Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for my weekly newsletter, "Confident Computing", for more solutions you can use to make your life easier. Click here.

I Have Two Facebook Accounts, How Do I Delete Just One of Them?

//
I have two personal Facebook accounts under my name. To make a long story short, while I was on vacation two years ago, I could not access my original Facebook account, so I created a second one using an alternate email address. The problem that I am facing now is that people connect with me through both Facebook accounts while I would rather use just one. I did look into deleting one of them, but I’m afraid that both of my accounts will then be deleted as both are under the same name, but have their own email and password. How do I safely delete just one of my accounts? 

As long as you have access to both accounts, deleting one of them safely is no problem at all.

The “problem” that many people run into is when they don’t have access to that “second” account — because they didn’t set it up in the first place!

Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!


Summary

  • Your email address, not your name, identifies your Facebook account.
  • You can safely delete an account by using its login email address.
  • You cannot delete fake or impersonation accounts, but should report them to Facebook instead.

Identifying a Facebook account

Two FacebooksDon’t take this personally, but Facebook doesn’t care about your name. (Well, within limits, of course.) What uniquely identifies a Facebook account is the email address. Each account has one and only one email address that’s used as the login identifier (think “user name”) for that account.

While there aren’t many Leo Notenbooms out there, there are plenty of John Smiths in the world.  If Facebook used only a name, then the first John Smith to disable his account would disable all of the John Smiths! (Arguably, the first John Smith to create an account would prevent all the other John Smiths from creating their own.)

The bottom line is, that’s not how it works. It’s the email address that matters.

Delete one account by email address

Pick the account you want to use. Make sure your friends who connected with you on the other account know that you’re moving. Then sign in to Facebook using the email address of the account you want to delete, and delete it. (Aside from a little confusion, there’s really nothing wrong with leaving the account open.)

But deleting one of your two Facebook accounts should be completely safe if done properly, since it’s identified by a unique email address.

If you don’t have access

One reason some people believe they have two accounts is if they encounter an account with their name — perhaps even their photographs and more — that they didn’t create.

The bad news is that since you didn’t create it, you don’t have access to it. You don’t know what email address was used to set it up, so you don’t have access to that either.

You’ve encountered a fake, cloned, or what Facebook refers to as an “impersonation” account. You cannot delete this account because it doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to the impostor.

Your options in this case are limited to reporting the account as fake and possibly asking your friends to do the same (make sure they report the correct — fake — account).

Since this is a pretty common problem, my understanding is that Facebook should take care of it relatively quickly.

Podcast audio

Play

Video Narration

28 comments on “I Have Two Facebook Accounts, How Do I Delete Just One of Them?”

  1. Hi Leo
    Help I have 3 Facebook accounts with the same email address one is my business account and one is my personal account the other one no 3 i made by mistake and I am getting friends request I do not know. and I want delete this one I will be grate full for your advice
    David

  2. I saw your post. I have 2 fasebook accounts. I don’t know the password to the account I want deleted. What can I do? My friends see the account I can’t get in and think I am using that one. I can’t comment on it. Anyway that account can be deleted since I don’t know the password. Help me please.

  3. I have more than one Face Book account that I did not make. I am going to try to delete them, or at least deactivate them.

    • If you didn’t make the account, you won’t be able to delete it because you won’t be able to log in. If you could delete accounts like that, anybody would be able to delete anybody else’s accounts. You can report it to Facebook and they might delete the account.
      Click on the ellipse (3 dots), click “Give feedback or report this profile”, click “Pretending to be somebody” then click “Me”. “Click Send”.

  4. I have two Facebook accounts. One uses my email and the other one uses a group of numbers. The reason I have two accounts is because the first one was hacked and I could not get into it. So I made a 2nd account. I was eventually able to get into the first account (whoever hacked must of figured out the account did not have much in that they wanted) the password had been reset.

    Now I hate to delete one account because of the photos of various activities and people in my family. Is there anyone the two accounts can be combined into one account?

    • I don’t believe there is any way to merge 2 Facebook accounts, but what you can do if you have a lot of time is download all of the important photos from the accounts. I say accounts because if the photos are important, they shouldn’t only be in one place (Facebook). It can take a long time to go through all the photos so it all depends on how important those photos are to you.

