How to delete your Facebook account: a step-by-step guide
Facebook serves users all over the globe as a platform for connecting and interacting with both their friends and their communities. The social media giant has grown to represent not just individuals, but also businesses and political campaigns, among other things. By allowing its users to tailor their experience to suit their needs, though, Facebook is collecting a lot of data on each and every one of them – and it’s not always very responsible with handling it.
Permanently deleting Facebook: how-to
If you’re certain that you’re finished with Facebook, you can choose to permanently delete your account. This means that all of your information will be gone, with no option to retrieve it or reactivate your account in the future should you change your mind. Deleting your Facebook account only takes a few steps.
Facebook recommends saving a copy of your data before permanently deleting your account. This can be done under “General Account Settings” and will serve as the only copy of your account information after its removal from Facebook’s servers.
- Access Facebook’s deletion page by typing https://www.facebook.com/help/delete_account into the address bar of your web browser. Make sure you’re logged in to your account.
- Click on “Delete My Account.”
- To confirm the process, Facebook will ask you to enter your password once again. To avoid any accidental or automatic deletions, it also requests a CAPTCHA code. Write the code into the box below and click “OK” to continue. You also have the option to request a new code or an audio code, if necessary.
- Once you click “OK”, your account will begin to be deleted. The process could take up to 14 days, at which point it becomes irreversible and all data will be lost. If you change your mind any time during that 14-day period, simply log in to your account and cancel your deletion request.
If deleting your account is too permanent, you can choose to just deactivate it instead. This disables your profile and removes your name and photos from most posts – though some information will remain visible, such as your name in connection with friend lists and messages. Deactivation can be reversed at any time, and no data is actually lost from the Facebook servers. This is a less permanent way to protect your privacy than deleting your Facebook page, and may be preferred by some users. Here’s how to deactivate your account.
- From the Facebook homepage, navigate to your account settings by clicking the small arrow in the upper-right corner and selecting “Settings” from the drop-down menu.
- Under “General Account Settings” on the next page, click on “Edit” in the “Manage Account” item at the bottom of the list. This opens options for setting a legacy contact or deactivating your account.
- Clicking on “Deactivate your account” will bring you to a new page where you must enter your login password once again.
- After successfully entering your password, you’ll reach the final stage of the account deactivation process. Facebook requires that you select a reason for your deactivation, and offers you the option to opt out from future e-mails from Facebook mentioning invitations or notifications – since even deactivated accounts can still be interacted with.
- Once you’ve successfully completed the deactivation form, your account will no longer be active. This doesn’t mean that any previously entered information is no longer accessible, though. Facebook doesn’t delete any content from deactivated accounts, as you have the option to reactivate at any time. The only way to permanently remove your data from Facebook is through a permanent delete.