Despite the rise of TikTok and Snapchat, Facebook still remains the most-used social media platform on the internet, with close to 3 billion active monthly users. However, the site – and social media in general – isn’t for everyone, so it's understandable if you're trying to work out how to delete Facebook.
If you'd just like a break, however, you might just want to deactivate your Facebook account instead. This will save you from making a new account and re-adding all of your friends when you're ready to head back to the platform.
In this guide, we’ll take you through the difference between deactivating and deleting your account, how to delete your Facebook account completely on different devices, and how to reactivate it if you have a change of heart.
- What Is the Difference Between Deactivating and Deleting Facebook?
- How to Delete/Deactivate Your Account on the Facebook Website
- How to Delete/Deactivate Facebook on iOS App
- How to Delete/Deactivate Facebook on Android App
- How to Delete a Facebook Post
- How to Make Your Facebook Account Private
- How to Reactivate a Facebook Account
- How to Change or Reset Your Facebook Password
- How to Delete Facebook: FAQs
What is the difference between deactivating and deleting Facebook?
If you delete Facebook, you’ll remove your account from the site permanently. If you deactivate your Facebook account, you’ll only remove it temporarily, and you’ll be able to reactivate it again whenever you want to.
When you delete your Facebook account, you won’t be able to access it again – your information isn't recoverable. However, Facebook won’t delete your account immediately (it takes up to 30 days), and if you log back into your account during that timeframe, then it is possible to recover your details.
If you deactivate or delete your account, other Facebook users won’t be able to search for you or view your timeline. Some of the information on your Facebook account (such as messages you’ve sent to your friends) may still remain in places on the site, however. You'll also still be able to use Facebook Messenger to send messages to your friends, which you can't do if you delete your account permanently.
How to Delete/Deactivate Your Account on the Facebook Website
Facebook provides instructions on how to delete and deactivate your account on its website. You can perform both actions in the settings area, and then choose your preferred option once you get to the end. Here’s how to do it:
- Log into Facebook from a computer.
- Click on your profile picture in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
- Select “Settings & Privacy”.
- Click on “Settings”.
- Click “Your Facebook Information”.
- Select the “Deactivation and Deletion” option.
If you’d like to delete your account, select “Delete account”, then click “Continue” to process your account deletion. If you’d just like to deactivate it, simply select that option instead.
How to Delete/Deactivate Facebook on iOS App
Deactivating or deleting Facebook on your iPhone, or other device running iOS, is arguably even easier. This is how you do it:
- Open the Facebook application on your iPhone or iPad.
- Tap the hamburger icon (three lines) in the bottom right-hand corner.
- Select “Settings & Privacy.”
- Tap “Privacy Shortcuts”.
- Scroll down to the section entitled “Your Facebook Information”.
- Select “Delete Your Account and Information”.
From there, you can select “Delete account” or “Deactivate account” depending on what you’d like to do with it.
How to Delete/Deactivate Facebook on Android App
Deleting and/or deactivating your account on an Android device is a little more tricky. The submenu where you can perform this action is hidden away in the Accounts Center, and it’s not immediately obvious where it is. Here’s how to go about it:
- Select “Settings & Privacy”.
- Tap “Settings”.
- Click on the “Accounts Center” box at the top of the settings menu
- Tap “Personal Details”.
- Tap “Account Ownership and Control”.
- Select “Deactivation or Deletion”.
After that, you can choose what you want to do with your account.
How to Delete a Facebook Post
If it's just a single Facebook post you'd like to delete, it's a really simple process:
- Log in to Facebook.
- Tap your name on the Facebook interface to navigate to your profile.
- Scroll to the post you'd like to remove.
- Tap the three dots on the top right-hand corner of the post.
After that, select “Hide Post” if you just want the post to be hidden, but not deleted. If you'd like to remove the post from your feed immediately, then click “delete post”. Once you do this, the post will not be able to be recovered. People who have commented on the post will not get a notification that the post has been deleted.
How to Make Your Facebook Account and Posts Private
If you don't want to deactivate or delete your Facebook account, and you'd instead like to restrict who can see your information, you might want to make it private instead. On Facebook, there’s not just one button that lets you make your entire account private. Instead, you can make specific aspects of your account private, one at a time.
All you need to do is head over to the “Settings & Privacy” area, and click on “Settings”.
The easiest way to ensure all of your privacy settings are configured in the way you’d like them to be is simply to let the platform walk you through a “Privacy Checkup” which is clearly signposted in this area. Selecting the most private setting at every stage will make your Facebook account as private as possible.
Remember, every time you post on Facebook, you can select the audience you want to share that post with. There are five different audience categories for posts:
- Public posts – anyone on or off Facebook
- Friends – your friends on your Facebook
- Friends except – everyone except specific accounts you’ve selected
- Specific friends – no one except specific accounts you’ve selected
- Only me – just yourself
How to Reactivate a Facebook Account
Reactivating your Facebook account is really simple. All you have to do is log in with the email address and phone number you used to use, and you'll get your account back immediately.
You may also be prompted to reactivate your Facebook if you’ve deactivated the service, but then attempted to log into another website that lets you log in with Facebook.
When you reactivate your Facebook account, the platform won’t send a message or post anything to your timeline to notify your friends that your account is active once again. Of course, once you start posting again, your friends will see that your account is active.
If you’ve been away for a while and forgotten the password you used on your account, you’ll have to change or reset your Facebook password.
How to Change or Reset Your Facebook Password
If you’re reactivating your account but you can’t remember your Facebook password, it’s a pretty simple process – much like deleting or deactivating your account.
- Navigate to the Facebook login screen.
- Click on “Forgot Password?”
- Type in the name, email address, or phone number associated with your account.
- Follow the subsequent instructions.
You’ll then receive a password reset message through some means.
Then select Settings & Privacy, tap Privacy Shortcuts, scroll down to the section entitled Your Facebook Information, and select Delete Your Account and Information.
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