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How to deactivate your Facebook account

A thumbs down Facebook style logo.
Daniel Chetroni/Shutterstock.com

Thinking about taking a break from Facebook but don̵

7;t want to start from scratch? Facebook allows you to deactivate your account so you can take a break and pick up where you left off at a later date. This is how it works.

Deactivate a Facebook profile

How does deactivating differ from deleting?

When you delete your Facebook account, you say goodbye to your profile, posts, friends, and posts. This means you’ll have to start all over again if you ever want to use the service again. This may not be a bad option if you’ve had a negative experience and don’t plan on returning.

But for many, the thought of losing years of interactions and finding friends again is a daunting thought. This is where the option to deactivate your account comes in.

When you deactivate your account, people won’t be able to search for you or view your timeline. Updates will not appear in news feeds, although some data will remain visible, such as messages you’ve sent to other Facebook users. No one will be notified of your absence. To your Facebook friends, it may seem like you’ve deleted your account.

Deactivation is perfect for anyone who wants to get away from Facebook for a while, with the option to come back later. You may want to deactivate the service if you know you will be out of service for an extended period of time. Maybe Facebook is eating up your productive hours and you want to take the distraction away for a while.

Deactivating your account is temporary unless you never activate it again. In that case, your deactivation is of course permanent. You always have the choice to come back.

Please note that if you use Oculus products and deactivate your Facebook account, you will no longer be able to use your Facebook account to access Oculus services until you reactivate it.

How to deactivate your account

You can deactivate your Facebook account through Facebook on the web or through the mobile app. The process is simple for both:

Deactivate via Facebook.com

Go to Facebook.com in your web browser and log in as normal. After logging in, click on the downward pointing arrow in the top right corner of the screen.

Facebook drop-down list

From the list of options, choose “Settings & Privacy” and then “Settings” to view the full list of account options.

Facebook Settings

In the sidebar on the left, click “Your Facebook Information” and find “Deactivate and Delete” at the bottom of the screen. Click “View” to continue.

Your Facebook Information

Make sure “Deactivate Account” is selected and then click the “Proceed to Deactivate Account” button to continue.

Deactivate Facebook account

Finally, enter your Facebook password and click “Continue” to finalize your decision.

Enter password to deactivate Facebook account

Fill out the form and explain to Facebook why you’re leaving (or just make something up). Also read any warnings about losing group admin privileges if they apply to you.

Deactivate Facebook questionnaire

Press the big blue “Deactivate” button to log out and deactivate your account.

deactivate facebook

Once done, your Facebook account will be effectively paused indefinitely.

Deactivate via the Facebook Mobile App

You can do this in the mobile app for iPhone or Android if you prefer. To get started, launch the Facebook app and make sure you are logged in. Click the “More” tab in the lower right corner of the screen.

Facebook More Tab

Scroll down to the “Settings & Privacy” heading. Tap it and then tap “Settings” to see the full list of options.

Facebook mobile settings

Tap “Account Ownership and Management” under the “Account” section.

Facebook account ownership and management settings

Tap “Deactivate and delete”. Make sure “Deactivate account” is selected and then tap the “Proceed to deactivate account” button.

Continue with deactivate account

Finally, enter your Facebook password and tap the “Continue” button to finalize your decision.

Enter Facebook password

Once you have completed this process, you will be logged out of Facebook and your account will be deactivated.

How to reactivate your Facebook account

Reactivating your Facebook account is surprisingly easy. All you need to do is log in again and your account will be reactivated and ready to use. That’s all!

If you’re thinking about going back to Facebook or any other social media site, be sure to clear out what you shouldn’t be sharing.

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