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How to Delete Your Facebook Account Permanently

by on March 26, 2018
in Tips & How-Tos, Computers and Software, Facebook, Privacy, Tech 101, Social Networking :: 32 comments

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Ever think about deleting your Facebook account? Perhaps you don't want to worry about the privacy threat you and your spouse pose when posting. Or maybe you’d like some time back in your life and simply want to spend less time online.

Whatever your reason for ditching Facebook, you should know that deleting your account is a relatively easy thing to do. There are two ways to quit—one that’s reversible in case you change your mind, and the other permanent, for those who are certain they want out.

Deleting Your Facebook Account

Deleting Your Facebook Account

Deleting your Facebook account is only an option only for people who are absolutely sure they’re never coming back to Facebook and don’t mind the idea of starting from scratch in the event they do change their minds.

When you delete your account, Facebook permanently removes it. Facebook says the deletion process typically takes about one month although “some information may remain in backup copies and logs for up to 90 days.”

To delete your account, visit https://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=delete_account.

Keep in mind that messages you’ve sent to other people or posts you’ve shared with groups remain on Facebook even after you delete your account.

How to Download Your Facebook Data

How to Download Your Facebook Data

Before permanently deleting your account, Facebook recommends that you download a copy of all the data Facebook has on you. Select the down arrow, select "Settings" and then select "Download a copy" of your Facebook data.

Even if you’re staying on Facebook it’s a good idea—you might be surprised at how much there is. 

Why do you want all your data? For one thing, it’s pretty enlightening to see the vast amount of information you’ve shared on Facebook. Even casual users may find that they've shared an incredible amount of information about myself. To get a sense of what's in your Facebook data file, go to the down arrow and select "Activity Log."

If you do decide to download your personal archive, make sure to store it somewhere safe. It will likely be a huge repository of personal information you likely don’t want to share with others.

Deactivating Your Facebook Account

Deactivate your Facebook account

Deactivating your account is an alternative to deleting: it puts your account on hold and hides your timeline on the site. Facebook doesn’t delete any of your information just in case you want to come back into the fold. I’ve actually used this option in the past and it’s an easy way to take a break from Facebook and then later switch the lights back on. Once you do, everything comes back—your friends, your likes, previous posts and anything else you did at the site.

You should know, however, deactivating your account does not remove your name from your friends’ lists of friends. If it bothers you that your friends might wonder why they’re not seeing your posts, but can still see you as a friend, it might make sense to let them know you’re leaving the network for a while.

If you want to give deactivation a shot, select the down arrow in the top right, go to Settings > Manage Your Account > Deactivate Your Account. Or, visit https://www.facebook.com/editaccount.php and select Manage Your Account > Deactivate Your Account.

[EDITOR'S NOTE 7/17/18: If you can no longer access your Facebook account because you don't remember the login, read our article on How to Delete an Old Facebook Account When You Can't Log In]

[Image credit: Facebook on laptop via BigStockPhoto]



Discussion loading

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Other tracking

From Wapi on March 27, 2018 :: 11:28 am

Would be great to know how to remove all the remaining things tracking you after you leave. Would appreciate an article about that.

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FB help please

From Marilyn on March 27, 2018 :: 1:10 pm

Hi,

Thank you for the article but suggest you show how to get to General Account Settings, I had to Google it to find mine.

Thank you
Marilyn

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tried the delete facebook option,

From cant delete facebook! on April 18, 2018 :: 3:56 pm

tried the delete facebook option, looks like they have taken it down. Everytime i click on the link to request a form to delte it just takes me to my facebook account main page. What now?

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Request a form?

From Josh Kirschner on April 18, 2018 :: 5:08 pm

You should just see a page on Facebook with a button to delete your Facebook account, there’s no form to request. Try this link: https://www.facebook.com/help/delete_account

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Several Facebooks

From Rayla Kuykendall on April 22, 2018 :: 10:49 am

I have so many facebook accounts because I always gave my old phone to 1 of my grandchildren @they log me out@I forget password, can you please help me to delete them, I have logged out, and tried in ever way to delete accounts nothing has worked, I just got a new phone, but because I used my picture on his profile, I can’t get back to mine, I do know the password to last facebook, but won’t let me log in!Please help, Sincerely Rayla Kuykendall

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Reset password?

