Siliconcowboy's Blog

Technology, journalism, social media and social responsibility

How to Rejoin a Closed or Private Facebook Group

[UPDATE: Facebook has made it much easier to rejoin a group now. However, and here is the key, only an admin can allow you back into the group, and you have to wait 48 hours for the change to go into effect. This allows Facebook’s servers sufficient time to process the request, since it ranks as a low priority on a very busy network. Also, admins can only change the group’s settings (Public, Closed, Private) until it reaches 250 members. After that, the setting lock in.]

One of the best things I’ve done on Facebook is to join a private Facebook Group created by a good friend.

The group is a great way for many of our mutual friends to communicate freely without being “watched” by others with no real or vested interest in our discussions.

Every once in a while, though, someone inadvertently leaves the group by accidentally clicking the “Leave Group” button.

So the question comes up, “How do I get back into a closed or private Facebook group?”

Unfortunately, there is no clear way to get back in.

Getting in the group in the first place requires an invite from an administrator (or the creator) of the group. If the administrator simply tries to re-invite the person back in, the administrator gets a pop-up window that says, “This person has left the group” — an obvious, and clearly not very helpful response.

And once you’ve left, you can’t see or search on the group to re-enter it (that’s part of what makes it private). For all practical purposes, it’s gone.

Facebook itself has no published solution.

However, my friend Jason Dorsey discovered a quick fix.  Here’s how it works:

  1. The administrator of the group opens the group page and copies the group’s full URL.  NOTE: Make sure you DO NOT copy the sequence &view=doc, or anything to the right of that sequence.  That is all personal user ID information and it will thus block the user from seeing the group URL properly.
  2. The administrator sends the URL to the individual with instructions to copy the URL into the browser bar and open it.
  3. When the page opens, it will display an “Ask to join” button for the user to click.
  4. Once the user clicks on the button, the administrator gets a notification requesting to accept the user into the group.
  5. The administrator accepts the request.

This seems to be the only working solution to this problem.  If you hear of any others, please let me know!!

UPDATE: This solution doesn’t appear to work in all cases, but cheer up! Readers have listed other great workarounds in the comment thread to this post. Check them out, one of these could work for you!

UPDATE 2: Based on the many comments below, this problem still appears to be largely unresolved.

UPDATE 3: The most successful workaround to date appears to be as follows:

  • Ask an administrator to make the group “Open” for a brief period. The administrator then quickly informs the user of the group status.
  • The user then pings the group with an Add Me request.
  • Once the user has been accepted, the administrator closes the group again.

Obviously this is not an ideal workaround but it appears to have succeeded in multiple cases.


170 comments on “How to Rejoin a Closed or Private Facebook Group

  1. Alisha
    February 13, 2011

    Wow, I was really glad to see this since I had a friend who did just as you mentioned: left our secret group, and then changed her mind. However, we tried your work around and could not get it to work. Whether she clicked the link or pasted the URL into her browser, all she got was her FB Home Page. Was there a particular browser that you got this to work on? Would really love to know so we can try again. I can only assume there has to be something in her computer that is blocking the group’s URL but we have not been able to identify it yet. Thanks for your help.

    • siliconcowboy
      February 13, 2011

      UPDATE: Hi Alisha, I use Mozilla rather than Internet Explorer, but there is no reason it should not work using any browser. Are you sure you are sending her the private group’s URL? Here’s something that I didn’t list in the original article because I didn’t notice it, I’,m going to go back and edit the article to include this: when you capture the URL of the private group, capture only everything to the left of the sequence &view=doc… This is likely the culprit, since everything to the right of that sequence syncs the page with the user’s personal address information.

      Also, if it does in fact open to her home page, maybe the private group is already listed in the left-hand column? If so, she never really left the group. And, the administrator should see a request to accept her if the page actually opens as I have described. I’m continuing to investigate other possible workarounds but for now, this is it. Please keep in contact, I’d like to help you be successful.

      • Chelsea
        July 30, 2011

        I can’t find the &view=doc you are saying.. :/

      • siliconcowboy
        August 12, 2011

        If you don’t see that extension, that’s fine, you want to avoid it anyway.

      • MesH
        January 9, 2012

        yeah it’s realy work bro….. as u told as above, i search through history pages……. finaly i manage got the group link which i already left 3 weeks ago ( 2nd week of december 2011)…. i saw the page appeared and i just click rejoin button to the group and now already part of group member again… thanks for the info, take care

      • ravi
        October 6, 2012

        thanks man………rllly works…..

    • UVAIS
      October 29, 2011

      what do I do when I was the admin (the only one) and accidentally deleted myself from the group. How can I get back in, since there is no admin to approve my join-request.IT IS CLOSED GROUP)

      • siliconcowboy
        October 31, 2011

        Unfortunately, the only thing you can do is recreate the group and reinvite everyone who was in the previous iteration. I group with no admin floats unmanaged in space until Facebook eventually deletes it.

  2. Manu
    February 16, 2011

    But what do I do when I was the admin (the only one) and accidentally deleted myself from the group. How can I get back in, since there is no admin to approve my join-request. (It is a private group)

    • siliconcowboy
      February 16, 2011

      Manu, Ouch!! If you were the only admin I am afraid you have set that group out into space all by itself. Facebook support may be able to help you but they may not. Have you tried accessing it through the Advertising tab at the bottom of the page?

      • Kevin
        March 25, 2011

        When you left the group you would have normally gotten a message to the effect of- as the last admin, your leaving the group will close the group… I’d be surprised if the group still exists with no admin. Better to start a new one and invite the folks into it.

