How to Permanently Delete Your Facebook Account

Screenshot of how to permanently delete your Facebook account

Delete Your Facebook Account

If you’ve been longing for a time when Facebook emails and notifications didn’t clog your phone then you’re not alone.

Or maybe you’re tired of all the ads and timeline changes that seem to increase the number of irrelevant junk and posts in your feed?

Do you remember a time when you actually got updates from your friends and acquaintances instead of BuzzFeed and LifeHacker?

Deactivate or Delete?

Maybe you just need a short-term break from Facebook and you’re not ready to commit to a full-blown delete. If so, you can deactivate your Facebook account instead of deleting it and come back later.

Read more: What’s the difference between deactivating and deleting my Facebook account

People won’t be able to see your timeline posts and pictures and you won’t get notifications from followed friends or pages any more.

When you’re ready to come back you can simply sign in and all of your friends will be there…with their game requests, cat videos, and pictures of the salad they had for lunch. Salad? Why would you take a picture of a salad? SMH.

Reasons For Quitting Facebook

There are many reasons why someone would want to leave Facebook for good. If it’s not the advertisements and constant timeline tweaks maybe it’s one of these?

Addicted To Facebook Games

Addicted to Facebook games? Maybe it’s time to cut the cord and regain some control over your life. Whatever game you’re playing, it will be there if you want to come back. If this is the only reason you want to quit you should consider simply deleting the game instead.

Parents, Boss, Coworkers Spying On You

Young adults and teens may feel pressure from their parents to add them as friends so that their parents have another avenue to keep track of their activities. An extreme way to avoid this is to just delete your account.

You could block or restrict your parents from your Facebook feed however it’s a bit more work because you don’t want them to realize they’ve been blocked/restricted. When they don’t see any updates from you they’re going to suspect that you’ve blocked them.

Too Much Drama

If you’re caught up in lots of dramas with your friends or worse – bullies – then leaving is probably a great idea. You don’t need that negativity in your life. So resist the temptation and just delete your Facebook account altogether.

I…I Just Can’t Anymore

Maybe you just need a permanent break? Social media can be an addictive, vicious cycle depending on your level of involvement. Deleting, or temporarily deactivating, your Facebook account will stop the craziness and give you a chance to regroup and prioritize.

So How do I leave Facebook For Good?

Wait! Before you click that delete button there are a few things you should do first.

Download Your Facebook Data

Before you permanently delete your Facebook account consider downloading a copy of all your Facebook data. This includes feeds, comments, pictures, contact information, and more.

You may hate Facebook right now but in a year you’re going to want to see those pictures of your friends that you can’t find on your phone. Or you’ll want to reference a conversation you had with someone. So save your data – this is your only chance to back it up. You can always delete it from your computer in a year or so if you haven’t referenced it since then.

Want to save a few Facebook pictures from your feed or photos? Just right-click them and save them somewhere on your hard drive.

The pictures will have very long names made of seemingly random letters and numbers. You can use tools like Google Picasa or built-in Microsoft and Mac tools to easily see the images without having to rename all of them. Most tools will allow you to tag people’s faces and search on them later (just like Facebook!).

Clear Your Facebook History

Once you click the delete button your Facebook account will not disappear immediately. It takes 14 to 90 days for all of your information to be deleted forever. And even then there is certain information that you can’t remove like instant messages you sent to friends through Facebook Messenger.

Search box in the Facebook activity log

Use the Activity Log Search Box

If you need to delete a post or picture you can see a history of all your activity in the Activity Log. Visit your Facebook Privacy Settings and click the “Use Activity Log” link. From there you can delete or restrict posts, pictures, and tags however it’s a lot of manual work. Use the Activity Log search box (not the Search Facebook box) to find what you’re looking for and delete it.

Delete Your Account

This is it. This is your last chance to change your mind (almost)!

  1. Visit the How do I permanently delete my Facebook account help page for up-to-date information about deleting your account
  2. Visit the page to start the deletion process
  3. Enter your password
  4. Complete the CAPTCHA and press the OK button to permanently delete your Facebook account

After completing the Facebook account deletion process, the account will be deactivated immediately. The timeline will disappear and your friends will not be able to find you. The deletion process doesn’t start for a few days so if you try to sign in again you will see a message allowing you to cancel the deletion process. If you’re absolutely sure then there’s no further action on your part.

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