How to permanently delete a Facebook account
Here is the shortcut link to the official Facebook account deletion page.
A deceased member's account can be memorialized or removed.
Need detailed help? Try the comprehensive step-by-step guide.
The Facebook account deletion process
Do not sign in to your account during this time unless you wish to cancel the deletion request.
Don't be fooled into switching to a deactivation request. Deactivation is not deletion.
Revoke app permissions and delete the Facebook app from your devices.
Consider an account deletion epitaph to notify friends of your departure.
What happens to your data?
In theory, deleting your account immediately 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.
- Use a privacy focused browser like Brave or try a tracking blocker in your favourite.
- Consider a reputable VPN like Freedome.
Facebook owns WhatsApp, Instagram, Oculus and can share data between these and its own products e.g. Facebook Messenger. Keep this in mind when using their apps.
Enjoy your freedom
‘And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that. All power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ — Sir John Dalberg-Acton.
Web developer? You can help.
If you produce content on the web, you could make a huge difference! Please consider removing Facebook code e.g. ‘like’ buttons. Use a share link instead.
This ethical approach would make it more difficult for Facebook to track users around the web. There are performance gains in it for you (fewer requests, faster load).