How to permanently or temporarily delete your Facebook account

The process of deleting your account is not as easy as it would seem.

After the scandal regarding Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, many have opted to try and deactivate or permanently delete their accounts. Unfortunately, deleting your Facebook account is not as easy or straightforward as you might hope.

There are a few steps users need to complete if they are wanting to store your personal data prior to erasing yourself from the site. If you aren’t ready to give up Facebook communication completely, you can disconnect your account from third-party sites.

Deactivating your account

Deactivating your account allows you to try living Facebook-free for as long as you like. The action disables your profile and removes your name from most posts (including messages). If you decide you want to reactivate your account, log back in using your original email and password and it is like the deactivation never happened.

To complete this action, click down in the title bar and select ‘settings’. From here click ‘edit’, this button is beside the ‘Manage my account’ box. Scroll down and click ‘Deactivate my account’, enter the details required and you would have successfully deactivated your account.

Downloading your data

If you have been using Facebook for many years, or you regularly post photos and videos, you will want to download your data. Before you try to delete your account, back it up. Click on ‘Settings’ and then ‘Download a copy of your Facebook data’. Once you delete your account you will no longer be able to retrieve this data.

Deleting your history

When you permanently delete your account, it can take approximately 90 days for all your posts and photos to be removed from the site. If you are opting to delete your account, it is unlikely you would want your information and data available for three months.

You can overcome this prior to deleting your account using a plugin for Chrome. The Social Book Post Manager enables users to delete multiple Facebook posts all at once. After you download your data install the plugin. From here you can navigate your Facebook Activity Log and by using filters you can mass delete photos, post, or tags.

Permanently delete your account

Once you have followed the steps listed above, visit Facebook’s account deletion page and click ‘Delete my account’. It can take 90 days for everything to be erased, however, it will be inaccessible from the moment you click the button.