    • Ema
      May 16, 2011

      The admini has to “OPEN” the group to every one, once is open, put the URL in your bowser and join the group again

    • Ema
      May 16, 2011

      oh… Iam sorry Manu I answer the wrong question, I just did that and I just put a hole story today on how I got back to be the administrator after deleting my self when I was the only administrator of a closed group.

      • Jen Dentoom
        November 26, 2013

        Hi there, I’ve just done the same thing! can you tell me how you got back in? I’ve sent a request to facebook, thanks

      • Dan Holden
        December 15, 2013

        Read through the comments for some good suggestions if the article doesn’t provide enough detail

  3. sacchi
    February 21, 2011

    I asked the group’s url from the admin and he sent me this:

    When you click on it, it sends you to the homepage. Did he get the wrong url or something like that?

    • sacchi
      February 21, 2011

      Actually, I decided to just go ahead and create my own private group to see what the url looks like to the admin of the group. WIth me being the admin of this private group, I don’t see any &view=doc in all the url.

      • siliconcowboy
        February 21, 2011

        Somehow I don’t think the admin sent you the correct URL. Did he or she copy and paste it from the group’s site, or from a pointer to the group’s site?

      • sacchi
        February 21, 2011

        (Can’t reply directly to your reply for some reason). I’m pretty sure he went to the group, and just copied the url. Try making a private group on your own and check the url when you go to it. Perhaps facebook changed and this trick isn’t possible anymore. Either way, when I go to the private group I made I also just click on it on the left bar of the home page, and from there copy the url. The url doesn’t show any &view=doc.

  4. sacchi
    February 27, 2011

    (Can’t reply directly to your reply for some reason). I’m pretty sure he went to the group, and just copied the url. Try making a private group on your own and check the url when you go to it. Perhaps facebook changed and this trick isn’t possible anymore. Either way, when I go to the private group I made I also just click on it on the left bar of the home page, and from there copy the url. The url doesn’t show any &view=doc.

  5. Phatcharaphon Taothamphitak
    March 1, 2011

    Thank you for your advice. I can add my friend return to our group. I try do this about a hour before see your advice.

  6. Sonja
    March 9, 2011

    Ehm, this might be a rather amateurish work-around, but I can tell you how we just solved the problem. I temporarily made the group public and the accidentally deleted member was able to send a new join request. However, I as admin was unable to approve him in. I got a notification but no link to “approve” the request. Interestingly, another group member – not an admin – WAS able to approve his request. So he seems to be back in.
    I hope this is not just a fluke but a real solution?!

    • siliconcowboy
      March 9, 2011

      Sounds scary…were you able to get your admin privileges back after making the group private again?

      • nooruddin
        May 18, 2011

        this works til the group has 250 or less members.. after 250+ members in group. u cant change anything for the group privacy settings.

  7. Troy Ballard
    March 9, 2011

    Hey Silicon,

    Thanks for the help. It actually didn’t work for me with the URL system. (I’m using Google Chrome and it would just take me back to the home page).

    What worked for me was to deactivate my account and then just reactivate it. Then I could be added back into it no problem.

    Thanks again.

    • siliconcowboy
      March 9, 2011

      Wow, another novel workaround!! Did you lose any of your data or photos by deactivating your account? Good to see that you were able to make it work!

    • zxdream
      March 11, 2011

      It didn’t work for me 😦

      • siliconcowboy
        March 11, 2011

        Sorry to hear that. Please check out the other solutions offered in the comments to this post.

    • Kevin
      March 25, 2011

      @ Troy… I would love more info on the deactivate/reactivate route… The problem what we are having is what’s shown below… No exactly as your seemed. I am the Admin, my member left in frustration after a minor conflict with another member. My removed member can see the group, and has asked to re-join, but I am unable to accept her. Her request is there, but when I click to approve, it tells me that “the user is not a member of the group” or something very similar. I have “opened” the group and tried everything. Need help…

      • Ema
        May 16, 2011

        once you leave a group the Administrator cannot re-join anyone. What you have to do is to make the group “open to any one/public”, and send her the URL of the group. She has to put the URL in her browser and the option of join will be there again. Then you closed the group again. I hope it works for you

  8. ankur chandra
    March 15, 2011

    guys…facebook has officially published solution to this issue in their FAQ section…

    It doesn’t allow you to resend the invite. However, the member can request to join the group again which admins can then approve.

  9. Alisha
    March 21, 2011

    @ankur, yes and it’s likely we’ve all seen that ‘official’ word. It makes sense that FB Help would be the first place one would go to for an answer to this question. However, as you can see from the many comments above, the solution was not as simple as Facebook’s response. In the case of my friend, even when I, as admin of the group changed the status to ‘Open’, she could not even see the Group to make the request. The group’s URL was also ineffective since whether she clicked the link, or copied into her browser, it only took her back to her FB home page. As a last resort today, I again changed the group’s status back to ‘Open’. I then had my friend clear her cache and reboot, but unfortunately she still could not see the Group. I did however send her the Group’s URL again after she rebooted and this time it worked. She was able to click on the link to the group and make the request to rejoin, which of course I accepted before immediately changing the group’s status back to ‘Secret’. So my only advice to those still going through this problem is to keep trying. Thanks Cowboy for at least getting us on the right track, lol.

  10. hadaina
    March 23, 2011

    it didn’t work for me too,unfortunately my friend ( admin for the group) said,it appeared to say that i left the group,and when i ask to join,and my request had been sent,but my friend can’t approve it because it states that i’m not a member for that group.

    • shweta
      March 28, 2011

      have you got d solution??? plz tell me… m fracing d same prob….

