In a world where technology dominates our lives and privacy is a forgotten thing of the past, it’s no wonder some people are becoming more inclined to disappear off the internet – whether it be forever, or just for a little while. And when it comes to social media, there’s only one king – and that’s Facebook. Despite data privacy scandals, controversies and drops in users, the site still remains at the top. But if you’re ready to turn your back on the Book, read below for a guide on how to delete your account.
Wait, why would I delete Facebook?
Let’s recap, shall we? In 2017, Facebook lost 2.9 million U.S. users aged under 25. And in 2018, it lost 1.8 million Australians and 1 million European users. These numbers appear destructive, but for a company of its magnitude (2.27 billion monthly users to be exact) they are on par with losing a couple of crumbs from your sandwich to the floor. No, Facebook doesn’t need to worry about losing numbers. It needs to start worrying about losing something else – trust and loyalty from its users.
It seems that more and more people are beginning to question their relationship with the once beloved Facebook, and we don’t blame you for doing the same. If you’re thinking of deleting or deactivating your account, it seems like a more than reasonable decision – especially after the massive privacy and data scandal that came to light with Cambridge Analytica. A huge blow to the company, it saw the political firm harvesting data from 87 million Facebook profiles to allegedly attempt to influence the 2016 US election. It was reported that more than 300,000 Aussies Facebook users were also affected.
So, beginning to regret handing over your personal details to Zuckerburg? No sweat – let’s walk you through everything you need to know about taking yourself off the social media platform.
Before you start deleting Facebook, be aware:
The first thing you need to know is that there is a massive difference between deactivating your account and deleting it. If you choose to go cold turkey and delete your account, then that’s it – your account will be gone forever, along with everything you have ever uploaded. If that sounds a little bit daunting, then don’t fear – Facebook does give you a 30-day grace period (bumped up from 14 days) in which you can reactivate your account without losing anything.
Deactivating, on the other hand, means that your account will be hidden from everyone, but all of your information, data, photos etc. will remain stored by Facebook. Not the most ideal solution perhaps, but if you’re only deactivating then you can always reactivate your account again whenever you want – and you never know when you’ll start to miss everyone’s super important status updates.
- Just so you know, simply deleting the app from your phone doesn’t actually delete your Facebook account… You’ll have to try harder than that!
So, if you’re ready, here we go:
How to delete your Facebook account
Alright, you brave soul – let’s do this.
- Step 1: Navigate to the ‘deactivation and deletion page’. Unlike with some social media platforms, this can be done through the Facebook app, but you’ll probably be better off visiting the link through a web browser instead, as it’s a shorter process.
- Step 2: If you’re using the app, tap on the ‘more button’ which looks like three lines on top of one another. This is located at the bottom right of the app. -> Click settings. -> Scroll down and click on ‘Account ownership and control’. -> Click ‘Deactivation and deletion’. You’re now in the same spot as the web browser link would have taken you.
- Step 3: Enter your email address and password if you’re not already logged in.
- Step 4: You’ll then be reminded that you’re about to permanently delete your account. If you still wish to continue, click the ‘Delete Account’ button.
- Step 5: You will be asked to re-enter your password to confirm that this is, in fact, your account.
- Step 6: That’s it! You’re all done. Of course, your account isn’t actually deleted for 30 more days, but after that consider yourself a brand-new person!
How to deactivate your Facebook account
This is for all the people who can’t fully commit to saying goodbye to Facebook forever – don’t worry, we get it.
- Step 1: The process of Facebook deactivation is very similar to deleting – start by navigating to the ‘deactivation and deletion page’. Follow the same instructions to reach this page.
- Step 2: Enter your email address and password if you’re not already logged in.
- Step 3: You’ll now be on the same page that asks you if you want to ‘Delete Account’. This time you need to instead click the other button that reads ‘Deactivate Account’.
- Step 4: You’ll be asked to re-enter your password.
- Step 5: You have now (kind of) escaped Facebook!
How to reactivate your Facebook account
If you’re starting to have second thoughts about deactivating your Facebook account – after all, it is entertaining – reactivating is a simple process. Simply log in on the Facebook main page using the details you used prior to deactivate your account. If you’ve forgotten your details, follow the prompts through Facebook’s ‘Forgotten Password?’ option.
If you’ve deleted your Facebook account, that is a permanent move. While caches of your data are kept by Facebook for 90 days, there is only a 30-day grace period where you can retrieve your account back. After this period, you’re won’t be able to log back in to that account.
How to create a new Facebook account
If you would like to create a new Facebook account, the process is easy. Simply head to Facebook, and click ‘Create New Account’. You’ll need to enter your personal details before clicking ‘Sign Up’, where you’ll also be required to confirm your email address and phone number, but once this is sorted you will have a brand-new Facebook account. While the data from your old account will be gone, you will still be able to represent yourself online.