If you've lost your Facebook login password, there are a couple of ways to recover access to your account.
Unfortunately, Facebook won’t email you your password. But that’s a good thing. I would hope that most sites with proper security don’t actually know your password. Instead, they just have a way to know that you’ve typed it in correctly.
You can try two approaches: the official way and the … well, the not-so-official way. Even if you don’t use the not-so-official way, you should know about it because it actually represents a possible security threat.
Facebook login password reset
Just below the login password entry field on Facebook’s sign-in page is a link:
Click that and you’ll be taken to a page containing something like this:
The first step is to enter the distorted words presented in the CAPTCHA. This is used to prevent automated hacking attempts by “proving” that you’re human.
Then, enter the email address you use to login to Facebook or your mobile phone number as registered in your Facebook account, and press Continue. Facebook will then ask for final confirmation:
After pressing Reset my password, Facebook presents the next step in the process:
Sure enough, you should find a message like this in your email after a short time:
In this example, I’ll take the confirmation code that was presented in that email (1089b2b8 in this example, yours will be different), enter it into the last page that Facebook presented above, press Submit, and:
Because I confirmed that I am the rightful owner of the account by accessing the email associated with the account, Facebook now allows me to set my own new password.
That’s the official and proper way to regain access to your account: by proving ownership of the email account (or mobile number, which works similarly) and then setting a new password.
Facebook login password recovery
If you want to recover your existing password, I need to make it clear that you might not be able to do this.
That being said, if you’ve had your browser remember the password for you, it might be frighteningly easy.
I’ll use Firefox as my example.
Click Tools, Options, and then in the Security tab, click the Saved Passwords… button:
This lists all of the sites where Firefox saved your password. You can narrow it down by typing “Facebook” in the Search box as I’ve done here.
Click Show Passwords. After a little extra paranoia:
The Saved Passwords dialog box is updated with an extra column – the actual password – visible for all to see:
Naturally, I’ve blurred my password here, but in reality, it’s clear as day.
If you use Internet Explorer, you’ll need to download a separate tool. Nirsoft has several password recovery tools including “IE PassView,” which will expose the passwords saved by Internet Explorer.
All of this assumes that you’ve allowed your browser to save your passwords for you. If you have not, then this technique will not work.
The security issue that I mentioned?
If you allow your browser to save passwords, anyone with access to your machine can perform the browser password recovery steps outlined above to discover what those passwords are.
Make sure that your machine is secure.