How to Deactivate Your Facebook in 3 Easy Steps

The link to deactivate can be a little difficult to find

Facebook doesn't make it easy to find the link to deactivate your Facebook account, but shutting down your account can be accomplished fairly easily once you know where to look.

A temporary account suspension is referred to as deactivating. A permanent erasing of your account from the system is referred to as deleting. There's a big difference between deactivating and deleting, so be certain you know which you want to do.

Deactivating suspends your account until you sign back in. Your profile and data will be invisible to others until you reactivate your account, but Facebook saves it all in case you want to return.

Deleting your Facebook account, by contrast, erases your account and it's content permanently and irrevocably—but not immediately. It takes two weeks to be deleted (in case you have second thoughts).

Before you start either the deactivation or deletion process, be sure to remove any linked accounts you may have to other websites or accounts that use Facebook Connect. This will prevent you from being logged into Facebook automatically and undoing your Facebook deactivation.

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Locating the deactivate link

Deactivate Facebook screenshot

Facebook

To find the link to deactivate your Facebook, sign in and go to the menu at the top of any Facebook page. Click Settings and scroll down to the bottom. Click Deactivate to the far right at the bottom.

You will be asked, "Are you sure you want to deactivate your account? Deactivating your account will disable your profile and remove your name and picture from anything you've shared on Facebook."

In attempt to have you reconsider, Facebook may pick a friend of yours and say they "will miss you." Facebook will even display their photo to make you feel warm and fuzzy about the service you are trying to leave; it may even tell you how many friends you stand to lose!

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Reason for deactivating and email opt-out

Reasons to deactivate Facebook

Facebook

Next, you are required to select a reason for leaving Facebook before the network will complete deactivation. Your options include worries about privacy, having your account hacked, not finding Facebook useful, not understanding how to use Facebook, and "I spend too much time using Facebook."

There are many reasons people leave Facebook, and you may have more than one that is motivating you. Check one that applies and move on—this choice has no impact on the deactivation process.

You will also be asked if you want to Opt out of receiving future emails from Facebook. Be sure to check this if you want to stop getting invites from your Facebook friends.

Facebook: Opt Out Checkbox
© Facebook: Opt Out Checkbox
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Deactivate Facebook

Facebook: Opt Out Checkbox

Facebook

Finally, click the Confirm button to deactivate your account. But remember, you haven't deleted your account; it is merely suspended. Facebook's FAQ pages explain that your profile and the info linked to it disappear from viewing, so your profile is no longer searchable or accessible by others.

All of your information gets saved by Facebook, including your friends, photo albums, and any groups you joined. Facebook says it does this in case you change your mind and want to use Facebook again in the future.

If you change your mind later, you can easily reactivate your Facebook account.

Permanently delete your Facebook account

If you really want to quit Facebook, you can make your exit a permanent and irreversible one. Doing so permanently erases your profile information and Facebook history, so you can't reactivate your Facebook account later. It takes about 14 days to permanently delete your Facebook account, but it's not hard to do.