Recent events(Opens in a new tab), or just the general state of social media, might make you consider taking a break from Facebook. This is not an option(Opens in a new tab) for all; in this case, tighten(Opens in a new tab) your account settings.
But if you’ve finally had enough and can’t take Facebook anymore, you can break free. Here’s how to delete Facebook.
Want to get rid of Facebook? Here are some tips on how from PCMag’s Eric Griffith.(Opens in a new tab)
How to disable Facebook
Facebook gives you two options: disable the delete.
The first one couldn’t be easier. On the desktop, click the menu in the upper right corner of your screen with your profile picture to select it Settings & Privacy > Settings. On the left, click Privacy > Your Facebook Information. Scroll down and you will see Deactivation and deletion at the bottom. (Here is the direct link(Opens in a new tab).)
If you’re using your iPhone or Android device, tap the menu in the bottom right, then the gear icon at the top, then go to Access and control > Disable and delete.
Facebook doesn’t take deactivation lightly—it’ll do whatever it can to keep you around, including emotional blackmail about how much you’ll miss your friends.
“Opting out” is not the same as permanently exiting Facebook. Yes, your timeline will disappear, you won’t be able to access your website or account, friends won’t be able to post or contact you, and you’ll lose access to all those third-party services that use (or require) Facebook to Connection. But Facebook does not delete the account. Why; That way, you’ll be able to turn it back on later. It says as you turn it off: “This may be temporary.” And you can still use Facebook Messenger.
In case reactivation is not going to happen, please download a copy of all your data(Opens in a new tab) on Facebook—posts, photos, videos, conversations, and so on—from the About menu Settings & Privacy > Settings > Privacy > Your Facebook Information > Get Profile Information. What you find may surprise you(Opens in a new tab).
How to Delete Facebook Permanently
To completely and permanently delete your Facebook account, go to facebook.com/help/delete_account(Opens in a new tab). Just be aware that, according to Facebook’s data usage policy(Opens in a new tab)“After you remove information from your profile or delete your account, copies of that information may remain visible elsewhere to the extent that it has been shared with others, otherwise distributed in accordance with your privacy settings, or copied or stored by other users.”
Translation: If you wrote a comment on a friend’s status update or photo, it will remain even after your profile is deleted. Some of your posts and photos may last up to 90 days after deletion, too, though only on Facebook servers — not live on the site.
There is a 30-day deletion grace period. That means you’ll have a month to get back on Facebook before you actually do gets rid of your account, in case you change your mind. It’s just another way Facebook cares.
How to delete or remember Facebook for others
You cannot delete someone else’s account without being able to log in to them. But you can get others to opt out—especially minors, since Facebook prohibits children under 13 from complying with federal law(Opens in a new tab).
To notify Facebook about a user under 13, report the account(Opens in a new tab). If Facebook can “reasonably verify” that the account belongs to a minor, it deletes the account immediately, without notifying anyone.
There is a separate form to request the removal of accounts for people who are medically incapacitated (Opens in a new tab)and I can’t use Facebook. For this to work, the applicant must prove that they are the guardian of the person in question (such as having a power of attorney) as well as provide an official note from a doctor or medical facility stating incapacity. Delete any information necessary to maintain privacy, such as medical bill numbers and addresses.
When a user has died, a legacy contact (Opens in a new tab)— a Facebook friend or relative designated by the account owner before they died — can access the deceased’s timeline, once approved by Facebook. The legacy contact may need to provide a link to an obituary or other documentation, such as a death certificate. Facebook can “memo” the page(Opens in a new tab), so the deceased’s timeline remains under the control of the legacy contact. This person cannot post as the deceased, but will be able to manage their profile picture and cover photo, manage any tribute posts other friends have made, and handle new friend requests of the deceased. The page will say “Remember” above the person’s name.
However, if the legacy contact prefers, they can permanently remove the page.(Opens in a new tab)
You can designate a legacy contact to handle your account after you’re on board by going to Settings & Privacy > Settings > click your name > Memory settings. Type a friend’s name to find their Facebook profile, then click Add. Then click Send for the person to receive a notification. (You can also go here to remove or change an existing legacy contact.)
Once you select a legacy contact (and you can only select one), you’ll get a notification every year from Facebook to double-check that the contact should stay the same.
You have the option to ensure that after your death, if the legacy contact lists you as dead on Facebook, your account will be deleted—even if the legacy contact wants the account remembered. This is a good way to take control from the big beyond(Opens in a new tab).
This article originally appeared on PCMag.com(Opens in a new tab), Mashable’s sister site. PCMag.com(Opens in a new tab) is a leading authority in technology, providing independent, lab-based assessments of the latest products and services.