If you are tired of the online turf wars and political battles, the bandwagon of selfies or simply the intrusion of privacy, now is the time to take a breath of fresh air.
A growing number of people are retracting from the life of social media, owing to the widespread animosity in the cybersphere.
Watching endless verbal feuds over insignificant issues can give you a headache, and in that spur of the moment, you try to sever all ties with Facebook.
Before we begin, you need to understand a fundamental difference between account deactivation and permanently deleting an account.
The former means a sabbatical from Facebook where you can go backpacking into the affairs of the real world, oblivious to the virtual social platform. During this period, you will be out of the radar of Facebook and people would be unable to find you or tag you.
You can enjoy this leisure for as long as you want and the day you wish to go back just log in and Facebook will accept you with open arms as if you never left. Deactivating your account is always preferable if you are unsure you want to permanently remove yourself from the site.
Permanently deleting an account is like pulling a D.B. Cooper. Your social media account will forever be deleted from the annals of Facebook, never to be resurrected again. The problem lies in figuring out how to permanently delete your account.
After all, Facebook does not want its users to leave, so steps for account deletion are not as apparent as account deactivation. No need to be disheartened, here is a simple DIY guide to permanently delete your Facebook account.
- Steps to permanently delete your Facebook account
- Step 1: Sign into Facebook
- Step 2: Backup any necessary data
- Step 3: Understanding the limitations and its remedy
- Step 4: Final deletion of the account
Steps to permanently delete your Facebook account
Step 1: Sign into Facebook
If you are firm in your decision to delete your Facebook account for good, you'll have to sign in one last time. It is a security feature to ensure no one else can delete your account without your knowledge.
(1) Enter login details
Go to the Facebook login page and enter your username (either your email or phone number) and password.
(2) Forgot password
If you forgot your password, click on the “Forgotten your password?” link near the log in fields. It will take you to a page to search for your account using your email, phone, username or full name. Facebook then will send a password reset link to your mobile device or email, so you can complete your log in.
Step 2: Backup any necessary data
Your Facebook account holds a lot of important details and memories that you might need later or simply wish you had for nostalgic value. Either way, creating a backup is a universally prescribed step before making a decision involving a large amount of data.
(1) Manual backup for small amount of data
If you wish to save a limited amount of data like a few texts and pictures, you can manually find them and make a backup.
(2) For extensive data backup
If you need to back up extensive data, it is better to leave the task to Facebook. Open the drop-down menu from the small downward pointing triangle (arrow) and click on “Settings”, which is listed just above the “Log Out” option.
(3) Data backup in General Account Settings
(4) Start the backup process
(5) Data backup notification
Facebook will give you a message saying that they are in the process of digging into your archives, and they would mail you the download link on your email id registered on Facebook. Once you receive that email, you can download the data on your PC.
Step 3: Understanding the limitations and its remedy
It’s important to understand that permanent account deletion does not erase all proof of your existence on Facebook. Some traces do remain. We’re not talking about the alleged complicity between Mark Zuckerberg and the NSA, but personal messages that you sent personally to others will remain.
(1) Status of personal messages after deletion
After your account is deleted, the default name 'Facebook user' will appear in place of your name and your profile picture will be replaced with the stock silhouette photo in any personal messages with your friends. Before deletion, you can ask your friends to delete those messages, although the decision to do so totally lies within their discretion.
(2) Manually deleting Facebook activity
The deletion process takes two weeks to take effect, so if there is something you want immediately removed from Facebook, you should delete it yourself through your Activity Log. Open the drop-down menu using the arrow button on the top right area of the screen. Click on “Activity Log”.
(3) Deleting using Activity Log
Step 4: Final deletion of the account
You are now ready to proceed to the final step, which is visiting the page that allows you to delete your account permanently. However, Facebook programmers didn't leave that page just lying around. You must either search for it using a search engine, find it in Facebook’s help section (facebook.com/help) or click this link to take you directly to the page.
Please note: You must be logged in to Facebook for this step to work.
(1) Enter password
(2) Delete your account
(3) Complete the formalities
(4) Wait for 14 days
Wait 14 days and your account will have gone to meet its maker.
(5) Think carefully about your decision
Two weeks is not a lot of time to retreat, so think carefully before deleting your account and act fast if you change your mind.
(6) Revert account deletion
In case, you do change your mind, within 14 days of your deleting the account log in again into your Facebook account. Facebook will show you a prompt asking whether you wish to continue with your decision of deleting an account or you have changed your mind since then. Click on the “Confirm deletion” if it's the former or click on “Cancel deletion” if it's the latter.