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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 :: 215 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.

[Image credit: Facebook login via BigStockPhoto]



Discussion loading

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Help me delete my old Facebook account

From Cherub on October 28, 2018 :: 6:29 pm

I want to delete my old Facebook account, but I’ve forgotten my password. Please help me

Reply

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My account been taken and

From fredarobertson on December 06, 2018 :: 5:21 pm

My account been taken and the person has controlled it for over two years. Everytime I try to regain it or get a new facebook account he reports it as a fake account. I Can prove who I am Why cant you just help me.

Reply

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Try this

From Josh Kirschner on December 06, 2018 :: 5:59 pm

Go through these steps with Facebook to get your other account recovered or shut down. Let us know if they work. https://www.facebook.com/help/1216349518398524?helpref=hc_global_nav

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My account is haked

From Simran soni on June 08, 2019 :: 9:49 pm

Sir my account is hack I am not able to do access in account with mobile no or passward if I’m entering my number it’s shows this no is no longer with us ...I want to deactive this account plz help me my account is with name Simran Akash Soni…...

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To re-acquire your old account by entering your information catch 22

From Carol McCullough on August 01, 2019 :: 3:13 am

When asked to re-enter your birth date, they only have a drop down for the year which goes back to 1956. Needless to say this is a problem for anyone born in 1955 or earlier. It seems to me that this is an effort by Facebook to hold onto a lot of accounts where people are deceased or simply are old and have forgotten their password. I suggest there are probably millions of old accounts out there that just help facebook gather more money from advertizers but which no longer represent anyone.

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Can you try again?

From Josh Kirschner on August 01, 2019 :: 11:10 am

Hi Carol,

I’d be surprised the dropdown only goes to 1956. Perhaps it was just a one-time bug. Can you try again and see if you get the same thing? If you can screenshot and post a link, that will help diagnose.

FWIW, Facebook only makes money on ads when people view the ad, so inactive accounts don’t really help them.

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I lost my phone number

From Emebat on April 15, 2020 :: 3:21 pm

So I forgot my password please help me delete my account please

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I can't delete old fb account

From Minakshi Bhaskar on September 12, 2020 :: 12:37 am

Please help me to delete old fb account.

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Please Help

From Ali on October 27, 2020 :: 6:47 pm

I have two Facebook accounts. I only use one now and I can’t access my old one to delete it. Please help me delete the old one.

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Accessing my Accounts

From Joanna Ochoa on September 13, 2019 :: 2:47 pm

Please delete my personal information and update security thanks

Reply

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have been unable access my

From eric orme on November 16, 2019 :: 5:12 pm

have been unable access my account

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Delete my old account

From Amos on June 29, 2020 :: 7:02 am

I forgotten my login and password so I want to delete my old account pls help

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Help me to delete permanently this Facebook account please

From Nguyen Thanh Thao on August 15, 2020 :: 7:15 pm

I

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Please help me to delete old fb account

From Malkougu Bali Bey on October 04, 2020 :: 2:38 pm

Hello Sir,

Hopefully you can delete my old fb account
Afzainizam Adnan because during that time i forgot the Log In ID and the password.
For your information, I already have new
account ” Malkougu Bali Bey”.

Thanks

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Delete Facebook

From Liliane Roukoz on October 15, 2020 :: 6:57 am

Thank you for everything

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Not open

From Hasnain baloch on October 16, 2020 :: 8:33 am

Help my old fb I’d not open

And not password

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Delete old account

From Tanya Ledoux on May 04, 2020 :: 8:05 pm

I want to delete an old Facebook account and I can’t get into it to do that because it’s under a hotmail email that I don’t remember the password to. How can I fix this???

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Delete old Facebook

From Ansie on June 01, 2020 :: 9:44 am

Delete old Facebook

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I forget my password and email address doesn't work .

From Rose Ann Alboro Jang on November 25, 2020 :: 8:43 am

Hi can you help me to delete or close my 2 old facebook account because i can’t open it now i forget my password and email address . Please help me to close it . And i have new one now so i want to delete it my two old facebook acct. This is my two facebook account i want to delete .  https://www.facebook.com/roseann.alboro
https://www.facebook.com/roseann.alborojang.7

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In 2016 I've opened a

From Rosemarie Roos on December 15, 2018 :: 8:58 am

In 2016 I’ve opened a face book acc don’t recall my password and now there is something like 4 profile I wantcto get rid of it and I cannot delete it .
There are 2 with pic and 3 blank ones which must be discard and it’s tressing me I want it completely off and start new again

My profile starts

Profile of Rosemarie Roos

I want all that discard please if you can help !!

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I would like to delete

From Rose on March 28, 2020 :: 2:25 pm

I would like to delete my old facebook account. I can’t remember my password and I don’t have this email any longer. It was my work email.

Reply

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How do I delete old facebook accounts?

