Forgot Facebook Password
Did you forget your Facebook password? Having trouble logging in? Or did you forget the email address for your Facebook login? Maybe your email account is not working, so you can't change your password. Or maybe it's something with a simple fix. Here's the scoop on Facebook and password issues...
I Forgot My Facebook Password
** NEWS FLASH! ** I do not have your Facebook password... I cannot get your Facebook password... But if you've lost access to your Facebook account, you can get it back if you read and follow the instructions in the article below...
If you're having trouble logging in to your Facebook account, you might assume that you forgot your password. But maybe the Caps Lock key is tripping you up. Facebook passwords are case-sensitive, so "QWERTY7" is not treated the same as "qwerty7". Turn off the Caps Lock, and try again.
Still no joy? It might be a cookies problem. If cookies are disabled in your browser, you may be returned to the login page even after entering the correct password. If you use Internet Explorer, click on Tools / Internet Options / Privacy and change the setting to Medium to allow cookies. Firefox users, click the Firefox button, go to Options / Privacy, select the "Use custom settings for history" option, and check the "Accept cookies from sites" box. In Google Chrome, click the wrench icon, click Settings, click Show advanced settings, then click the Content settings button under Privacy. Choose the "Allow local data to be set" option.
Restart your browser and try to log in again. It's also possible that cookies are being blocked by some over-zealous firewall, anti-virus or anti-spyware software, so check your settings there if problems persist. If you have heard stories that browser cookies are evil, read Eat Your Cookies for more information to set your mind at ease.
Facebook Account Recovery Options
Okay, if none of that helped, you probably DID forget your password. No problem... just click the handy Forgot Your Password? link next to the Facebook Login button. You'll see the "Identify Your Account" screen that's pictured here. Enter your email address (the one you used to sign up for your Facebook account), your facebook username or the mobile phone number listed on your Facebook account, and Facebook will send an email or text message describing how to reset your password. You won't actually get your old password back, but you will get to pick a new one and regain access to your account.
Alternatively, you can identify your account by entering your name and a friend's name. But for some reason, this doesn't always work. When I tried entering my name and one of my friends, it failed. But when I switched the names around, it did identify my friend's account. As they say, your mileage may vary.
What If You No Longer Have Access to the Phone or Email Account?
Most sites have a fairly simple way to regain access to your account by asking you to answer one or more security questions. Facebook does as well, but it's a bit more complicated. On the "Reset Your Password?" page, you'll need to click the "No longer have access to these?" link, then provide a new email address (one that's not associated with any Facebook account) where you can receive mail.
Facebook will then display your security question, if you've added one to your account. If you answer the security question correctly, you'll be prompted for a new Facebook account password. After entering the new password, Facebook will send an account recovery link to the email address you just entered. Click that link, and hopefully, you'll see this message: "You've successfully confirmed your identity."
But there's once more hurdle remaining... Facebook says "For your security, you must wait before you can access your account." How long? Twenty four hours! Yup, after jumping through all those hoops -- proving your identity, answering a security question, selecting a new password, and recovering access to your account, you must wait a whole day before you can log in using your new email and password. I suppose this gives an opportunity for people who get their accounts hijacked (through this very process) to alert Facebook that something is wrong. I learned about this unpleasant side effect while researching this article, and was locked out of my account for a day.
What About the "I can't identify my account" Link?
Back at the beginning of the "I forgot my password" process, the "Identify Your Account" page has a link that reads: "I can't identify my account". If you can't remember your Facebook username, email address, or phone number, and the "your name and a friend's name" thing doesn't work for you, this is the last resort for those who have lost access to their Facebook account.
Unfortunately, it's another disappointing dead end. Clicking that link brings you to a page that asks you about a dozen questions -- your name, birth date, email address, mobile phone number, and other Facebook account information. But don't even bother. At the bottom of the page, it says this: "Thanks for taking the time to submit this report. We don't provide personalized support for this issue right now, but we'll use this information to identify any bugs in our system." In other words, you're out of luck.
Change Your Faceboook Password or Email
It's a smart thing to change your passwords on a regular basis. If someone does gain access to your Facebook account by guessing your password, or watching over your shoulder, you limit the exposure by changing passwords. If you're logged in and want to change your Facebook password, click the little arrow on the top right (next to Home) on Account, then click Account Settings to get to this page. You can change your password, your contact email address, or add your security question. (If you've already added a security question, that option will not appear. And no, you can't ever change the security question, or even refresh your memory of the answer. So remember it!)
It's also a good idea to use a different password for each online account. If you use the same password for everything, and you forget it, then you're out of luck. To avoid this type of problem, I suggest you use a password manager to help you keep track of all your passwords in a secure manner. My article Is Your Password Hacker Proof? offers some tips for choosing a password manager, and help with selecting a good password that's hard for others to guess.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, I have no magic powers to retreive your Facebook password, or help you regain access if you're locked out of your Facebook account. I don't work for Facebook, and I'm not holding back any secrets. I originally wrote this article back in 2007, and have updated it as Facebook changes. This is all I know about the Facebook password recovery process. And yet, the most common question posted by those who visit this page is "Please send me my Facebook password!" Sigh... at least I can have a little fun with those people, as you'll see by reading the comments that follow.
Feel free to post your own comment or question below -- after reading the entire article of course!
Posted by Bob Rankin on 20 Jul 2012
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Forgot Facebook Password (Posted: 20 Jul 2012)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved