Friday, 11 June 2010

Unlocking your Facebook account when it "forgets" your e-mail address

My girlfriend lost access to her Facebook account this week and Facebook kept reporting that her e-mail address wasn't registered. Her profile was still active and looking on the Internet showed unfortunately this has happened to a number of people and any requests of help were ignored by Facebook.

The exact message that Facebook was giving was:
Incorrect email address
The email address you entered does not belong to any account. You may try clearing your browser’s cache and cookies by following these instructions.
You can log in using any email address, username or mobile phone number associated with your account. Make sure that it is typed correctly.
A few people had reported finding a solution in using their username instead of their e-mail address when logging in. You have to set your username up manually and not everyone has done this, including my girlfriend, so this wasn't any help to us. The same goes for phone numbers.

To solve this problem I decided to try to test all of her other e-mail addresses to see if one of those had been made her login e-mail address somehow. Lucky it had and we were back into her account.

I don’t know if this is a bug in Facebook or somehow she changed it without knowing but she now has the account back. One thing that may be the cause was that she no longer had access to the e-mail address in question so it’s possible Facebook discovered this and in their wisdom deleted it from her account without saying so.

If you do get back into your account then I suggest changing your password just on the off chance that a hacker got into the account to cause the original e-mail address to be lost.