How to Permanently Delete Your Facebook Account

There are many precautionary steps you can take before you decide to permanently delete your Facebook account, like restricting who can view your profile or regularly removing cookies collected by the platform. They won’t fully secure your data, but if you’re not ready to quit Facebook yet, these extra safety measures will ensure only the most essential information is stored on the servers.

Why You Should Download an Archive Before You Push Delete

Deleting your Facebook account permanently removes all of your data from the system. As the platform is used to share and store precious memories, you should save your data (like pictures and videos) before deleting your Facebook account. To do so, follow my guide and save archived files on your device.

Changed Your Mind? Here’s How to Get Your Account Back

Facebook offers a 30-day grace period for every person who decides to delete their account. Should you change your mind at any point, you can reactivate your account. Logging back in using your details will instantly restore all your data allowing you to use Facebook without a change. However, if you change your mind after the grace period, you won’t be able to reverse the process. If you aren’t sure you want to delete your Facebook account, you should consider deactivating it first.

Deleting vs. Deactivating: What’s the Difference?

There is a major difference between deactivating and deleting your Facebook account. If you decide to delete your profile, it is a permanent and irreversible action. You won’t be able to use the Facebook login option for any third-party apps, like Spotify or Tinder. Removing your account from the platform also automatically deletes you from Messenger. All of your old texts and conversations will be cleared and removed with no recovery option. On the other hand, deactivating your account will temporarily make your account invisible to others. Every detail on your profile and timeline, alongside your likes, photos, and posts, will be hidden until you decide to reactivate it. There is no time limit in place, so you can go back to your Facebook account even a year later. Deactivating also allows you to continue using Messenger without a change. Your old messages will still be visible, alongside your name and profile picture. Simply follow the steps below to temporarily remove yourself from the site.

Protect Yourself From Third-Party Apps With “Off-Facebook”

Due to Facebook’s vague third-party policies, you may be giving away more detailed information than you think. Using your Facebook details to log in to third-party apps automatically allows both platforms to exchange your collected data. In January 2020, Facebook released Off-Facebook, a security feature that allows users to decide which data from third-party apps can be stored and used by the platform. For added data security, all you have to do is regularly clear your third-party activity. This feature can only be used on the Facebook mobile app, so follow these steps from your iOS or Android device.

Take Control of Your Security on Facebook by Changing Your Settings

Deleting your Facebook account isn’t the only option for protecting your data. If you’re not ready to quit the platform yet, but want to feel safer while using it, adjust your security settings.

Feel Safer by Deleting Content on Facebook

By accessing your activity log and deleting any unnecessary data, you can increase your online safety without deactivating or deleting your account. Unfortunately, there is no quick way to clear your entire activity log. You will have to select each item, post, and photo individually. To increase your safety on Facebook, do the following:

1. Remove third-party apps from your profile to protect your data

To make sure your data isn’t mishandled by platforms linked to your Facebook profile, regularly review and remove third-party apps that you don’t trust by following these steps:

2. Delete your photos, videos, and albums so strangers can’t access them

You can delete whole albums instead of individual photos by going into the “Albums” tab in your account. Click on the three dots in the bottom right corner of each album and select “Delete.”

3. Clear your Facebook search history so your activities can’t be tracked

4. Remove your comments and posts

5. Disable the Facebook app on your phone

Disabling the Facebook app on your mobile devices will prevent you from accidentally logging in after deleting or deactivating your account. If you change your mind, you can enable the app at any point through your Application Settings. The steps will differ depending on whether you use an Android or iOS device. You can find both sets of instructions below.

6. Deactivate Facebook Messenger

Using Messenger can still compromise the security of your data as it’s stored on Facebook servers. To avoid this, deactivate Messenger by following the instructions below:

Take Steps to Keep Your Online Data Private

Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to increase Facebook’s security by 2022 through reducing stored user data, applying end-to-end encryption, and restricting what data third-party apps can access. However, many other websites and online service providers access and exchange your personal information daily. This means that both the authorities and hackers can use information you’ve shared to monitor your actions. It’s crucial to know how to properly protect yourself online by controlling who views your data and how it’s handled. Follow these guidelines to help keep your online data safe, regardless of what platforms you use.