Facebook app on phone 3

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 distractions, constant advertisements, questionable ad practices, and numerous quizzes about which Game of Thrones character you are. If you aren’t finding the social media giant to be particularly useful or interesting anymore, it’s fairly easy to delete Facebook.

Read also: Here are all of the Facebook apps and what they do!

It’s worth noting that the process can take up to 90 days, and you can download a backup of all of your posts and messages. 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 your Facebook account.

Editor’s note: We know many of you are using the new Facebook UI, while others continue enjoying classic Facebook. There are slight differences to the steps you need to take to deactivate or delete Facebook, so we will be giving you instructions for both interfaces.


How to deactivate your Facebook account

Deactivate account

If you don’t want to commit to delete Facebook because you’re afraid of regretting the decision later, you may want to deactivate it instead. Deactivating your Facebook account will make it appear as though it has been deleted, with all content disappearing from the public site.

The key difference between deleting your Facebook account and deactivating it is reversibility. Should you decide to return to the platform, you can reactivate it at any time to restore your friends, posts, and pictures. Another big difference is that your Messenger account will remain active, and will need to be deactivated separately.

Deactivate Facebook account using new Facebook:

  1. Log in to your Facebook account.
  2. Click the arrow at the top right.
  3. Hit Settings & privacy.
  4. Pick Settings.
  5. Select Your Facebook Information from the left menu.
  6. Click Deactivation and Deletion.
  7. Select Deactivate Account, then Continue to Account Deactivation.
  8. Follow the instructions to confirm deactivation.

Deactivate Facebook account using Classic Facebook:

  1. Log in to your Facebook account.
  2. Click the arrow at the top right, then click Settings.
  3. Select Your Facebook Information from the left menu.
  4. Click Deactivation and Deletion.
  5. Select Deactivate Account, then Continue to Account Deactivation.
  6. Follow the instructions to confirm deactivation.

Also: How to block someone on Facebook

Your profile will immediately disappear from Facebook, but some of your messages, like those posted on a friend’s wall, will still be visible. Your existing friends will also still see your name on their friends list, and people can still search for you to send you messages via Messenger.

If you decide to reactivate your account, all you need to do is log back in on any device. Otherwise, you get most of the benefits of deleting Facebook without having to actually delete it.


How to download a backup of your Facebook data

how to delete facebook account - Download Facebook information

Still firm on the decision to delete Facebook from your life? You should take a moment to consider all of the content you’ve put on the platform throughout the years. Once you press delete, all of your pictures, notes, status updates, and more will be gone forever. If you’re not sure what that is, you can check the full list on the Your Information page.

The good news is that you don’t need to let that stop you. Facebook makes it easy to download a backup of all of your data. It’s in the same section as the option to deactivate or delete your account.

Here: How to delete a Facebook Group | How to delete a Facebook page

How to download Facebook data using New Facebook:

  1. Log in to your Facebook account.
  2. Click the arrow at the top right.
  3. Hit Settings & privacy.
  4. Pick Settings.
  5. Select Your Facebook Information from the left menu.
  6. Find Download Your Information and click view.
  7. Choose the dates, type of data, and format, then click Create File.
  8. Once the file is ready, you will receive a notification and can download the file.

How to download Facebook data using Classic Facebook:

  1. Log in to your Facebook account.
  2. Click the arrow at the top right, then click Settings.
  3. Find Your Facebook Information from the left menu and click view.
  4. Click Download Your Information.
  5. Choose the dates, type of data, and format, then click Create File.
  6. Once the file is ready, you will receive a notification and can download the file.

How long the process takes depends on how much data you have on Facebook, and which types of data you are trying to extract. It can take anywhere from a few seconds to hours, but you can download the finished file on any number of devices.

Note that the file expires a few days after you request it, so be sure to download it before you forget. If you do forget, simply repeat the process to create a new file.


How to permanently delete Facebook account

final step

If you’ve absolutely had enough of the platform and want to delete Facebook from your life entirely, the process isn’t much different. Plus, you no longer have to worry about deleting Messenger separately, since the simple process takes care of both at the same time.

Also: How to update your Facebook privacy settings

Keep in mind that it can take up to 90 days for your information to be deleted from Facebook’s servers, although it won’t be accessible by users during that time. Additionally, you will no longer be able to use your Facebook account to log in to other services, like Pinterest, Spotify, or any number of games.

How to delete Facebook account using New Facebook:

  1. Log in to your Facebook account.
  2. Click the arrow at the top right.
  3. Hit Settings & privacy.
  4. Pick Settings.
  5. Select Your Facebook Information.
  6. Click Deactivation and Deletion.
  7. Select Permanently Delete Account, then Continue to Account Deletion.
  8. Click Delete Account, enter your password, then click Continue.

How to delete Facebook account using Classic Facebook:

  1. Log in to your Facebook account.
  2. Click the arrow at the top right, then click Settings.
  3. Select Your Facebook Information.
  4. Click Deactivation and Deletion.
  5. Select Delete Account, then Continue to Account Deletion.
  6. Enter your password, then click Continue, then Delete Account.

Should you change your mind, you can cancel the process by logging into your account within 30 days and clicking Cancel Deletion. Otherwise, your information will be removed from Facebook within 90 days. However, some information may remain in backup servers, and Facebook may retain some information for legal purposes.

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