Social Media Facebook 135 135 people found this article helpful How to Delete Your Facebook Account Know your options when closing your Facebook account by Leslie Walker Writer Former Lifewire writer Leslie Walker is a multimedia journalism professor who covers social media, web publishing, and internet technologies. our editorial process Twitter Leslie Walker Updated on November 13, 2019 Facebook Facebook Flipboard Pinterest Twitter Snapchat Instagram YouTube Online Dating Tweet Share Email Like many of us, you may be thinking about breaking up with Facebook. Whether it's the exposure of 50 million accounts to hackers, the Cambridge Analytica debacle, or you're just sick of getting stuck in the FB rabbit hole, moving on from Mark Zuckerberg's social network is both doable and fairly easy (with some patience). Whatever your particular reason, it's not super tricky to get out. If you want to make a clean, permanent exit and delete Facebook from your life, here's a simple summary of how to do it and what to consider before pulling the plug. Lifewire Looking to delete a Facebook Page but keep your personal one? Check out our step-by-step instructions on doing just that. Deactivate Facebook vs. Delete Facebook Your first choice is whether to just deactivate your Facebook account or actually delete it. Facebook isn't merely a collection of food photos or diatribes from your weird uncle, either. You've probably been using Facebook as an authentication service to sign in to a bunch of web and app services, too. If you want to play it safe, start by deactivating your account and seeing what stops working. If you need to, you can reactivate your account, log in to any affected services (like Pinterest, Instagram, etc.), and then change your logins. You can switch to Google or just an email/password instead of Facebook for those connected accounts. Once you're ready for a permanent solution, you can finally delete your Facebook account. When you do so, you won't be able to retrieve any of your account information, photos, or postings. Luckily, Facebook really wants you to think about your choice, so it gives you 30 days to change your mind. After that, however, you'll need to start a new account if you really want to return. Deactivating Your Facebook Account Like we mentioned above, you might want to experiment being free of Facebook first, before you take that more permanent "deleting" step. To deactivate temporarily, first go to https://www.facebook.com/deactivate/. You'll need to login again for security. Click the Continue button after you've typed in your password. Facebook can seem desperate to keep you around, however. First, you'll see a message that shows a few friends who (obviously!) will miss you if you go. Then you have to tell Facebook why you want to temporarily deactivate your account. Facebook will try to help you stay active, giving you possible solutions to your chosen reason. (Spending too much time on Facebook? Try turning off Notifications!) Once you've chosen a reason, however, simply hit the Deactivate button at the bottom. Reactivating your account is hilariously easy. Simply log back into Facebook and you'll be back! Before You Quit Facebook for Good If you've decided to kick Facebook to the curb for real, you'll want to do two things: download all of your data and disconnect any services that you use your Facebook credentials to log in to. Download Your Data Facebook makes it pretty easy to save all your stuff, including photos, videos, message transcripts, and friends lists. You'll need to drop into Facebook Settings, decide what you want to download, and then do so. You can read the full set of step-by-step instructions on how to back up your Facebook data here. Disconnect Apps and Websites Once you delete your Facebook account, you obviously won't be able to log in to connected sites and apps with credentials that no longer exist. Removing those connections before you delete your Facebook account can make it easier to change the method of logging in on those individual services later but if you're at all concerned, it would be smart to change how you sign in to those services before deleting your account. You can check which apps use your Facebook login by going into Settings > Apps and Websites. Be sure to click the Show All below the apps shown to make sure you see everything that's connected. Put a check mark next to each service and web app you want to stop using Facebook to log in to. Since your'e probably at this step because you're deleting Facebook altogether, be sure to check them all. Print this page of apps and websites or jot down the important ones. This will make it easy to know which services you'll need to change the login method from your Facebook account to something else. Click the Remove button when you're done. That's it! Again, make sure you head over to those previously connected accounts and switch to email sign-in or connect to another type of account. Deleting Your Facebook Account Now that you've taken care of backing up your data (wait for the file!) and dealt with all the connected services, it's time to permanently delete your account! Click the triangle at the top right side of the Facebook screen and select Settings. Choose Your Facebook Information in the left panel. Select the View button next to Delete Your Account and Information. After noting all the steps you should take before deleting your account (you've hopefully done them all already), select Delete My Account. Enter your password and choose Continue > Delete Account. Yikes! Change Your Mind? If you change your mind within 30 days of deleting your Facebook account, you can cancel the deletion. After 30 days, all your information will be permanently deleted. During either period, your information is not viewable online. To cancel your account deletion, simply log in to your Facebook account and select Cancel Deletion. Not surprisingly, Facebook makes it a lot easier to get back than to leave.