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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 :: 44 comments

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

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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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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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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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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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Delete old profile

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

Delete old profile

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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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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?

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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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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 ....

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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

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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.

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New phone locked me out from FB account

From Ellie on April 15, 2019 :: 7:28 am

HELP PLEASE! This never happened previously.

I bought a new mobile phone.

As a result I was locked out of my FB account. It’s been a few years since I opened the account. I cannot remember the password. The email used was an old hotmail, more than 2yrs since used -as a result deleted. The phone number was a landline no longer in use.

I have tried search by name but end up going in circles because one page after another leads back to the first question.

I need to get that account back because of the information (contacts, groups, etc.) linked to the account which was gather over a longtime search.

P.S. snail mail doesn’t work from Canada to USA.

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Try reactivating yor old Hotmail email?

From Josh Kirschner on April 15, 2019 :: 10:44 am

Have you tried setting up a new Hotmail account using your old email address? If not, you’ll likely need to recreate your Facebook account. But it shouldn’t be a big deal to resubscribe to the various groups you’re interested in (you can even look at the old account to see what groups it was originally a member of).

Also, it sounds like you were autofilling your password on your old phone. Are you sure you don’t have your passwords synced to Google? If you are using Google as your password manager, you should be able to get to it through https://accounts.google.com/.

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Will it work if...

From Disgruntled One on April 15, 2019 :: 9:57 am

Will reporting my account keep me from using the same name later on should I want to try it again with facebook? Will they delete both the main account and business page connected to it?

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Hmm....

From Josh Kirschner on April 15, 2019 :: 11:18 am

Reporting your account shouldn’t prevent you from using the same name later. After all, there are many people with the same name on Facebook. As far as your business page, I’m not 100% sure. However, a page requires at least one owner. And if this is the only account associated with it, then you wouldn’t be able to make any changes or updates to the page in the future.

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Welp....

From Disgruntled One on April 16, 2019 :: 6:14 am

Thanks for the reply. That account might be lost to me forever unfortunately. I can’t even find it in the search cause I might have put the preferences as “only friends can search for me” and never got a chance to change that before being locked out. It was worth a shot. I just wish Facebook had a proper phone number for customer service support. It would fix so many technical issues and loopholes.

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Hello Facebook account people i

From Melissa clemo on April 15, 2019 :: 10:13 am

Hello Facebook account people i have some old Facebook account that I wood like to get the red of.if u can delete my old Facebook account i and keep my one new i wood like and u guys no that people on Facebook are using other people pic to sacm people for money so if u guys can help me out on my old Facebook account to delete them i wood be so happy because i for got my email to all my old Facebook account and my password to my old Facebook account thank u from melissa

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Hi

From Melissa on April 15, 2019 :: 10:30 am

Hello Facebook people hiw are u doing. Im fine. I have some old Facebook account that need to be deleted ok because I don’t know the password to my old Facebook account or my email to my old Facebook account. I have some people use my pic on Facebook to make there Facebook. I wish that u can delete my old Facebook account for me Facebook people should look for the people who is ues some one name or there pic because there is a lot of scam on Facebook who been ask for money from people so Facebook people should help delete the old Facebook account because i for got my email and my password to my old Facebook account so can u help me out on it .thank u from melissa clemo

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Please help me

From Sinazk on April 15, 2019 :: 10:54 am

My account was disabled on facebook before i fond out i dont remeber my my password they ask me for a password and they disabled it now i cant even delete or see it all i want are my pictures

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We did help you

From Josh Kirschner on April 15, 2019 :: 11:20 am

Did you follow the advice in Step #1 above? If so, what happened?

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They stopped my account from

From Sinazk on April 15, 2019 :: 11:28 am

They stopped my account from effective usage now I cant delete or gett my pictures from it

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They say the can't get

From Sinazk on April 15, 2019 :: 11:31 am

They say the can’t get to my account all because of a fogotten password.

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What exactly did they say?

From Josh Kirschner on April 15, 2019 :: 11:35 am

Did you follow the steps in part 1 above? If so, what exact message did Facebook give you?

Reply

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