How to Set up and Use Facebook Trusted Contacts

Get a little help from a friend when you're locked out

Facebook Trusted Contacts is a feature that allows users to recover their Facebook account through friends. It's a final resort when a user has forgotten their password and no longer has access to the email accounts and phone numbers associated with their account. You have to add at least three trusted contacts and no more than five, and if your Facebook account is locked, you'll need to contact all of them to get Facebook recovery codes.

These instructions apply to the desktop version of Facebook on a Mac or Windows computer. 

How to Set up Facebook Trusted Contacts

Before you set up Facebook Trusted Contacts, be sure to select close friends and family who are reliable, and who you can contact easily over the phone. When you use it, you'll need to get in touch with everyone you've made a trusted contact, not just one. You should also contact each person to make sure they're able and willing to help.

  1. Click the down arrow on the top right of the screen.

    Setting up Facebook Trusted Contacts.
  2. Select Settings & Privacy.

    Setting up Facebook Trusted Contacts.
  3. Select Settings.

    Setting up Facebook Trusted Contacts.
  4. Click Security and Login.

    Setting up Facebook Trusted Contacts.
  5. Look for Choose 3 to 5 friends to contact if you get locked out under Setting Up Extra Security and click Edit next to it.

    Setting up Facebook Trusted Contacts.
  6. A message will pop up explaining how trusted contacts works. Click Choose Trusted Contacts. Input the names of at least three friends. You can add up to five.

    Remember that you'll need to contact all the people you list as trusted contacts so be sure you choose people you know will be available if you need help.

    Setting up Facebook Trusted Contacts.
  7. Click Confirm.

    Setting up Facebook Trusted Contacts.
  8. You can add and remove trusted contacts by returning to this page and clicking Edit or Remove All.

    Setting up Facebook Trusted Contacts.

How to Use Facebook Trusted Contacts

The only scenario in which you would need to use Facebook Trusted Contacts is if you've not only forgotten your password but also can't access any of the emails or phone numbers associated with your account. If you do have access to an email or phone number associated with your account, you can follow Facebook's password reset process

  1. Go to facebook.com on a computer.

  2. Click Forgot account?

    Setting up Facebook Trusted Contacts.
  3. If prompted, enter your email, phone, username, or full name and click Search to find your account.

    Setting up Facebook Trusted Contacts.
  4. Facebook will generate a list of email addresses and phone numbers. Click No longer have access to these?

    Setting up Facebook Trusted Contacts.
  5. Input an email address or phone number that you do have access to then click Continue.

  6. Click Reveal My Trusted Contacts.

    Setting up Facebook Trusted Contacts.
  7. Type the full name of one of your trusted contacts, then click Confirm. If you've typed the name correctly, Facebook will display the full list and a recovery code link.

    Setting up Facebook Trusted Contacts.
  8. Facebook recommends calling your contacts, so they know it's you asking for the codes. Then send each friend the link and ask them for the recovery code.

  9. Input each of them on the Facebook login page and click Continue.

    Setting up Facebook Trusted Contacts.

    To protect your account, you won't be able to use trusted contacts again until 24 hours have elapsed.

  10. Next, create a new password and click Continue.

    Setting up Facebook Trusted Contacts.
  11. If you've input the correct codes, you'll get a confirmation message that Facebook has sent you an email. Open the message to finish the process.

    Facebook will send the email to the address you input in step five.

  12. Once you've regained access, be sure to update the email address associated with your Facebook account, so you can easily reset your password in the future.

What to Do When You're a Trusted Contact

When you hear from a Facebook friend that they need your help getting into their account, make sure it's really them. If you get an email or text from them, pick up the phone and call before opening the link they've shared.

  1. Open the link. You'll see a message that your friend needs help. Click Continue.

    Setting up Facebook Trusted Contacts.
  2. Select Yes, I talked to <Name> on the phone.

    Setting up Facebook Trusted Contacts.
  3. If you select the second option, you'll get a prompt to call your friend on the phone.

    Setting up Facebook Trusted Contacts.
  4. Send your friend the four-digit code that appears.

    Setting up Facebook Trusted Contacts.