  5. When I log into my personal Facebook account with my one email, it lists TWO personal accounts in the drop down arrow menu when in the Ad Manager. Both are identified with account numbers. Both use the same profile picture and both list my three business pages. However when I set up a Payment Method in the Ad Manager, the Payment Method only applies to one of the personal accounts. I have to add it again in the second personal account after switching over to the second account number in the drop down arrow menu. What is going on? I’d like to delete one of the accounts but I don’t even know which one is being used for my personal page. The account numbers do not seem to correlate to the number in the browse bar of my personal page nor can I find these account numbers when I browse my personal page. Thanks!

  6. So i made a business account using my same email address as my personal account and now when i log in it automatically signs into the business account i canno longer access my personal account..i am so aggravated by this..please help

    • You can’t have two Facebook accounts with the same email address. The email address is the login name for the account. What I don’t understand is how Facebook allowed you to use the same email email address for the second account. Are you sure your personal timeline isn’t included in that business account?

      • One consideration is that I do believe you can have the email address of one account set as some kind of recovery address for another. That can add to confusion.

        Also, if you set up a business Page — as I have for, say, Ask Leo! — that’s not the same as adding a new account. That’s all still accessed via your normal, single, Facebook login.

  7. I need help. I did not want to have all my old high school friends and jokesters on my business info or vice versa. I did not want to link the business page to my personal profile; so I started a 2nd profile with a different email to use professionally for this business endeavor of creating social media. I am concerned I could lose access at any time to this profile due to “no more than 2 personal profiles rule and so I started a new one with a different username let’s say “company1”. I have had an login disabled already.

    I originally thought that the new professional personal page I made for myself would be the marketing page so it has all the best username(s); now I want to delete them both. BUT, these pages has 2 of the best username(s) tied up now that I want for the company (i.e. the ideal company name only, and one with “USA” behind company name) . If I delete this account entirely; when will that username become available so I can use it on the correct true old personal profile? I don;t want to be stuck with this profile I started with our company name with a “1” behind it. We are a manufacturer who distributes globally; we need our name not tied up.

    • So to understand:

      My correct personal profile attached to:
      Bad username with “1” behind it – i.e. “@Companyname1”

      My 2nd personal profile made for professional use (before I found out you cannot have two); has the BEST usernames/tags for us held up. For example: “Companyname” or “CompanynameUSA”.

      So, if I cancel this 2nd profile I made and corresponding business page; will those usernames from those deleted accounts INSTANTLY BECOME AVAILABLE for me to use? So then I could change from the dorky 1 behind our name “Companyname1” to just “Companyname”…?

  8. Hi,
    I realize that you say it is not possible to have more than one account with the same email, but it is. My grandfather has 2 accounts with the same email and he would like one closed. I cannot figure out how to do this. Is there some way to close one without the other? He uses facebook on a regular basis and he now is having trouble with people contacting him through the second account. I’m really confused on how he did this but would really like to fix it for him.

    • It’s impossible to have 2 accounts with the same email unless one is a business or fan page associated with that account. For example, Leo has a business page called “Ask Leo!”. If that’s what is happening I can explain how to close that. Otherwise, if he has a second account, it would be logged into with another email address.

  9. I have 2 FB accounts each with a different email. I need to delete one of the accounts. I also use messenger. If I delete the account that I will not use anymore will it mess up my messenger

    • The messenger associated with the account you delete will also be deleted. The messenger associated with the account you do not delete will not be affected. Make sure you know which one it is you’re using.

  10. I bought a new computer and when I set my fb acct. it pick up a old fb acct. we haven’t used in years. The difference in the two acct. is the fb user name. One has a .7 at the end. That’s the one I want to delete. I went through the process to delete it but it takes 30 days to complete. my concern is will I still have the fb acct without the .7 thanks for the help.

Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article.
  • Comment on the article.
  • No personal information.
  • No spam.

Comments violating those rules will be removed. Comments that don't add value will be removed, including off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links and certain keywords will be moderated before publication.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.