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How to delete your Facebook account

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(Image credit: Getty)

As of the start of 2022, Facebook is estimated to have around 2.9 billion active users. However, with high numbers of people thinking leaving the platform (opens in new tab), you may want to know how to eave Facebook and delete your Facebook account.

One reason for this is privacy concerns. Facebook collects a lot of data on its users, and there have been some significant leaks (opens in new tab) in the past. Stepping away from social media can also be good for productivity and mental health.

Deleting your Facebook account isn’t difficult, but it does require a few steps that may not seem obvious. In this article, we’ll take you through the steps required to delete your account, a process which can be carried out from either the desktop or mobile version of Facebook.

If you are deleting your account for privacy reasons, you may also want to start using a VPN to further protect your data. Check out our guide on the best VPN services (opens in new tab). Or if you're looking for password management, we also have a guide to the best password managers (opens in new tab).

How to delete your Facebook account: Preparation

Before deleting your account, you should be aware of a couple of things. First, deleting your account permanently removes all of your posts and photos. It’s worth looking through your photos to check if there are any that you want to keep.

To make this easier, you can download all of your photos from Facebook at once from the Settings menu.

When using a desktop browser:

  1. Go to the Settings menu by clicking the downward-facing arrow in the top right corner
  2.  Then go to Settings & Privacy and click Settings
  3. Next, click Your Facebook Information, then click Download Your Information.

You will be given the choice to download your information or transfer it to a cloud storage service such as Google Drive. You will also be able to choose what you want to download, including your photos, posts, and messages.

Find the Settings on the mobile app:

  1. Click the hamburger icon with three horizontal lines.
  2. Scroll down and expand the Settings & Privacy menu, then click Settings.
  3. Scroll down again until you see Download Your Information. You can then choose all of the information you want to download.

Once you’ve selected what you want to download, you can choose the date range for which you want to download your data, your preferred format, and the media quality. Facebook will then prepare your downloadable file, and you’ll receive a notification once it’s ready.

Additionally, you may have set up accounts on other apps or websites such as Spotify or Pinterest by enabling them to connect to your Facebook account. When you delete your Facebook account, you could lose access to these other accounts.

To see a list of the third-party services that have access to your Facebook data, open the Settings menu following the instructions above for desktop or mobile. Click on Apps and Websites. If any of the services listed here are ones you regularly use, you may need to change your account details with them before you delete your Facebook account.

Step 1: Navigate to the deletion page

The settings menu being opened in Facebook

Settings options can be found in the top right corner of the Facebook page on desktop. (Image credit: Facebook)

Locate the settings menu the same way you accessed it in the preparation step. On desktop, click the downward-facing arrow in the top right corner, go to Settings & privacy, then click Settings.

On the left-hand bar of the Settings page, click on Your Facebook Information. Locate the option titled Deactivation and deletion and click on it.

On a mobile device, the process is a little different. Note that the exact layout of the Facebook app varies between devices, but the menu options you need are basically the same. For this article, we tested the process on an iOS device.

First, click the three lines in the bottom right corner to pull up the menu. Click on the gear icon, then click Settings & privacy.

Step 2: Delete your account

Facebook’s account deletion page asking the user to confirm their password

Facebook asks you to confirm your password before deleting your account. (Image credit: Facebook)

You will be given the option to Deactivate your account if you just want to temporarily put it on hold or permanently delete it. For this article, we’re focusing on deletion. If you’re using Facebook’s desktop version, select Delete account and click Continue to account deletion.

Facebook will give you one last chance to download any information you may want to keep. If you have already done so or don’t want to download any information, click Delete Account. Facebook will then ask you to enter your password to confirm that this is you. Once you have done this, you must click to confirm one more time, and then your account is deleted.

To delete your account from a mobile device, click Personal and Account Information from the Settings & Privacy menu. Click Account Ownership and Control. You may be asked at this point to enter your login details. After you do this, click on Deactivation and deletion.

From this point onwards, the process is very similar to deleting your account from a desktop browser. Choose whether to deactivate or delete your account, download your information if you wish, and click Delete Account.

Step 3 (optional): Canceling your account deletion

If you change your mind and want to reactivate your Facebook account, you can do so within 30 days of deletion. After 30 days, your account and all of its information will be permanently deleted.

To cancel a deletion, simply log back in to the account using your email address and password. A message saying that your account has been deleted will appear, and you will have the option to reactivate it. Click Cancel Deletion, and you’ll be put straight back into your account.

Summary

Facebook’s user interface can be a little complicated since there are a lot of options in the account settings. It is also not ideal that the account deletion process differs between the mobile and desktop versions of Facebook. 

However, if you’ve followed these steps, you’ll have found that deleting your Facebook account isn’t a difficult process. Your information stored on Facebook will be deleted, and you’ll be one step closer to online privacy.

If you’re still concerned about protecting your information online, deleting your Facebook account isn’t all you can do. We recommend using a VPN for secure browsing. If you’re not sure which VPN is right for you, we review the best VPN services (opens in new tab) to help make your decision easier.

Kieron Moore is a freelance writer based in Manchester, England. He contributes to Future sites including TechRadar and Creative Bloq, focusing on subjects including creative software, video editing, and streaming services. This work draws on his experience as an independent filmmaker and an independent TV watcher. He can be found on Twitter at @KieronMoore, usually when he’s meant to be writing.