How can I delete my old TikTok account if I forgot my email and password?
You probably can’t.
Although the original question refers to a specific online service – TikTok – the answer is almost the same for all of them.
Your options are few or nonexistent.
If you can’t sign in, you can’t delete
To delete an account, you need to prove that you are the legitimate owner of that account.
Think about it: if that weren’t the case, someone could delete any account at any time. It just doesn’t make sense. Only the owner of an account can delete it.
How do you prove that you are the owner? When logging in.
It’s that simple. If you are unable to log into the account, you cannot delete the account.
All instructions for deleting an account begin with instructions for regaining your access to the account. You do this by following the “I forgot my password” or “Unable to log in” or equivalent link on the service’s login page.
Follow the instructions to regain access to your account. Once you have access, you can delete the account if you still want to.
Most of these instructions begin with a request for you to provide your email address. If you can’t remember that, you’re in trouble.
E-mail + password = identity
Your email address combined with your password is, with respect to the service, your identity. If you don’t know your email address, you don’t know who you are – at least in a way that you can prove to the service in question.
You lost your identity.
Without it, there is no way to prove that you are who you say you are.
There is no way to prove that you have the right to delete the account.
Straws to grab
Some services have additional recovery methods, but almost all must be configured in advance and kept up to date.
You can send a recovery code to an alternate email address or phone, if the service supports it.
You can get friends on the service to somehow confirm that you are who you say you are and should have access to the account – if the service supports it.
The bottom line, however, is that there is no magic back door. All recovery options start at the same location: “I forgot my password” or equivalent.
Follow this path to recover your account. If you can’t – if none of the options work for you for any reason – the account will no longer be yours. Abandon and get on with your life.
In addition to moving on with your life, it may be wise to learn from this event so as not to repeat it. That means:
- Never forget your email address. Save it in a safe place, if it’s not something you use often. Use a password vault as Last pass to remember for you. (Don’t forget your master password – this you can not recovered.)
- Don’t let your email address expire due to lack of use. Log in from time to time to ensure that it still works and is up to date. Nothing is worse than remembering just to realize that you no longer have access to it.
- Don’t forget your password. Use this password vault.
- Set up recovery information, such as alternate email addresses and phone numbers, and keep them updated.
- Take everything seriously.
This last point may be the most important. I hear this scenario more often from people – usually children – who have not yet learned how important it is and have just created an account “for fun”. Eventually, this “for fun” account becomes important to them, and then – poof – something happens and they lose access.
Don’t let it be you.