It’s been a bad week for Facebook. The social network went down on Tuesday, along with its other sites WhatsApp and Instagram. Compound this with congressional testimony from a whistleblower, whose identity was recently revealed.
Frances Haugen disclosed that Facebook is aware that its platform spreads violence and hatred along with misinformation. To combat this would mean losing users. Tap or click here to hear why this scandal tops previous ones associated with the social network.
If you’re considering ditching Facebook, it’s easier than it used to be, though it’s not exactly a simple one-step process. We’ll show you how to properly erase yourself from the social network without leaving anything behind.
Grab your stuff before you go
You probably have photos and videos on Facebook that can’t be found anywhere else. Think of media you’re tagged in or photos you posted that are no longer on your phone. The good news is you can take them with you.
If you have just a few photos, you can save them manually one-by-one.
- On the desktop version of Facebook, open the photo, click the three dots menu icon, then Download.
- On Facebook mobile, open the photo, tap the three dots menu icon, then Save Photo.
For photo albums, open the Albums section on your desktop Facebook account. Open the album you want to download and click the three dots menu icon, then Download Album.
With the social network’s downloader tool, you can download your entire Facebook history, including photos and videos. Here’s how:
- Open the Settings page on your Facebook desktop account.
- Click Your Facebook Information in the left sidebar.
- Click View next to Download Information.
- Check or uncheck the boxes for various categories.
- Other options include your download format, media quality and date range.
- When you’re ready, click Create File to start the download.
- Your request will appear as Pending in the Available Copies section of the Download Your Information tool.
- You’ll get a notification when it’s ready, which could take several days. Once this happens, go to the Available Copies section of the Download Your Information tool.
- Click Download and enter your password.
There are third-party options available and you can use Dropbox to store your history file. Tap or click here for more information.
Shutting down your account
Gather any contact information you need from your Facebook friends before you go. You may have no other way of contacting some of them.
If you have a Page set up for your business or just for fun, you’ll have to turn ownership over to someone else, as these will be deleted along with your account.
Be warned that you can’t get anything back once you delete your Facebook account. Your profile, photos, comments, posts, videos and anything you’ve added and posted will be gone. You also won’t be able to use Messenger.
Are you ready to extricate yourself from Facebook? Here’s how to do it:
- From your desktop, log into Facebook and click the downward-facing arrow in the top-right.
- Go to Settings & Privacy > Settings.
- Select Your Facebook Information in the left column.
- Click Deactivation and deletion.
- Select Delete account, then Continue to account deletion.
- Click Delete account and enter your password, then click Continue.
You have 30 days to change your mind about deleting your account. After that time passes, you can’t take it back. To cancel the deletion process, log in to your Facebook account and click Cancel Deletion.
Facebook notes it may take 90 days from start to finish to delete everything you’ve posted, though other users can’t access this during this time. Facebook also states that it “may also keep your information for things like legal issues, terms violations, or harm prevention efforts.”