brian on November 02, 2021 :: 6:24 pm


Hi, I recently suffered account take over after a trip away.
The hacker changed my profile name adding ‘123’ to the end, and changed some other personal info.
After huge effort I finally managed to get FB to accept my identity (passport) which got rejected 10 times before accepting, then a further passwd reset got me back in.
HOWEVER, I naturally renamed my profile/user from the hacked name and removed other false info added by the hacker, then proceeded to set 2FA up from my laptop (not my usual browser).
FB then asks me AGAIN to prove I’m the valid owner by asking me to either 1) ask trusted friends to send codes, or 2) identify 4 comments I wrote in last 3 months. I hadn’t setup any trusted friends so I have just one option.
I identified 4 comments, answered this 7 times so far (with a day in between as it only lets you try once between days), and even though I categorically know I’ve selected the correct comments it refuses to accept I’m the rightful owner!!
I feel utterly stuck in a ridiculous loop and FB security seems broken. I have 15 years memories in there and run charity groups which I can no longer access!
CAN ANYONE PLEASE HELP?!!, as Mark Zuckerberg clearly doesn’t care !!

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From Colida247 (Colida Harper) on November 03, 2021 :: 2:06 am


There is evidence, also visit fuckfacebook.pro
I think you might like that website. It exposes some of Zuck’s misdeeds as well as Facebook’s bad strolls and some stuff that could even be considered criminal. Also visit the FTC for some more info about Facebook abs on Google search, type “sue Facebook”

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From C.Sestra on November 11, 2021 :: 1:33 pm


Hi- thanks for the article. Just tried reporting as an imposter and it didn’t work. They said my report doesn’t violate their community standards.

So I’m stuck with the old Facebook account without trusted contacts assigned. I have the email and password. But every browser/computer is not trusted so I have to go through an identification process. The only option they offer is to use trusted contacts. The friends they suggested actually went to the recovery page but were told they aren’t assigned as a trusted contact. Every other method takes me on a merry-go-round of resetting my password then telling me I need to verify my identity.

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From Alter H. on November 30, 2021 :: 12:28 pm


I attempted the report idea.  Unfortunately reporting myself for pretending to be me yielded failure.  I’ve tried the “report a problem” feature as a request to some form of staff but I do not expect any help this way either.  It’s funny that even knowing my passwords do me no good when my emails and old account require confirmation from the other to get access.

Thanks for the article though!

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From Maurita Stark on December 04, 2021 :: 12:43 pm


Someone hacked my account and changed the password and email so I can’t log in.  They are using my account and posting comments that I would never say

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From Maurita Stark on December 04, 2021 :: 2:46 pm


If you check the email they are using it does not match the name on the account. This is my new account Maurita Skinner Stark the one that was hacked is Maurita Stark . The email for that account does not match the name. They changed my password and email without my permission. That account has a lot of my family pictures and my grandson playing baseball for TCU and the passing of my oldest friend and I want it back. Please help me get it back.

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From Ismael Cabeza on December 09, 2021 :: 1:20 pm


Me again here my account had been hacked am getting extremely tired of this shit almost 2 years that I stopped using Facebook and is bringing me a lot of personal problems in my relationship I tell my wife that I don’t use my Facebook account and now someone just added something to the account and it happens to be my recent promotion I had at my job how to tell someone that I don’t use something and someone keeps messing with it. This actually is gettin extremely exhausting annoying and it’s getting me real fucking pissed off so please am asking to help me with fucking problem

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From Reeda k Johnson on December 17, 2021 :: 5:27 pm


Been receiving texts from people sending texts from an old account saying they’ve been receiving text from me and that I’ve been hacked please help me delete previous old accounts.

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From Josh Kirschner on December 23, 2021 :: 10:04 am


Are they receives texts from you or messages in Facebook messenger? If it’s texts, that’s not Facebook related. If it is through messenger, then you should follow the steps above to delete your old accounts.

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From Wayne Belay on January 20, 2022 :: 10:40 am


I found fb’s advice on deleting an old page misleading. It’s quite easy…. If you find your old page, or anyone else’s, that you KNOW is fake, old, not honest in it’s content……. Just REPORT it by clicking on the three dots to the right of the name shown!  Then call a friend to verify that they can’t see that page anymore, because it will be blocked from you.

