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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 :: 88 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 :: 7:29 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 :: 6:21 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.

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Try this

From Josh Kirschner on December 06, 2018 :: 6:59 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 :: 10:49 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 :: 4:13 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 :: 12:10 pm

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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Accessing my Accounts

From Joanna Ochoa on September 13, 2019 :: 3:47 pm

Please delete my personal information and update security thanks

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In 2016 I've opened a

From Rosemarie Roos on December 15, 2018 :: 9:58 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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Delete Old Facebook Accounts

From George D Cobos on December 18, 2018 :: 10:35 am

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

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kindly help me to delete my old Facebook account

From andrea andreas on April 28, 2019 :: 8:06 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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Please delete my old Facebook account

From Snehalatha Sajayakumar on January 27, 2019 :: 9:15 am

Please delete my Facebook account

Reply

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Hmm

From Ivan arguello on February 09, 2019 :: 2:38 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

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That's a clever idea

From Josh Kirschner on February 14, 2019 :: 12:02 pm

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

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clever idea indeed

From Laurie on February 28, 2019 :: 11:25 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 :: 8:26 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!!

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07490633066

From Liam on February 23, 2019 :: 5:03 pm

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

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please help to delete my old Facebook account

From andrea andreas on April 28, 2019 :: 7:58 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..

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help delete my old accounts

From andrea andreas on April 28, 2019 :: 8:12 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

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kindly help me to delete my old Facebook account

From eemhote dokombada mwalulilange on April 28, 2019 :: 8:26 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..

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I want to delete my

From Susan Pfaff on June 13, 2019 :: 10:15 pm

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

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I have old Facebook accounts

From Mary Ann Panusky on June 25, 2019 :: 11:47 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

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please help to delete

From mohammed jumani on June 24, 2019 :: 9:27 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 :: 5:44 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 :: 1:59 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 17, 2019 :: 12:00 am

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 :: 1:42 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

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Coming off Facebook

From James gerrard on October 10, 2019 :: 8:30 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!

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Delete old profile

From Pavan subbaiahacheryiamane on November 19, 2018 :: 2:54 am

Delete old profile

Reply

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Hu

From Melissa Clemo on November 21, 2018 :: 8:32 pm

Hi how are u. I’m fine I have so many Facebook account that I wood like to delete but I for got my password to all my old Facebook account so can you please help me out on it thank u from melissa clemo

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I have two accounts I want deleted

From Leighni Hadl on November 28, 2018 :: 6:56 pm

One is under Leighni Hadl and one under Leighni Nikkol I can’t remember the passwords but I need them gone! Please help

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Did you try the options above?

From Josh Kirschner on November 28, 2018 :: 7:15 pm

Did you follow steps 1 and 2 above to try and reset your Facebook password so the accounts can be deleted?

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I don’t know the emails

From Leighni on November 28, 2018 :: 9:20 pm

I can’t get in period. I deleted them the first time it said it would take 14 days but then they never disappeared

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it worked for me....in minutes,

From kcrj89 on June 10, 2019 :: 10:14 pm

it worked for me….in minutes, too….

Reply

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Disabled organization account

From laura levy on December 02, 2018 :: 3:13 pm

i created a new organization/business facebook account but because i uploaded a fake picture (i didn’t want to use my picture for my organization) .. the account has been disabled…

I have deleted the google account associated with the facebook account.

How can i recover/remove the disabled facebook account and start over?

Reply

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Have you tried to recover the Google account?

From Josh Kirschner on December 03, 2018 :: 4:42 pm

It may be possible to recover your Google account, which would then let you get access to your linked Facebook account. Here are the steps: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/6236295

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Disabled organization account

From laura levy on December 03, 2018 :: 8:29 pm

i can’t access the old Facebook acct because it is disabled.. i need to free up the associated email address with the disabled Facebook acct.

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Yes, that's what I'm suggesting

From Josh Kirschner on December 03, 2018 :: 10:17 pm

The link above is a means to recover your old Gmail account so you can use it to recover your old Facebook account.

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Please help me this account is my life.

From Min Thu Kha on June 11, 2019 :: 5:00 pm

Hi admin,

ID My name is Kyaw Zayar Lin
ID My First Name is Kyaw
ID my middle name is Zayar
ID My Last Name is Lin
ID My date of birth is 25.5.2002

Facebook disabled my account without warning me or sending me anything for underage, I’ve tried getting in touch with them but no avail, they keep sending me link to help but they don’t and it says to put in my card details which I’ve never done before…. I’m so sad for there are many relatives and friends keep me in touch by that account. I try so many ways not to behave my self bad nor to display bad images or words, even I remove those who like saying explicit words or contents but my account suddenly disappear anyway, when I tried to have a touch with my relatives and friends at that night. Please Sirs/Madams, at least give me a clue what mistakes have I done and soon give me back my beloved I account, Thank you so much and God bless you…

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Lost access to an old email account

From Leigh Ann McLean on December 08, 2018 :: 5:47 pm

I cant get in an old gmail account, actually 2 of them. I have my uaername to both accounts but I have forgot my passwords to both. I have a new phone now and I cant remember the number I had qhen I opened the account.
Need help
Leigh Ann

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Deleted account

From Tanuja on December 09, 2018 :: 2:45 pm

How to delete my old Facebook account n i forgot my old number so please help me ....

Reply

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I Want All Old Facebook Acount Delete

From Nishant Kumar Mishra on January 18, 2019 :: 8:31 am

Please Help

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Please on my account

From Muhammad Khalid on February 16, 2019 :: 5:34 am

Please my Facebook account on

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Death of Facebook account holder.

From Patricia Woodward re Sidney John Woodward {de on February 18, 2019 :: 7:56 am

How do I close down my late husbands Facebook when I do not know his password etc. ?

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Here's how to request deletion

From Josh Kirschner on February 26, 2019 :: 4:07 pm

Hi Patricia,

Sorry for you loss. Facebook has options for either memorializing your husband’s account (so friends and families can still see the memories) or deleting it entirely. You can find instructions for both methods here:
https://www.facebook.com/help/1506822589577997

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Can't access or delete

From So Done on February 20, 2019 :: 6:12 am

I tried creating an account for chatting with my gamer friends, and fb disabled the account a few days later before I even had the time to fully deck it out with photos. I don’t have a phone number to add to the account, which was not required at sign up, but when I tried to login today it demanded I give them one in order to access my account. With all the trouble fb gave in setting up the account to now this, I just want to delete it so they can’t spam my inbox. Hate fb.

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Please help me delete this

From Tiyezye on March 13, 2019 :: 6:35 pm

Please help me delete this old account which was hacked


https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002432116439

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Follow the steps

From Josh Kirschner on March 13, 2019 :: 7:17 pm

We give you the steps for deleting an account above. Follow those and see if it works for you.

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delete old face books

From deborah ward on March 16, 2019 :: 8:06 am

deborah ward old facebooks want them deleted

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identifying accounts

From Sinazo Wulana on April 03, 2019 :: 1:43 am

I uploaded picture of me with out a bra and faceboik disabled my account becouse I couldn’t remember my password now I want to use my account again it doesnt recognise my phone number which I used to join please help I need that account

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Delete my account

From Himal Sunil on April 11, 2019 :: 8:04 am

Reply

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That's not how things work

From Josh Kirschner on April 11, 2019 :: 8:14 am

If you want your Facebook account deleted, follow the steps in the article above. Posting it here isn’t going to help.

Reply

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