Want to distance yourself from Facebook? Depending on whether it’s for a break or forever, you can temporarily deactivate or permanently delete your Facebook account.
Whatever your reason, you might want to stop using Facebook and close your account. It remains to be seen how, because while registering on a social network is always quick and easy, deleting an account is generally more complex …
Deactivation or deletion: how to close a Facebook account?
There are two ways to “close” a Facebook account: one temporary, deactivation; the other final, deletion.
- The first option is in fact to put the account to sleep. Your profile will be deactivated and you will be “invisible”. Your name and photos will no longer appear in most of your posts, but some information – your name on someone else’s friends list or messages you’ve exchanged with your friends, for example – may still be available. The advantage is that this action is temporary. All your data is kept, and you can reactivate your account whenever you want. It is the gentle method of withdrawing from the network. In addition, you can continue to use Messenger even with a deactivated Facebook account.
- The second option is much more radical. By deleting your account, all your data will be permanently deleted: your profile, your photos, your publications, your videos, as well as all the elements you have added will be irretrievably deleted. Above all, you will never have access to your account again.
It is therefore best to start with deactivation before considering a complete removal. And make a backup of personal information related to the account before opting for this option.
This practical sheet describes the procedure to follow with the Web version of Facebook, accessible via an Internet browser such as Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari or Opera. However, you can easily adapt it to apps on Android and iOS, including the light version: Facebook Lite.
How to deactivate a Facebook account?
Before permanently deleting your Facebook account, it is best to deactivate it to put it to sleep for a period.
- Open your usual web browser and log into your Facebook account by entering your username (email address or phone number) if you are not logged in automatically.
- On your Facebook page, click on the small triangle, to the far right of the banner at the top. In the menu that unfolds, click on the Settings & privacy section.
- The menu changes. Click on Settings.
- The Facebook page is changing. In the list on the left, click on the heading Your Facebook information.
- The content of the central area changes. Click the Deactivation and Removal section at the bottom.
- A dialog box appears. Click the Disable account box, if it is unchecked by default, then click the Continue to account deactivation button at the bottom.
- The content of the window changes – it goes back to the old Facebook interface – to perform an identity check and prohibit deactivation by an unauthorized third party. Enter your account password in the appropriate field and click Continue.
- In the next window, Facebook asks you the reasons for your departure. Check the box of your choice, optionally provide an explanation, check the Continue to use Messenger box if you still want to use Facebook messaging, then click the Disable button to confirm.
- A final dialog window asks you to confirm the deactivation of your account. Click the Deactivate Now button.
- A message informs you that your account is indeed deactivated. However, you can access it normally whenever you want. Your profile will then be fully restored, as your data is not erased by deactivation.
How to delete your Facebook account?
The procedure for deleting an account is very similar to that for deactivating it. Repeat the previous steps from 1 to 5 then:
A dialog box appears. Click the Permanently delete account check box, which is unchecked by default, and then click the Continue deleting account button at the bottom.
The window that then opens gives you two suggestions: deactivate your account rather than deleting it, so that you can continue to use Messenger; and download your personal data before it is completely erased. In the first case, you will find the procedure explained in the first section of this sheet. In the second, you initiate a process of selecting and downloading information associated with your account and your activity on Facebook (posts, images, conversations, etc.). None of these options are required, although saving it allows you to save the content you care about. When you’re ready, click the Remove Account button.
An identity check window is displayed. Enter your Facebook account password and click Continue.
A final validation window is displayed to warn you that your choice is irremediable. Click the Remove Account button.
A new window appears to inform you that the deletion of your account has started. Note that deletion is not immediate. You can cancel it within 30 days of the request. After this period, your account and all associated information will be permanently deleted and you will no longer be able to recover them. It may take up to 90 days to remove the content you added from the time you initiate the process.
To cancel the deletion, log into your Facebook account within 30 days of initiating the operation and click Cancel deletion.