  11. Dhams
    March 23, 2011

    i am facing same prob.
    sequence is.
    – i had 2 profiles and both were admins of a closed group having 125 memebers
    – profile A, i left the group accidently
    – Profile B, still admin and working fine
    – i sent request again to closed group, as i can found this group in search, and my request sent successfully
    – through profile B, when i try to allow or accept request, it’s saying “the memeber is not part of group”
    – when through profile B, try to add profile A manually, it’s saying, memeber already left the group
    – i tried all above solution, make group open, even send group link to profie A etc. but nothing worked.

    any help would be appreciated…

  12. Valterp
    March 23, 2011

    Same problem for us, but our group i OPEN.
    A member left, but cannot be a member again.

    • hollis
      March 29, 2011

      Same as Valterp.

      Facebook’s various updates have only served to make it more difficult to navigate and less user friendly. I’m getting very fed up with it.

  13. shweta
    March 28, 2011

    ma frnd has sent me d request 2 rejoin, ( m admin f d grup) bt ven i xcept it, it says user is not d member of d group…. how 2 xcept it????

  14. gene rose
    April 12, 2011

    hi! i am a group administrator and what i did was, i edited the group from secret to “open” privacy. (edit groups)
    after saving the changes, ask the ex-member to search the said group, then ask to be rejoined. 🙂
    then you may set it up to “secret” again.

    so, if you’re an ex member of a group you may ask the admin to do what i did, if you’re aware who he is.

  15. Vinny From Brooklyn
    May 11, 2011

    Put the group to open for a few seconds while I had the person on instant messanger while they found the group it led to an easy invite and accept. My secret group was only open for about 20 seconds then changed back to secret.

  16. aman
    May 13, 2011

    Hello, it worked for me as well , let me clear one thing here, it your group if secret than it will not open in other browser, so admin has to edit group setting, 1st make it an open group than sent it URL to other person, when he orshe joins back than u can change it setting. i just done that,

  17. Ema
    May 16, 2011

    Thank you for the information it really worked for me and I am going to tell you how:
    1) I was the administrator of a group and I left leaving the group with out an administrator. I used one of the members password and user name to go into the group. And TODAY, the group allows any one become an administrator, once youenter the group there is an option that says : BECOME ADMINISTRATOR, so I did that with the member password.
    2)The group was CLOSED so as administrator I “opened” the group to every one
    3)I went back to my FaceBook and went to the group with the URL information I learned here, so I was able to join the group again
    4)I went to the member that became administrator Facebook, and made myself Administrator
    and now I am the administrartor back again!!
    5)If your case is diferent now, and you know the administrator, tell the administrator to “open the group to every one, go to your browser & put the URL in your browser and join the group

    I hope this works for you

  18. nooruddin
    May 18, 2011

    loved how every one is trying to come over the facebook new group problems.. But many things like changing privacy and stuffs by admin works till the group has membership 250 or less.. After that group chat, group settings and everything will be disabled.

    • siliconcowboy
      May 18, 2011

      Wow that’s interesting. I was unaware of the 250 ceiling, I wonder what the rationale is for that?

    • Saudiexpat
      May 14, 2012

      This is my problem. I have a group with 500+ members that is secret. I can’t open it up to let people readd themselves because then I can’t move it back to secret. Any solution? It needs to be secret because of where we are located.

      • Dan Holden
        May 14, 2012

        You are quite right, any group larger than 200 members cannot be reconfigured to Private once it has been listed as Open. The good news is, there should be no need to open it. Have an admin invite the member back into the group, and then wait for 72 hours. It usually takes a while for Facebook’s servers to make the adjustment since it is a low priority request.

  19. Sujay
    June 6, 2011

    You can Re-join the group you left,Just by changing your name in “Account Settings” of your facebook profile.And Ask the group to join!

  20. thilak
    June 10, 2011

    The admini has to “OPEN” the group to every one, once is open, put the URL in your bowser and join the group again. It works. Thanks EMA

  21. sanket
    June 13, 2011

    Our admin of secret group left the grp without making any one else the admin, now he wants to rejoin the group, how can he do the same…

    • siliconcowboy
      June 15, 2011

      Sanket, you have a real problem there. Your secret group is more or less orbiting in space with no hope at this point. You could petition Facebook to make you an admin, but I am not sure they would respond. Let me know if you find a solution, so far I have not heard of a fix for your situation.

      • sanket
        June 15, 2011

        Thank You Sir,
        I thought we are in problem….now the solution left with all of us is to make a new group as neither the admin can join nor approve others to be a member.

        Once again I thank you for the courtesy extended.

        Sanket Karkhanis
        Counseling Psychologist

      • siliconcowboy
        June 15, 2011

        Sorry to hear you had this difficulty. I hope your group is able to quickly reorganize and start anew. Best wishes!

      • Bhavnish Singh
        July 22, 2011

        Sir, I have also same problem, I was the admin of the secret group and by mistaken I clicked the “leave group” option and now I can’t able to get in to group.

      • siliconcowboy
        July 22, 2011

        Bhavnish, hopefully there is another administrator in your group who can get you back in. If not, you may have to recreate the group and reinvite all participants, because your old group is essentially without administration and therefore free-floating in space.

