People all over the world use Facebook to stay in touch with friends and family and to argue with strangers about moderately funny cat videos. Some people think that social media is an important part of life, but others are worried about data scandals and privacy issues. If you want to stop using Facebook for good or just for a while, you can delete or deactivate your account by following the steps below.

Deleting your Facebook account

How to delete your Facebook account from a browser

Removing Facebook for good is easier than you think. Follow this link to the page that allows you to end your account permanently. Click Delete Account, enter your password, and your account is gone forever. But before you do, consider downloading a copy of the information you have stored on Facebook, including photos, videos, and more. Here is an official guide from Facebook that can help.

How to delete your Facebook account from the iPhone app

  1. Start the Facebook app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the three-lined icon (hamburger menu).
  3. Tap Settings & Privacy.
  4. Tap Settings.
  5. Tap Account Ownership and Control.
  6. Tap Deactivation and Deletion.
  7. Tap Delete Account.
  8. Delete your Facebook app for good measure.

How to delete your Facebook account from the Android app

  1. On your Android device, open the Facebook app.
    Tap the icon with three lines (hamburger menu).
    Click on Settings and Privacy.
    Tap Settings.
    Tap Ownership and Control of the Account.
    Tap “Deactivate and Remove.”
    Click “Delete Account.”
    Just to be safe, delete your Facebook app.

The cons of deleting your Facebook account

Getting rid of your Facebook account can feel very freeing. You don’t have to worry about your privacy or getting through what seems like an endless amount of social media content. But instead of permanently deleting their account, some people would rather take a break from Facebook by deactivating it.

  • You won’t be able to access Facebook again unless you create a new account.
  • It’s impossible to use Messenger without a Facebook account.
  • Some accounts that you entered through Facebook Login may malfunction. You may need to contact those apps and websites or create new accounts.
  • You’ll permanently lose your data unless you download a copy.
  • You’ll lose your app purchases, achievements, and more related to your Facebook login on Oculus.

Can you undelete Facebook if you change your mind?

Facebook says that it needs up to 90 days from the start of the deletion request to remove everything you’ve posted permanently. It may even keep some data in backup storage for legal issues as part of its data policy. It also offers a 30-day grace period after you erase your account. Here is how to cancel your account deletion within 30 days:

  1. Log in to your Facebook account.
  2. Hit Cancel Deletion.

Deactivating your Facebook account

Deactivating your Facebook account is only a short-term fix. Your Facebook page, including your intro, photos, friends, and posts, will be hidden after you deactivate your account. No one can ask to be your friend either. But the people who are supposed to get your messages can still see them. Here are some reasons why it’s better to deactivate your Facebook account than to delete it:

  • Your photos, videos, and posts are hidden, but they’re not gone for good.
  • Messenger on Facebook is still available to everyone.
  • You can still use Facebook Login to get into accounts.
  • You can turn Facebook back on at any time by logging in.

How to deactivate your Facebook account from a browser

The same link that allows you to erase your account also allows you to deactivate your account. Hit Deactivate Account and then enter your password to lose access to Facebook temporarily. Alternatively, you can use the following steps

  1. Choose Settings & Privacy from the top right drop-down menu.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Click on “Your Facebook Info.”
  4. Click Turn Off and Delete.
  5. Choose Deactivate Account and click Continue to Deactivate Account.
  6. Enter your password and your account will be turned off.

How to deactivate your Facebook account from the iPhone app

  1. Open the app for Facebook on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the icon with three lines (hamburger menu).
  3. Click on Settings and Privacy.
  4. Tap Settings.
  5. Tap Ownership and Control of the Account.
  6. Tap “Deactivate and Remove.”
  7. Tap Turn off account.

How to deactivate your Facebook account from the Android app

  1. Start the Facebook app on your Android device.
  2. Tap the three-lined icon (hamburger menu).
  3. Tap Settings & Privacy.
  4. Tap Settings.
  5. Tap Account Ownership and Control.
  6. Tap Deactivation and Deletion.
  7. Tap Deactivate Account.

Tips for using Facebook safely

We know that some people don’t want to delete or turn off Facebook, but they still worry about safety.
There are things you can do to keep your privacy and safety on Facebook in better shape.
Here are a few suggestions that might help:

  • Set a long, unique password for your Facebook account. You can use a trusted password manager to make the task easier.
  • Avoid oversharing information on Facebook. Threat actors can use it for social engineering.
  • Be careful when accepting friend requests. Limit posts to trusted friends and not the public.
  • Limit the audience of old posts on your Timeline by clicking General > Privacy > Your Activity > Limit Past Posts.
  • Stop Facebook from using your data to show you tailored ads by clicking General > Ads > Ad Settings.
  • Manage third-party apps that have access to your data by clicking General > Apps and Websites.
  • Beware of social media scams and be careful which links you click on Facebook or Messenger.