How to permanently delete a Facebook account

Here is the shortcut link to the official Facebook account deletion page.

Before you delete your account

  • Backup your data if you’d like a copy.
  • Revoke app permissions.
  • Delete Facebook’s apps from your devices.
  • Consider a deletion epitaph to notify friends of your departure.

Revoking permissions makes it easy to spot which apps rely on your Facebook account. These can then be fixed, avoiding future access issues.

The Facebook account deletion process

Your account will be ‘deactivated’ for one month (it was two weeks). After this period it will be permanently deleted. You have plenty of time to change your mind.

Do not sign in to your account during this time unless you wish to cancel the deletion request.

Don’t be fooled into a deactivation request. Deactivation is not deletion.

What happens to your data?

In theory, deleting your account removes all Facebook data related to you. In reality it’s more complicated, taking about 90 days.

Allegations of complicity with National Security Agency surveillance and multiple data-privacy breaches suggest that your data may never truly be deleted.

Backup your data before deletion if you’d like a copy.

You can still cleanse your Facebook presence for everyone else,

  • Delete any sensitive content that you have posted.
  • Contact friends about content that you would like deleted.

Leaving social data behind

As hard as you try, some personally identifiable information may remain. This could be something as simple as your name on a message, unless you’re Mark Zuckerberg.

You have little control over this or what others share about you in future. The most you can realistically do is ask your friends to respect your privacy.

Data shared with apps and advertisers is with them forever. As a Facebook user you are leaving behind a valuable personal data footprint.

What to do next?

Facebook can track non-users via the ‘like’ button and other similar means. You can minimise this and protect your privacy.

  • Switch to a privacy focused browser like Brave or try a tracking blocker in your favourite.
  • Use a non-tracking search engine like DuckDuckGo.
  • Try a secure messaging app. Signal is a great choice.

Facebook owns social

Facebook owns WhatsApp, Instagram, Oculus and can share data between these and its own products e.g. Messenger.