You have been using Facebook for years, scrolling through the same news feed dozens of times every single day. Maybe you’ve grown tired of your so-called friends showing off how awesome their life is. Or perhaps you are concerned about your online privacy, given Facebook’s notorious track record with handling user data. You feel it’s time to permanently ditch Facebook and shift focus to the real life. Here’s how to permanently delete your Facebook account.
Deactivating vs Deleting
Facebook is a sucker for user data. So, it doesn’t want to let you go so easily. When you go to the Settings page in Facebook, it shows you a link to deactivate your account, not delete it. What’s the difference between the two? Deactivating your Facebook account is a temporary thing, not a permanent one. Deletion is permanent.
If you deactivate your Facebook account, you’ll be tempted after a few hours or days to log into the account again. When you log in, your account will be reactivated with all the photos, posts, friend list, and other details intact. Yes, Facebook keeps all those details when you deactivate it. When your account is deactivated, others won’t be able to search for you or check your timeline.
Deleting your account is a more serious affair. Facebook delays the deletion for up to 30 days. You won’t be able to regain access once it’s deleted. Facebook still keeps your log records in its database, but it’s “disassociated from personal identifiers.”
Download your Facebook data before deletion
Facebook has stored all your uploaded photos, status updates, personal details, comments, likes, videos, and more on its servers. You’d want to download all that data before permanently deleting your account. Click the account menu down arrow in the top-right of your Facebook page, go to Settings and click Download a copy of your Facebook data at the bottom of General Account Settings.
Delete your Facebook account
Facebook makes it as difficult as humanly popular for you to delete your account, so it has made the Delete option incredibly hard to find in the Settings menu. But I’m going to make it a little easier for you. Once you’ve downloaded your data, head over to the following link and select Delete My Account.
The social networking giant will take up to 30 days to erase your data from its servers. However, your account becomes inaccessible the moment you click the Delete My Account button.