People worldwide use Facebook to connect with friends and family, and to engage in pointless debates with strangers over moderately amusing cat videos. But while some feel that the social media platform is an essential part of life, others find the data scandals and privacy issues disconcerting. For those who wish to take a break from Facebook either temporarily or permanently, instructions for deleting or deactivating your account are below.

Deleting your Facebook account

How to delete your Facebook account from a browser

Removing Facebook for good is easier than you think. Follow this link to the page that allows you to end your account permanently. Click Delete Account, enter your password, and your account is gone forever. But before you do, consider downloading a copy of the information you have stored on Facebook, including photos, videos, and more. Here is an official guide from Facebook that can help.

How to delete your Facebook account from the iPhone app

  1. Start the Facebook app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the three-lined icon (hamburger menu).
  3. Tap Settings & Privacy.
  4. Tap Settings.
  5. Tap Account Ownership and Control.
  6. Tap Deactivation and Deletion.
  7. Tap Delete Account.
  8. Delete your Facebook app for good measure.

How to delete your Facebook account from the Android app

  1. Start the Facebook app on your Android device.
  2. Tap the three-lined icon (hamburger menu).
  3. Tap Settings & Privacy.
  4. Tap Settings.
  5. Tap Account Ownership and Control.
  6. Tap Deactivation and Deletion.
  7. Tap Delete Account.
  8. Delete your Facebook app for good measure.

The cons of deleting your Facebook account

Deleting your Facebook account can certainly feel liberating. You don’t have to worry about managing your privacy or consuming seemingly endless social media content. But rather than a permanent deletion, some people prefer to take a break from Facebook by deactivating their account for the following reasons:

  • You won’t be able to access Facebook again unless you create a new account.
  • It’s impossible to use Messenger without a Facebook account.
  • Some accounts that you entered through Facebook Login may malfunction. You may need to contact those apps and websites or create new accounts.
  • You’ll permanently lose your data unless you download a copy
  • You’ll lose your app purchases, achievements, and more related to your Facebook login on Oculus.  

Can you undelete Facebook if you change your mind?

Facebook says that it needs up to 90 days from the start of the deletion request to remove everything you’ve posted permanently. It may even keep some data in backup storage for legal issues as part of its data policy. It also offers a 30-day grace period after you erase your account. Here is how to cancel your account deletion within 30 days:

  1. Log in to your Facebook account.
  2. Hit Cancel Deletion.

Deactivating your Facebook account

Deactivating your Facebook is a temporary measure. After you deactivate your account, your Facebook page, including your intro, photos, friends, and posts, is hidden. No one can send you friend requests either. However, your messages are still visible to their recipients. Here are some advantages of deactivating your Facebook instead of deleting it:

  • Your photos, videos, and posts are hidden but not permanently deleted.
  • Facebook Messenger is still fully accessible.
  • You can still access accounts through Facebook Login.
  • You can reactivate Facebook whenever you please by logging in.

How to deactivate your Facebook account from a browser

The same link that allows you to erase your account also allows you to deactivate your account. Hit Deactivate Account and then enter your password to lose access to Facebook temporarily. Alternatively, you can use the following steps:

  1. Select Settings & Privacy from the drop-down menu on the top right.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Click Your Facebook Information.
  4. Click Deactivation and Deletion.
  5. Select Deactivate Account and hit Continue to Account Deactivation.
  6. Enter your password and deactivate your account.

How to deactivate your Facebook account from the iPhone app

  1. Start the Facebook app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the three-lined icon (hamburger menu).
  3. Tap Settings & Privacy.
  4. Tap Settings.
  5. Tap Account Ownership and Control.
  6. Tap Deactivation and Deletion.
  7. Tap Deactivate account.

How to deactivate your Facebook account from the Android app

  1. Start the Facebook app on your Android device.
  2. Tap the three-lined icon (hamburger menu).
  3. Tap Settings & Privacy.
  4. Tap Settings.
  5. Tap Account Ownership and Control.
  6. Tap Deactivation and Deletion.
  7. Tap Deactivate Account.

Tips for using Facebook safely

We understand that some users don’t want to deactivate or delete Facebook, but still have safety concerns. There are steps you can take to better manage your privacy and security on Facebook. Here are some tips that may help:

  • Set a long, unique password for your Facebook account. You can use a trusted password manager to make the task easier.
  • Avoid oversharing information on Facebook. Threat actors can use it for social engineering.
  • Be careful when accepting friend requests. Limit posts to trusted friends and not the public.
  • Limit the audience of old posts on your Timeline by clicking General > Privacy > Your Activity > Limit Past Posts.  
  • Stop Facebook from using your data to show you tailored ads by clicking General > Ads > Ad Settings.
  • Manage third-party apps that have access to your data by clicking General > Apps and Websites.
  • Beware of social media scams and be careful which links you click on Facebook or in Messenger.