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How to Delete & Deactivate Facebook Accounts (2020)

Edited By Piyush Kashyap, Reviewed By Gulshan

Is it really time to delete or deactivate your Facebook account? Well, if you are thinking along these lines, there may be plenty of reasons for it.

Facebook may have once connected you to hundreds of long lost friends and acquaintances from around the world, but it simply may not interest you anymore or you may be worried sick about your online privacy after the big scandals that rocked Facebook recently. 

Millions of users had to forcefully log out of Facebook permanently after their personal data was used by a British political data-mining firm. Whatever may be the reason to deactivate or delete your Facebook account, there’s not much to worry about. 

How to Delete & Deactivate Facebook Accounts

It once used to be a long and tedious process but now you can do it very easily. However, you must be aware of the difference between deactivating your account and deleting it forever.

If you choose to ‘deactivate’ your account, you will no longer have access to it, nor will your friends be able to post on your timeline. It will cut off access to Facebook from any devices that you were previously logged into.

Access to any third party site that required Facebook for login will also be beyond your reach. But, this certainly does not mean that your account completely ceases to exist. Facebook will never delete an account on its own. It keeps the account safe so that you can reactivate it later.

What happens when you deactivate your account?

The moment you deactivate your Facebook account, the Timeline disappears and it is no longer visible to you or your friends. People cannot find your account from the search bar anymore. But, some of the information remains visible, for instance, the messages that you have sent to others.

And Facebook keeps your account information, including your friends and interest list, in case you wish to come back and reactivate your account. Besides, you can still use your Messenger account to chat with friends or make voice and video calls even with a deactivated account.

What happens if you delete your Facebook account?

If you have made up your mind and have decided to delete your Facebook account permanently, it is a completely different issue.

Once deleted, it cannot be reactivated again. The content that was uploaded or added to your Facebook account will be permanently deleted and you’ll never be able to access them, in case you have not taken a back-up.

If you want to access apps that once used your Facebook login, you’ll be prohibited from visiting them. Deleting your Facebook account also removes your Messenger service and you cannot use it to chat with friends and family.


What is interesting here is that Facebook will not delete your account immediately after a request has been made. It will take a few days to act upon your request. If you happen to login within that period, the request to delete your account will be cancelled.

To remove your account information and personal data permanently, Facebook takes up to 90 days and copies of some material such as log records may remain in the Facebook database. However, according to the company policy, it will be ‘disassociated from personal identifiers’.

Whether you choose to deactivate or delete your account, think about it before requesting it.

Deactivating / Deleting Facebook Accounts

Deactivating your Facebook account is a pretty simple affair. Go to the Settings menu on your Facebook page, select Manage Account and click on ‘Deactivate your account’.

Once you request a deactivation, there will be some more steps to confirm your decision. Once it is completed, your profile will be deactivated.

How to delete Facebook account?

Deleting your Facebook account doesn’t give you the chance of coming back once again.

So, if you have thought about it, think thoroughly before placing the request. Social media is a big part of our daily lives and even if we say that it doesn’t affect us much, it might be a big drawback if you have friends and family living abroad. It can be a great tool to connect and stay in touch.

But, if it simply does not matter anymore or if you’ve decided to log out of your social media account forever, click on ‘Delete my Facebook Page’. The request will be placed and it will take a few days to completely delete your account.

But, before deleting your Facebook account, you may want to download your personal data including photos, videos or posts. Let’s now find out how you can download data before permanently deleting your account.

How to PERMANENTLY DELETE Your Facebook Account - Complete Guide

  • 1
    Go to the Facebook page and click on the upside down triangle on the top right-hand corner of the page.
  • 2
    Click on Settings.
  • 3
    Select ‘Your Facebook Information’ page, which is basically an information archive that gives you the option to download data that you wish to retrieve. Here you can select a date range, quality of media files and also an archive format.
  • 4
    Next to ‘Download your Information’, there will be an option to ‘View’.
  • 5
    Click ‘View’ and you’ll find options to add or remove certain categories. Depending on your requirement, check or uncheck the boxes provided along the right side of the page.
  • 6
    Next you will be asked to choose the format of your download. It will help you select the quality of photos and videos and allow users to select a date range for the download.
  • 7
    As you move on to the next step, click on ‘Create File’ to confirm the request to download data.
  • 8
    Facebook will send a notification to inform you that your download request has been received.
  • 9
    Go back to the ‘Download your Information’ page once again. Click on ‘Settings’, ‘Your Facebook Information’ and ‘View’ next to ‘Download Your Information’.
  • 10
    You can now click on ‘Download’ to get hold of all your requested posts, photos, videos and other data.
  • 11
    The file will begin downloading once you re-enter a valid Facebook password.

