You’ve finally decided to delete your Facebook account. Whether it’s because of data leaks, the rampant spread of misinformation, or malicious activities, you simply had enough with the world’s largest social network. Deleting your account is straightforward, but it’s permanent. Before you do it, consider the following to help you ease the process:
Find a new service to chat or connect with friends and family
Having no Facebook account means no access to Messenger, so you’ll have to look for a new way to message people. Going back to traditional SMS texting should suffice for most use cases.
But if you want something more than sending plain text messages, plenty of feature-rich chat/messaging apps are available on app stores and the Web. WeChat, Viber, Telegram, and WhatsApp are some of the most popular choices (but do note that the last one is also owned by Facebook’s parent company Meta).
The challenge here is convincing the people in your social circle to use these alternative messaging services. Most are likely content with Facebook and won’t settle for another platform.
Find alternative services to Facebook features
With the alternative apps above, your messaging needs are covered. But what about other features you’ve been enjoying on Facebook? Despite its flaws, Facebook is the go-to platform for most people as it offers several things in one convenient location.
While it began as a platform to connect with friends and share your thoughts, Facebook eventually became a marketplace, storage for your photos and videos, event planner/organizer, business directory, and source of news and latest events. Deleting your account means losing access to these features, so you need to find good alternatives.
Download your photos and other information
Videos, photos, statuses, and other content you’ve posted on Facebook will be permanently erased when you delete your Facebook account. Whether for sentimental or other purposes, you’ll want to have a personal copy of your Facebook data.
You can download your data on Facebook by going to Settings > Your Facebook Information > Download Your Information. In here you’ll discover Facebook has collected and saved all sorts of information about you, including location history, messages, poll votes, page likes, and many more.
Set up another login method for online services that use your Facebook account
Various third-party services online allow you during account creation to use your Facebook login credential in lieu of creating a username-password combination to log in. And it’s likely you yourself opted for the Facebook login option due to how convenient it was.
You might be locked out of these third-party services if you delete your Facebook account. So before deleting, check these services first and see if they let you use a different method to login. On Facebook, go to Settings > Apps and Websites to see the services with which you used your Facebook account to log in.
- Facebook design and features over the years (2003 to 2021)
- How to find your old online accounts and apps
- How to delete yourself online
Deactivate and see what it’s like to live without Facebook
Despite its flaws and violations of our privacy, Facebook has undoubtedly brought a modern way to connect with other people. It’s easy to say you won’t miss the social network, but you won’t truly know what you’ll be missing (and to what extent) until you’re actually cut off from Facebook.
To that end, you can opt to deactivate your Facebook account first and see if you can live without the platform. A deactivated account means your friends on Facebook won’t be able to reach out to you via your account. Think of this like a trial separation.
If it turns out that life without Facebook isn’t for you, you can easily reactivate your account by logging in. Similarly, when you’ve chosen to delete your account, there’s still time to log back in to undo it. Facebook gives you a generously long 30-day grace period to change your mind. After that, your account is gone, although data associated with it may take up to three months to disappear from Facebook’s servers.