  22. Aathreya
    June 22, 2011

    Hello everyone,
    I am the admin of 2 groups. Unfortunately, I was accessing the group from a cyber cafe. I exactly don’t know the fact behind when I left cyber with my profile on without signing out 😦 I think someone has made me to leave a group among those 2 and I uses to be an administrator to both of these groups. Now, I could able to rejoin this group but how to get my administrator ship back? I receive notifications and requests for joining to this group from others even I can even approve them. But, I am not finding anyone with Admin status yet and everyone is a member their. I even not finding edit group option which is their in the other group where I am an Admin. So, desperately I need my Admin status back. Pls help 😦
    I have google chrome, Mozilla fire fox and Internet explorer browsers. Can I solve by any of these? Should i need to remove Https browsing option in Google crome?????

    • siliconcowboy
      June 22, 2011

      Difficult situation. If no one was ever assigned as the admin of the group, it may be possible for someone else to assign themselves as the admin and then add you as another admin. However, if that doesn’t work, your only other solution is to create a new group and move everyone over to it. Sorry that happened. Facebook doesn’t do a heck of a lot to support groups and I doubt if you will find them helpful in resolving this problem.

  23. Lal Ruat Cawk
    August 2, 2011

    Yeah.. sending the secret group’s link and asking to rejoin works! Hurayyyyyyyyyyyy

  24. abu
    August 9, 2011

    I have create a group and i was only one admin, but i remove my name from admin. How i can become again admin of same group??..

    • siliconcowboy
      August 12, 2011

      You will have to recreate the group. Since there is no admin there is no way for anyone to approve another person becoming an admin. Facebook eventually just deletes groups that have no admin.

  25. screwtape.
    August 16, 2011

    if i leave a “secret group” will the admin(s) be notified? just wondering, thanks

    • siliconcowboy
      August 16, 2011

      No if your secret group is sufficiently large the admins may never notice if you are gone.

  26. Rachel Stewart
    August 24, 2011

    If you know someone in the group, have them post a status with the group tagged. Then when you click on the tag it will bring you to the group’s page and there is a button that says “Ask to Rejoin” that you can click.

    • siliconcowboy
      August 25, 2011

      That doesn’t appear to work with private groups, unfortunately.

  27. Abdul Wahab
    September 23, 2011

    i’m running a group on facebook and i am facing problem wi=hich relate to the posts sequence normly posts will be shown in time and date sequance but on my page there is no sequance which posts have more comments are recntly commented its shown on top as according to uper saying waths i do plz help me.

    Abdul Wahab

    • siliconcowboy
      September 23, 2011

      If I understand your question correctly, I am not seeing the same problem you are. Each post to a group is time and date stamped and all comments to that post are also timestamped. Can you tell me what you are seeing that is different, or if not, how this is an issue?

  28. shailesh
    September 30, 2011

    my group is having a secret groups…the procedure is same for me 2.

  29. Mische
    October 6, 2011

    Had the same problem. I left a secret group where I was the Administrator because of an issue. When it was resolved, I decided to re-join the group. Like what’s said in this blog, I couldn’t search the group at all and the new Administrator couldn’t add me back since I left the group. So I asked him to send me the URL of the secret group and with no trouble, I was able to re-join the group with the new Administrator approving my re-join request. I was surprised it was that easy. Maybe it’s just luck. Dunno. But I hope you guys with the same problem can fix it just like I was able to. 🙂

  30. DB
    October 6, 2011

    I find it absolutely appalling that Facebook would deliberately set it up this way, apparently oblivious to the obvious problems it would create.

    Okay, fine…you’ve assumed that because I left the group, I also want to block invitations from the group. Well, I never asked you to block invitations, but I can at least see how you would conclude I might want that. But to not include a feature giving me the option of UNBLOCKING it? Why? WHY WHY WHY? There’s no good reason for that. And while I can accept the fact that they were too shortsighted (“stupid” would probably be a better word) to anticipate this resulting issue, there’s ABSOLUTELY no way they’re still unaware of it. I know they’ve received complaints, and I know it would be very easy to fix. So someone has simply decided “screw ’em, we’re not going to fix it because we just don’t feel like it.”

    And please spare me the usual “blah blah blah it’s a free site don’t complain.” That gets a little old. Do they want me to use their free site or not? Why go out of your way to inconvenience users?

  31. Damien Thorn
    October 8, 2011

    This just happened. Someone left my group by accident. They messaged me and asked me if I could add them back to the group and it would not allow me too. I searched members and it still showed her in the group and when I tried to remove her from the group it stated she was not a member of the group. So what I did was send her a link to the group (Because it is a hidden group) and there was a join group button available to her. She clicked Join Group and I then went to the group and accepted her. Problem solved =)

  32. Mark Wells
    October 20, 2011

    Man, you are a Genius!

  33. Aishwarya Hari
    October 26, 2011

    Cool..!!!!! i jus cant imagine myself being back in my own grp..!!!

    thanks all :):):)

  34. Helen
    October 31, 2011

    Not entirely related, but would a facebook account with settings to private, not show up on the list of group members?
    Unfortunately the group I’m a member of has a few members who are there for spam purposes, and searching for their name on the list isnt showing their account. Does anyone know how to remove them?
    They are REALLY annoying – they respond to every post with spam.

    • siliconcowboy
      November 5, 2011

      It is possible to spy on a group and I am not going to explain that here. Phishing of groups is also obviously possible. Facebook insists on certain rules of behavior on its site and these rules must be followed within groups as well. If you suspect a user is phishing or spamming a group, report the user by clicking on the report feature on the right side of the post. Just hover y9our cursor over the post until that feature appears.

  35. Atoxie
    November 1, 2011
    Send the above link to the member who wants to re-join the group. It does not matter if the ceiling of 250 has been exceeded. It worked for me!

    • siliconcowboy
      November 5, 2011

      That link appears to be useless, it simply routes the user back to Facebook.

