When it comes to Facebook, security isn’t as top of mind for millions of users as it should be. Given its popularity, Facebook is ripe for hackers. That makes having a secure password important, but it also means enabling two-factor authentication (2FA). Adding this additional level of security to your account is important, but if you can’t access 2FA, fear not, as getting back into your account isn’t impossible. Here’s how you can log in to Facebook if you don’t have access to your 2FA code generator.
Texting a Code
One of the easiest 2FA methods is to use a code generator app like Authy. These apps provide a random set of six-digit codes that allow access to hundreds, if not thousands, of websites. This is one of the simplest ways to enable 2FA, but it requires that you have access to your phone or tablet.
What happens if you lose your phone and can’t access your code generator app? The best thing you can do is begin the 2FA process, and when you arrive at the screen that asks for the six-digit code, click on “Need another way to authenticate?”
When you do that, you can choose another option like “Text me a login code,” then wait for the code. If you have lost your phone, hopefully you have another method to receive texts, like iMessage on an iPad or Mac or through Android’s Google Messages on yo computer. Alternatively, you can also let Facebook call you at one of the listed numbers in your profile. This is a good reminder it’s good to have a backup phone number listed in your profile.
Use Authorized Devices
One of the best ways to get into a Facebook account is to use an authorized device. It’s very possible you don’t even know a device is authorized and that’s okay. When you log in to Facebook for the first time from a new device, browser or application, it asks if it can remember it. This question ensures that you will not need a login code when you log in again from this authorized device.
If you find yourself in a scenario where you don’t have access to your code generator, this is a great and relatively unknown way to log in to your account. If you have a device, app or browser you haven’t used to logged in to Facebook in some time, try it and make sure to select the option to “Save Browser” so that you remain logged in in the future.
When you set up your two-factor authentication, you have a chance to receive a set of recovery codes. These recovery codes can be an invaluable way to get into your account should you not be able to use your code generator. To set up recovery codes:
1. Click the drop-down arrow at the top right of Facebook and select “Settings & Privacy -> Settings.”
2. Select “Security and Login,” then locate the “Two-Factor Authentication” section and click on “Use two-factor authentication.” If you have two-factor already set up, you’ll need to use your code generator if you are setting up recovery codes for the first time. If you do not have 2FA set up, you will just need to enter your password.
3. Next to “Recovery Codes,” toward the bottom of the screen, click on “Setup,” then “Get Codes.” If you have the codes already set up, click on “Manage -> Show Codes” instead. The important thing is that you copy, screenshot or write down the ten codes that appear. Each code can only be used one time, then it can be replaced by following the same steps and clicking on “Get New Codes.”
When you lose your code generator, these recovery codes ensure that you can quickly and securely regain access to your account.
What to Do If Your Facebook Account Is Hacked
Upon finding out that either you have been hacked or your Facebook account has been taken over, start at facebook.com/hacked. It’s here that you can describe your concern or choose the option for not seeing your issue on the list. Whichever option you choose, each one includes different steps to secure your account.
This step is best for people who still have access to their account and are more concerned about seeing posts or other red flags that someone accessed your account without permission.
No Access Due to 2FA
If you can’t sign in because the hacker enabled 2FA to block you out, Facebook will direct you to one of its security pages. The “Security Checks Preventing Login” page is available here and is the right place to start if you cannot log in due to security checks like 2FA.
Add a description of the issue along with an optional screenshot to help explain your exact issue and wait for Facebook to respond. Unfortunately, Facebook indicates they will not respond to every request, so this should not be your only effort to re-access your account.
Should you be left waiting for a response, you can repetitively send the same email until you do receive a response. Refer to the template below or feel free to copy this paragraph to use in your email to make it easier to you.
“Hi. My name is ____________. My email is ____________, and my Facebook ID is ______________. My Facebook account was hacked on ___date___. While I was able to reset my password after I confirmed my identity, I believe the hacker has set up 2FA, preventing me from logging in to my own account and accessing the code to log in. I am attaching an image of my ID as proof of my identity. I would appreciate you turning off the 2FA on my account so that I can log in again. Thank you.“
Verifying Your Identify
Learning that your Facebook account has been hacked can be devastating. There are many different ways being hacked can play out, so let’s take a look at a few common instances and how to proceed.
Let’s start with a scenario where a hacker has changed your email and phone number and set up two-factor authentication.
1. Begin by adding another email to your account by checking one of your existing Facebook browser logins or apps. Click or tap on “forgot my password,” followed by the option for not having access. Once you do this, you can add another email and provide identification.
If the step above does not work, as you are already logged out, try to log in to your account again. When it asks for the 2FA code, click on “I don’t have my phone,” then “contact us” and add the same email you used above, which is, again, an email that is not associated with your Facebook account.
2. Send in your identification and wait for a reply. Facebook is usually pretty prompt, and should send a code to your secondary email so that you can log in by changing your password. Do not click on the link – instead, copy the password and paste it so you can log back in.
3. It’s here that you can still get hung up by 2FA. In this case, it’s suggested that you utilize a browser on your phone and resubmit your ID following the same process as above. As your ID is re-verified, you will be able to log in with the temporary password via copying and pasting.
It’s important to note that many claim not accepting identification is a fairly typical Facebook response. If this does happen, the recommendation is to continuously try until your government-approved ID type (driver’s license is best) is accepted. Make sure all four corners of the ID are visible without any shadow, etc. Note that this is an artificially intelligent process so no human is actually looking at the IDs that are submitted. This could explain the multiple uploads.
It’s always frightening when you lose access to personal accounts like email or Facebook. As these platforms are highly personal, not having access can make you think you have been hacked or had your identity stolen. Luckily, it is still possible to log in to Facebook without a code generator.