How to delete or deactivate your Facebook account

We explain step by step how you can permanently delete your data stored with Facebook or temporarily suspend your account.

Delete Facebook

Björn GreifEditor

Do you wanna quit Facebook? In a previous article, we already introduced some safer alternatives that provide better protection to users’ privacy. Now we explain how to delete your Facebook account and data.

The social network offers you two options: You can temporarily deactivate or permanently delete your Facebook account. In any case, you should first download a copy of your Facebook information (like photos and posts) in order to archive it and possibly use it with another service.

Deactivate your Facebook account

When you deactivate your Facebook account, all data will remain stored on Facebook’s servers. This will allow you to reactivate your profile later if you change your mind. You can deactivate your account by following these steps:

  1. Open the Facebook app or log in to the web version of Facebook and open the settings.
Facebook settings
  1. Go to the Your Facebook Information section. In the app, tap on Account Ownership and Control and then on Deactivation and Deletion. (In the web version, you choose Delete Your Account and Information.)
Facebook Account Ownership and Control
Facebook Deactivation and Deletion
  1. Select Deactivate Account and tap on Continue to Account Deactivation.
Facebook Deactivate Account Choice
  1. Enter your password and confirm with Continue.
  2. Facebook will then ask you again if you really want to deactivate your account and will require you to provide a reason for deactivation. Complete the process by tapping Deactivate.
Facebook Deactivate Account

Now your profile is disabled until the next login with your usual login data. Your name and photo will be removed “from most things you’ve shared on Facebook.” This means that your Facebook profile is no longer available to other members or search engines. However, some information may still be visible to others, such as your name in their friends list and messages you have sent. Moreover, all your data will remain on Facebook’s servers. If you don’t want that, you’ll have to permanently delete your Facebook account.

Delete your Facebook account

Deleting your Facebook account will permanently remove your profile and all related data. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you download a copy of your information beforehand.

  1. Open the Facebook app or log in to the web version of Facebook and open the settings.
Facebook settings
  1. Go to the Your Facebook Information section. In the app, tap on Account Ownership and Control and then on Deactivation and Deletion. (In the web version, you choose Delete Your Account and Information.)
Facebook Account Ownership and Control
Facebook Deactivation and Deletion
  1. Select Delete Account and tap on Continue to Account Deletion.
Facebook Delete Account Choice
  1. Enter your password and confirm with Continue.
  2. You will see another confirmation dialog. Complete the process by tapping Delete Account.
Facebook Delete Account

But this doesn’t mean you’ve already deleted your Facebook data; you just submitted a deletion request. Facebook will only start deleting your data from its servers after a 30-day period. If you log in to your account again during this time, you can revoke your deletion request. The actual deletion process may take up to 90 days and includes all published posts, photos, status updates or other data stored in backup systems, according to Facebook. But information not stored directly in your account, such as messages to friends, will remain visible (to them).

And even if you’ve deleted your Facebook account and decided not to use any of Facebook’s services or products, you are still likely to be monitored by the social network through its tracking scripts on nearly a third of all web pages. If you want to hide your online activities from Facebook and other data collectors, an anti-tracking tool such as Ghostery or the Cliqz Browser with built-in tracking protection is strongly recommended: