How to recover deleted Facebook friends

by Maria on June 23, 2010

Relationships are emotional and can be extremely frustrating. But getting your revenge online is much faster and easier than in real life, hence the new problem of deleted Facebook friends. Face it: we’ve all been there. You get mad and you delete them from your Facebook friends. It feels great and you may even update your status to let everybody know what you did. But as time goes and things change, you may find yourself wanting that Facebook friend back.

There are a few scenarios for issues with deleted friends:

  • you blocked them
  • you removed them (deleted them) from your friends list
  • they blocked you
  • they removed/deleted you

Note: Blocking a user does not extend to some applications, so there’s a good chance you’ll encounter your deleted friend while playing Scrabble on Facebook.

But since Facebook is really lacking in customer service and help resources, here’s how to recover your deleted Facebook friends if you want them back (based on how you got there in the first place):

Option 1. You blocked them.

From your Facebook account, go to Privacy Settings -> Block Lists -> Edit Your Lists (see screenshot below):

Unblock Friends on Facebook

Find Your Blocked Lists on Facebook

Choose the name of the friend you want to unblock and click unblock (see screenshot below):

unblock deleted Facebook friends

Unblock Deleted Facebook Friends

Done!

Look at Facebook’s help instructions if you care: http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=13024

Completing option 1 will not automatically add them to your friends list again. So you will need to search for them and send them a friend request.

Option 2. You removed/deleted them (by intent or by accident).

There are a couple of things you can do:

1/ Search for them by their name
2/ Search for them by their e-mail address
3/ Click on their profile pic on a mutual friend’s profile
4/ Click on their profile pic on a suggested friend link
5/ Send them a standard e-mail asking them to add you as a Friend again

If non of the above works, try this (this is sorta nuclear): Get a new account, add your old account and your deleted friend as friends, and then suggest that they become friends with your old account.

Option 3 and 4. They blocked/removed/deleted you.

If they’ve changed their mind, they should look at options 1 and 2 for a solution. However, if they still don’t want you as a friend, you will have to accept this. There are hacks available but I would really discourage you from taking that path.

One additional thins you can do:

Hope this helps!

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Bryan Marcost June 23, 2010 at 11:14 am

Your article is incorrectly titled as the body of the article is all about removing someone from your Block List. It has nothing to do with deleted friends. The ‘deletion’ of a friend simply involves either clicking the Remove from friends link or by clicking the [X] next to their name in your Friend List.. Additionally, you are not recovering a friend when you UnBlock them as recover implies that you are somehow delving into the database of Facebook to retrieve lost information. When you UnBlock someone, and wait the required 48 hours, then you can start to resume contact with that person. You can view their profile, send them a message or Add them again to your friend list.

Although your article does display the basic process of Unblocking a person, it is extremely misleading to those individuals who have actually lost contact with someone and now believe that they can somehow recover their friend again by using your suggestion.

admin June 23, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Bryan, I’ve taken your feedback to rework the post to better address the issue. I assure you that there’s little benefit to me in becoming a source of misleading information. On the contrary, I am trying to be helpful to those people out there who are having the issue (and there are thousands!). I would gladly post a better How-To if you are willing to write it up and send it to me. Sincerely, Maria.

Tony Tramell June 29, 2010 at 10:07 am

I need your help. If I deleted a friend and reported her, now I am unable to find her, she appears to me as private and I can’t have her link when I goes to her page profile it shows as If the page doesn’t exist. What can be done? Or how to contact facebook for help, cause they doesn’t have a solution on their answers and I am unable to get in contact for their help on this problem.

admin June 29, 2010 at 11:42 am

Tony, is this friend willing to add you back as a friend? If she did not block you, she should be able to send you a friend request. Another option is to ask a shared friend to suggest you as a friend to her. Also, if you blocked her and then unblocked her, it takes about 24 hours for the block to clear, so you may simply need to wait a bit.
The official Facebook phone number is 650-543-4800 but it is extremely hard to reach a live person because they don’t currently offer telephone support. You can press 0 to leave a message, but I am really not sure what exactly this would do (if anything). Hope you get this resolved quickly!

Wendy Green August 28, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Thank you for the helpful information. Your wording of the emotional challenges that can come with Facebook is right on. Forgive me for asking what you already seemed to have answered, but just to clarify, if I’ve deleted someone, is there any way to recover them without requiring their approval? Not blocked, but deleted (long story short, there was a name I couldn’t have on my friend list so I deleted that person). If I clock someone, does that mean that name won’t appear on my Friends list? Perhaps that would’ve been a better, less panicky, and perhaps a more thoughtful move.

