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

by on July 17, 2018
in Tips & How-Tos, Facebook, Privacy :: 415 comments

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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 account if you still have access to it. But what if you can’t remember the login information?

Here are the two 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 you go the name route, your account may or may not show up, depending on your privacy settings. If you don’t see it, click “I’m not on this list” and you’ll be prompted to enter the name of a friend and search again.

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. Use Facebook’s Trusted Friends feature

If you can’t access the email address or phone number on your account, your only other hope is Facebook’s Trusted Friends feature. Launched in 2013, Trusted Friends lets you regain access to your account in case of forgotten credentials by asking three “trusted friends” to supply a reset code. The big problem with Trusted Friends is that you had to have set it up in advance for your account, which very few people have done, according to a quick check I did of my friends and other random accounts.

(To set it up for an account you still have access to: 1. Go to Settings (down arrow). 2. Go to your Security and Login Settings. 3. Scroll down to Choose 3 to 5 friends to contact if you get locked out and click Edit. 43. Click Choose friends and follow the on-screen instructions.)

Facebook lockout contacts

If you fall into the category of one of the lucky few who set this up, when you tell Facebook that you “No longer have access to these?” on the email and phone recovery page you’ll be provided with an option to enter a new email or phone number and continue with the process.

Click “Reveal My Trusted Contacts” and type the full name of one of your trusted contacts. Facebook will then give you a special URL that each of your three friends need to access. The URL contains a recovery code to reset your account, which your friends need to provide back to you. You will need to contact your friends and provide them the URL – Facebook will not do this for you. If you can’t contact one of your trusted friends for whatever reason, you’re out of luck.

As I mentioned above, if you didn’t already set up Trusted Contacts, it’s too late now. When you tell Facebook you can’t access the email account, you won’t have the option to provide a new email address or phone number, you’ll just be told to try logging in again (in other words, you’re outta luck).

3. 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 "Give feedback or report this profile"
  3. Click on "Pretending to Be Someone" and then click "Me"

Let us know in the comments if this method works for you, too.

4. There is no option four (at least no easy one)

I reached out to Facebook and they have confirmed that, for security reasons, they will only allow you to delete your account if you can access it through one of the two official methods 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.

However, you may be able to pursue avenues outside Facebook’s standard deletion policies. For example, if you reside in the EU, the GDPR provides the right for consumers to demand companies delete their personal information on request. And if Facebook isn’t responding to a request, you may be able to take the issue up with your country’s privacy officer.

According to Facebook’s Privacy Policy, disputes can be resolved through a third-party company called TrustArc. However, at the time of publishing this article, Facebook is blocking its own link to the TrustArc feedback form as malicious (irony noted). Instead, you can use Facebook’s Data Policy Help Center Contact form or send a snail mail letter to:

Facebook, Inc.
ATTN: Privacy Operations
1601 Willow Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Since these aren't 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.

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: Facebook login via BigStockPhoto]



Discussion loading

Delete my facebook accounts

From Ruby Ward on August 21, 2022 :: 12:54 am

Hi i want to delete my old facebook accounts theres too many like about 4 and i need delete them all

Reply

delete my old account

From Harry Jay Dy on August 25, 2022 :: 4:55 pm

Can someone please delete my account this is so embrassing and I got depressed, I can’t access this account for long time ago, I lost my old sim card and this account is no email. Please help me to delete this lots of people judging me because of the old profile that I have to this account. I alreayd report this but they down the fb I don’t know why. Here is the link of my old FB please delete it im begging. https://www.facebook.com/harryjay.jarlega

Reply

delete my unused fb accounts

From christel agosi on August 26, 2022 :: 5:26 pm

I have several unused fb accounts, please help me delete them

Reply

Tried to Setup and Account Got Banned before I got Started

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?

Reply

I may have also accidently tried to use someone else's account

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

Reply

Okay, My first post above is so obscure that I can't read it.

From Everett Williams on August 29, 2022 :: 9:57 am

Banned from Facebook before I got started then banned again? 
I had another Facebook account a few years back with a different email address.  I requested that Facebook be deleted it was done.  That could be why I am banned now? 
This is 2 or 3 years later and I am trying to setup a new Facebook account with a new email address but I keep getting banned.
The problem may be my fault since I accidently used my email without the numbers while setting it up. I did fix the email issue immediately and it was okay at first but I was banned again almost immediately.  I thought that it was because of the email mistake so I uploaded a photo as requested and I was able to logon a day or so later. I logged in again today and I thought it was working so I did a friend request to my sister then I got the same message that I needed to upload a photo etc.. .  At this point it is just beyond my patience to continue trying to make it work. Therefore, could you please delete all my information and delete my newly created Facebook account. 

Thank You….

Reply

Help me delete a old Facebook that I do not have access to now

From Leslie ann feack on September 14, 2022 :: 7:14 pm

Please deactivate the profile Leslie ann feack
http://Www.facebook/leslie.feack
This is someone pretending to be me or a very very old account that I no longer want to be found on Facebook please and thank you

Reply

deleting my old facebook account

From Bankuoru Issahaku on September 16, 2022 :: 7:32 am

help me delete my old accounts

Reply

Deleting old account that I can't log into

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

Reply

Yes, it may take time

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.

Reply

I want to delete my

From Thembelihle siya mahlangu on September 28, 2022 :: 10:13 am

I want to delete my Facebook page but I forg my account and password so can you please help me

Reply

Delete my old accounts

From Angel on November 06, 2022 :: 1:51 am

Reply

Close my husband accounts he passed away

From Regina Twiggy Coleman on November 07, 2022 :: 9:32 am

My husband Zakeen Cochran he had a few old accounts he count not remember the password so he made a new one he was using but he passed away in June and I want to delete all his accounts

Reply

Deleted

From Zakeen Cochran on November 07, 2022 :: 9:34 am

My husband passed away his name is Zakeen Cochran he had a few old accounts plz delete he passes away in June 2022

Reply

deletion of old facebook account

From Myrna pineda on November 16, 2022 :: 12:09 pm

please helpme to delete my old facebook account

Reply

Delete old pass Facebook pages

From Jabneal Patterson on November 21, 2022 :: 12:42 am

Hi I just wanted to get my 3 old facebooks deleted back when I was in high school I no longer need them please and thanks

https://www.facebook.com/jabneal.patterson.3?mibextid=LQQJ4d

https://www.facebook.com/jabneal.patterson?mibextid=LQQJ4d

https://www.facebook.com/ambitious.patterson?mibextid=LQQJ4d

Reply

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