Friends list disappeared, Blizzard support unable to re-add

Turned on my PC and logged in a few days ago to find that my friends list was completely empty. Tried installing the mobile app to check, logged in there, empty there too, so some data loss must have occurred on Blizzard’s servers. Contacting chat support did not resolve the problem, but they recommended I post this bug report in the forums. Chat log below.


Ianboryn at 16:48, Mar 17: Hey there! This is Game Master Ianboryn but feel free to call me Ian. How can I help you out today?

You at 16:48, Mar 17: Heya, my entire friends list has gone missing
You at 16:48, Mar 17: Showing empty on both PC and mobile apps
You at 16:48, Mar 17: I’ve tried all troubleshooting steps I could find with no resolution

Ianboryn at 16:50, Mar 17: That is troublesome for sure, thank you though first off for reaching out to us this evening.
Ianboryn at 16:51, Mar 17: Reviewing your ticket I do see you’ve checked out our support article for some troubleshooting steps already. • support dot blizzard dot com/article/000009597
Ianboryn at 16:51, Mar 17: Can you confirm all the steps in this link above have been completed, including the fresh reinstall?

You at 16:51, Mar 17: I can confirm this, yes
You at 16:51, Mar 17: It is also showing as empty on the mobile app

Ianboryn at 16:55, Mar 17: Hmm that is troublesome then for sure since most of those steps including the fresh reinstall solves that problem. At times it can be corrupted / missing files causing the display issue alone.
Ianboryn at 16:56, Mar 17: Lemme run some things over on our end see what next step we maybe able to try. In the meantime, can you confirm the following: • Ensure your logging into the correct account • Are you seeing any info via the friends list column, is it blank or any BattleTag info? • If possible submit a screenshot over to us showing us what you see when you login.

You at 16:57, Mar 17: I am logging into the correct account. I have a second account as well, which is not having this problem.
You at 16:57, Mar 17: The friends list column only has 1 friend in it that I added as a test AFTER this issue popped up. They were not on my friends list before it emptied itself.
You at 16:58, Mar 17: I am unable to add my friends back, as they do not see the friend request come through because on their end we are already Friends
You at 16:59, Mar 17: The friends list column shows I am online, and shows my battletag if I click my name. If I hover my cursor over the 1 friend in the list, it shows their battletag as well.

Ianboryn at 17:01, Mar 17: So at the moment your only seeing then 1 friend on this list, even when others are online and they have you added as well?

You at 17:01, Mar 17: Correct. And that 1 friend was added after my list emptied itself, and was not previously on my friends list.

You at 17:02, Mar 17: I have just updated my support ticket with a screenshot.

Ianboryn at 17:10, Mar 17: Thanks for that! I went ahead and checked this out with our technical specialist to see what further steps we can do.
Ianboryn at 17:11, Mar 17: Reviewing this over some more including that screenshot can you confirm 1 big thing for me?
Ianboryn at 17:12, Mar 17: 1. Log out of the Battle.net Application 2. Prior to logging in, click the little “globe” icon above the email box 3. Ensure this is set to “Americas” If this is different change this to Americas and login. Let me know if you see any changes.

You at 17:12, Mar 17: Yes I normally log into Americas
You at 17:12, Mar 17: I tried switching it to Europe and logging in, no friends except the 1
You at 17:13, Mar 17: Switched back to Americas, no friends except the 1

Ianboryn at 17:21, Mar 17: Apologies for the long wait, we were discussing additional options to get this cleared up.

You at 17:21, Mar 17: all good, appreciate it
You at 17:21, Mar 17: I was hoping you could restore the list from a backup or something from a week ago
You at 17:21, Mar 17: Don’t know if it’s that easy

Ianboryn at 17:23, Mar 17: So it seems we will need to “borrow” your Blizzard account in the meantime.

You at 17:23, Mar 17: That is fine, for how long please?

Ianboryn at 17:23, Mar 17: This is to double check a few things via our end to replicate and find any additional info.
Ianboryn at 17:23, Mar 17: This won’t take long and will be given back by the end of this chat.

You at 17:23, Mar 17: sounds good

Ianboryn at 17:24, Mar 17: For this process I will need to remove any Authenticators / SMS from the account temporarily. You will see notifications stating these account changes / logins but don’t worry as that is just me on our end.

You at 17:24, Mar 17: ok

Ianboryn at 17:25, Mar 17: If your currently logged into the account, please go ahead and logout now. (just don’t close this chat window)

You at 17:25, Mar 17: Am I able to log out of the account on the website without closing the chat window
You at 17:26, Mar 17: Figured it out, logged out now

Ianboryn at 17:26, Mar 17: Yea your all good :slight_smile:
Ianboryn at 17:28, Mar 17: Alright hang tight as I check things over this account some more. In the meantime you can go ahead and work on some additional troubleshooting:
1. Press Windows+R to open the “Run” prompt
2. Type one of the below locations and press enter:
%programdata%
%temp%
%appdata%
%localappdata%
3. Delete any folders which say Blizzard, Battle.net, or Blizzard Entertainment
4. Repeat steps 2/3 for all 4 locations above
5. Grab a new battle.net application installer from our website and run it

You at 17:31, Mar 17: Did that once but that was before the uninstall, I’ll do it again

Ianboryn at 17:32, Mar 17: So were not seeing any large issues at the moment on your account via our end.
Ianboryn at 17:32, Mar 17: I want to double check one last thing beforehand though.
Ianboryn at 17:33, Mar 17: I see you mentioned a secondary account as well, and we managed to locate it here.
Ianboryn at 17:33, Mar 17: With acknowledgments we would like to check this other account as well. Do we have permission to “borrow” the other account as we’ve done here with this one?