Tamara October 5, 2010 at 7:21 pm

My husband got into my fb account and deleted ALL my friends. Is my only option to add my friends again one by one?

defri January 2, 2011 at 10:03 am

i’ve block some1 from my facebook…and i try to add ‘em back…i’ve remove ‘em from my block list but i can’t find ‘em on a search…i was wondering if you can help me to fix it….

Lisa January 5, 2011 at 1:19 am

Following what you said, unblocking your friend does not add them back to your friends list, it only unblocks their information making it available to add them as a friend again, however what if you want to unblock the person without having to request them to be your friend again, is there anyway to do that without going through the process of searching and re-adding them?

Missy March 22, 2011 at 10:45 am

I have deleted a friend, but not blocked him and I don’t think he knows that I deleted him and I’m scared of this causing trouble, if I were to send another friend request and him knowing that I’ve deleted him just because of a little fight is not good. I would want to add him back as a friend without having to send a request for his approval to his friendship, because that would just get me caught and into some drama.

gillian munro April 4, 2011 at 12:27 pm

my boyfriend deleted all my friends off of facebook and all my information and pictures can my account be reset to the date 03/04/2011 to when it was compromised thankyou facebook user Gillian Munro

Ramu April 12, 2011 at 3:42 am

What is the difference in “Blocking” a friend or “deleting” a friend in face book ?
Which is more permanent type in nature ?

Thanks.

Susan April 18, 2011 at 2:18 am

I have been searching the web for help….HELP…..a few weeks ago I was wanting to unfriend an aqaintance from facebook… there were no recent posts from him but he was on facebook at that moment so I put the cursor on his little profile picture on the left upper part of the screen (where you can see who’s on) and clicked his photo and saw what i thought was a unfriend option so i clicked. uummm thats where things went wrong all profile pictures disappeared so now i don’t know who’s on FB and i don’t get anyone pofile pictures on my screen including my own.. nither does my son when he uses my computer… hoping you can help please please please…….Sue..

Gill Johnson June 4, 2011 at 2:19 am

I have just found that several people have diasappeared from my facebook friends list. on talking to some, it appears they believe i have deleted them which i have not – how can i prevent this happening further, and how can i retrieve a list of those deleted to check it out if they still would like to be friends?

John July 3, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Gill I have the same problem, when my wife access fb from her iphone it deletes me and I watched her and saw it happen. she did not unfriend me but im gone! It does it all the time, She also is missing several friends.

Abdul October 20, 2011 at 5:41 pm

How to recover deleted Facebook friends ? because someone hacked my account and deleted alot of them, so if i’m gonna add them all the gonna block my add friends option for few days like what happening with me now, i need them back !!

Kellen October 20, 2011 at 5:51 pm

I deleted a friend over a year ago and I want to refriend her but can’t remember her last name. Any options?

Tim November 2, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Maria,

I could really use your help please. I deleted a friend in a “kneejerk” moment and wish I hadn’t. I can view her profile, It says I can add as a friend…but when I clicked the button- its saying “friend request sent.” Tried the same with a message.
Talked with her- she attempted to friend me but it says “blocked.” I’ve looked at my privacy settings and there are no blocked or restricted persons on there.

Is there some type of time limit? Any help would be appreciated!

jeff scallion November 16, 2011 at 7:37 am

I accidentaly unfriended the wrong person but don’t know who it was. Is there any way to find out who this was

Jim February 16, 2012 at 5:30 am

Hi,

I blocked someone on Fb and then unblocked them. I know for a fact they haven’t blocked me, yet I cannot find them on Fb. They don’t appear in the friends lists of mutual friends, do not appear if I search for their name, nothing! I’ve let over a week pass since unblocking them and they still do not appear anywhere, yet I know they others can search for this person easily. So it appears obvious to me that Facebook’s unblocking option either doesn’t always work, or that it can take a lot of waiting before the ‘unblock’ is processed. What are your ideas and do you think I should lodge a complaint with Fb?

John September 14, 2012 at 12:31 am

Hi. My girlfriend has deleted my friend in anger and I need to recover the deleted person without the deleted person knowing. At the very least. An I view who’ve has been deleted off my fb account even if I can’t recover them? Just viewing who’s been deleted would do as my partner says she didn’t delete anyone. Many thanks. John

Francisca September 15, 2012 at 11:43 am

Hi,
I would like to know the exact date when I removed a person, in the activity log or my download information it wont appear, can you please help me, Im sure it was february or march..thank you

Akinlolu November 2, 2012 at 6:24 am

Hi, I just want to say thank you for helping me reconnect with a group that I mistakenly deleted on my FB friend list. I followed option 1 and in less than two minutes, we were reconnected. Thank you and God bless. Shalom.

Ralph September 2, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Your messages are not erased even though you have deleted someone so you can go into your messages and scroll thru them to find the person and then send a new friend request.

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