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How to Delete Facebook Forever in 2022: Ditching Social Media

Social media can have a toxic effect on mental health, and they let giant technology companies harvest tons of your personal information. With this in mind, you might want to delete your Facebook account, so we’ve put together this guide on how to do it.

Aleksander Hougen
By Aleksander Hougen (Managing Editor)
— Last Updated: 2022-02-15T17:20:11+00:00

There are plenty of reasons to delete your Facebook account. Privacy concerns are the most likely reason, but perhaps you’ve realized that only a small percentage of your 500 friends are people you know. Either way, the platform doesn’t make it easy, so we’re going to show you how to delete Facebook from your life forever.

If that seems too drastic for you, we also have a guide to changing your Facebook privacy settings, and be sure to read our piece on Facebook’s rebrand to Meta. We also have a comprehensive guide on what is the Metaverse.

Key Takeaways:

  • Facebook lets you deactivate or permanently delete your account. If you deactivate, you can still use Messenger, log in to third-party apps like Spotify and access your photos. If you permanently delete the social network, everything you ever posted to Facebook will be gone forever.
  • There’s a 30-day grace period where you can reverse the deletion of your account, and Facebook holds onto your data for up to 90 days after deletion.
  • You should download the data associated with your Facebook account before you permanently delete it, to avoid accidental data loss.

Considering the amount of personal information that Facebook harvests, anyone concerned about digital privacy should delete their account. It’s best to do it in a browser, especially if you want to download your data first. Our step-by-step instructions will help you delete your account forever. For a more in-depth guide, scroll down.

  • 10/25/2021 Facts checked

    Updated article with new information and images, and removed the section about Instagram to give it its own article.

Delete Facebook: What to Keep in Mind 

You’d think that clicking a “delete” button would wipe your account like it never existed, but that’s not the case. Anything you generated, such as profile information, photos and posts, will be deleted, but anything about you that didn’t come from you will remain. 

That means that any photos or posts about you that someone else uploaded will stay on Facebook. You also won’t be able to use Messenger or any third-party services that are tied to your Facebook login, like Spotify. If you’d like to keep using Messenger and other services, you can deactivate your account rather than delete it.

Deleting vs Deactivating Facebook

Deactivating your account just makes it inactive. Your profile won’t be visible, but your photos, videos and other data will be retained. You can still use Messenger too, unless you deactivate it separately. To reactivate your account, log back in to Facebook or use your account to log in to another service.

Permanently deleting your account means all the photos and videos you’ve ever uploaded, posts you’ve made and anything else you’ve done will be gone forever. You won’t be able to retrieve any of it or use Messenger. 

You have 30 days to cancel the deletion, and Facebook says it can take up to 90 days to delete everything, but it’s still inaccessible to others during the process.

How to Permanently Delete Your Facebook Account

If you’re ready to delete Facebook from your life, follow the step-by-step guide below. You can delete your Facebook account from the app, but our guide is for doing so in a browser on a computer, which is best if you want to download your data too.

  1. Log in to Facebook and Go to “Settings”

    Click the down arrow at the top right of any Facebook page and select “settings & privacy” and then “settings.”

    top right corner facebook profile
  2. Go to Your Facebook Information

    Select “your Facebook information” from the column on the left.

    facebook pages settings left column
  3. Enter the “Deactivation and Deletion” Menu

    Click “deactivation and deletion” at the bottom of the list.

    start deletion request
  4. Tell Facebook That You Want to Delete Your Account Permanently

    Select the “delete account” checkbox and click on “continue to account deletion.” If you’d rather deactivate your account, you can check the “deactivate account” box instead and follow the rest of the guide.

    select delete or temporarily deactivate
  5. Review Deletion Information and Download All Your Facebook Data

    If you haven’t already downloaded your data, you can do so now. If you’d like to keep apps such as Facebook Messenger, you can also switch to deactivation instead. If you’re sure you want to proceed, click “delete account.”

    confirm or cancel deletion
  6. Confirm That You Want to Delete Your Account

    Enter your password and click “continue.” That’s it. Once you’ve hit the final “continue” button, your account will be gone forever.

    facebook permanently removed

Final Thoughts: Permanently Deleted From Facebook

We hope this guide has helped you understand how to permanently delete your Facebook account. Though social media is a great way to keep in contact with distant friends and family, it’s also a great way for companies to gather personal information. Not having an account is the only way to make sure your information is protected for certain.

Before deleting your accounts, though, remember to get a copy of your information to retrieve your precious photos. Facebook has a 30-day period in which you can cancel the deletion, but it’s better to download all your information first to be safe.

If you’re thinking about getting rid of Instagram, this guide will show you how to delete Instagram.

What did you think about our guide to deleting Facebook? Does it seem like a straightforward affair? Is there some crucial detail about the deletion process we missed? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.