If you want to delete your Facebook account, you can now go ahead and complete the process. However, keep in mind that Facebook will take up to 90 days to remove all content related to your account. In order to speed up the process, you may delete specific parts of your Facebook content.

It will help to reduce the 90 day deletion period to a great extent. Your search history and connected apps will also be tidier if you follow the manual deletion procedure. Erasing your Facebook usage history is a time consuming affair and takes a lot of time.

But, there are options to speed up this process as well. You can easily view, manage and delete your Facebook information without much hassle.

To begin with, go to ‘Your Facebook Information’ and click on ‘Activity Log’.

Alternatively, click on ‘Activity Log’ from your Facebook profile page. Look at the bottom-right corner of the cover photo, near ‘Update Info’ and you’ll find the ‘Activity Log’ tab. It allows you to do a number of things such as viewing or deleting posts, comments and removing likes from certain posts.

You can also erase your search history from here. It also provides access to delete or manage group posts and removing content that has been posted by connected apps.

But, going through all your Facebook activity and content can be extremely tiring. You may have accumulated plenty of stuff over the years and removing all of it may be quite difficult.

In order to ease the process, here’s a quick guide to remove some of the most popular contents that users delete before closing their accounts.



When you are deleting your Facebook account permanently, it may be a good idea to remove the connected apps. Click on ‘Apps and Websites’. It will throw up a list of active, removed and expired apps from your account. 

If you want to delete an active app, simply click on the box next to it and select Remove. You can also remove expired apps by logging into them with your Facebook account. But, be mindful about this if you have already sent a deletion request.

Logging into any connected app with your Facebook account may cancel the deletion process.

Search History

We often use the search bar to look for people, groups and organizations on Facebook. If you want, all or part of your search history can be erased. Click on the search bar and select ‘Edit’ next to the recent searches section. 

You’ll find all your search history here and you can individually remove them. Alternatively, go to ‘Activity Log’ and select ‘Search History’ button to remove all the data. Simply click on ‘Clear Searches’ at the top right hand corner of the page to remove all your searches at once.

Photos, Videos and Albums

The photos, videos and albums section is probably the most loaded section of your Facebook account. Most of us share personal photographs and videos here and if you are looking to delete your account, it may be wise to remove them.

Go to ‘Activity Log’ and navigate to ‘Photos and Videos’. All the media content will appear chronologically. Click on the pencil shaped icon to remove the items one by one. An easier way would be to delete entire albums from the ‘Photos’ and ‘Albums’ tab in your account.

Comments and Posts

If you want to remove your posts and comments too, you might have to wait for up to 90 days. In order to speed up the process, go to your ‘Activity Log’ and select ‘Comments’ right below Photos and Videos. You can now click on the pencil shaped icon to delete any comment or post.

Other ways to secure Facebook data

Although you are contemplating the closing of your account, it might be a good idea to revisit the privacy settings page once again. Here you can change preferences for post visibility, settings to choose who can view your profile, photos and posts.

You can also decide who can send you friend requests, visibility of your friend list, whether you want your phone number and email to be visible and how you can be found or contacted on Facebook.

It deals with the general visibility settings and you can visit this tab to set preferences for previous or future content.

You can also remove old content in bulk using your Activity log. Once this is done, you can review some of the content from the recent years and change their privacy settings according to your requirement.

But, if you are concerned about your online privacy and feel your data may be compromised, go ahead and deactivate or delete your account without much ado.


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About the Author

Piyush Kashyap is a Ph.D student at Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Sangrur. He is a budding editor/ writer and has been working as a part-time reviewer for online content. He loves to read tech-based articles and has a knack for reviewing such articles He likes to stay updated about the latest trends in technology. He has also been working as a reviewer for many scientific journals. He also writes articles based on science. Know More About Piyush

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