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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 :: 89 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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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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Haveing the same problem

From J on May 02, 2019 :: 4:45 pm

Haveing the same problem

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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?

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hellosomeone seems to hacked my

From kadijatou suso on April 20, 2019 :: 7:33 pm

hello
someone seems to hacked my old facebook and i want to block it but i forgot my password,please help me

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Please delete my old account

From Phindile on April 30, 2019 :: 1:21 pm

Hi I have an old Facebook profile under Phindile Chantel Ndhlovu, please delete it. I don’t remember the log in details.

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My old facebook account has been hacked. I got logged out and my password got changed.

From Brittiny nicole jane dennis(godby) on May 06, 2019 :: 5:45 pm

I have sent my documents to facebook to verfy i am who i say i am. I need the new account unlocked and my old one needs deleted because credit card info listed is at risk.

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“You are trying too often. Please try again later.”

From Karen Ulloa on May 07, 2019 :: 12:29 am

That message is driving me crazy! So I got locked out of my account, after getting a message that said, “Your account has been locked because someone has been trying to login.”, so I changed my password to a very difficult one. After that I got a new iPhone and didn’t do a backup of my saved passwords, my fb password was a keychain suggestion, so I never memorized it. Now even though I have trusted contacts codes everytime I try I get the “You are trying too often…...” message, I’ve tried clearing Facebook cookies a million times, and still can’t login.
Is there any solution that I’m ignoring? I really want to access my account since I have information that is very important

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Hacked

From Prince ify orizu on June 03, 2019 :: 9:22 am

My Facebook account was hacked and I did not register it with my phone number and I don’t have access to the email that was there again I want to block the account permanently the account name is prince ify orizu please help me

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Did you follow our advice above?

From Josh Kirschner on June 10, 2019 :: 11:06 am

Did you follow the steps above (especially #3 and #4)? We can’t help you get your Facebook account deleted beyond providing you advice on how to do it - you need to take those steps yourself.

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my face book

From ملک عمران on June 11, 2019 :: 2:41 am

Sir i can’t log in my face book account , now i want to delete my old face book account help me how i delete my old blocked account

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locked out of account

From Alfred Lafon on June 15, 2019 :: 5:32 am

Hello i can not login nor recover my FB page !

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Hello sir I lost my old phone number associated with my Facebook account but now it requires code ge

From Katebaka Muhammad on June 25, 2019 :: 1:14 am

But I lost my Facebook account phone number to whom I may receive the code from
I want u to delet my number +XXXXXXXXX
And update the new one
+XXXXXXXXX
Name Katebaka Muhammad
Fb username .Katebaka Uganda

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Did you follow stape 1

From Sruti Dey on June 28, 2019 :: 4:39 am

Did you follow stape 1 and 2 avob to try and rest your Facebook password. So tha accountcan be delet

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Not tech savvy want to

From Jeff Crotts on July 05, 2019 :: 3:10 am

Not tech savvy want to be out of Facebook

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The 3th method works.

From Arpine Darbinyan on July 10, 2019 :: 2:25 am

Thank you for your supporting. I just want to say that your 3th method really works. Thank you very much.

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Thanks for letting us know

From Josh Kirschner on July 10, 2019 :: 10:39 am

That’s definitely an “unofficial” method for deleting your Facebook account, so glad to hear it’s working.

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I want my face book account which one generated in 6 july 19 pl. This my original account

From ANIL KUMAR on July 14, 2019 :: 11:47 pm

I tried many time but I not found my 6 july 19 account which generated by me Anil
Kumar

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Can't log in

From Komal on July 29, 2019 :: 8:04 pm

I can’t login in my facebook account plus I forgot my yahoo password where the recovery code is sent to….please advise me what I can do

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Recover your Yahoo password

From Josh Kirschner on July 30, 2019 :: 4:26 pm

Have you tried recovering your Yahoo password? That’s your best bet.

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Isha namuli

From Lovely Janny on August 03, 2019 :: 5:50 pm

Isha namuli

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My Personal Fb account has benn disabled.

From আবির অভ্র on August 17, 2019 :: 8:26 pm

Hello,Sir My name is Abir And My fb Account name is Abir ovro.I am from Bangladesh.In Bangladesh, Government Don’t Give National Nid Card UNTILL A Man become 18+. I am 17 Running.  I haven’t Nid card. but My personal Fb account has been disabled.This Is my Real account and my Personal Fb account. Please,Forgive me and reopen my account.
My Personal Fb account Link :    https://www.facebook.com/ovroabir91

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My old account

From Amaja on August 20, 2019 :: 6:48 pm

Evening please, I have old accounts I really want to delete I have tried all the options given on this platform but I can’t even delete them because I use same number to open the current account and I can’t even remember the email and password correctly.pls help me

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My account is open bt I m not remember password or email id

From Priya dey on August 31, 2019 :: 5:21 pm

My account is open bt I m not remember for password and email id

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Delete all my unintended Facebook

From Jane Byrne on September 08, 2019 :: 4:14 am

Delete all my unintended Facebook accounts and only have 1 Which I’ll set up once I’ve got a clean slate

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Please

From Purity lyn on September 15, 2019 :: 9:33 pm

Please i have 3 account in Facebook please help me delete two purity lyn and purity wairimu i had an accident i can’t remember password

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I want to delete my

From Suman shil sharma on September 16, 2019 :: 10:49 pm

I want to delete my old facebook account… Please help me

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Land of confusion

From Megan Aldine on October 08, 2019 :: 2:19 pm

None of them really work anymore. Since the big hack FB has gotten devoted to this and unfortunately reckless. On the plus side if they log you out for security reasons your account will be deleted anyways if you can’t contact them and tell them to halt, which you wouldn’t if you intended to delete it. None of them work though because Facebook doesn’t actually delete anything. It’s called ghosting as opposed to bleaching. All your data is still there, you just can’t see it. And still in FB’s personal database and still shared as they see fit. As a general rule once you write something down it’s always there, same applies to the internet. A damned if you do or don’t situation. My hopes is the many services that require a FB account to use will reconsider that.

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Deleted old account

From Teresa Dedman on October 20, 2019 :: 9:16 am

Hi.

My old account was deleted quickly when I reported it as a fake account.

Many thanks

Teresa

Reply

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