From Josh Kirschner on April 23, 2018 :: 12:16 pm

I’m not following you completely, when you say it won’t let you log back in, what message are you getting? Is it a wrong password? I which case you just need to rest it if you’ve forgotten it.

Also, Facebook only allows one account per email address. So unless you created multiple accounts with multiple email addresses, you should only have one Facebook account in your name.

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Deactivation

From Emily Downton on May 07, 2018 :: 8:02 am

Guys, I’d like a simple answer to this question.
If I deactivate Facebook, does it also deactivate nearby friends or can other people still see My approximate location?

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It will turn off nearby friends

From Josh Kirschner on May 07, 2018 :: 12:04 pm

You can turn off nearby friends in the setting of your Facebook app. So it’s not necessary to deactivate Facebook to turn off this feature. However, if you do deactivate Facebook, this should deactivate your location visibility for your prior friends, as well. Since the Nearby Friends feature uses the Facebook app to gather location, removing the app from your phone after deactivation will make doubly-sure your location can no longer be tracked by Facebook.

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Thank you Josh, very helpful.

From Emily Downton on May 08, 2018 :: 1:24 am

Thank you Josh, very helpful. 😃👍

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Delete

From Patsy Willemet on May 07, 2018 :: 9:23 pm

I have been hacked by Pasty Wanker. I want to permanently be deleted from Facebook for ever

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Permitally remove Patsy willemet from facebook

From Patsy on May 09, 2018 :: 12:19 am

Please delete my account

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Follow instructions above to delete your Facebook account

From Josh Kirschner on May 09, 2018 :: 10:42 am

Hi Patsy,

If you want to delete your Facebook account, you need to follow the instructions in the article above. Putting a request to delete in these comments isn’t going to do anything for you.

Josh

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Messenger

From Jim Davis on June 11, 2018 :: 2:32 pm

I want to delete Facebook but use Messenger. I know it’s possible, but want to make sure my existing messages carry over. 

Do you have info on this?

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how many day does facebook

From chahat on November 11, 2018 :: 10:29 am

how many day does facebook take to get deleted ? plz tell

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can't get out, if they won't let you in>>>>

From xsnake on May 10, 2018 :: 9:47 am

Title says it all.
Signed up ONLY because many “news” sites require facebook account to login, if you wish to use their comment section.
Apparently someone (or more?) had a problem with one or more of my comments.
Refused entry to ALL sites that use the facebook login function.
“Problem?” We’ll send you a number to use to get into your account…“94336”....use it….get a message that there’s some tech problem…“try again later.”
“Later.”...months so far.
      Like I said,“can’t get out, if you can’t get in.”
By the way…..the cretins still send me update crap, no less than half a dozen times a day.

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You still can’t perm delete it

From FB fail on May 25, 2018 :: 3:03 pm

As long as you have your email, you can always log in it. There is no permanent deletion. That’s the shit part about FB. Once you make one, it’s there forever. They keep your messages and comments in case you do someone illegal and cops need to dig shit up on you. The best way to get rid of FB is to never make one. If you have one, you’re SOL.

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You're mixing up deactivation and deletion

From Josh Kirschner on May 25, 2018 :: 3:18 pm

You can deactivate your Facebook, and then reactivate it later. But if you delete your account, it’s gone forever, along with all of the information in your account. However, you are right that information tied to others’ accounts (e.g., comments you’ve made on other people’s posts, messages you’ve sent to others) don’t disappear. This isn’t so someone can “dig stuff up on you”, but because that data is controlled by the other account, not yours.

