Whether the spark is gone or you’re simply looking to renew and rekindle your love affair with Facebook, you can deactivate or delete your account. However, this procedure is slightly more complicated than you might initially presume. So, if you’re looking to take a break or quit Facebook forever, here is a guide to help you through the process.
Deactivate or delete?
Firstly, you must establish to what extent you wish to delete your Facebook account. The website allows users to choose between deactivating and permanently removing their account. Deactivating your account will allow Facebook to retain all your data, but your account will be suspended, rendering it inaccessible to your or anyone else. Once you’ve deactivated your account, you can return at any time to reactivate it by logging in to the site. If you’re sure you don’t intend on reuniting with your Facebook account, you can proceed with the next few steps.
Once you’ve decided to delete your account permanently, you’ll need to make a list of all the sites that you usually log in to using the Facebook Connect feature and be sure to close each account before continuing with the process. Remember that your Facebook account will need to lay dormant for a time before it is deleted permanently, and logging in to a Facebook connected site could cause you to unwittingly reactivate your account and halt the deletion process.
Delete Your Account
When you’re sure that all Facebook Connect accounts have been closed, you can finally delete your account. This is done by logging in to your account and visiting the site’s Delete My Account page. Once you’ve selected the “Delete My Account” option, a box should appear prompting you to reenter your password and fill out the text in a CAPTCHA box. Clicking “Okay” after inputting the information will submit your account for permanent deletion.
While your page will no longer be viewable at this point, Facebook will retain your account data for two weeks after you’ve deleted your account. This grace period is designed to allow users ample time to change their minds before their accounts are permanently deleted. Logging in to your account during this period will reactivate it, so make sure to clear your web cache and steer clear of the site. If you do accidentally log in to your Facebook account, you’ll need to begin the deletion procedure all over again. Once a fortnight has passed with no activity, your account will be permanently deleted.
Users should note that once their account has been deleted permanently, Facebook may still keep some of your pictures, video and other information on their servers. However, the site states, “This material is disassociated from any personal identifiers and completely inaccessible to other people using Facebook.” This means that, while the site may retain your data for a period, it can’t be accessed by anyone, and will likely be overwritten in the following months.