Facebook can be a very useful tool for staying in touch with friends and family, but for many, the actual experience has come down to constant advertisements, unending game requests, and numerous quizzes about which Game of Thrones character you are. If you aren’t finding Facebook to be particularly useful or interesting anymore, Facebook has made it quite easy to permanently delete your account. Of course, if that is a little extreme and you just want to take a short break, you also have the option to temporarily deactivate it.
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With that in mind, here is a look at how to deactivate or permanently delete your Facebook account.
Facebook doesn’t want you to delete your account. In fact, it makes you jump through a whole lot of hoops to remove your information permanently, all the while continually pushing you to deactivate instead.
But if you are dead set on removing yourself from Facebook, the first thing you want to do is backup your info. Facebook lets you download a .zip file with all your photos and personal details, so deleting your profile doesn’t also erase your memories. Go to Settings > General, and at the very bottom click “Download a copy of your Facebook data.” Then click, “Start My Archive” to get the .zip file going.
Obviously, if your profile is a decade old and filled with photos, this could take a while.
Once you’ve backed up, you can delete your account by clicking this link. Don’t try to search for deleting your account in the Settings section of your profile, as the link isn’t there. You have to go to the Support section to find the link, as that’s where Facebook hides it.
Once you’re at the Delete My Account page, just hit the big blue button. You’ll have to enter a CAPTCHA string, and then you’ll be able to remove your info permanently.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind. When you delete your account, Facebook first deactivates it. There’s a two-week wait where Facebook encourages you to reactivate. Then, when those two weeks are up, Facebook begins the 90-day process of actually deleting your account. And once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.