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Delete Facebook: How to delete a Facebook account permanently

Follow our independent guide on how to permanently delete a Facebook account, plus we reveal the difference between deactivating and deleting Facebook.

A multitude of scandals, relating to privacy, misinformation, tax practices and all manner of other shady things, have resulted in Facebook losing the trust of many of its users. If you’re one of them − or if you’re simply fed up of spending so much time on Facebook or bored of the constant status updates from old friends you’ve moved on from − here’s how to delete Facebook.

First, you’ll have to decide which of the two different ways you’d like to take your Facebook account offline.

If you want to delete your Facebook account, here are a few important things to note:

  • Facebook delays deletion for a few days after the request is made. If you log in during the grace period, the deletion is cancelled.
  • You can’t regain access to your Facebook account once it’s deleted.
  • It can take up to 90 days for your data that’s stored in backup systems to be deleted.

You can choose to deactivate your Facebook account instead. Basically, deactivating is a way to cool off from Facebook for a while, while deleting is a permanent solution. Deactivating your Facebook account means:

  • People won’t be able to see your Facebook profile, or search for you
  • Some information may remain visible to other users (like messages you’ve sent)
  • Facebook will save your account info in case you reactivate your account

Remember that there are also ways to secure your Facebook privacy settings short of deletion, if that’s your particular concern.

If you’re set on deleting your Facebook account for good, click the following link and choose the ‘Delete Account’ option.

Before deleting your account though, you may want to download your Facebook data. To do this, click the ‘Download Info‘ button first. The file that begins downloading will contain your Facebook profile information, so be very careful about where you keep it.

To deactivate your Facebook account, click the following link and choose the ‘Deactivate Account‘ option, and then follow the steps to confirm your decision.

To reactivate your account after deactivating it, simply log into your Facebook account again using your email address or phone number, and password. Your profile will be resurrected.

Unfortunately, deleting your Facebook account doesn’t remove you completely from Facebook’s clutches. That’s because Facebook code is built into nearly every app and website via tools like social share and ‘Like’ buttons, and Facebook can (and does) track your web usage in this way.

However, you can delete the data that Facebook has gathered about you from around the web, and stop Facebook from tracking you anymore. Follow the link below for all of the instructions.

Related: How to stop Facebook tracking you when you’re not on Facebook

Finally, if you really want to purge Facebook’s data tendrils from your private life, you’ll need to consider removing Instagram and WhatsApp too – find out how to do this below.

Check out our easy to follow video guide below.

If you’re concerned about your online privacy, you might also want to check out our selection of the best VPNs for security and privacy. If you’re not familiar with VPNs, they encrypt and anonymise your internet use, and can also allow you to appear as if you’re in a completely different country.

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