You at 17:33, Mar 17: No problem

Ianboryn at 17:34, Mar 17: Thank you, you will see notification emails as well via that account, rest assured it is simply me still.
Ianboryn at 17:38, Mar 17: Thanks for hanging by as we checked out both these accounts via our end.
Ianboryn at 17:38, Mar 17: I have gone ahead and reset the Authenticator back onto your original account. Also I issued Password Resets to BOTH those Blizzard accounts I need you to complete. You should have no issues now reaccessing the accounts.
Ianboryn at 17:39, Mar 17: Let me know when you completed both those resets. Also I want you to try first and login to your “alt” email address account. It looks like your friends list were showing up there on our end.

You at 17:40, Mar 17: Is it OK that the reset password link is for eu.battle.net instead of us.battle.net in the email

Ianboryn at 17:40, Mar 17: It’s okay, the links are meant for your Blizzard accounts.

You at 17:41, Mar 17: Ok trying the (alt) account first
You at 17:41, Mar 17: Friends list showed up there (was OK before though)
You at 17:42, Mar 17: Trying (main) account now
You at 17:43, Mar 17: Still only 1 friend

Ianboryn at 17:46, Mar 17: Hmm, and you can confirm the alt account is not the account you originally had all these friends under? If that is the case, then since your other friends said they aren’t receiving requests from you since your on their list. Have your friends remove you from their list first. Then once removed go ahead and resend them a new friend request to repopulate this friends list for now.
Ianboryn at 17:47, Mar 17: I’m going to run this by additional team members to double check a few things in the meantime to see if there is anything we may be able to do just in case.

You at 17:48, Mar 17: I can definitely confirm the (main) account was the one that all the friends disappeared from. I simply logged in one day about 3-5 days ago and they were gone.
You at 17:48, Mar 17: There were maybe 50+ friends on the list.
You at 17:49, Mar 17: Maybe 40 or more, not sure exactly, but more than the (alt) account.
You at 17:50, Mar 17: interestingly - I have a friend who is removing me now, and it’s asking them “Are you sure you want to remove (blank) as a Real ID friend?” where (blank) is a blank space
You at 17:52, Mar 17: They are not able to see my friend request after removing me

Ianboryn at 17:52, Mar 17: Huh that is very strange, I will go ahead and add this up in the report see what is going on further.

You at 17:53, Mar 17: They were able to successfully send ME a request and it added them to the list

Ianboryn at 17:53, Mar 17: So in the blank space it didn’t populate your BattleTag# name or even your own RealID?

You at 17:54, Mar 17: Not on their screen when removing me, no
You at 17:54, Mar 17: It was a blank space

Ianboryn at 17:54, Mar 17: But you were able to get a friend request from THEM, are they now on that friends list for your end?

You at 17:54, Mar 17: Yes

Ianboryn at 18:01, Mar 17: Hey there Christopher! Still here sorry for the long pauses, we are checking over some things still on the account. Thank you for your patience in this matter.

You at 18:01, Mar 17: no problem

Ianboryn at 18:05, Mar 17: So we’ve checked out the account as much as we can in terms of prioritizing anything we can recover. I’m afraid we can’t re-add those back on this list for the account even via our end. :frowning:
Ianboryn at 18:05, Mar 17: Best bet is to have your friends do the same thing your other friend did. Removing you then re-adding, and I know this may take sometime to get this back to what it was.

You at 18:05, Mar 17: Sad face
You at 18:05, Mar 17: Thanks for trying

Ianboryn at 18:05, Mar 17: We are going to compile this info in the meantime on our end see what can be done for further review.
Ianboryn at 18:06, Mar 17: Thank you as well for brining this further to our attention and we apologize as I know this isn’t the best outcome we were looking for.

You at 18:07, Mar 17: Shame cause now I have friends who have passed away permanently gone from my list. Please email me if you find a fix.

Ianboryn at 18:08, Mar 17: In the meantime I recommend submitting an official bug report with any findings you have so far. You won’t receive a direct response but this will help our development team in addressing this to ensure it won’t happen again or to any other players.

Hello cmcm and developers.

I am experiencing the same problem now.
My friend list in Asia region has been empty, that in Americas region seems normal.

On the support ticket I submitted, GMs and they recommended feedback to this forum and I found this article which tells about the same issue as mine.
The support says that this might have been affected by recent update on Battle.net’s update for friend list which is to unify all the friend list among all the regions.
In spite of their mention, my friend list in Americas region does not show my friends who are added in Asia region and that of Asia region shows nobody on it.
It is good to say I appear online to my friend when I log in to Battle.net.
It shows my friend list data has not been lost and it should be a server-side matter to pick up and deliver friend list data to our clients.

In my experience in software engineering field, this kind of data unification process tends to cause various problems because test processes sometimes miss irregular cases. From my perspective as a software engineer, I put some feedbacks about my account.

  1. It is an old account.
    This battle.net account was created in 2010 when Starcraft2 was launched. It means this is a first-generation-account on this Battle.net system.
    This account has experienced all the changes to the system throughout this nearly 11 years and some aspects might not be covered by the unification scheme this time.
    In addition, on the support ticket, GM Lyenthser said " You’re one of our great players in this field since 2014" but I am a player in this field since 2010.
    I don’t know the source of “2014”, some inconsistency in my data could be suspected from this info.
    (In fact I have been playing on Battle.net before the current system launched; since 1997.)

  2. Friends in multiple regions
    I have several friends who are added to both Americas and Asia with the same battletag. To make matters worse, some of them are added to one region as a real ID friend and non real ID friend to the other region.
    These kind of irregular cases would result in a bug.