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From Alicia Sullivan on January 23, 2022 :: 3:41 am


When I joined Facebook book I didn’t realise I had to set up Authenticator account. I recently got locked out of Facebook but can’t get the codes to recover my account because I can’t get the codes. Please help😊

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From CM on February 12, 2022 :: 4:15 pm


I deleted my account about 5 or 6 years ago…so I thought.  Recently, just for the heck of it, I went on to make sure they weren’t still tracking me only to find out that the account I deleted is actually listed as disabled.  Since they say they disabled it for apparent violations I can not access it to delete it.

Is there any way to delete an old account that facebook won’t let me have access to?  Their own website says they will delete it after a year…it has been at least 5 years or more years though.

Does this mean they are still tracking my internet usage?  I hate facebook and want to be free from it is there anything I can do?

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From Theri McEntee on February 15, 2022 :: 9:00 am


Followed your suggestion to find my account and get this message on the page each time:

“We received your information
If we still find that your account didn’t follow our Community Standards, it will remain disabled.
We’re always looking out for the security of people on Facebook, so until then you can’t use your account.”

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From Jordon on March 19, 2022 :: 8:36 am


My bf had two accounts. We tried to permanently delete his old account. Which according to Facebook you can’t log in for 30 days and then it will be deleted forever. Except it has been three months now and is still not deleted so either Facebook is full of crap or someone else has accessed the account. We can’t log into it to try deleting it again and we have both reported the account for every reason provided but each time “Facebook Algorithm” refuses to remove the account claiming that the reports are unfounded and that the account is not harming others. That if we have problems with any thing specific to report it i.e. a photo. Which is total bs.

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From Ali on March 21, 2022 :: 4:28 pm


Has Anybody actually tried to mail or email Facebook in regards to deleting a old account? And if you did, did it work? Asking because I have tried every single last option to recover and even delete. ATP if snail mail is the way, I’ll do it.

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From Bradley Brenda asher on March 27, 2022 :: 9:56 am


Someone hacked my account can you please just delete it there using my account to scam everyone on my friendslist and stole all my pictures I want it deleted instead of them using my information

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From Donna Marie weller on April 07, 2022 :: 6:37 pm


My Facebook account has been hacked and I would like to find out how to get the account taking down. I’m worried about my photos on my account. I can’t get on my account as the heartless person has changed the email address twice now. All I want is for my account to be closed blocked so that no1 can get back on to that account

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From ESTHER on June 13, 2022 :: 2:34 pm


Hi kindly delete my old account, I forgot the email, the phone number and the password, I use to use it long time when I was in high school but now I don’t have access no more, please kindly delete it. I tried reporting it and tried everything to delete it but nothing worked.

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From Seth on June 15, 2022 :: 11:49 am


They took down my account and now they say my email address that I’ve used for over 10 years said it doesn’t exist.  Who do I contact to take legal action?

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From Julia Wright on June 21, 2022 :: 3:39 am


My old facebook account has disappeared, I think hacked so all my contacts. I did manage to get into it once and it is being used by someone called Hasan Erman Gunay together with my old password.  and something called Foursquare is involved. Please shut this account down. I don’t remember which email address I would have used. It would not have been my current one. Very upset because there were some very old friends as contacts who I think have since died.
Thank you.  I’ve tried all your recommended ways buty if I saying “go into your old profile ” is pointless when you can’t access it. Why doesn’t Facewbook help properly?

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From Casey wahner on July 23, 2022 :: 3:21 am


Hello I don’t know if this is where I can get some help deleting a profile I created in 2020.. I secretly created this profile to cheat on my girl friend and I was caught which gave me a coming to Jesus moment.. I don’t remember how to log in due to the password and email combo I used.. the one thing my girlfriend wants is this account to he deleted so she can work on her trust in me again.. please help me delete it.. its under Casey wahner and pretty sure email is [personal information redacted]

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From Kira Nerys Gates on July 31, 2022 :: 4:33 pm


I can’t get into my account since a hacker changed the settings to two step authentication, code generator with no SMS access. And I can no longer go I to my Facebook account. I either need help someone from the dev team to deactivate the two step authentication for me. Or delete my account so I can create a new one. The one I have now is my family and or close friends’ account. I had many things saved on it which I wanted to keep but since I can’t even access my account due to the situations and the others links to the guidance to get my account back and verifying my identity, they all do not work. I tried to hard to find someone from Facebook Dev team to help. But of course it is difficult to get in to contact with them. So I need help deactivating my account. Or deactivation two step authentication. I preferred if the two step authentication is removed so I can keep my account back. Please email me so I know the updates or decisions.

