Recent Events(Opens in a new tab), or just the general state of social media, might make you consider taking a break from Facebook. It’s not an option(Opens in a new tab) for everyone; 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 get away with it. Here’s how to delete Facebook.
Want to get rid of Facebook? Here are some tips from PCMag’s Eric Griffith.(Opens in a new tab)
How to deactivate Facebook
Facebook gives you two options: disable Or DELETE.
The first couldn’t be easier. On the desktop, click the menu at the top right of your screen with your profile picture on it to select Settings and Privacy > Settings. On the left, click Privacy > Your Facebook information. Scroll down and you will see Deactivation and deletion basically. (Here is the direct link(Opens in a new tab).)
If you’re on your iPhone or Android device, tap the menu at the bottom right, then the gear icon at the top, then go to Access and control > Deactivation and deletion.
Facebook doesn’t take deactivation lightly – it will do everything it can to keep you around, including emotional blackmail that your friends will miss you.
“Deactivation” is not the same as leaving Facebook permanently. Yes, your timeline will disappear, you will no longer have access to the site or your account, your friends will not be able to post messages or contact you, and you will lose access to all those third-party services that use (or require) Facebook to connection. But Facebook does not delete account. For what? So you can reactivate it later. It says this when you deactivate: “This may be temporary.” And you can still use Facebook Messenger.
Just in case reactivation doesn’t happen, download a copy of all your data(Opens in a new tab) on Facebook (posts, photos, videos, chats, etc.) from the menu to Settings and privacy > Settings > Privacy > Your Facebook information > Download profile information. What you find might surprise you(Opens in a new tab).
How to Permanently Delete Facebook
To completely and permanently delete your Facebook account, go to facebook.com/help/delete_account(Opens in a new tab). Just be aware that, per Facebook’s Data Use Policy(Opens in a new tab)“After you remove information from your profile or delete your account, copies of that information may remain viewable elsewhere to the extent that it has been shared with others, if it has been otherwise distributed in accordance with your privacy settings, or whether they have been 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 you delete your own profile. Some of your posts and images may also remain for up to 90 days after deletion, but only on Facebook servers, not on the site.
There is a 30-day deletion grace period. That means you’ll have a month to get back to Facebook before it’s really gets rid of your account, in case you change your mind. It’s just another way Facebook cares.
How to Delete or Commemorate Facebook for Others
You can’t delete someone else’s account without being able to log into it. But you can evict others, especially minors, because 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 an underage person, it deletes the account instantly, without notifying anyone.
There is a separate form to request the deletion of accounts for people with medical incapacity (Opens in a new tab)and unable to use Facebook. For this to work, the applicant must prove that they are the guardian of the person in question (such as holding a power of attorney) and provide an official note from a doctor or medical institution that specifies the incapacity. Redact any information necessary to maintain confidentiality, such as medical account numbers and addresses.
When a user has died, a former contact (Opens in a new tab)– a Facebook friend or relative designated by the account owner prior to their death – can gain access to the deceased person’s timeline, once approved by Facebook. The legacy contact may need to provide a link to an obituary or other documents such as a death certificate. Facebook can “remember” the page(Opens in a new tab), so that the timeline of the deceased lives on under the control of the inherited contact. This person cannot post as the deceased, but will be able to manage the profile picture and cover photo, manage tribute posts from other friends, and manage new friend requests to the deceased . The page will say “Remembering” above the person’s name.
If the legacy contact prefers, however, they can have the page permanently deleted.(Opens in a new tab)
You can designate a legacy contact person to manage your account after your death by going to Settings and Privacy > Settings > click on your name > Commemoration Settings. Type a friend’s name to find their Facebook profile, then click Add. Then, click on Send for the person to receive a notification. (You can also go here to delete or edit an existing old contact.)
Once you’ve chosen a legacy contact (and you can only select one), you’ll receive a notification every year from Facebook to verify that the contact should remain the same.
You have the option to ensure that after your death, if the former contact reports you as deceased on Facebook, your account is deleted, even if the former contact wants the account to be memorialized. It’s a good way to take control of the great beyond(Opens in a new tab).
This article originally appeared on PCMag.com(Opens in a new tab), the sister site of Mashable. PCMag.com(Opens in a new tab) is a leading authority on technology, providing independent, lab-based analysis of the latest products and services.