This hidden tool removes your phone number and email from Facebook — here’s how to use it

Meta logo on screen of mobile phone on Facebook word background. Facebook after rebranding and changing name to Meta.
(Image credit: Viacheslav Lopatin | Shutterstock)

Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta quietly released a new tool earlier this year that allows you to remove your phone number and email address from the tech giant's database.

As reported by Business Insider — which learned about the feature from a tipster — the tool has been available since May 2022, but the social media giant hasn’t really promoted it or said anything publicly about it. Instead, the tool is hidden at the bottom of a support page for non-users. 

A Meta support page that contains a link to its contact removal tool

(Image credit: Meta)

If you scroll down the page linked above, you can find the tool in the section titled “How Non-Users can exercise their rights.” At the bottom of this section, you’ll find the following line: “Click here if you have a question about the rights you may have.” Surprisingly, this line doesn’t mention the tool at all but if you click on Click Here link, you’ll be taken to the contact info removal tool.

Although this tool is designed for those that don’t use Facebook or Instagram, anyone can use it to remove their phone number or email address from Meta’s database.

Meta may have your contact info even if you don’t use its services

The reason Meta had to create this tool in the first place is because Facebook and Instagram allow users to sync the contacts from their smartphones with its services. However, when you do so, your contacts haven’t given consent to have their phone number or email address uploaded to the company’s database.

On the page that contains its contact removal tool, Meta provides more information on why someone may want to use it in the first place, saying:

“Someone may have uploaded their address book to Facebook, Messenger or Instagram with your contact information in it. You can ask us to confirm whether we have your phone number or email address. If we do, you can request that we delete it from our address book database. To prevent it from being uploaded to this database again through someone’s address book, we need to keep a copy in our block list.”

Back when Facebook was still growing, the company often asked users of its mobile apps to sync their contacts with the social network in order to help them find friends on its platform. However, this led to Meta having a wealth of contact information including details about people who don’t use any of its services.

How to use Meta’s contact removal tool

Regardless of whether or not you have a Facebook or Instagram account, you may want to use Meta’s new tool to remove your mobile number, landline phone number or email address from the company’s database.

To do so, first you need to click here to access the tool, as it can be difficult to find on your own. With the tool open, you can have Meta search its database to find out if it has your phone number or email address. Pick the one you want to search for and click “Next.”

Meta's contact removal tool

(Image credit: Meta)

From here, you need to enter the email address or phone number you want to search for and specify whether you want Meta to check for it on Facebook and Messenger, Instagram or both. Once you’ve entered this information, click "Next."

A screenshot showing how to use Meta's contact removal tool to search for an email address

(Image credit: Meta)

If someone synced their contacts with Facebook or Instagram and your email address or phone number was uploaded to Meta’s database, you’ll see a page like the picture below. By clicking “Confirm,” you can have Meta delete your contact information from its database and block it so that it won’t be uploaded again.

A screenshot showing that Meta's contact removal tool found an email

(Image credit: Meta)

However, before Meta can remove your contact information, the company will send you a confirmation code via email or text. Enter the confirmation code in the box and click on “Next” to have you contact info removed from the company’s database.

A screenshot showing a confirmation code has been sent

(Image credit: Meta)

Once Meta removes your contact information from its database, you’ll see a message like the one below confirming the request was successful.

A screenshot showing an email removal request was successful

(Image credit: Meta)

There you have it — your email address and phone number have now been removed from Meta’s database. Keep in mind though that if you change your email address or phone number, you may need to repeat this process as someone you know may end up syncing your new number or email address with Meta’s services once again.

Anthony Spadafora
Senior Editor Security and Networking

Anthony Spadafora is the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to password managers and the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. Before joining the team, he wrote for ITProPortal while living in Korea and later for TechRadar Pro after moving back to the US. Based in Houston, Texas, when he’s not writing Anthony can be found tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.