How to delete your Facebook account

Sick of Facebook privacy scandals? Here's how to protect your personal data

With the fiasco with Cambridge Analytica in March and the more recent Facebook hack where more than 50 million accounts were compromised, it’s no wonder people are trying to find a way out of the social network.

Thankfully, deleting your Facebook profile can be done in a matter of minutes. Whereas deactivating your account will only put some of your information on temporary hiatus, deleting it indefinitely will permanently rid the site of your data, from photo albums and Likes to status updates and timeline info, with no option for recovery. After 30 days, it will be like you were never there to begin with.

Ready to free yourself from social media fatigue? Scroll down a bit if you want to learn how to protect your personal data without actually deleting Facebook. If you’ve really had enough though, follow the instructions below. Alternately, you can protect yourself without completely leaving the social network — just follow our handy guide.

How to temporarily deactivate your Facebook account

First, say you just want to take a break from Facebook, but not sever ties completely. There is a way to temporarily deactivate your account for however long you want.

Step 1: Click on the down arrow button next to the question mark icon on the navigation bar.

Step 2: Click “Settings.”

Facebook

Step 3: On the resulting “General Account Settings” page, click “Manage Account.”

how to delete your facebook account manageaccountfb

Step 4: Click “Deactivate your account.” You will then be prompted to enter your password, next click “Continue.”

how to delete your facebook account deactivatefb

Step 5: Facebook will then prompt to share the reasoning behind the deactivation. Once you have chosen why you are leaving, click “Deactivate.”

how to delete your facebook account deactivatepromptfb

Deletion Episode 1: Pack your bags

Much like anything you don’t necessarily need to do, but desire to do, there’s always a moment of hesitation before you pull the trigger. You’ve likely built up a wealth of Facebook content since you stumbled onto the site all those years ago, a good deal of it in the form of candid photos, messages and other content that speaks highly (or not so much) about you as an individual.

Luckily, Facebook allows users to download an archival volume of your data for offline use, including photos, posts you’ve shared, ads you’ve clicked and a host of other data not accessible simply by logging into your account. It’s quick and easy to download, and though it won’t be as exciting as navigating your actual timeline, at least it’s there should you want to virtually stroll down memory lane.

Step 1: Click on the down arrow button next to the question mark icon on the navigation bar.

Step 2: Click “Settings.”

Facebook

Step 3: On the resulting “General Account Settings” page, click on the “Your Facebook Information,” category in the menu on the left.

Step 4: On the “Your Facebook Information” page, click on “Download Your Information” button.

how to delete your facebook account fbinfo

Step 5: In the “Download Your Information” page, you can pick and choose what specific information you want to download. Click “Create File.”

how to delete your facebook account downloadfbinfo

Step 6: Once the file is created you will receive a notification, which will direct you back to the “Download Your Information” page.

Step 7: Click “Download.” You will have to enter your password to download the file.

Step 8: Once you click “Submit” the download will begin.

Deletion Episode 2: Sever your ties

Now that you have a local copy of your Facebook account, you can move to delete it from the social website. But that’s a drastic step: one that Facebook intentionally buries within its Help Center. You can deactivate your account for any amount of time, but getting to the process of actually ridding yourself of Facebook forever is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Facebook’s grace period is a double-edged sword. When you request to delete your account, you’ll be given 30 days in which you can login and immediately reactivate your account. While this may sound convenient should you change your mind within a one month span, it’s not exactly convenient if you’re trying to delete your account once and for all.

That’s because there’s a slight problem. Third-party apps you’ve previously linked to your Facebook account — such as Instagram, Spotify, and Twitter — will automatically log you into Facebook, regardless if you’ve chosen to delete your account. That being said, it’s best to remove any linked accounts from the social network prior to deletion. Just make sure to log in to the app next time using its respective login credential, not your soon-to-be-deleted Facebook info.

Step 1: Click on the down arrow button next to the question mark icon on the navigation bar.

Step 2: Click “Settings.”

Facebook

Step 3: On the resulting “General Account Settings” page, click the “Apps and Websites” category in the menu on the left.

Step 4: On the resulting “App and Websites” page, you’ll see a handful of listed apps. To see all connected apps, click on the “Show All” to list (surprise!) an insane number of connected apps.

how to delete your facebook account fbappsandwebsites

Step 5: To delete apps individually, move your mouse over the app and click the box to insert a checkmark.

Step 6: In the pop-up box, click on the blue “Remove” button.

Step 7: Rinse and repeat as necessary.

Deletion Part 3: Hasta la vista, baby

Once you’ve downloaded your data and unlinked all third-party ties with Facebook, it’s time to actually delete your account. Again, there’s no going back once the 30-day grace period expires, so make sure deleting your account is the right decision for you. Jot down those birthdays and ask your online friends for contact info outside of Facebook. Deleting your Facebook account doesn’t have to mean you’ll drop off the face of the Earth.

Step 1: Simply head here to the Help center.

Step 2: Click on the blue “Delete Account” button.

how to delete your facebook account deletefb

Step 3: In the following pop-up box, enter your password and then hit the white “OK” button.

Step 4: In the next pop-up window, Facebook will state that the account will be deleted within 30 days. Click the blue “OK” button to confirm. So long, Facebook!

how to delete your facebook account confirmfbdelete

Step 5: Avoid Facebook at all costs until account deletion. Feel the freedom.

Most importantly, do not access the website using your desktop browser, mobile device or through any third-party app or service that’s still active using Facebook’s credentials. Your account will be permanently deleted after the given amount of time. If you do log in accidentally, repeat the deletion process and ensure you’ve disconnected all third-party software from Facebook.

If you’re feeling the social media cleanse here is how to also delete your Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.

Social Media

You can now share saved Facebook posts with a Pinterest-like collection tool

Facebook collections can now be shared with friends if you also want to allow them to contribute to the list. Facebook is rolling out an update that allows users to add a contributor to their collections, or lists of saved Facebook posts.
Computing

Installing fonts in Windows 10 is quick and easy -- just follow these steps

Want to know how to install fonts in Windows 10? Here's our guide on two easy ways to get the job done, no matter how many you want to add to your existing catalog, plus instructions for deleting fonts.
Gaming

How to make a clan in ‘Destiny 2’ and where to go from there

Want to know how to make a clan in 'Destiny 2'? Here's everything you need to know, including how to design your clan's banner, earn extra loot, and help other players with guided games.
Gaming

How to delete games on your PS4

PlayStation 4 games eat up storage space quickly, which will inevitably require you to make room for new games. Here's how to delete and reinstall games on PS4 for those times when you have to manage your storage space.
Computing

Changing file associations in Windows 10 is quick and easy with these steps

Learning how to change file associations can make editing certain file types much quicker than manually selecting your preferred application every time you open them. Just follow these short steps and you'll be on your way in no time.
Mobile

Broadway actor tells Kanye West to get off his phone during opening night

Theater actors can get understandably upset when they spot someone in the audience fiddling with their phone instead of watching the show. The other night that audience member was Kanye West, and he got called out for it.
Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Business

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.
Computing

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.