Everyone needs a break from social media once in awhile. It’s a good idea to do this regularly for your mental, emotional, and physical health. Admit it, you’ve had the desire to walk away from your Facebook account (I know I have). You may have even done it. If this is something you’re considering, it’s important for you to know there are two different ways to do this. One is temporary and the other permanent. So if you want to know how to delete your Facebook account, read on.

The temporary break is called deactivation. This is putting your account in a deep freeze. When you’re ready, simpy log back in and your account “wakes up” with all the notifications, activity, and noise just like before. Your content and friends are there waiting for you. See Facebook’s further description of what this entails.

The permanent solution is called deleting your account. This wipes out all content (years of photos, videos and comments), page likes, groups, and friend relationships. You will be removed from the service altogether but it may take up to 90 days to delete data from their backup systems. If you ever decide to come back, you’ll have to rebuild.

Which is better?

Ask yourself, the outcome you are looking to achieve. Do you just need to breathe and get away from the stress? That’s a deactivation. Are you done with Facebook? Before deleting, you’ll want to think about it for a few days.

Decisions when you want to delete facebook accountWhen deleting, there are a few scenarios where it makes good sense. If you are: physically at risk, attempting to remain hidden from people that are looking for you, drastically changing your lifestyle and communications, or need to go cold turkey with a social media addiction.

I see deactivations mostly for mental breaks but I had a client that was going through a nasty divorce and used this feature. He did it so he wouldn’t see his ex-spouse’s comments, those of their upset friends, and so that he wouldn’t be tempted to sling mud online if he was having a bad day. He safely removed the option and came back about 3 months later. I found his maturity impressive.

How to Deactivate or Delete Your Facebook Account (as of 12/2023)

  • Go to your upper right hand corner of Facebook when logged in
  • Choose Settings & Privacy then Settings
  • In the left hand column choose Your Facebook Information > Download Your Information. PLEASE download your info, even if you aren’t deleting. When choose to download everything, it’ll take a couple days to arrive as a package via email.
  • Scroll back up to See More in Account Center
  • Choose Personal Details
  • Choose Account Ownership & Control. In here is where you can choose which account you want to work on
  • Here’s where you choose Deactivate or Delete
  • Choose Continue for the instructions to confirm
  • Here is another location where you can make these same choices: Facebook Help Page

I Support You

You might be surprised to learn that I completely support whichever is right for you. I encourage you to deactivate anytime it feels right – do it! When you want to delete, I hope you take a few days before hitting that button and please make sure to download your data before you go.

After so many years of working in social media, if my job didn’t depend on it, I’d probably delete myself. Do what’s right for you!

Need my help? I’m here for you.

deactivate or delete facebook account

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