From time to time, you may have had this experience. You log into Facebook, and realize you haven’t seen anything from one of your friends in a while. You try to find their profile, but it’s gone. It’s as if they’ve completely vanished from Facebook!
When this happens, there are a few possible causes. First, the person’s account may have been deleted. Second, the person may have blocked you. Third, they may have temporarily disabled their Facebook account.
In this guide, we’ll focus mostly on the first scenario, and how you can find the deleted profile. That said, we’ll need to touch briefly on the second and third scenarios, too. By the time we’re done, you’ll know everything there is to know about deleted Facebook profiles. Let’s get started!
How to Tell if Someone Blocked You on Facebook
Before you try to find your friend’s deleted Facebook profile, you need to know if they’ve blocked you. If someone has blocked you, you won’t be able to view their account, even if it’s been deleted.
To find out, search for your friend in the Facebook search bar. If they show up, they haven’t blocked you, although they may have unfriended you. That would explain why you couldn’t find them in your friends list.
Another option is to type the person’s Facebook profile URL directly into your address bar. The profile will be “https://www.facebook.com/first.last.#” “First” represents your friend’s first name, while “last” represents their last name. “#” signifies a numeric code. So if there are 10,000 John Doe’s on the platform, each one will have their own numeric code. As a result, this isn’t really practical unless your friend has a very unique name.
If your friend’s profile page says “Sorry, This Page Is Not Available,” the account has been deleted. Either that, or you’ve been blocked.
So, how do you know which is which? Copy the person’s profile URL from your browser window, then log out of Facebook. Paste the URL back into your browser and hit Enter. If the page still says “Sorry, This Page Is Not Available,” the account has been deleted. On the other hand, if you can see the person’s profile when you’re logged out, you’ve been blocked.
Being blocked on Facebook has a number of consequences. When someone has blocked you, you won’t be able to see their profile or any of their posts. The person won’t appear in any search results, so you can’t send them any friend requests. You can’t send them messages, even if you had an existing Messenger conversation. You also can’t tag them in photos, invite them to events, or invite them to groups. Basically, you can’t interact with them in any way.
Ways to Find a Deleted Facebook Profile
So, you’ve tried the above steps and your friend’s profile is definitely deleted. Is there still a way to see it? Despite some internet claims to the contrary, the answer is yes… sometimes. There are three ways you might be able to view a deleted account. Let’s talk about each method.
View it on Facebook
Deleting a Facebook profile is easy. You go to your account settings, scroll down, and delete the account. At that moment, the profile completely disappears from Facebook. However, according to Facebook’s own policies, they keep backup copies for a short period of time. All backups are saved for at least a month, and some can be kept for as long as 90 days.
Within that time period, the page can still be accessed by typing in the URL. As we discussed above, this isn’t always practical. But if you happen to have the URL, you can still access the deleted page. Just keep in mind that this method only works while the backup profile is still on the server. Once Facebook deletes the backup, it’s gone for good.
Look For a Cached Page
Even after the profile is deleted from Facebook, you might still be able to find a cached version. Search engines like Google store a snapshot of each page that they index. If it hasn’t been too long, there may be a cached version on one of the major search engines.
Go to Google and search for “Site:Facebook.com user” where “user” is the name of the person you’re searching for. If you see any results, click the three vertical dots next to the link. A popup will appear. Look at the bottom right for a button that says “Cached,” and click it. You’ll see Google’s most recent snapshot of the person’s profile.
If nothing shows up on Google, don’t give up. Different search engines cache pages at different times, so you can try your luck elsewhere. You can find similar features on other search engines like Bing and DuckDuckGo.
Search For an Archived Version
If all else fails, you can see if your friend’s profile shows up on archive.org. This is a website that backs up web pages so they can be accessed even after they’ve been deleted. However, there are a couple of issues with this method. First off, archive.org only backs up pages that someone has told it to back up. In all likelihood, no-one has archived your deleted profile.
Second, we’ve seen some reports that Facebook has blocked archive.org from backing up its pages. But when we visited archive.org, we were able to find some Facebook content. Your mileage may vary.
How to Recover Deleted Posts From Your Own Profile
If you’ve deleted posts from your profile, the posts aren’t really gone. They’re hidden from other Facebook users, so no-one else can see them. Even you can’t see them by scrolling down your page. But what if you have second thoughts about something you’ve deleted? There’s actually a way, but it only works for your own profile. There’s no way to recover a post that somebody else deleted.
Click your profile picture in the top right, then select “Settings and Privacy.” Next, click “Activity Log.” This will bring up a screen where you can search literally all of your Facebook activity. Everything you’ve done will be visible, including posts you’ve made and deleted.
How to Recover a Deleted Facebook Account
Facebook has a 30-day grace period for deleted accounts. If you change your mind, you can revert the deletion during this window. First, go to Facebook and log in. In most cases, your information should be accepted. However, Facebook may ask you to prove your identity in additional ways. You’ll be asked to provide additional personal data, or identify specific friends who are tagged in a photograph.
Once your credentials are accepted, you’ll get a popup with two options: “Confirm Deletion” and “Cancel Deletion.” If you click “Confirm Deletion,” you’ll be logged back out and your grace period will continue to tick down. If you click “Cancel Deletion,” your account will be restored. Your profile will once again be visible, along with all of your posts, photos, and videos. Even your friendships will remain intact.
Deleted vs. Disabled Facebook Accounts
If you’re thinking of deleting your Facebook account to force yourself to take a break, you don’t have to. Facebook allows you to temporarily deactivate your account instead. Let’s talk about the differences between the two.
When you delete your Facebook account, your account is gone for good. After 30 days, there’s no way to get it back. This means your photos, videos, and other posts are all gone. So are your friendships. If you want to get back on Facebook, you’ll have to create a new account from scratch. Perhaps most importantly, you can lose access to other apps. Any app connected to your Facebook account will no longer function.
Deactivating your Facebook account makes you invisible to other users. People can’t view your posts or replies, or interact with you in any way. However, you can still use Messenger as well as any connected apps. Your photos and videos will not be deleted; they’ll just be invisible. If you decide to reactivate your account, everything will be restored to the way it was before you deleted it.
Deleted Facebook profiles eventually go away for good. But within 30 days, you can still access them as long as you know the user ID. You may also be able to find a cached version of the profile. You can even recover your own deleted profile, provide you do it within 30 days.
Meet Derek, “TechGuru,” a 34-year-old technology enthusiast with a deep passion for tech innovations. With extensive experience, he specializes in gaming hardware and software, and has expertise in gadgets, custom PCs, and audio.
Besides writing about tech and reviewing new products, Derek enjoys traveling, hiking, and photography. Committed to keeping up with the latest industry trends, he aims to guide readers in making informed tech decisions.