  36. jaimey
    November 4, 2011

    I have not read all the comments but the only way I have found to let people in who have left is to “go public” for a second while they are on at the same time I am. It is a giant PITA but it works and then the group is searchable to them and they are able to ask to join. I always let the group know so that the topics can be favorable to others seeing… 🙂

    • siliconcowboy
      November 5, 2011

      That’s the only consistently workable solution i have found as well, thanks for chiming in!

  37. monikajain
    November 23, 2011

    hi, i m going to do this.
    im one of the admin of the group.
    best of luck 4 me,siliconcowboy.

    • siliconcowboy
      November 23, 2011

      Let me know how it works.

  38. monikajain
    November 23, 2011

    hi, what is groups URL, and how can i get them.

    • siliconcowboy
      November 23, 2011

      When you are in a Facebook group, the URL for that group shows up in the search bar at the top of your screen. If you click on that bar to highlight the URL, you can then capture it by typing Ctrl + C. YOu can then paste it anywhere you need it by typing Ctrl + V (without the plus sign in both instances). I hope that wasn’t too remedial.

  39. Anto
    January 19, 2012

    hey can anyone other than the admin be able to accept my request to join the group which i came out of?

    • siliconcowboy
      January 20, 2012

      Only admins can approve. That’s a standard mechanism for achieving civility within a group.

  40. pramodh
    January 26, 2012

    thanku so much…

  41. Dungy,N
    February 2, 2012

    Copy, pasting and sending the groups URL to the former member just worked for me. One of our members ejected herself from our private, secret group and I sent her the URL. She was able to request to join and I approved it.

  42. summer
    February 13, 2012

    It seems like you have to be logged out of fb for the url to work. I had a friend send me the link of the group and it was only refreshing the fb page I was on. Then I logged out of fb and copied the url. I was aked to login, but it took me to the private group’s page and I was able to send a join request.

  43. anemac
    February 17, 2012

    love you! thanks for the help!

  44. Judy
    February 22, 2012


    I am having similar problems with a group I admin. One of the members who was previously able to see and post to the group suddenly stopped being able to post. The group still listed her as a member but her account wasn’t behaving as if she was. The group was open/public at this time. She sent a request to join but the email I received didn’t contain a link and there was no sign of the request on the group page (presumably because it thought she was already a member).

    I tried making her user an admin but this didn’t help.

    I tried to delete her user so that we could re-add her but facebook just claimed that she wan’t a member (in spite of the fact she was listed in the member list).

    Then for another reason I made the group secret at which point the member in question could not see the group at all, let alone post to it.

    I then reopened the group and lo and behold her user could now see AND post to the group. If I make the group secret again she can no longer see or post.

    The group ideally needs to be secret, any ideas how I can achieve this without cutting the member off?

    I have tried making her an admin again but that doesn’t seem to help.

    Many thanks in advance….

    • siliconcowboy
      February 22, 2012

      Judy, you’ve tried a number of different things, some of which would have worked if you hadn’t done the others. Let me explain. By opening the group and allowing her to re-enter, you’ve correctly gotten her through the doorway. However, since you had previously deleted her from the secret group, she disappears whenever the group is made secret. This is because the admin command for deleting a user trumps a request to rejoin. The trick is to find a way to reverse the admin command, which you will probably need to do in open group mode. I would suggest that you have an admin add the user to the group in the ‘add user’ box, then close the group again. Then, don’t do anything relative to that user for 14 days. This gives Facebook enough time to process and authenticate your request. Please let me know if this works.

      • Judy
        February 22, 2012

        Many thanks, I’ll give that a try and let you know how I get on.

  45. Jae
    February 25, 2012

    dude but what do you do to rejoin a secret group with more than 250 people because even the administrator cant change the privacy settings.

    • siliconcowboy
      February 25, 2012

      I’m going to have to re-write or update this article. Facebook has made it much easier to rejoin a group now. However, and here is the key, only an admin can allow you back into the group, and you have to wait 48 hours for the change to go into effect. This allows Facebook’s servers sufficient time to process the request, since it ranks as a low priority on a very busy network.

    • siliconcowboy
      February 25, 2012

      And yes, you are right, admins can set the group as open, closed or private only until it reaches 250 members. After that, the group’s setting locks.

  46. Torben Hansen
    February 28, 2012

    I was SO happy when a friend recommended me to look into this page! I am admin. in a secret group and a previous member wish to come back into the group. I have tryed EVERYTHING, including all the solutions, mentioned above – and still she cannot enter. She have sent multiple requests to rejoin – and I simply do NOT get these requests! I am quite tired of it – and I never understood the purpose of making it so difficult to change ones mind. I would appriciate ALL possible new solutions… Thx very much

  47. Mahadi
    March 5, 2012

    I creat a group and then leave it. Now i can’t get in. So what should i do?

    • siliconcowboy
      March 5, 2012

      Were you the only admin of the group or did you appoint anyone else as an admin? If the latter, that person can help you get back in.

  48. doeboy527
    April 15, 2012

    copy and paste the url inside the group worked fine.. I did it from facebook messenger as a link to the facebook members messenger and they clicked and got the ask to join page..

    • doeboy527
      April 15, 2012

      and that was with a group of 550.. over the 250 limit.. basically your directing them to the page.. so from while your in the group .. copy the url from you address bar and paste it in the messenger to the facebook member so they can find the group.. then since they aren’t a member they can ask to join from that page.. great fix.. helped alot..

