How to Delete Your Facebook Account
Looking to delete or deactivate your Facebook account? Here's everything you need to know.
Facebook is the world’s most popular social media platform, and it’s very useful for keeping in touch with family and friends. However, it can be rather annoying for some users, given the current state of social media networks. Plus, it’s no secret that Facebook loves to hoard user data. Its questionable ad practices have made us re-evaluate how various tech giants handle our privacy on the web.
Whether you don’t find Facebook particularly useful anymore or have finally had enough of its privacy-invading policies, it isn’t that difficult to extricate yourself from the social media platform. The following guide will walk you through the process of deleting your Facebook account.
Depending on how long you have been on the platform, your Facebook account contains a plethora of information related to you. This includes uploaded media, activity logs, chat history, facial recognition data, ad preferences, just to name a few. Thus, the deletion process can take up to 90 days. Luckily, Facebook gives you the option to download all your personal information from Facebook; if that’s something you find worth maintaining access to.
For those who just want to take a small break and plan to return to the social media service eventually, we have also provided additional instructions to deactivate their Facebook account temporarily.
Steps to deactivate your Facebook account
If you plan to take a break but don’t want to delete your Facebook account anytime soon, consider deactivating it instead. Deactivating your Facebook account will make it appear as though you have deleted it. All the publicly visible content associated with your profile will disappear.
The main difference between deleting your Facebook account and deactivating it is that you get to reverse your decision. If you decide to return to Facebook, you can reactivate your account later down the road and restore all your uploaded posts, media, profile info, and friends.
It’s also worth mentioning that you can continue using Messenger even after deactivating your Facebook account, though you can also deactivate the service separately. Obviously, you can’t use Messenger if you delete your FB account.
The steps below will show you how to deactivate your Facebook account:
- First, go to facebook.com from your web browser and sign in with your account credentials.
- Next, click the down-facing arrow at the top-right corner, then select Settings & privacy from the drop-down menu.
- Choose Settings from the following options that appear.
- After that, select the Your Facebook information tab on the left sidebar.
- On the respective page, click the Deactivation and deletion option.
- Now choose to Deactivate account and click the button that says, “Continue to Account Deactivation.”
- Follow the on-screen prompts to confirm deactivating your Facebook account.
Once you perform the above steps, your Facebook profile will instantly disappear from the platform. However, comments that you have left on a friend’s post will stay visible. Plus, anyone you previously added as friends will still find you on their friend lists. Since account deactivation doesn’t restrict your access to Messenger, people can still send you messages via the service.
When you finally decide to reactivate your Facebook account, all you have to do is sign back with your credentials on any of your devices.
Steps to download your Facebook data
Ready to say goodbye to Facebook from your life but don’t want to lose all the memories you uploaded to the social media platform over the years? Consider downloading all your photos, videos, posts, and status updates before you proceed.
The good news is that Facebook offers a straightforward option for users to download a backup of their data on the service. You can find it in the same menu as the option to deactivate or delete your account.
- Visit facebook.com and sign in to your Facebook account.
- Click the down-facing arrow at the upper-right corner and select Settings & privacy in the drop-down menu.
- Next, pick up the Settings option in the following menu.
- Select the Your Facebook information tab on the left sidebar.
- On the following page, click View next to the Download your information option.
- Now choose the date range, format, and media quality for the copy of your Facebook information, then click the Create File button.
Once your copy is ready, you will receive a notification to download the archive file. Depending on how much data (e.g., uploaded photos, videos, and other types of media) you have on Facebook, it may take anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours before you get a download link.
Bear in mind that the Facebook-generated archive file expires a few days after you request it, so make sure to download it soon. Otherwise, you will need to repeat the process to create a new copy.
Steps to permanently delete your Facebook account
If you have finally given up on using Facebook, deleting your account is quite simple. Unlike the deactivation process, account deletion on Facebook also revokes your access to Messenger, something you should be aware of.
As mentioned earlier, the process can take up to 90 days for your data to be wiped from Facebook’s servers. However, you won’t be able to access the data during that time, so make sure to download it beforehand by following the above section.
Another thing you should know about is that you will be signed out of your Facebook account across all the third-party services you use, including Spotify, Quora, Pinterest, and various online-only games. The associated data on those third-party apps and games will also be inaccessible.
Here are the steps to permanently delete your Facebook account:
- First, sign in to your Facebook account and click the down-facing arrow icon at the top-right corner.
- Select Settings & privacy from the drop-down menu, followed by choosing the Settings option.
- Visit the “Your Facebook information” tab from the left pane, then click Deactivation and deletion.
- Now choose the Permanently delete account option and click Continue to account deletion below.
- After that, click Delete Account below the pop-up box, and then confirm your account password.
- Finally, click Continue to delete your Facebook account.
This is how you delete your Facebook account. If you have a sudden change of heart, you can reinstate the account deletion process by signing in to your Facebook account within 30 days and clicking the Cancel Deletion button. Else, Facebook will remove all your data by the 90-day window.
Note that the company will keep some of your information on their servers for legal purposes, as described in their terms and conditions agreement.