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Home / Tips and Tricks / Delete your Facebook account for good? Here’s everything you need to know

Delete your Facebook account for good? Here’s everything you need to know



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Maybe it’s just time to stop doom surfing.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Where do you fall in the love-hate debate over Facebook? For many, the social media giant is an essential tool for keeping in touch with friends and relatives around the world, interacting with common interest groups and getting news. For others, Facebook is only good for harmful misinformation, privacy violations and political fights. Whatever your reasons for wanting to cancel your account, we’ll tell you the steps to follow below.

It is important to note that there is a difference between deleting your Facebook account and deactivate it. Deactivating your Facebook account will temporarily block it, which is useful if you want a short break. But that doesn’t stop anything the company cannot track your online activity.

To completely cut ties with Facebook, the only solution is to delete your account. Removing it also severs ties to Facebook Messenger, the platform’s chat app. (If you also want to get rid of Instagram and WhatsApp, which are Facebook properties, you’ll have to do that separately.) We’ll explain some things to consider before going through the process, some time and patience.

1. Remove the Facebook app from your phone and tablet

The first step is to remove the app from your smartphone or tablet. Remember, deleting the Facebook app will not delete your account – you can still access it from the browser and other apps can still use Facebook as a login.

Removing the icon from your phone will make it disappear from sight and mind, but it won’t do anything to your overall account. You need to make sure you do all of these other steps otherwise Facebook will still be able to track your online activity.

2. Choose a messaging or social alternative

Privacy and Security with Signal and WhatsApp Messaging

There are plenty of messaging alternatives that you can use to keep in touch with others.

James Martin/CNET

Remember that when you delete your Facebook account, your access to Messenger comes with it. This means reaching out to those you talk to often on Messenger and finding out another app or messaging service keep in touch.

Take the same approach with your Facebook friends in general. Post a status a few days before you plan to delete your account and ask anyone who wants to stay in touch to message them with their contact information.

Facebook also gives you the option to transfer your photos, videos, notes, and posts to other sites like Google Photos and Dropbox. That’s how you do that.

3. Disconnect your Facebook account from other apps and logins

Third-party developers, such as Spotify and DoorDash, have long offered to use your Facebook account as a means of signing up and logging into their services. It’s super handy, because that way you don’t have to remember another password. That is, until you no longer have a Facebook account.

You need to tackle those third-party accounts that rely on your Facebook data by logging into each account and disconnecting it from your Facebook account.

To find a list of apps associated with your Facebook account:

  • Log in to Facebook.
  • Go to Settings > Apps and websites.
  • If you’re having trouble disconnecting your Facebook account from a service, please contact the company’s customer service for assistance.
facebook app logins

Don’t lose access to apps and services that you use Facebook to sign in to.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Once that’s done, request and download a copy of all your Facebook data by following these steps:

  • Log in to Facebook on your computer
  • Go to Settings > Your Facebook Information
  • Click Vision next Download your information
  • Leave all boxes checked under the Your information section
  • Leave the date range to All my data.
  • Leave the format set to HTML — this puts your data in an easy-to-navigate format.
  • To save high-resolution copies of photos and videos you’ve posted to Facebook, change the Media quality drop-down list from Medium to High.

Finally click Create file. Facebook will then collect all your information and send you an email when it is ready to be downloaded. It may take some time for this to happen – it’s not an instant process.

facebook download data

Download all your Facebook data before you do anything else.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

4. Finally it’s time to delete your Facebook account

The last step is to delete your account. To do this, go to this page and log in.

Facebook gives you a list of tasks and things to consider before deleting your account. For example, you are advised to download all your information, or if you are the sole administrator of a Facebook page, you will be asked to grant another account administrator privileges, otherwise the page will be deleted along with your account.

Okay, are you ready? Click Remove Account, enter your password and click Continue. Finally click Remove Account again and you’re done.

delete facebook account

Read the latest advice from Facebook before deleting your account.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

5. You have 30 days to change your mind about Facebook

Facebook will take up to 90 days to delete all your account information from its servers. For the first 30 days of that, you can still sign in and cancel your takedown request. Your account will be restored and it will be like you never left. For better and for worse.

To cancel your takedown request, go to Facebook.com, sign in to your account and click the Cancel delete button.

And if you need help with the emotional side of the breakup, here are some more tips to: ease the pain of Facebook separation.


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