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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 :: 203 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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Hello,When I was younger I

From isabella on June 03, 2020 :: 8:35 am

Hello,

When I was younger I made multiple facebook accounts.
Now i wish to delete them however I don’t have access to my old email (i put it to register for the accounts) or telephone numbers.
please let me know if you know how i can delete / deactivate the accounts for good.

Reply

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Read the article

From Josh Kirschner on June 03, 2020 :: 10:32 am

The article above tells you exactly how to do that. Was there something that wasn’t clear in the steps?

Reply

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Please delete my old facebook account

From Isaac Mongatane on June 17, 2020 :: 11:13 pm

Please delete my old facebook account and posts that are public i forgot my old number and old password and email my location was Pretoria atteridgeville it was on from 2012 to 2013 ,it was old version account I was using Nokia x02

Reply

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Delete old Facebook account

From Nga on June 21, 2020 :: 11:26 pm

I’ve forgotten my password for my old fb account and desperately want to delete the account. Need assistance please

Reply

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Good news! We provided assistance.

From Josh Kirschner on June 22, 2020 :: 9:39 pm

Good news! We provided assistance. Read the article above.

Reply

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How can you help me

From Nga on June 22, 2020 :: 9:57 pm

How can you help me on this?

Reply

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The best way I can

From Josh Kirschner on June 23, 2020 :: 4:32 pm

I will write an article about the topic, with clear steps on how to delete an old Facebook account when you can’t log in. I will call the article “How to Delete an Old Facebook Account When You Can’t Log In” and post it above.

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Trusted Friends Feature Problem

From John Cagape on July 01, 2020 :: 12:19 am

Good day! I tried to access my account thru the trusted contacts feature. At first, i was able to change my password but FB also asked me to check the code sent to the new phone number I gave them at the start. I received the code; however, I could not find where FB needed it (i.e. there was no pop-up screen or anywhere I could enter the code).

So, I tried once again the trusted contacts feature. This time, it wouldn’t let me continue and shows me: “We limit how often you can post, comment or do other things in a given amount of time to help protect the community from spam. You can try again later.”

It’s been more than 12 hours and the same message keeps on appearing. What can I do? How long usually is the “limit”? I need my account for school and work stuff ASAP. Thanks!

Reply

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Might be the wrong password

From Josh Kirschner on July 02, 2020 :: 1:16 am

You’ll sometimes get that message if you keep trying to login using the wrong password. It sounds like you didn’t successfully reset your password the first time, so I would try to reset it again. I assume you were supposed to enter the verification code on the page that indicated they were sending you a code. Perhaps you missed it the first time or something just didn’t flow right on the Facebook end.

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I was marked as spam

From John Cagape on July 02, 2020 :: 1:27 am

Appreciate the quick response!

Yes i think fb marked me as spam. Ive been trying several times and the same message keeps on popping up so I wont even have a chance to reset my password or look where I’ve gone wrong before.

I have also emailed FB support about this but they haven’t replied. Should I try for hacking services? Lol

Reply

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Still Searching For Solution

From Cori on July 04, 2020 :: 9:09 pm

I’m hoping to delete an old Facebook account.

I do not have access to the Gmail account that created it; nor have I been able to use the Gmail recovery feature to gain access.

I do not know the password to log into the old Facebook account, and the Facebook recovery option does not work.

I tried reporting the account as a fake twice, but Facebook “reviewed” the case and then told me that the account did not seem fake.

Next, I will try corresponding with the e-mail and written address listed here.  If anyone has any other advice, please let me know!  Thanks.

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Hi I have 3 fb

From Linda Lou Haslam on July 11, 2020 :: 5:24 pm

Hi I have 3 fb accounts over the years finding it difficult to remove

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Hi have problems deleting 3

From Linda Lou Haslam on July 11, 2020 :: 5:28 pm

Hi have problems deleting 3 accounts over the years due to having forgotten passwords and email

Reply

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I need over twenty accounts I've created deleted.

From Laurel Johnson on July 15, 2020 :: 7:57 pm

I’m a Schizophrenic and have created about twenty profiles on facebook and no longer have access to any of them at all. I need each of them deleted.

Reply

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I’m having further problems!

From Dylan Taylor on July 20, 2020 :: 6:33 am

I have submitted my School ID card and Facebook didn’t accept that! I WANT HELP WITHOUT A ID

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I have my 2 old

From Gwyneth on July 23, 2020 :: 5:33 am

I have my 2 old accounts and I used a phone # in my email and forgot my passwords. I lost my simcard and also my old phone that my 2 accounts we’re logged in. Now, I want to open it to deactivate because I have my other account.

Reply

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Delete my old accounts

From Gwyneth on July 23, 2020 :: 5:58 am

Please help me to delete my two accounts “Gwyneth Billiet Colayot” And “Gwyneth Colayot” I need to permanently delete it and I lost my phone number.

Reply

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Deleting an old FB account

From Mindy Card on August 04, 2020 :: 2:00 am

I want to delete an old FB account. I can’t remember the email password and I no longer have that phone number. So, I tried option #3. Ill check in a few days to see if it worked.