  49. jerika58
    April 15, 2012

    Van egy problémám. Van egy saját privát oldalam, ahol az ismerősök száma elérte az 5000 főt. Ezért nem enged többet felvenni, amit megértek. Csináltam egy csoportot Michael Jackson magic and madness, linkje Az a baj, ha új ismerősök jelölnek be nem tudom felvenni őket, mert a privát oldalra akarja felvenni őket, visszaírja, hogy nem lehet ismerősöm, mert az ismerőseim száma elérte az 5000 főt. Szeretnék segítséget kérni, hogy a csoportba tudjam felvenni az új barát jelöléseket. Nagyon sokat gondolkodtam már, de sehogy sem sikerül megjavítanom a problémát. Szeretnék ebbe segítséget kérni, hogy az új tagok a csoporthoz kerülhessenek és ne a privát oldalamra. Várom válaszukat, köszönettel Jávorné Felföldi Erika

  50. jerika58
    April 15, 2012

    Ha teljesen lezárják a privát oldalamat, hogy csak megnézni lehessen nem probléma. A csoportot szeretném tovább vinni. Köszönettel Jávorné Felföldi Erika

    April 29, 2012

    Sir,I left my own group accidently.How can i rejoin???

    • Dan Holden
      April 30, 2012

      Send a message to the administrator asking them to send you an invitation to rejoin, or send you the URL of the group so you can make that request yourself. Then just wait for up to three days for the request to be processed.

  52. Jen
    May 5, 2012

    I accidentally left a group that I was the admin for and I figured out how to get back in. I called a friend that was in the group, and had her add me. On the right side of the page, it said “this page needs and admin, suggest one”…click on it and then click on “make me the admin”. This worked for me.

  53. nikhilgujar
    May 28, 2012

    Hi Dan,

    Though I am aware the question I am gonna ask does not relate to the current topic thread, however, since it pertains to secret group, I take the liberty to ask you. You may change the thread if you feel so.

    The question is, I am member of a secret group (I am not admin) and from yesterday, whenever anyone including my admin tries to post, we get “Unable to post. Please retry after some time”. We tried to make group closed but no effect. wonder if you have a clue to solution. I have reported to face book, and hope they solve ?


    • Dan Holden
      May 28, 2012

      Have the admin check the group’s settings. They may have been inadvertently changed to allow only the admin to post to the group. You will want to change it back to allow all members to post.

  54. akshaya
    June 15, 2012

    Thank You so much Dan!!! ur idea really worked…:))

  55. Thamizh
    July 28, 2012

    Hi!! i was removed from one group.. i dont know why.. even i cant find that group in search again.. i think i was rejected by admin.. is there any way to find that group for rejoin???

    • Dan Holden
      July 30, 2012

      If the admin removed you, there is little chance of rejoining unless you have a contact within the group who can appeal on your behalf for your reinstatement. Good luck!

  56. Joan Fae F
    September 19, 2012

    This worked great! Have been trying to figure it out for a while and this worked instantly!

  57. Frank
    October 10, 2012

    Help! I am the admin to a Facebook closed Group and I accidentally cancelled myself out of it. The group still exists, but I cannot access it because it was closed. I asked to join, but I cannot access the group because it is closed.

    Any way to get back in? I am the only admin to this group!

    Thank you!

    • Dan Holden
      October 10, 2012

      Here is a suggestion that was offered by a commentor on this thread: “I accidentally left a group that I was the admin for and I figured out how to get back in. I called a friend that was in the group, and had her add me. On the right side of the page, it said “this page needs and admin, suggest one”…click on it and then click on “make me the admin”. This worked for me.”
      Please let me know if this works. You may have to wait for a day or two for the request to go through, since Facebook has to negate your earlier request to leave the group.

  58. Riffy
    November 2, 2012

    i opened a group made 2 more admins,3 alltogether,when i went into my other name on fb which im admin to group i can delete the admin that opened the group,how come the other admins has that power to delete the group owner?

    • Dan Holden
      November 8, 2012

      Facebook does not have any facility for giving one admin a higher status than any other.

    November 23, 2012

    pkx hack one group my love is in it and the admin do not add me in the group please do something plx

    • Dan Holden
      November 23, 2012

      Group membership is entirely up to the admin. It’s best to be respectful of the group’s decision on such matters.

  60. DANIEL
    December 8, 2012


  61. Corey
    December 27, 2012

    When trying to invite the person back into the group as you said it didn’t work but by clicking to invite them through the suggested members area, it seemed to… A loophole or helpful bug in the system I suppose…

  62. lucky
    January 12, 2013

    when i send friend req to my friend but cant recive the frnd req

  63. lucky
    January 12, 2013

    i send msg to my frnd bt she receive the message bt she can reply .my message or she can search my id nd when i send message facebook show her mesage You cannot reply to this conversation. Either the recipient’s account was disabled or its privacy settings don’t allow replies.

    • Dan Holden
      January 13, 2013

      Your friend is clearly not making herself available to help you. Perhaps you can get someone else to assist.

      • lucky
        January 15, 2013

        plz tell me clearly . plz help me sir ,plz tell me in detail wht cn i do friend also upset .

  64. lucky
    January 15, 2013

    sir i search my friend bt my friend cant search my id bt she recieve only msg nt rply nt search.

  65. lucky
    January 15, 2013

    Dan Holden plz tell me wht cn i do

  66. nazri
    February 16, 2013

    Yey it works. Thanks

  67. creating a blog
    March 10, 2013

    certainly like your website but you have to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts.

    Many of them are rife with spelling issues and
    I to find it very bothersome to inform the truth nevertheless
    I will definitely come back again.

    • Dan Holden
      March 10, 2013

      I’d be interested to know where you are seeing typos but…nah, I’m just kidding.

