If you’ve finally given up on the world’s most popular social media network and want to get rid of Facebook, it’s not too complicated to remove yourself from the service. But before you delete all of those pictures, posts, and Likes, you should download your personal information from Facebook first.
Your Facebook archives contain just about all of the pertinent information related to your account, including your photos, active sessions, chat history, IP addresses, facial recognition data, and which ads you clicked, just to name a few. That’s a ton of personal information that you should probably maintain access to. To download your archive, go to “Settings” and click “Download a copy of your Facebook data” at the bottom of General Account Settings, and then click “Start My Archive.”
After you’ve finished downloading your archive, you can now delete your account.
Beware: once you delete your account, it cannot be recovered.
If you are ready to delete your account, you can click this link, which will take you to the account deletion page. (Facebook doesn’t have the delete account option in its settings, for some reason.) Once you click “Delete My Account,” your account will be marked for termination, and inaccessible to others using Facebook.
The company notes that it delays termination for a few days after it’s requested. If you log back in during that period, your deletion request will be canceled. So don’t sign on, or you’ll be forced to start the process over again. Certain things, like comments you’ve made on a friend’s post, may still appear even after you delete your account. Facebook also says that copies of certain items like log records will remain in its database, but notes that those are disassociated with personal identifiers.
The company says it can take up to 90 days to fully delete your account and the information associated with it, but it notes that your account will be inaccessible to other people using Facebook during that time.
If you’re really serious about quitting Facebook, remember that the company owns several other popular services as well, like Instagram and WhatsApp, so you should delete your accounts there as well.