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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 :: 318 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.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Please do not put requests to have your Facebook account deleted in the comments. We cannot delete your account  you must follow the steps with Facebook we outlined above.

 

[Image credit: Facebook login via BigStockPhoto]



Discussion loading

Forgotten facebook password

From Rodelene Guyala on May 28, 2021 :: 10:15 pm

I don’t have any access to my facebook account so i want to delete it because i have new one

Reply

Trying to report the account as fake

From Tripper on May 29, 2021 :: 3:54 am

Doesn’t go against community stands how do i work that out

Reply

Report as pretending to be you

From Josh Kirschner on June 01, 2021 :: 6:50 pm

As I suggest above, when you report the account, click on “Pretending to Be Someone” and then click “Me”. Imposter accounts are always against community standards, unless they are obvious satire or similar.

Reply

My account was hacked and it is been used for fraud

From Alvan Faithful on May 31, 2021 :: 3:10 am

Please I need you to delete my hacked Facebook account. The name of the account is Chioma Faithful.Its been used by someone else for scamming my friends

Reply

FB account hacked, hacker set up 2FA

From Chris on June 02, 2021 :: 12:42 pm

When my wife’s account was hacked, the hacker set up 2-factor authentication (2FA) with their phone number, so although she could change the password, she’s still locked out because she can’t get that auth code. Facebook is happy to tell you what you *should* have done before you were hacked, but that’s useless once you’re hacked. And FB has no customer service by phone or email, and they don’t answer snail mail (we tried).

Reply

My Facebook account was hacked

From Andrian Gonzales on June 14, 2021 :: 1:18 am

My Facebook account was hacked and it is being used to scam, please help me takedown my old account.

Reply

My Facebook account was hacked

From Andrian Gonzales on June 14, 2021 :: 1:19 am

My Facebook account was hacked and it is being used to scam. please help me takedown my old account.

Reply

Delete my dead father’s facebook account

From Lisa on June 15, 2021 :: 3:52 am

Hi there, every year on the anniversary of my father’s birthday his name pops up and it triggers both myself, my sister and my mum into a bad spin.

We need his account removed from Facebook especially the birthday part, but don’t have the codes.

He passed eight years ago!

is there any way that we can report somebody deceased and get their account removed?

Reply

You can submit a request to remove a deceased family member

From Josh Kirschner on June 15, 2021 :: 5:43 pm

You can submit a request to have your deceased father’s Facebook account removed. There are certain documents you will need to submit along with your request. More information can be found on this Facebook help page: https://www.facebook.com/help/1518259735093203

Note that it is also possible to choose a digital heir for your Facebook account before you die to make it easier for them to “memorialize”, but not close, your account. Here is more information on the Facebook legacy contact process.

Reply

can't remember

From cha hankook on June 16, 2021 :: 10:08 pm

I got locked-out from my first account because I can’t remember my current password. It says that I always enter a previous password or a wrong password. The email and phone number added in my account was not mine but my brother’s. He himself can’t remember about it. It says that I’ve changed it a few days ago but I just can’t remember about it. Do you have any tips? Or ways to recover my account?

Reply

It's not an easy process

From Josh Kirschner on June 17, 2021 :: 9:49 am

I’m actually going through a similar process helping a friend recover his account, and Facebook doesn’t make it easy. All you can do is follow these steps to recover your Facebook account and hope they take action quickly and don’t have you run around in circles as with my friend’s issue.

Reply

want my old face book account back

From Doug taylor on August 06, 2021 :: 9:27 pm

trying to get my old face book account back

Reply

want my account back

From Doug Taylor on August 06, 2021 :: 9:31 pm

would like my old face book account back

Reply

Delete deactivate remove facebook account

From Eleftherios Doitsidis on August 13, 2021 :: 6:21 am

Two accounts i cant delete

1.  Lefti Greeblueyes Doits

2.  Eleftherioss Doitsidiss

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Please help.

Thank you

Reply

Delete my facebook account

From Anthony Petersen on August 16, 2021 :: 3:49 pm

Hi can anyone help me to delete my facebook account permanently reason for it they rob me with my pH now this person use my friends on Facebook to threathen them I’m scared that’s why I want use to deleted it [redacted]

Reply

Delete my facebook account

From Anthony on August 16, 2021 :: 3:52 pm

Please deleted my Facebook account I can’t log in forget the password now some people use my friends list to threathen me they rob me with my pH please help

Reply

No longer access old acc

From Cemar Borromeo on August 17, 2021 :: 6:08 am

Please delete this old account

Reply

Bummer

From Very sad now on August 19, 2021 :: 2:04 am

Tried to report it as an impersonation of me, as suggested. Was told it “doesn’t go against community guidelines”. No Bueno.

