If the time has come where you've outgrown Facebook or simply posted so many embarrassing photos that it's time for a fresh start, we'll show you how to deactivate your Facebook account in a few minutes. We'll also cover the more permanent solution of deleting your Facebook account for good.
What to do before you delete Facebook
I'll assume you've thought long and hard about the impact deleting Facebook will have on those with which you primarily communicate through the social platform. In some circles you'll simply cease to exist, so you'll have to figure out all-new ways to know what's going on in your friends' lives and get yourself invited to events. If you're good with this there are just a few things you should do first.
Give your friends fair warning
Let people know you're planning on leaving. Don't just delete your Facebook account without warning anyone first. Give people time to absorb the impending loss of your digital presence in their lives and let them chase up an email address, phone number or alternative means of knowing what you ate for dinner before you pull the pin.
Save what you can, forget the rest
Of course, if you're going to set up a fresh Facebook account then you probably only want to tell those people you actually want trying to friend your new account. Next, think about the massive store of data you'll be leaving behind: photos, chats, posts and location data. Try to grab as much of that content as you can before you kill Facebook entirely. Familiarize yourself with the other options: temporarily suspending your account, for example.
Note: You actually have two options to get rid of Facebook: you can deactivate your account (meaning it can be reactivated anytime afterward by logging back in, although you will have lost your friends list, photos and interests) and permanently deleting your account (thanks to Arjun Paliath for pointing this out). First we'll cover deactivating your account, followed by permanently deleting your account.
How to deactivate a Facebook account
1. If you're committed, grab your phone and launch the Facebook app for the last time. Take a look around, breath in that virtual social air and hit the menu button in the top right-hand corner. It's the white one with three horizontal bars (not the blue one above it with the person next to it).
2. Scroll down to Account Settings, then Security.
3. At the bottom of the Security Settings page you'll see Account > Deactivate. This is what you're looking for. Tap Deactivate.
4. You'll be prompted to re-enter your password. Do so.
5. You'll then be taken to a departure survey asking you to explain why you want to delete your Facebook account. You have to pick something so do so. Facebook will throw some rather desperate attempts at you to convince you to stay (choose “I don't find Facebook useful” and it'll suggest you find more friends on the social network, for example).
6. Make sure to check the box at the bottom so you don't get follow up emails from Facebook after you delete your Facebook account.
7. Tap Deactivate and you'll be required to enter your password one final time. This is the very last step to deactivating your account. Once you tap Deactivate you'll be taken back to the app login screen and your Facebook account will be gone for good.
8. Now, just uninstall the Facebook app from your Android and enjoy all the spare time you have to actually, you know, talk to your friends in person.
How to delete a Facebook account permanently
To permanently delete your Facebook account, meaning it can never be resurrected, you have to specifically request Facebook to do this. The process can take up to 90 days to be completed.
In a slightly humorous twist, the link provided by Facebook for deleting your account doesn't work, so the link you want is this one. For more details on the difference between deactivating and deleting your Facebook account, visit this link.
Have you taken the plunge? How do you feel without Facebook?