From philip cogdill on November 10, 2020 :: 11:58 pm

I would like help to delete old facebook account that I have had in the past. If someone know how to delete old facebook account I would appreciate your help.

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my name us spelled wrong

From Cheryl Bunyea on August 19, 2020 :: 9:56 pm

when I set up my account my name is spelled wrong how do I change it

Reply

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How to change your name on Facebook

From Josh Kirschner on August 24, 2020 :: 11:38 am

Here’s how to change your name on Facebook:
1) Click the arrow all the way on the top right of Facebook.
2) Select Settings & Privacy > Settings.
3) Click Name.
4) Enter your name and click Review Change.
5) Enter your password and click Save Changes.

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i would like to deleat

From delbert whitt on October 01, 2020 :: 8:08 am

i would like to deleat all my fachbook accounts eccept one

Reply

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Delete Old Facebook Accounts

From George D Cobos on December 18, 2018 :: 9:35 am

I have 2 old Facebook accounts but can not remember any of the old email or passwords. Please help.

Reply

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kindly help me to delete my old Facebook account

From andrea andreas on April 28, 2019 :: 7:06 pm

hi I have been trying many times to delete my old Facebook account I can’t remember the old email & password I have used, but I can remember the Facebook account name which is andrea andreas old cell phone number I’ve used if am not mistaken it’s 0814947401.. pls help me delete it urgently I have been trying but am struggling & failing to delete my old account

thank you looking forward to Facebook notification or as long as it’s deleted.. thanx👍

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Want to delete permanently

From Jricy yuki genji on January 29, 2020 :: 3:43 pm

I want to delete this jricy yuki genji fb account permanently please help me but i can’t remember email and password

Reply

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Remove

From Mohdhassan on May 31, 2020 :: 1:36 am

Remove

Reply

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Please delete my old Facebook account

From Snehalatha Sajayakumar on January 27, 2019 :: 8:15 am

Please delete my Facebook account

Reply

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Hmm

From Ivan arguello on February 09, 2019 :: 1:38 pm

On your current account, search up your old one and report is as a fake account trying to be you. Worked for me and disappeared minutes after

Reply

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That's a clever idea

From Josh Kirschner on February 14, 2019 :: 11:02 am

Would be interested to hear if it works for others. Might be a suggestion we should add to the article if it does.

Reply

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clever idea indeed

From Laurie on February 28, 2019 :: 10:25 pm

I just tried it myself and it worked (very promptly may I add), thank you very much

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Did it work?

From Ramneet on August 26, 2019 :: 7:26 pm

Ive been trying to delete my old ones for so long, I cant use the ID method because the past accounts need to be disabled…does your method really work? I need to delete those ugly middle school and highschool accounts!!

Reply

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have tried

From Olivia on August 01, 2020 :: 9:47 pm

I have tried it last night and when I woke up this morning to check on my old Facebook acc, it’s still there. May I know if there other way to delete it? Do let me know

Reply

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07490633066

From Liam on February 23, 2019 :: 4:03 pm

I don’t use this account no more and I have a new one

Reply

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please help to delete my old Facebook account

From andrea andreas on April 28, 2019 :: 6:58 pm

please help me to delete my old Facebook account i have been trying several times to delete it but I have failed or am not getting it right my old Facebook account is Andrea Andreas cell phone number 0814947401/0817063089

thank you..

Reply

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help delete my old accounts

From andrea andreas on April 28, 2019 :: 7:12 pm

hi kindly help me to delete my old Facebook account I have been trying but to no avail.. my old Facebook account is Andrea Andreas the old number i have used if am not mistaken it’s 0814947401

my current Facebook account incase you might need it, it’s Eemhote dokombada mwalulilange, my current number it’s 0817063089 pls help I have tried several times & am not getting it right

thank you for your kindly assistance..

tha

Reply

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kindly help me to delete my old Facebook account

From eemhote dokombada mwalulilange on April 28, 2019 :: 7:26 pm

hi kindly help me to delete my old Facebook account which is andrea kanisius the old number i have used with an old account is 0814947401 I forgot the old email address & password my new Facebook account you can log into Eemhote dokombada mwalulilange my current number is 0817063089.. kindly delete for me the old account under Andrea kanisius & Andrea Andreas..

thank for your kindly assistance

yours eemhote dokombada mwalulinge that’s my Facebook account..

Reply

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Delete my account

From Kepher Fred on January 18, 2020 :: 8:47 am

Delete my account please help

Reply

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Old facebook accounts

From Lisa Eddins on March 25, 2020 :: 3:58 am

I have setup several facebook accounts and want them deleted so I can start over ,please help me delete old accounts so I can start over

Reply

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I want to delete my

From Susan Pfaff on June 13, 2019 :: 9:15 pm

I want to delete my old facebook account and open a new facebook account

Reply

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I have old Facebook accounts

From Mary Ann Panusky on June 25, 2019 :: 10:47 am

I have old Facebook accounts that I.eamt to delete since 2017 ,and want them deleted I just want the most recent one that’s opened . I can’t access them due to forgetting my password or email .If you can help me, Id deeply appreciate it .

