Fixing Facebook’s Sneaky Email Switch

Facebook recently began changing the default email address users associated with their account to a facebook.com address without so much as a warning. Changing your contact address back to what you want takes a few steps, but unfortunately doesn’t include a way to block Facebook from pulling the same move again.

To change the email address your Facebook friends see back to what you prefer instead of the @facebook.com address the online social network slipped into your profile, do this:

  • Login to your Facebook account and click About. You can find that below your profile picture on your timeline page.

Facebook's About linkClick About to see the email address Facebook is showing your friends

  • Look for the Contact Info block and click Edit.

Editing the email address your friends seeClick Edit to manage the email addresses your friends see

  • You can’t remove your @facebook.com email address, so instead click the privacy pop-up (look for the nondescript circle icon to the right of your Facebook email address) that currently is set to Show on Timeline and select Hidden from Timeline.

The tiny circle icon reveals the setting for showing or hiding email addressesThe tiny circle icon reveals the setting for showing or hiding email addresses

  • Assuming you don’t want anyone to ever see your facebook.com email address, you can hide it by clicking the padlock icon and choosing Only Me.
  • Click the circle icon next to the email addresses you want visible and choose Show on Timeline — and you aren’t forced to make any of your email addresses visible.
  • Once you’re happy with your email settings, click Save.

Users that have a Facebook URL, like http://www.facebook.com/jeffgamet as an example, have a Facebook email address that’s at least recognizable. In my case, that’s jeffgamet@facebook.com — an address that I never check, so don’t feel singled out if you try to contact me there and I never reply.

If you never set up a vanity URL for your account, however, the auto-assigned email address you get is just a string of unfriendly looking numbers.

It’s no secret that Facebook wants to be as deeply entrenched in its user’s lives as possible, but pushing subscribers into using a facebook.com email address without even an alert that the change was being made on their behalf is, well… just so Facebook.