Has your Facebook account been hacked or did you forget your password and can no longer access it? You are not alone! Dozens of people turn to us with similar questions every day. Unfortunately, the answer to their questions isn’t straightforward. There are a few things you can try, depending on the situation with your account.
This article summarizes your options and outlines what you can do step by step.
1. Have You Tried the Default Account Recovery Options Yet?
Whether you forgot your password or your username or whether someone managed to hack your account and changed your password, there are several ways to reclaim your account. First, you need to identify your account. For this step you can use your email address or your phone number or you provide your full name and the name of a friend. Click here to get to the recovery page shown in the screenshot below.
When you successfully managed to identify your account, you will be shown the reset password page (see screenshot below). Before you proceed to reset your password, carefully check whether this really is your account and whether the email address(es) and mobile phone number(s) listed are ones you can presently access.
If all is well, check the contact methods that apply, then click the Reset Password button and a password reset code will be sent to the respective email address or mobile phone number.
If you manage to regain access to your account this way and if you suspect that your account was hacked, immediately change your password and update your contact information. Be sure to remove any email addresses or phone numbers that are not your own or that you can no longer access.
2. Do You No Longer Have Access To Contact Options Or Has Your Information Been Changed?
Often, it’s not possible to recover an account using the options above. Maybe you no longer have access to the email address(es) and phone number(s) or a hacker changed this information. In that case, Facebook allows you to specify a new email address, 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 right on the reset password page to start the recovery process.
You will be given the option to answer your security question and reset your password on the spot. However, if you are able to answer your security question, there will be a 24 hour waiting period before you can access your account as an extra security precaution.
3. Do You Have Trusted Friends That Can Help You Recover Your Account?
If you can not answer your security question after following the procedure described under point 2, Facebook will let you select some trusted friends to help you recover your account. The friends you selected will receive a security code from Facebook. Once you have collected all codes from your friends, you can submit the codes to Facebook as instructed and reset your password.
You can find more information about the whole recovery process on this page in the Facebook Help Center.
4. Was Your Account Hacked & Is Sending Out Spam?
In the event that your account was hacked and is posting spam to your friends walls while you can no longer access it, you should report your Facebook account as compromised.
This will actually start a similar yet different process as the one outlined under point one. 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 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.
Also have a look at my article 4 Things To Do Immediately When Your Facebook Account Is Hacked for more advice on what to do if your account was hacked.
5. Is None Of The Above An Option?
Maybe your situation is different from the scenarios described above and hence the suggested solutions won’t work. In that case I recommend you view the Report Abuse or Policy Violations section within the Facebook Help Center for additional options in your specific case. The page contains comprehensive information on how to report impostors or scams and advice on what to do with accounts of deceased friends or someone who posted a suicidal comment.
Finally, if you need more help, you are more than welcome to submit a question to MakeUseOf Answers and we will try our best to help you in your specific case.
Please let us know in case this article helped you recover your account! Also, if you know of additional ways to recover a Facebook account, please share them with us.
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