Once upon a time, Facebook was an excellent platform for friends and family to reconnect, stay in touch, and share their adventures. In the hyper-politicized culture of the present day, many Facebook users have taken the social media platform to a new, less desirable level.
In addition to negativity and the constant annoyance of an abundance of information, an increasing number of users are beginning to question their online privacy and security. As evidenced by the Cambridge Analytica incident, Facebook is no stranger to controversy.
This article will help you permanently delete your Facebook account and all the information the company has about you.
How to Permanently Delete Facebook
There are multiple routes to the “Delete your Account” button. Follow the steps outlined above to deactivate your account, then pick the ‘Delete Account’ option.
You can alternatively follow the instructions in the section titled “Controlling Facebook Privacy” and click the Delete Account link at the bottom of the page. However, if you need additional assistance, here are more detailed instructions:
1. Log into Facebook
Logging in is required to delete your Facebook account for security purposes. If you are deleting a dormant account and have forgotten the password, you must reset it.
- Go to the Find Your Account Page.
- Type the email, phone number, full name, or username associated with your account, then click ‘Search.’
- Follow the step-by-step guide.
- If you can’t get a verification code, click on the No longer have access to these? option at the bottom of the pop-up window. Then, follow the steps to recover your login information.
Full instructions on how to reset your Facebook password can be found here.
2. Download your Facebook data
As you intend to permanently delete Facebook, you may wish to save your data beforehand. This can be accomplished by clicking the down arrow in the upper-right corner of the screen and selecting Settings.
There will be a list of general account settings presented to you. At the bottom of the page is a link that allows you to “download a copy of your Facebook data.”
Note: It is important to complete this step before deleting your account. Once your account is deleted, you must reactivate it in order to retrieve your Facebook data. After a 30-day retention period, your Facebook data is deleted permanently.
3. Permanently Deactivate Your Facebook Account
It’s time to deactivate your Facebook account now that you’re logged in and have downloaded all of your data. Here’s how to proceed:
- Open Facebook and click on the arrow icon in the upper right-hand corner. Then, click on ‘Settings & Privacy.’
- Click on ‘Settings’ again.
- Click on ‘Your Facebook Information’ on the left side.
- Click ‘View’ next to ‘Deactivation and Deletion.’
- Click on the bubble next to ‘Delete.’ Then, click on ‘Continue to Account Deactivation.’
A pop-up window should appear with the following text: “If you do not anticipate using Facebook again and would like your account deleted, we can assist you. Remember that you cannot reactivate your account or retrieve any of the added content or data. If you still choose to cancel your account, click “Delete My Account.”
You will now see a pop-up message reminding you that this is a permanent decision. To completely erase Facebook, re-enter your password. You must also enter a CAPTCHA before clicking “OK.”
4. The cooling-off period
Clicking OK on the delete confirmation is not the final step. This message will replace the previous pop-up: “Your account has been deactivated from the site and will be deleted permanently within 30 days. You will have the option to cancel your request if you log in to your account within the next 30 days.
You have 30 days after clicking OK on this message to change your mind. After that time, there will be no way to reactivate your account or retrieve any data you did not save.
Sign back into your account in order to reactivate it.