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From leela on August 01, 2022 :: 6:43 am


I got the password reset to an old account, but because I was logging in with a new device they demanded ID. I tried to send photo ID twice making sure the second was perfect..  and it got rejected. I cant get in! They want my birth certificate now, but that’s way too sensitive a document to give to FB (so is my photo ID for that matter). Is there any way around this conundrum? If they just keep rejecting your ID upload?

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From Ntare Abdulkarim on August 05, 2022 :: 5:22 am


My long distance boyfriend took over my Facebook account and he changed everything so I can’t access it and I want to delete it please help me and delete it because I’ve tried a lot of ways but all in vein I need help ASAP!

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From Mike GORRY on August 08, 2022 :: 10:44 am


https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/861937627253138
Facebook’s Data Policy Help Center Contact form NO LONGER EXISTS.
Sending a letter by post FROM Europe is ridiculous.
Facebook are CROOKS. They are stealing your ID when they close down your account. They hold your information and sell to third parties. It is VITAL that you take back ownership of your ID.

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From Everett Williams on August 29, 2022 :: 9:04 am


Obviously this is already more trouble than it worth.  I did have an account and asked for it to be deleted as it though there was too much info shared. Recently I tried to give it another try but for some reason I was banned before I got started.  I may have been my fault because I had setup a yahoo account and after either during or after setting up the account I forgot to put the last part of my email in. So I corrected that and I did the upload photo thing and a couple of days later I was able to login so I did a friend request to my sister and I was immediately banned again.  So anyway I’m done you can just ban me forever at this point so I will waste no more time here…  PLEASE DELETE ALL MY INFORMATION PERSONAL AND OTHERWISE…. I promise to never do this again.  Thank You   PS…. I can’t log in with facebook without uploading another picture?

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From Everett Williams on August 29, 2022 :: 9:13 am


I did also say i may have unwittingly used someone else’s email by mistake.  If you just remove the numbers from this email you will see the other persons address.  I did fix it on my account but could someone please make sure I did not mess up someone else’s account. 


Thank You

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From Michael Crutchfield on September 21, 2022 :: 12:25 pm


I went to report fake account on several old accounts that I had set up over the years and reported fake account and selected ME but I can still pull them up on my mommas phone ,does it take time to delete old accounts this way? Please help me

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From Josh Kirschner on September 23, 2022 :: 9:43 am


Yes, Facebook sometimes takes a while to act. And, sometimes, they don’t act at all. Despite reporting many clearly fake/spam, even outright scam accounts, I frequently get a message back from Facebook saying the account doesn’t violate their rules. You just have to report it and hope they will act.

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From Tamela Lamie on January 15, 2023 :: 6:48 am


I have almost begged for anyone to help me to delete my old FB accounts and I’ve been on alot of help pages and I was just hoping that you were the one that was going to help me but no you didn’t and I was reading all the other people begging for help also and you hadn’t helped them either wow thanks for nothing

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From Josh Kirschner on January 18, 2023 :: 12:28 pm


The article provides instructions for how you can delete your account - we are not able to delete your Facebook account for you. I believe I make that VERY clear in the editor’s note:

“Please do not put requests to have your Facebook account deleted in the comments. We cannot delete your account – you must follow the steps with Facebook we outlined above.”

If you follow the directions and they don’t work, please let me know. If you don’t follow the directions and just post requests in the comments for us to do it (despite my explicit advice not to do that), it should not be a surprise that nothing changes.

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From Juan Jose on January 25, 2023 :: 2:50 pm


Doesn’t Work I tried reporting my old accounts as pretending to be me and it said it didn’t go against community guidelines.. and I have people still tagging me in things on them and there spams..

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From shane ward on February 23, 2023 :: 8:56 am


hello we have an ex worker who set up a facebook account using her work email reather than her private email . we need tro get it deleted but dont know how to go about this . i keep getting facebook notifications everytime somepnhe posts something to her

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