How to delete your Facebook account

Reports about third parties harvesting Facebook user profile data have led to a fresh wave of people deleting their Facebook accounts.

Facebook offers two options to disconnect from the platform: deactivation and deletion.

When you deactivate your account, users can’t see your timeline or search for you. None of your data is deleted, and you can reactivate your account at any time.

If you delete your account, it’s gone forever.

Facebook said it may take up to 90 days to remove data stored in its backup systems, but the data is not accessible to it during this time.

Whether you deactivate or delete your account, though, certain information isn’t stored in your account and may remain visible to others – such as messages you’ve sent.


Download a copy of your data

Before you delete your account, Facebook recommends you download a copy of your data.

This may be done by visiting Facebook, clicking on the downward arrow in the top-right corner, and clicking on “Settings.”

You will be brought to a page containing your general account settings. At the bottom is a link to download a copy of your Facebook data.

Facebook download data link


Delete Facebook

To begin the process of deleting your Facebook account, you must visit the relevant support page, or follow a link to the Delete my account function.

Facebook will warn you if you are listed as the only developer for any platform applications, which will be deleted if you delete your account without transferring ownership of them.

Click “Delete my account” to proceed with submitting a request to Facebook to delete your account.

Facebook Delete my account


Confirm deletion

Facebook will request confirmation that you want to permanently delete your account.

You will be required to complete a character recognition submission and provide your password, after which your deletion request will be logged.

Facebook permanently delete account


Stay away for 14 days

To ensure you really want to delete your account, Facebook delays the request by 14 days.

It will cancel the deletion request if you log into your Facebook account during this time.

Facebook delete account logged


Now read: 96,000 South Africans affected by Facebook data leak

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How to delete your Facebook account