Facebook Won’t Let You Merge Accounts? Here Is How to Do It Anyways! [Weekly Facebook Tips]

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Merge Facebook AccountsEver so often people ask us how they can merge two or more Facebook accounts. Now don’t get your hopes up! The truth is, it is not possible to automatically merge Facebook accounts. However, there are workarounds.

While Facebook does not offer a way to auto-merge all your friends, photos, status updates, check-ins or other information, you can manually merge parts of your accounts. All it takes is a little preparation and patience. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to migrate or re-create all of your data.

Bulk Download Data

As a first step I recommend to bulk download your Facebook data, a procedure I have described previously. This procedure can take some time and the archive will serve as a minimal backup, should you decide to deactivate or delete your account. It won’t be of great help in restoring any data, though.

Briefly, go to your General Account Settings and click Download a copy of your Facebook data at the bottom.

Download Facebook Data

This will lead you to a page where you can download your information and get a copy of what you have shared on Facebook.

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Start Facebook Archive

Now do start your archive on this first page. In addition find where it says You can also download an expanded archive and click the respective link. This will guide you to the Expanded Archive download page where you will be asked to re-enter your password.

Start Expanded Facebook Archive

Now here is where you will need patience. Depending on how big your main and your expanded archive are and how many other archives are in the queue, this can take some time. And with that I mean a couple of hours.

Note that you must download both archives, to receive a full backup of your account!

Facebook Expanded Archive Pending

Once your archive is available for download, this is what the page will look like.

Facebook Download Expanded Archive

Although your own photos are supposed to be included in the archive, you should download your Facebook Photos separately. Not only is this procedure another backup, it is also a lot faster and might provide you with more options.

Restore Friends

As mentioned above, you won’t be able to restore or migrate all of your data and that includes your friends. You need to manually add friends to your new account. Unfortunately, it is not possible export your Facebook friends to a third party account and then re-import them to a new Facebook account.

However, you can import contacts from third party accounts such as Skype or Gmail. So if you have contact details of most of your friends on accounts outside of Facebook, you can take a small shortcut. Go to your new Facebook account and import contacts from any supported third party account (CSV files are also supported) via the Find Friends page.

Find Friends in Facebook

While you can export your Facebook contacts to Yahoo! Mail, it is not be possible to re-import them to Facebook. And contacts imported from Facebook will certainly not be included in a Yahoo! CSV file.

I wrote a separate article on how to back up your Facebook contacts. Note that only contact information of friends who have agreed to have their email address included in information downloads can be imported into your Yahoo! account.

Facebook Allow Friends To Include Email Address

Restore Account Data

Here comes the big letdown. There is no way to upload or otherwise import your archive to restore or transfer data from your old Facebook account to your new one. Whatever you want to restore, you have to do it (semi-)manually or use third party tools. Right now, the archive merely serves as a personal backup, nothing more.

So what are your options? You can re-add your old friends as shown above, re-upload photos you downloaded from your old account, re-tag your friends in your photos, re-join groups you were a member of, re-add Facebook apps, manually re-do all your personal settings, including general account and privacy settings, e.g. secure your Facebook account, add trusted contacts, or hide your personal settings. I wish I had good news, but as I said before, you cannot auto-merge two accounts or restore data, so you essentially start from scratch.

What You Will Lose

You will lose a lot! Your entire Timeline and News Feed history will be gone, including posts or photos you were tagged in, places you checked into, all the Likes you issued or received, or groups you were a member of, all your account and privacy settings, and any other records you accumulated over time. Your photos and friends are really all you can take with you, everything else has to be re-created manually.

Deactivate or Close Your Old Facebook Account

If you decide to deactivate or close your old Facebook account, be sure to add your new account as an admin to any Groups or Pages you manage. Otherwise you will lose access to them.

Once you have taken care of admin roles, have downloaded all your data, and are sure you want to completely remove your account, log into the Facebook account you want to close, and visit the Delete My Account page to kick off the process. We have previously explained How To Properly Close Your Facebook Account.

Delete My Facebook Account

Conclusion

Facebook allows you to download an archive of your account. However, there is no matching system in place to restore your data, should the account get compromised. Facebook never intended to provide a restore feature; rather they were legally forced to offer a way for users to download their data. As a result, users are left with nothing but half-baked solutions or awkward workarounds, should they desire to merge or move accounts.

What would bother you most if you had to move to a new Facebook account?

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