Reply

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I can not login to

From Jeremy Stanley on August 05, 2020 :: 12:32 am

I can not login to my Facebook account with my phone number or my email account or drivers license

Reply

Help ME to delete my

From Lonalyn Reyes on August 06, 2020 :: 6:24 am

Help ME to delete my old account in Face book

Reply

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Two Factor Authentication

From Armaan Ali on August 06, 2020 :: 10:41 pm

i turned on two factor authentication now I don’t have access to my phone and email address but i still have my phone number plz help me what should I do??? how i can log in

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Which method did you turn on?

From Josh Kirschner on August 07, 2020 :: 10:37 am

Did you set Facebook to use the SMS or third-party authentication app for two-factor authentication? It sounds like you set it up for SMS? If so, not clear what you mean by still having your phone number but no access to your phone. Are you getting your phone back or can you move the number to a new phone? If you can’t use it on a new phone, perhaps migrate it to Google Voice? I don’t know where you are located, so this option may not be available to you.

Reply

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please help i want to recover or delete my account

From Joanna on August 08, 2020 :: 3:20 pm

please help i want to recover or delete my account i made an account first on 2010 and i have some things i would like to keep or delete if nothing else works. I don’t have access to or remember the email and or phone number. Is there a way to email facebook or get them to help?

Reply

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Del account

From Hema on August 09, 2020 :: 1:18 pm

I can’t recover my old account .Plz del this

Reply

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Trying to delete my old Facebook account

From Samantha Bowles on August 13, 2020 :: 8:19 pm

Dont remember the login password need help deleting it

Reply

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I want to delete my

From Jelly ann Allegado on August 16, 2020 :: 4:56 am

I want to delete my old account but i forgot the email and password

Reply

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i have lost access to my authenticator app so i cant login to account please help me

From gautam sankaliya on August 17, 2020 :: 8:02 am

please help me to login or delete my facebook account because it only asks login code which i dont have and no other way to login is available.
i dont have any backup code or its not logged in to any device.

Reply

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Unable to delet my old Facebook account

From Heronjoy Basumatary on August 18, 2020 :: 10:37 am

Hey! Facebook please help me to delete my old account which I’m not using.since the account is inactive from 3 and a half years, I guess so.Im not able to login and I forgot the password and I’ve also lost the number from which I opened the account. The user name of my facebook account is Heronjoy Basumatary. Please help me.

Reply

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my fb I'd is haked plz help me plz

From sujal singh on September 01, 2020 :: 4:06 am

plz help me my old I’d is haked

Reply

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Please delete my old facebook account

From NAVEEN PANT on September 02, 2020 :: 5:24 am

HI Sir,

Can you please deleted my old facebook account,
the old facebook account is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

I have not access, i have not password and i am not using this yahoo id. i am forget everything.

Please help me.

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can't be recovered

From mohammad Ahmad on September 02, 2020 :: 2:17 pm

I tried more than three days to recover one Facebook account two years ago by another email not this I use now. The code does not reach the email. Finally I got bothered too much and deleted the yahoo account by which I create that Facebook account which can’t be opened.
Is that Facebook account also automatically deleted ?

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No, it wouldn't delete your Facebook account

From Josh Kirschner on September 08, 2020 :: 4:27 pm

Deleting an email account connected to your Facebook account will not delete the Facebook account.

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I have an old account

From Mia on September 03, 2020 :: 4:34 am

I have an old account I want to delete , but unfortunately my colleague started a new account in my number . So I am unable to delete the account . What can I do ?

Reply

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Not open my fb account

From Sushant bidaye on September 07, 2020 :: 6:08 pm

Not open my fb account

Reply

Hi, I've been reporting my

From Mahlaku Nelsie on September 13, 2020 :: 3:16 am

Hi, I’ve been reporting my old Facebook account but it is still there, not deleted . I don’t have any access at all since I’m no longer using the number. The person who’s now using the old number is using my account. Please help.

Reply

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Edward prasanna Hettiarachchi

From Edward prasanna Hettiarachchi on September 25, 2020 :: 7:22 am

My old Facebook accounts cancelled

Reply

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I want to delete my

From Pauline Samau Omar on October 06, 2020 :: 5:43 am

I want to delete my old face book account under Pauline Samau Omar

Reply

Ggg

From Toroo Ema Emvk on October 08, 2020 :: 12:36 pm

Fck you America

Reply

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old account delete

From Pritika on October 09, 2020 :: 7:57 am

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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fake account

From Pritika on October 09, 2020 :: 8:00 am

Someone intentionally created a fake account of mine on instagram with vulgar posts please help me out i’ve been trying to contact the team so long but no response received.

Reply

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Please returne my account

From Ahmad king on October 16, 2020 :: 6:12 am

Ayyah

Reply

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Thank you for the help

From LC on October 22, 2020 :: 5:30 pm

Your article was wonderful. Somehow my dad ended up with 3 Facebook accounts to his name. Obviously he didn’t know the login/password for the two extra ones and after much research and ONLY with your article’s help I was able to open them and delete the obsolete ones. My mom also had 2 accounts… how did that happen??? lol

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facebook sucks

From Carlos on October 28, 2020 :: 10:16 am

It’s so screwed up, they don’t even have 1 help desk only, not even 1 person to assist people through e-mail or messaging. If the official help section isn’t able to help you, then you just have to cope with helplessness

Reply

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