Some of us have been on Facebook for more than a decade, but all good things come to an end. Over the past 18 months, Facebook has been in a downward spiral. The social network is in the eye of a controversy storm, with fake news, Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and misuse of personal data by Cambridge Analytica swirling around Menlo Park.
Meanwhile, the company has lost billions in value, all coming down to the fact that the public’s trust in Facebook has been eroded, perhaps beyond repair.
If you’re ready to jump ship, the process isn’t all that difficult.
The first step is to make sure you have a copy of all your Facebook information. Facebook makes it relatively simple to download an archive of your account, which includes your Timeline info, posts you have shared, messages and photos, as well as more hidden information like ads you have clicked on, the IP addresses that are logged when you log into or out of Facebook, and more.
You can learn all about downloading your Archive here.
To go ahead and download, just go to the Settings page once you’re logged in to Facebook and click “Download a copy of your Facebook data.”
Remember, you can’t go back and download your archive once you’ve deleted your account, so if you want that info at your fingertips, make sure to download the archive first.
Before you delete your account, know this: once your account is deleted, it can’t be recovered. If ever you want to rejoin Facebook, you’ll be starting from scratch.
Oddly, finding the button to delete your Facebook account isn’t available in the settings or menu. It lives on an outside page, which you can find by clicking right here.
Important note: It takes a few days from the time you click the Delete button to the time that your account is actually terminated. If you sign on during that period, the account will no longer be marked for termination and you’ll have to start over. It will take up to 90 days for your account to be fully deleted.
Moreover, some information like log records are stored in Facebook’s database after the account is fully deleted, but the company says that information is not personally identifiable. Information like messages you’ve sent to friends will still be accessible to them.
Keep in mind, Facebook still likely has access to a good deal of your data long after you’ve deleted your account. Plus, Facebook owns WhatsApp and Instagram. So if you really want to stop feeding data into the Facebook machine, you likely need to go ahead and delete those apps as well.