So you forgot your Facebook login and password and can’t log into Facebook anymore? Or was your Facebook account hacked, meaning you can’t access it anymore?
If so, you are not alone. Fortunately, Facebook offers several automated ways to recover your account. Whether you forgot your Facebook password or can no longer log in because a hacker changed it, you have several options. In this article, we’ll show you how to recover your Facebook account, step-by-step.
Facebook account recovery is tricky, especially if you have not set up backup recovery options. Please keep in mind that many of the options below take time and patience. That said, many people have succeeded, even if nothing seemed to work at all.
1. Are You Still Logged Into Facebook Somewhere?
Before you try to recover your account, check whether you are still logged into Facebook on any of your devices. This could be another browser or browser profile on your computer, your Facebook Android or iOS app, or a mobile browser, for example on your tablet.
If you can still access Facebook anywhere, you might be able to “recover” your Facebook password without a confirmation reset code; though what you’ll actually do is create a new password. Proceed to step 1a of our article on what to do when your Facebook account gets hacked, where we explain how to change your Facebook password. At this point, also consider setting up two-factor authentication on Facebook.
2. Have You Tried the Default Facebook Account Recovery Options?
OK, so you could not find a device where you were still logged into Facebook. Let’s proceed with the recovery then. If possible, use a network or computer from which you’ve logged into your Facebook account before.
First, you need to identify your account. To recover your Facebook account, head to the Facebook recover page and use an email address or phone number you previously added to your Facebook account. Even if it doesn’t say so, you can also use your Facebook username.
Once you successfully managed to identify your account, you will see a summary of your profile. Before you proceed, carefully check whether this really is your account and whether you still have access to the email address(es) listed.
Should you No longer have access to these? proceed to point 3 of this article.
If all looks well with the contact details that Facebook has on file for you, however, click Continue. Facebook will send you a security code.
Retrieve the code from your email, enter it, and rejoice in having recovered your Facebook account.
At this point, you can set a new password, which we strongly recommend.
If the code never arrives, click Didn’t get a code?, which will take you back to the previous screen. You can try again or maybe you’ll realize that you don’t have access to the account after all.
Back Into Your Facebook Account
If you managed to regain access to your account and if you suspect that your Facebook account was hacked, immediately change your password and update your contact information. These are key steps in securing your Facebook account. Be sure to remove any email addresses or phone numbers that are not your own or that you can no longer access.
We strongly recommend that you enable two-factor authentication, so this won’t happen again.
3. Did Your Contact Information Change?
Often, it’s not possible to recover a Facebook account using the options above. Maybe you have lost access to the email address(es) and phone number(s) you once added to your profile. Or maybe a hacker changed this information. In that case, Facebook allows you to specify a new email address or phone number, which they will use to contact you about recovering your account.
To start this process, click the link No longer have access to these? in the bottom left on the reset password page (see above) to start the Facebook account recovery process. Facebook will ask you for a new email address or phone number, so that they can get in touch with you to help you recover your account. Click Continue to proceed.
If you have set up Trusted Contacts, you can ask them to help you recover your Facebook account in the next step. You’ll need to remember at least one full name of your three to five Trusted Contacts to reveal all of them. Note that you only need three codes to recover your Facebook account.
If you didn’t set up Trusted Contacts, you might be given the option to answer one of your security questions and reset your password on the spot. As an additional precaution, this comes with a 24 hour waiting period before you can access your account.
Otherwise, you might have to wait until Facebook gets in touch to verify your identity. Be patient.
4. Was Your Facebook Account Hacked and Is It Sending Out Spam?
This will actually start a similar process to the one outlined above. While you will use the same information to identify your account, in the following step you will be able to use either a current or an old Facebook password to recover your account.
This is useful in case a hacker changed your password, but it may also come in handy in case you forgot your new password.
Find more security-related tips on the Account Security page in the Facebook Help Center.
5. Contact Facebook Directly for Your Account Recovery
If all of the Facebook account recovery methods above failed, your last hope is Facebook support itself. You can try emailing email@example.com to explain your situation. They might give you a chance to prove your identity using your passport or driver’s license. You can try to attach a scan of your ID in your first email, but keep in mind that email isn’t necessarily secure. Either way, hearing back from Facebook can take several weeks, so you’ll need to be patient.
Note: If you didn’t use your real name on Facebook, your hopes for recovering your account this way are close to zero.
If All Else Fails, Create a New Facebook Profile
Over the past few years, we have received countless comments and messages from people who weren’t able to recover Facebook their accounts. Usually, their contact information was outdated, the recovery codes Facebook provided didn’t work, or the company would never reach out to verify their identity. Unfortunately, we couldn’t help either.
If you do discover another way to contact Facebook or recover your Facebook account, please share it in the comments below.
At some point, you just have to move on. As much as it hurts, learn from your mistakes, create a new account, be sure to add several valid contact details, secure your Facebook account, and rebuild your profile.
Founded in 2007, MakeUseOf is an online publication that issues tips and guides on how to make the most of the internet, computer software, and mobile apps. Our mission is to help users understand and navigate modern trends in consumer technology.
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