Thank you

PS I have 2 IDS
Mary Ann Panusky. Mary Panusky

Reply

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please help to delete

From mohammed jumani on June 24, 2019 :: 8:27 am

please help to delete my old facebook from window android thanks

Reply

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Don’t have access to this e-mail address anymore!

From Chris Lawhon on July 08, 2019 :: 4:44 pm

Or password either! I think it was Sheeba32

Reply

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Delete my Facebook

From Rebecca Catano Dowell on July 16, 2019 :: 12:59 pm

Please please I need to delete 2 Facebook accounts. I really can’t understand how to do it so can please help to delete my Facebook accounts

Reply

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I want to delete all FB and IG accounts

From llopez1614@cox.net on August 16, 2019 :: 11:00 pm

REMOVE ALL MY FB ACCOUNTS AND IG ACCOUNTS, THEY HAVE ALL BEEN HACKED

Reply

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not able to login by using the last pass word I chanage and did not given any other details.I just w

From Jyothi Bhaskar on September 05, 2019 :: 12:42 am

not able to login by using the last pass word I changed and did not given any other details.I just want to remove the account as I don’t want some one misuse my account .I use my mail id in in which face book sends messages.When I started login using my e mail id, it says e mail or phone ,I did not remember whether I have given phone number while I created the account.
I don’t remember any thing except e mail id ,Now I want face book should allow me to login or remove my account and sent confirmation to my mail id

Reply

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Coming off Facebook

From James gerrard on October 10, 2019 :: 7:30 pm

I joined Facebook earlier this evening and have since realized that it is far too complicated! I want to remove myself from it but likewise the instructions are too complicated, I would be grateful for some simple advice!

Reply

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please could you help to delete my old account

From waddah on January 10, 2020 :: 2:27 pm

it’s been long time have not use my account and i have forgotten my old mail and password .could you please help me to delete my old account .it was hacked since 2005 and i couldn’t access my account from long period

Reply

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Delete my account

From Kepher Fred on January 18, 2020 :: 8:42 am

I haven’t used my account for long I want it deleted

Reply

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I don't want to confirm my identity

From Alfiya saifi on February 19, 2020 :: 3:32 am

And also I cant log in to Facebook it’s totally iritating Facebook can’t help me

Reply

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delete my facebook accounts

From sylvia.a.gaynor on April 08, 2020 :: 2:47 pm

I have created some facebook accounts that I want to delete please help

Reply

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can’t reset password

From Iris Campbell on April 08, 2020 :: 3:02 pm

Wanted to try instagram but apparently my password was declined. Tried to follow the “rules “but that was a freaking mess.showed a different person who’s password started with A and ended with eight. I have never had a password that long. , tried several times unsuccessfully. Supposedly sent a code which never. Fb said sent to email totally not mine. Several times showed my son’s picture with different . And anyway he has never had anything to do with my fb account. I have had
that account for years..please please someone. Help me

Reply

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truck driver

From Henri Beauchamp on April 17, 2020 :: 1:18 pm

I want to delete all my old facebook acounts

Reply

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I want Facebook to delete

From Mary chapman on July 08, 2020 :: 9:19 am

I want Facebook to delete all my accounts and mary stevens I don’t know the passwords the pictures with the 2 little dogs on my accounts I want all my Facebook accounts to be deleted please

Reply

Delete my old acco

From Lonalyn Reyes on August 06, 2020 :: 5:41 am

I want to delele my old account in Face book.but I forgot my password ang email add

Reply

Delete my old account

From Lonalyn Reyes on August 06, 2020 :: 5:47 am

I want to Help ME How to delete my old account in Face book

Reply

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I want to remove my

From Kapila nuwan on August 09, 2020 :: 10:13 pm

I want to remove my old face book. It face book can not open… I forget my password… my email & phone number not use now…. so please help me…

[personal information removed by editor]

My old fb email

Reply

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delete old facebook acount

From Valerie N tovio Toia on October 15, 2020 :: 7:45 pm

Please i want to delete my old facebook account

Reply

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Chancel old fb account

From Marie ribsldo on October 17, 2020 :: 1:20 pm

I am unable to cancel a fb acct I haven’t used for years
How do I do it

Reply

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deletion of a locked Facebook account

From ada Jeannine turner on October 21, 2020 :: 6:17 pm

I have a old 2018 locked Facebook account that I no longer have the email and password or phone number I have sent government ids, sent messages and tried to go through the help center still nothing has been done, please any suggestions

Reply

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Please delete my account

From Jisamma Joseph on November 19, 2020 :: 8:50 am

Please delete my account

Reply

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Facebook

From Talitha Hunter on November 27, 2020 :: 9:41 am

I have two Facebook accounts I would like to delete my main Facebook account immediately thank you

Reply

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