We all seem to get to that point. The point where you realize social media has consumed a lot of you, and you just can’t let it anymore. Perhaps you notice you’ve been spending a horrendous amount of time on social media lately. Or, maybe it’s beginning to take a toll on your mental health.
To be fair, if you’re big on online privacy in this digital age, having a Facebook account hardly helps. Facebook has been involved in multitudes of scandals, which relate to misinformation, privacy, and every kind of shady act. Security breaches may also put your data in the wrong hands.
Whatever your reasons may be, you may want to take a break from social media. Perhaps you even want to delete it FOREVER and get it over with. In this article, we will be discussing Facebook and how you can temporarily deactivate your account, or how you can permanently delete it.
Deleting a Facebook account used to be an incredibly difficult process. Thankfully, that has changed. This guide will cover all you need to know about deactivating or deleting your Facebook account, as well as how you can remove specific content from your Facebook account.
You may not already know this, but there’s a wealth of difference between deactivating and deleting your Facebook account. Before going ahead with any action, it’s important to know the difference between the two.
To be clear, deactivating your Facebook account simply removes it from public view on Facebook. On the other hand, deleting your account not only removes your profile from public view on Facebook, it also completely erases your personal data from the platform.
Thankfully, you can save a copy of your Facebook activity before you completely delete your profile. We highly recommend you do this to be on the safe side, and include it in our account deletion guide.
Note:After deleting your account, Facebook will give you 30 days to reconsider your decision. During this time, you’d be able to reactivate your account by logging in and cancelling the deletion process. Once the 30 days is complete, your account will be gone forever.
Note:Logging into your account at any time after deactivating it, or using it to access another app/service will reactivate it.
Now we’ve identified the difference, let’s get right into just how you can delete or deactivate your account.
If after thinking about it you’ve decided to get rid of your Facebook account for good, here are the steps to follow:
NB: Note that we strongly recommend you download a copy of your personal data on Facebook before deleting it. This will serve as a great reference point should you need it in the future.
Step 01: Click the dropdown arrow on the top-right corner and go to your settings page.
Step 02: Click on “Your Facebook Information” on the left selection pane, and select “Deactivation and Deletion”.
Step 03: On the new page, click “Delete Account” > “Continue to Account Deletion”.
Step 04: Enter your password when prompted, and click “Continue” > “Delete Account”.
If you wish to keep a copy of your Facebook posts, uploads and activities before deleting your account, here’s how you can download an archive of your Facebook data before deleting it.
Step 05: Click the dropdown arrow in the top-right corner of your page, and go to your settings page.
Step 06: Click “Your Facebook Information” > “Download Your Information” to get to the information archive page.
Step 07: On the information archive page, select all of the data you wish to download. You can sort by date range, post type, media quality, and archive format.
Step 08: You can also select all of your information, as well as “information about you” – including ads, search history, location history, etc. Information about you can be found by scrolling down.
Step 09: Once you’re done with your selection, click on the “Create File” button to begin archiving your data.
Step 10: Go to the “Available Files” tab to check on the progress of your archive. It should show up as “Pending” until it’s ready for download.
If you’ve simply decided to take a break from Facebook, but aren’t fully convinced you won’t be needing your Facebook account somewhere down the line, deactivating your account is a preferred solution to complete deletion.
To temporarily deactivate your account, you should take the following steps:
Step 01: Click the dropdown arrow on the top right corner and go to your settings page.
Step 02: Click on “General” and select “Deactivate your account”.
Step 03: Enter your password when prompted and click “Continue”.
Step 04: Your account is now deactivated. To reactivate it, simply log into your Facebook account, or use your Facebook Login to access another website/app.
It could very well be that you aren’t tired enough to get out of Facebook just yet. Perhaps you aren’t even tired enough to deactivate your account. However, you are well and truly tired of having Facebook and its users enjoy access to so much of your private data.
In that case,Facebook does afford you a level of control over who sees what from your page. This means you can restrict the amount of information accessed by other Facebook users, third party services, and even ad agencies.
You can also delete a ton of content already posted by you, or control those who have access to these posts and uploads.
How, you might wonder. Let’s consider a few of the privacy tools available on Facebook, and how you can make the most of them.
Did you know that Facebook tracks your online activities even when you aren’t actively using the website? It does this mostly by means of third-party apps and services which use any of Facebook’s business tools.
These apps collect data on your off-Facebook activities, and send same to Facebook. Facebook, in turn, uses this data to help advertisers know what ads to send your way.
Step 01: Go to “Settings” and click “Your Facebook Information”.
Step 02: Click on “Off-Facebook Activity” and select “More Options” “Manage Future Activity”.
Step 03: There you’d find a toggle for “Future Off-Facebook Activity”. Toggle it off.
Note that while these third-party apps and websites will continue to track your off-Facebook activity, they can no longer associate it to your person/account. This means you’d only see ads on Facebook that stem from your Facebook activities.
Step 01: Go to “Settings” and click “Your Facebook Information”.
Step 02: Select “Off-Facebook Activity” > Manage Your Off-Facebook Activity”.
Step 03: Enter your Facebook password when prompted, and you’d be presented with a list of all the apps tracking your off-Facebook activity.
Step 04: To delete this data from Facebook, click on “Clear History” at the top of the page.
Step 05: Avoid logging into any third-party services with your Facebook Login as they will once again resume tracking your off-Facebook activity.
Tips:You can see which data each app/website is tracking by clicking on the app listing and selecting “Download Activity Details”.
One way to further improve your privacy on Facebook is by limiting the number of apps connected to your Facebook account. This process is also necessary if you no longer want to log into a particular app or website using your Facebook Login.
To delete connected apps, take the following steps:
Step 01: Go to settings and click on “Apps and Websites”. Here you should see every app ever connected with your account – including those no longer connected.
Step 02: To delete any active app/website, check the box next to it and click “Remove”.
Step 03: You can also limit the info requested by existing or expired apps, if you’d rather do that.
Your “activity log” is a treasure trove of all of your activity on Facebook. It is the one section of Facebook from which you can monitor and control everything you’ve done on the website. This means the process for deleting your Facebook posts, comments, search history, photos, or videos is generally the same:
Step 01: Go to your settings page and select “Your Facebook Information”.
Step 02: Step10: Click on “Activity Log”
Step 03: Here you will see a list, including “Photos and Videos”, “Likes and Reactions”, “Comments”, “Search History”, etc. Select whichever one you wish.
Step 04: Actions – posts, comments, reactions, photos, videos, etc. – will appear in chronological order with a pencil-shaped icon to the right of each.
Step 05: Click on the pencil-shaped icon and select delete.
Privacy is turning out to be a huge challenge these days. As the interconnectivity of the world continues to grow, privacy is becoming more and more of an illusion. Thankfully, Facebook has recognized the need to give you a level of control over your own privacy on their website.
The options discussed in this article provide you with just the guide you need to boost your privacy on Facebook. The guide shows you how you can permanently delete your account, how you can temporarily deactivate your account, and how you can delete/limit who and what sees/uses your data.