  68. Marlene Pope
    March 11, 2013

    this is the URL to my FB group I created and spent a yr and a half running a Admin I thought I could trust deleted all adminst and took over the group as her own . This is very hard for me as I have medical problems that keep me at home this was a daily outlet for me I had the group up to 10,000 members when she deleted us please tell me what to do I feel like someone stole my kid its that heart wrenching to me

    • Dan Holden
      March 12, 2013

      This is an unfortunate situation, I am sorry for your loss. Outside of getting another admin to add you back into the group and allowing you to reassert your admin rights and block the other individual from participation in the group, I am not sure what else you can do. My advice: if the group is that dysfunctional, maybe it’s time to move on anyway. Those who truly care about you will follow.

  69. Oskar
    March 12, 2013

    Thanks Dan for sharing this info with us and i can say that it has worked everytime i’ve done it (about 8 times for friends or myself) the only thing that i would add to everyone that had a problem and had not been able to solve their situation is that “the group” setting that you are trying to get back to…”must be set to open” for at least the time that it would take to copy the “URL” i know there is private issue here….but the time that it would take you to set the group to open and then copy the URL and put it back to the previous setting it was it could be only 30 seconds max…so relax and follow this advice and you will be on your way back to join your group. And as Dan said you must be the administrator of the group or have the administrator work with you on this.
    Good luck!

  70. Help Desk
    March 14, 2013

    Contact Facebook and explain the situation, they are able to see who the creator of the group is and re-instate you. I have seen them do this already for someone else in the same predicament. “-)

    • Dan Holden
      March 14, 2013

      True, but it could take a while.

  71. dor
    March 14, 2013

    the link solution worked gr8.


  72. psychic reading phone
    March 27, 2013

    I am not sure if you are aware of this. I read
    a content just like How to Rejoin a Closed or Private Facebook Group | Siliconcowboy’s Blog the other day on … shiver me timbers I can’t remember
    the resource site just now but it was also about spss too. I will get
    back to you if it comes to me.

  73. Brigette
    April 13, 2013

    It’s genuinely very difficult in this busy life to listen news on TV, so I simply use internet for that reason, and get the newest information.

    April 16, 2013

    This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.
    I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post.
    Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!

  75. Hey there fantastic blog! Does running a blog similar to this require a massive amount work?
    I have no expertise in coding however I was hoping to start my own blog soon.

    Anyhow, if you have any recommendations or tips for new blog owners please share.
    I understand this is off topic however I just needed to ask.

  76. karen carr
    April 30, 2013

    I have been banned from a group for adding members… which I know is the prerogative of any administrator..I have referred many people to this group provided links given admininstrators name to them but as a group we were never told how to make a proper referral.. at 60 years of age I really don’t understand how I, as a non administrator, could possibly be adding new members to the group. I assumed that when I gave my link to someone they would receive a request to join prompt.. but apparently somehow they have been able to join without a request page appearing. I had no idea I was admitting them..Is this a group setting problem or a problem in how I am making my referrals… thank you so much for your help in this. I certainly wasn’t trying to back door some one it.. others may be making the same mistake.

    • Dan Holden
      May 20, 2013

      It’s likely that there is more than one administrator in the group, and at least one of those other administrators is approving your referrals without advising the other admins. Or, you may actually have been one of the administrators yourself, which would have made any referral by you an automatic approval. In any case, it’s generally not a wise idea to add multiple people without first asking the admin if this is appropriate. Especially in discussion groups with seemingly important business or dialog, such activity could easily be perceived as malicious it if isn’t first cleared by those in charge.

  77. Matthias
    May 17, 2013

    I have a problem,
    I have the URL of my old private group, but I don’t remember who was the name of Admin. Unfortunely the URL don’t show me this because it’s a private group.
    How could I find the name of Admin of private Group with only the URL?

    • Dan Holden
      May 20, 2013

      Good question! I don’t have a ready answer but I will look into it, thanks!

  78. ShadowLady
    June 5, 2013

    Here’s my issue. I have a “secret” FB group that is well over 600 members. I have 2 member that left a bit ago and want back in. I used to be able to send them the link and they could request to rejoin not that long ago and now they can’t see the link. They also don’t get the email invite that I did through FB on my group, either. What do I do? Are they never going to be able to get back in?

    • Dan Holden
      June 26, 2013

      Read through the post and comments, there are several possible routes. One is to temporarily – for a few seconds if necessary = reclassify the group from ‘secret’ to a more visible setting. This reduces the security settings and allows people to rejoin using the procedure above.

      • ShadowLady
        June 26, 2013

        I can’t go back to any other setting, but secret, Dan. That’s my dilemma. I refuse to delete hundreds of members just to get a few back on. It’s ridiculous!

        I have both tried to share the url of the group, which no one sees anymore. And also invite them back via the email function with Facebook. That only sometimes works. I have tried everything I can, except deleting members. And, as I said above this…I refuse to do that just to get a handful of ppl back.

        I posted a warning and pinned it to the top of my group telling the members that once they leave I may not be able to get them back in again…so to be absolutely sure they are wanting to go for good.