Reply

please delete my Facebook account

From Olayeye Moniayo on September 01, 2021 :: 2:47 am

I can’t have access to my Facebook account any more, my Facebook account has been hack by some one I find it difficult to login, my number,password was regeted too, the most important things is that they are using my Facebook account without my conscience, Please help me delete it’s very urgent

Reply

Delete old Facebook account

From Olayeye Moniayo on September 01, 2021 :: 2:52 am

Delete my facebook account for me it has been hack by scammers

Reply

remove all facebook accounts

From michael padden on September 08, 2021 :: 7:32 am

please help to remove all facebook accounts

Reply

Delete one of my Accounts on FB which i forgot Password

From Donald Perez on September 15, 2021 :: 2:29 pm

I can’t seem to delete one of my Accounts on FB and i even went the the Authorized Sprint Store for help but we couldn’t delete it due to the fact that im logged in to it, i can’t remember my Old Password to it to try to Closed it so that i can have ONLY ONE ACCOUNT! THANK YOU VERY MUCH IF YOU CAN TRUELY HELP ME OUT! SINCERELY A PUZZLED AND HOPEFUL CUSTOMER!

Reply

Have you tried to recover your old password?

From Josh Kirschner on September 16, 2021 :: 12:26 pm

You should be able to recover the password using the email address or phone number associated with the account. Did you try that already?

Reply

Remove all Facebook accounts

From Theresa Te Kiri on September 18, 2021 :: 1:34 am

Please remove all my Facebook accounts. Theresa Te Kiri

Reply

My Facebook Account steal from me

From Edah Jane Mallerna Tabug on September 18, 2021 :: 1:51 am

My Facebook account was steal an unknown person.. It changed my password and info.. He still uses my profile and the worst is I don’t have longer access my email and phone number to use for recovery.. What should I do.. Please help me delete my account 😭😭

Reply

I have try pretending to be someone else and me just to delete my old account but it's not working

From VARFLEY dukuly on September 20, 2021 :: 6:40 am

I have try pretending to be someone else and me just to delete my old account but it’s not working please help me. Facebook team someone is trying to blackmail me on my old account. My account name is Varfley Dukuly please help me Facebook community team 🙏

Reply

Account help please

From Is there still hope? on September 25, 2021 :: 8:36 pm

I was recently incarcerated, unfortunately while there I not only lost my password but phone I had and numbe(got new phone and number when I got out) but I also lost my daddy which was one of my trusted contacts! He was hit by a tractor and trailer drunk/&high; driver dead on! Surprisingly he lived 3 months and 10 days after the accident but still yet passed. I wasn’t incarcerated when the accident happened but shortly after like 4 days later I was! Then I was told out of nowhere he passed and I say out of nowhere because I had recently spoke to him and he at the time was getting my little boy off the school bus!!!! Yea!! Also walking in to church on Sundays to hear the good word!! So that’s why I say out of nowhere! But my password to my email was the same as my Facebook password which I could only retrieve had the phone number I had prior to incarceration not been recycled even though it was paid up it was a prepaid account. So if there is anyway you can think to help I would greatly appreciate it because it has photos of my father and my kids that are irreplaceable.

Reply

I have three accounts and Facebook I totally forgot my password so I am kindly if them can be delete

From Khadine Prince- Beckford on October 03, 2021 :: 8:14 pm

Please sort them out for plz
Khadine Prince- Beckford
Khadine Prince

Reply

GET ME OFF FACEBOOK PERMANENTLY!!!!

From Scott Terriberry Guide on October 03, 2021 :: 11:11 pm

Call me since nothing else works!!!
[personal info redacted]. And I’m NOT giving any CC info that I was asked to do.
What the helll is wrong with you folks?!?!?!

Reply

Delete account

From Rukundo Sam on October 05, 2021 :: 8:27 am

please help me delete my facebook account someone is using it to steal people my link is in the name of Rukundo Sam I forgot the password
https://www.facebook.com/rukundo.sam.399

Reply

Hello .. I forgot my

From Jami ahmed on October 05, 2021 :: 9:36 am

Hello .. I forgot my passowd for fb and Ymail account .. I have not use my ymail account for more then a year so they closed my account . There is no way I can get back my password.. please help to take down my account .. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Fb id.. Jami ahmed from New York

Reply

Hacked and fake accounts

From Nathan on October 06, 2021 :: 6:18 pm

I have hacked and fake accounts under my name. My name:Nathan Monds or Nathan Michael Monds. I have found accounts that have old email accounts and recent email addresses. Please remove these so I can start fresh and advertise on facebook.
Thank you,
Nathan Monds

Reply

Delete myaccount please

From V Joyce Foradory on October 07, 2021 :: 11:22 am

I’ve never used this account and don’t plan to. Please delete the account. It fills my email with garbage I have no time for. I DO NOTremember password

Reply

I want to delete my

From Jonnabel crone on October 08, 2021 :: 6:44 am

I want to delete my old accounts but i forgot my password and my number can you plz teach me how can i delete it…..plzzzz

Reply

I was taken to this article

From Colida Harper on October 11, 2021 :: 1:56 pm

I was taken to this article after searching for how to recover a Facebook account without official ID, I still don’t have my answer. Please help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply

I want to delete my

From Rufus Graham on October 15, 2021 :: 3:06 pm

I want to delete my old account because I can’t remember that email and pass word.

Reply

I want to sue FB

From Colida247 (Colida Harper) on October 15, 2021 :: 6:48 pm

I want to sue Facebook for unlawful conduct and execution of their business practices.

Reply

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