For more on the difference between deleting and deactivating your Facebook account see: https://www.facebook.com/help/125338004213029?helpref=related

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I want to delete old accounts

From Richard on July 05, 2018 :: 4:19 am

Hi

I have multiple Facebook accounts from when I was younger and I don’t know the email addresses nor passwords to log into them to permanently delete them. These Facebook’s have pictures of me and my family and I want them removed from Facebook.

Please can you advise how I go about permanently deleting these accounts there are about 8-9 accounts.

Thank you

Richard

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You may be out of luck

From Josh Kirschner on July 05, 2018 :: 9:05 am

Not clear why you would set up 8-9 Facebook accounts, but you will need to know the email address or phone number associated with each of them (and be able to access that email) in order to regain access to the account for deletion. That’s the only way Facebook can verify that the accounts belong to you. Try your best to remember those old email addresses….

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reply

From Richard on July 11, 2018 :: 4:58 am

Hi,

I was young and followed what everyone else did. I have no clue as to what the email addresses are, is there any way I can contact facebook directly to confirm my identity for them to be able to deactivate the accounts?

I am desperate to get them all off facebook.

Thank you

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Try these steps

From Josh Kirschner on July 17, 2018 :: 11:45 am

I just published a new article on how to delete your Facebook account if you don’t remember your login. See if that helps you out.

Best,
Josh

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Bullshit website

From Yours truly on July 07, 2018 :: 5:14 pm

So many ads I can’t read site

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Facebook have deactivated my account

From Corinna Dodd on July 23, 2018 :: 7:29 pm

How do i go about reactivating my account thank you

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Momod

From Ayoub on February 22, 2019 :: 12:34 pm

I want too block my facebook

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if I block everyone from

From anu on March 31, 2019 :: 11:25 am

if I block everyone from my Facebook and then delete my Facebook account, will still my messages be visible to my friends.

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Yes, they will still be visible

From Josh Kirschner on April 01, 2019 :: 5:28 pm

Deleting your Facebook account won’t affect the messages you’ve sent to others in the past - they will still be able to see them in Messenger.

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notifacaions

From ardeen hunt on May 07, 2019 :: 5:38 pm

I get notifacaions in my email to view on facebook when I go there nothing shows. how can I view?

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facebook hijacker

From Jimmie Roan Sr. on May 22, 2019 :: 6:24 pm

it does no good to deactivate facebookaccount to protect your information. someone using their facebook stole my debit card info and through facebook made large purchases. im still working on how the got info. i recently had deactivated my account for other reasons, did the same a few years ago, i have never given them any but the basic info on me,so last night i spent hours on facebook looking at all the data they collect, its no wonder people hate facebook, and they have no dept to handle a theft like that, only childish crap, the bank even gave me the name of the intended recipient fora large transfer that was blocked, she has a facebook page and i can’t get facebook to get involved, and if she is the right person she works for att, which i use for my internet.

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Does my name stay in messages?

From Bill doe on September 05, 2019 :: 2:32 pm

If I deactivate or delete my Facebook and messenger will my name be removed from previous messenger conversations?

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Your name stays in Messenger conversations

From Josh Kirschner on September 05, 2019 :: 2:57 pm

Deleting your Facebook account will not remove your name from other’s Messenger conversations.

According to Facebook: “Some information, like messages you sent to friends, may still be visible to them after you delete your account. Copies of messages you have sent are stored in your friends’ inboxes.”

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Facebook User

From Bill Dow on September 05, 2019 :: 3:04 pm

I have been told that a deactivated or delete account replaced your name with “Facebook user”

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Yes, that's mostly correct

From Josh Kirschner on September 05, 2019 :: 3:56 pm

I researched this further and looked through past data in my own Messenger timeline. The answer appears to be (though nothing is ever definite with Facebook) that if you “deactivate” your account, you have the choice of deactivating your Messenger account, too. If you do, your picture disappears, but your name does not. Otherwise, you can keep using Messenger even though your Facebook account is deactivated and your picture will still appear. If you “delete” your account, your picture disappears and your name is replaced with “Facebook user”. In neither case do your messages get deleted.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there are exceptions to these rules…

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