      • jerika58
        June 26, 2013

        A csoportomat : Michael Jackson Magic and Madness egy hacker feltörte a és átvette a csoport irányítását és admin lett, valamint engem kizárt onnan. A facebook mindenféle szabályellenes dolgot és biztonsági előírás megszegését szigorúan vesz. Ha valaki az előírásokat megszegi, szigorú szankciókat szab ki, amivel egyetértek.!!Én csak igazságot szerettem volna, mert ez szabályba ütköző dolog, de úgy látszik az én kérésem hiábavaló. Az én igazságom senkit nem érdekel!! Én nem másik embereket akarok bántani, csak az igazamat keresem, de hiába. A csoportban a tagoknál oda van írva a nevem . De úgy látszik ez sem számít!! Tisztelettel Jávorné Felföldi Erika

      • Dan Holden
        July 13, 2013

        Some readers have suggested trying to get back in through a mobile device, this seems to bypass the stricter PC-based rule set. Let me know if this works.

    • Frustrated FB Group Admin
      July 8, 2013


      Try sending the former members a PM with the group’s URL and have them click the URL while on a *mobile* device. That’s the only way we could get one person back in after they left accidentally.

  79. ShadowLady
    June 5, 2013

    *memberS <—ooops

  80. Bekahmoster
    June 13, 2013

    Does the administator have to copy the URL or can a group member copy it too?

    • Dan Holden
      June 26, 2013

      The way this used to work only the admin could enact this procedure.

  81. If some one wishes expert view on the topic of blogging and site-building
    after that i advise him/her to visit this webpage, Keep
    up the pleasant work.

  82. Nikhil
    June 23, 2013

    i am the admin of a secret group and i blocked people from re adding me to that group,when i moved out of it,so is there any solutions to get back that group???

    • Dan Holden
      June 26, 2013

      See if you can get another ally designated as an admin.

  83. Juha
    June 25, 2013

    Our group was accidentally switched over to Secret.., and now it looks like we need to take out 100 members, before we can reset or make any other privacy changes. Thats all clear, but what happens to all those posts that the dropped members have made? Will they disappear in the process? Any other damage that will happen during this process?

    • Dan Holden
      June 26, 2013

      Good question, does anybody have any experience with this?

      • Frustrated FB Group Admin
        July 2, 2013

        I stumbled across this blog entry while searching for ways to re-add a former member to a Secret group. The former member tried clicking the link on a PC and got the error the page doesn’t exist. I attempted to re-add her and received the error that I “could not add an old member of the group who hasn’t requested to join the group again”. Changing our group back to Closed was not an option as we are over the 250 member cap for that group privacy setting change to be available.

        A fellow admin discovered that the former member had to click the group’s URL from a PM on a *mobile* device. Suffice to say the former member is a full member once again. Could the solution be any more obscure? Sheesh.

        In regards to the content that a former member posted, it should still be there. I cleaned out inactive members and can still find the rare post the inactive member made by using the group search feature with their name as the search term. That’s assuming the search function is actually functional at the time. 😛

      • Frustrated FB Group Admin
        July 2, 2013

        Erm, for clarity that “rare post” description above was a reference to how inactive the removed member was, not FB deleting posts inconsistently.

      • Marlene Pope
        July 6, 2013

        no you have to search to find their posts and delete them

  84. jerika58
    June 26, 2013

    Michael Jackson Magic and Madness új adminisztrátora KAREM FAWZY. Ő a hacker, aki feltörte a csoportot. Kérném segítségüket, mert ez a facebook biztonsági szabályait megsérti!!!

  85. Embee
    July 5, 2013

    I am the administrator of a group folder which I accidentally left. So how can I rejoin the group if an administrator is not available?

    • Dan Holden
      July 13, 2013

      That’s a huge problem. Unless there is another administrator, the group may just float off into space unattended. Some readers have suggested trying to get through on a mobile device. This apparently allows you to bypass some of the PC rule set.

  86. Rob
    August 20, 2013

    I’ve got a problem man. I left a secret group and i didn’t see the box that says “prevent people from re-ading you”, and it was maked, i didn’t see it, i moved forward and left the group, now i want to get back in it, the manager tried to re-ad me but he failed, how can i rejoin the group?

  87. get your ex back
    September 4, 2013

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who was doing a
    little research on this. And he in fact ordered me dinner because I found it for him…
    lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for
    spending some time to talk about this issue here on your web page.

  88. Kezza
    October 28, 2013

    What about hijacked groups? Do you know if Facebook respond to or deal with rogue admin who remove the creator of the group? Any way to deal with this?

    • Dan Holden
      November 4, 2013

      It’s unfortunate, but that does happen. The original admin can appeal to Facebook for assistance but there’s no guarantee that Facebook will do anything on his or her behalf.

  89. lisan
    February 7, 2014

    It defently worked, thanks!

  90. jjjjjjjjjjjjfabu
    March 1, 2014

    I left a secret group and i didn’t see the box that says “prevent people from re-ading you”, and it was maked, i didn’t see it, i moved forward and left the group, now i want to get back in it, the manager tried to re-ad me but he failed, how can i rejoin the group?

    • Dan Holden
      March 14, 2014

      I have not seen a setting that prevents people from re-adding you to a group but I suppose it could exist. I can’t imagine that it would be clicked yes by default. I am skeptical at this point, I wonder if the group manager may have other intentions.

      • Lisa Rae
        March 14, 2014

        It is there to prevent others from re-adding you if you leave and it’s set yes to default. I know this for a fact, have seen it myself and know this is what prevented me from re-adding ppl who leave and want to return. Whether they have since changed it, I don’t know. I had to restart a group to make it “Closed” instead of “Secret” to get these ppl back in.

  91. Vishwas
    March 14, 2014

    what if I opened the group for all and the made it secret again….will all my post thereafter be read by non group members

    • Dan Holden
      March 14, 2014

      There’s always a risk to opening a group, even momentarily in some cases. However that tactic has been used with success. It’s best if done in a coordinated effort, e.g., while texting your target add to make a request.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: