Tired of constant Facebook updates? Unplugging from social media? Whatever your reason may be, deleting your Facebook account is an easy enough process. There is an important difference between deactivating your Facebook account and permanently deleting your profile; this guide will explain the difference and show you how to do both. Whether you’re taking a short break from Facebook or permanently deleting your account, you only have to follow a few simple steps.
Deactivating Facebook vs. Deleting Facebook
Deactivating your Facebook account will make your profile invisible to other users, but it will not permanently delete the information or get rid of your profile forever. There are a few important differences between deactivation and deletion.
When you deactivate your Facebook account:
- You can reactivate it at any time.
- People cannot see your Facebook Timeline or search for you.
- Some information is still visible to others (like shared messages).
- Your account is essentially frozen, so it will look the same if and when you choose to reactivate.
Deleting your Facebook is a much heavier decision, because once it’s gone it’s really gone. If you delete your Facebook account, you cannot change your mind and find your profile in the same shape as before; you’ll have to recreate a brand new Facebook account and start from scratch in terms of friends, photos, posts, etc.
When you delete your Facebook account:
- Your account is permanently deleted and you cannot regain access.
- Facebook delays the deletion a few days, so if you log back in during that window of time, your deletion is cancelled.
- Facebook may take up to 90 days to fully delete all of your information, as data is stored in backup systems. None of your information is visible or searchable on Facebook during this time.
- Some other records may remain in the Facebook database, but it is “disassociated from personal identifiers”.
How to Deactivate Your Facebook Account
To deactivate your Facebook, follow these five simple steps:
- Open the account menu by clicking the down arrow at the top right corner of your screen (desktop) or the three lines at the bottom right corner (mobile)
- Select “Settings” (desktop) or “Settings and Privacy” > “Settings” (mobile)
- Click “General” on the left side bar (desktop) or “Personal Information” (mobile)
- Click “Manage Account”.
- Click “Deactivate Account” and then follow the confirmation steps.
You can reactivate your account at any time by simply logging into Facebook. While your Facebook is deactivated you still have access to Facebook messenger and can still message friends and receive messages.
How to Permanently Delete Your Facebook Account
If you’ve made the decision to permanently delete your Facebook account, follow these steps. Before you delete however, you may want to download your Facebook information if you want to save photos or other content from your page. Facebook will show you the option to download your information before you delete.
- Open the account menu by clicking the down arrow at the top right corner of your screen (desktop) or the three lines at the bottom right corner (mobile).
- Select “Settings” (desktop) or “Settings and Privacy” (mobile)
- Select “Your Facebook Information” on the left side bar (desktop) or scroll down to “Your Facebook Information” and select “Account Ownership and Control” (mobile)
- Optional: From this menu, you can choose to download your information before deleting your account by clicking “Download Your Information”.
- Click “Delete Your Account and Information” (desktop) or “Deactivation and Deletion” (mobile).
- You will be given the option to deactivate instead of deleting your account. Choose “Delete Account” and follow the confirmation steps to permanently delete your account and information.
If it’s been less than 30 days since your account deletion, you can log in to cancel the deletion. Your profile won’t be visible during these 30 days, but your information is still available. After 30 days, you cannot access your account.