Facebook makes it pretty easy to deactivate your account which will temporarily hide your information. However, if you want to permanently remove your information, the "permanent delete" option is much harder to find. This article will cover two easy ways to erase your Facebook account so you can Quit Facebook forever.
StepsBefore You Start
- Remove Facebook Connect logins. Many sites, like Digg.com and Meetup.com, allow signup and login using Facebook Connect -- List of Facebook Connect sites (may not be complete or current.) If you have accounts on such sites, go to each of them, and:
- make sure you have a way to login that does not involve Facebook Connect (you will most likely have to create a username and password on the site if you haven't already.)
- logout of the account, then log back in using the alternate method (not using Facebook Connect), ensuring that you will be able to access the account after your Facebook account is deleted.
- Copy and paste http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=delete_account once you have logged on. This screen will present itself:
- Click "Submit" and follow instructions. There will be a simple password and a Captcha spam check to enter in.
- Do not login or connect with your Facebook account. You will receive an email saying that your account will be deleted in 14 days. Any interaction with the account during that period could prevent it from being deleted, so for 14 days:
- do not try to login to your Facebook account; you may want to clear your browser cache and delete your cookies so that you don't login inadvertently.
- do not click the Facebook Share or Like button on any site you visit.
- do not use Facebook Connect to login to or signup on any site (see Before You Start, above.)
- Wait and watch. At the end of 14 days, all of your posts, comments, info, etc., will be permanently made inaccessible on Facebook.
- Go to the bottom of the home page. Click on the "help center" (http://www.facebook.com/#!/help/?ref=pf).
- At "help center", type in "Delete Facebook" into the search box at the top of the page. Click "Search".
- Arrive at the page titled "Facebook FAQs". Look down the list of FAQs and open the one called: "I want to permanently delete my account. How do I delete my account?"
- Read the Facebook information - it basically asks you whether you want to deactivate your account or delete it permanently. (Deactivating means that Facebook retains your profile information (friends, photos, etc.) but you have disappeared from the Facebook service.) Facebook makes it clear that if you want your information removed forever, you can never recover the information and it will be wiped for good.
- Click on https://ssl.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=delete_account. You will be reminded that this is a permanent deletion and that your account cannot be reactivated and that none of the content or information you have added can be retrieved.
- Click submit. Follow the steps, such as entering your password, email, and Captcha code.
- Do not log in for the next 14 days and your account will be deleted completely. Note, however, that if you change your mind before the 14 days period is up, just log in and this will reactivate your account!
- Email Facebook directly. The email is: email@example.com. Request that Facebook deletes your account.
- Wait to get an email response from Facebook confirming that your account has been permanently deleted. This should take a few days.
- If you don't hear back from Facebook within a week, email them again. This time, not only email Facebook at firstname.lastname@example.org, but also send an email to email@example.com and one to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Finally, attempt to log in to your account once you get an email from Facebook. If you're unable to log in and don't get a message asking you to reactivate your account, your Facebook account has been permanently deleted.
- If you're not one hundred percent sure that you want to permanently remove all that information, you can temporarily "deactivate" your Facebook account. Just follow the detailed instructions at How to Deactivate a Facebook Account.
- If you really want to be secure, change the contact email back to the new email address and then remove your original contact email from the list. Then deactivate the new account.
- It should be noted that how deep your deletion goes is highly questionable — does Facebook still store your information even though you've destroyed your way of accessing it? You have no way of knowing.
- If you try to register using your contact e-mail address, Facebook will inform you that the address is currently in use. You must first register using an alternate e-mail address, then add your contact e-mail address when the account creation process is complete.
- Bear in mind that you will not be able to restore your account after the 14 days of the permanent deletion process have passed.
- How to Opt out of Facebook's Open Graph Personalization
- How to Manage Facebook Privacy Options
- How to Quit Facebook
- How to Block Facebook Beacon
- How to Deal With Not Having a Facebook/Myspace
- How to Use the Facebook Like Button
Sources and Citations
- Read Write Web, What happens when you deactivate your account (research source)
- Groovy Post, Permanently Delete Your Facebook Account (How-To) (research source)
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