How to Delete Your Facebook Account

As fun as Facebook can be, not everybody is going to like it.  Some people get too wrapped up in finding new friends and replying to stuff posted by old friends that they get worn out.  Other people simply won't find Facebook appealing from the get-go, perhaps because they feel it intrudes too deeply into their personal life.  Or, they may instead choose to use an alternative service to Facebook, like the ones we listed in this Alternatives to Facebook article.

Whether you want to take a break from Facebook temporarily or part ways with your account forever, we'll show you how to do it.  We'll start with basic instructions; if you need more detailed instructions with screenshots to help guide you, we'll have those further down the page.

To temporarily deactivate your Facebook account:

  1. Go to www.facebook.com in your web browser and log in.

  2. Go to your Settings menu.

  3. Select the Security category, and then click Deactivate Account.

  4. Select a reason why you're leaving Facebook, and then click Deactivate.

  5. Input your password, and then click Deactivate Now.

To permanently delete your Facebook account:

  1. Go to www.facebook.com in your web browser and log in.

  2. Go to https://www.facebook.com/help/delete_account.

  3. Click Delete My Account.

  4. Type in your password.

  5. Complete the security test by typing in the distorted letters or numbers that you see, or the words that you hear.

  6. Click OK.

If you still need help figuring out how to shut down your Facebook account, read on for in-depth instructions with screenshots to help you know what to look for. 

Detailed instructions on how to temporarily deactivate your Facebook account

  1. Go to www.facebook.com in your web browser and log in.

  2. Click the arrow beside the privacy shortcuts icon () and select Settings.

  3. Click Security, and then click Deactivate Your Account.

  4. Before you deactivate your account, you will be given the opportunity to send messages to some of your friends on Facebook to say goodbye, if you want.  (See our Facebook Messages tutorial if you need a refresher on how to do this).



    Otherwise, click a button beside one of the options labelled "Reason for Leaving" to tell Facebook why you're deciding to deactivate your account.  (Facebook will give you a quick tip on how to remedy your issue, based on which option you choose.)  You can also click inside the box labelled "Please Explain Further" if you feel like giving additional details on why you're cancelling your Facebook account, but you don't have to.

    There are two further options.  If you click the check box beside "Email Opt Out", you will not receive any notifications via email from anyone on Facebook for as long as your account is closed.  You can also click the check box beside "Auto Reactivate", and then click the drop-down menu in the yellow box and select a time frame.  This lets you automatically reactivate your account after a certain time, if you're just taking a break from Facebook and know how long you want to leave for.

    When you're all set, click Deactivate.

  5. You will have to re-input your password to confirm that you really want to deactivate your account.  Click in the box labelled "Password", type in your account password, and then click Deactivate Now.

Detailed instructions on how to permanently delete your Facebook account

  1. Go to www.facebook.com in your web browser and log in.

  2. Go to this link for permanently deleting your Facebook account.

  3. Click Delete My Account.

  4. In order to confirm that you really want to permanently delete your Facebook account, you must enter two pieces of information.  The first is your account password, so click in the box labelled "Password" and type in your password.



    You must also complete a security "captcha".  This is a standard security test that many websites use to block people from using computer programs to automatically do certain things repeatedly, such as create or delete accounts.  Click in the box labelled "Text in the Box" and type in the letters and numbers that you see in the distorted graphic.  If you're having trouble seeing them, you can click Try another Text to create a new graphic, click An Audio Captcha to hear what you need to type in, or just ask somebody you trust for help.

    When everything's filled in, click OK.

Notes on deactivating your Facebook account

  • When your account is deactivated, nobody will be able to see any information associated with your profile or Timeline, and nobody will be able to find you on Facebook.  However, certain information, such as messages you have sent to other people on Facebook, may still be visible.

  • Deactivating your account will not delete any of the content you've posted on Facebook, so it will still be there when you reactivate your account.

  • You will receive a confirmation email when you deactivate your Facebook account.  If you open it and click Reactivate Account, you will be prompted to log into your Facebook account.  If you do so, you will be able to use your Facebook account again.

  • If you have previously deactivated your account, you will need to wait 24 hours before you are allowed to reactivate it.

Notes on permanently deleting your Facebook account

  • Like when you deactivate your account, if you choose to delete your Facebook account, you will receive a confirmation email.  If you open it and click Reactivate Account, you will be prompted to log into your Facebook account.  If you do so, you will be able to use your Facebook account again.  However, this option is only available for a few days after choosing to delete your account, so if you change your mind, be sure to act quickly!

  • When you choose to delete your account, it may take up to 90 days to delete all content associated with your account.  During this time, that content cannot be seen or accessed by anyone else on Facebook. 

  • Even if you delete your Facebook account, certain information, such as messages you have sent to other people on Facebook, may still be visible.  Facebook may also keep certain data about your account for technical reasons, but will remove anything from it that could identify it as being from your specific account.

Now, whether you want to leave Facebook for another day or part ways with it permanently, you'll know how to do it! 

Be sure to explore the rest of TechBoomers.com for more easy-to-understand courses on today's most popular websites and Internet apps!

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