How to completely delete your Facebook account and all posts

You’ve decided it’s time to leave your Facebook life behind, and start fresh in the real world.

The obvious first move is to delete your Facebook profile – but is this possible, and how do you go about doing it?

What about all your posts and photos – will they stay up or disappear once your profile goes offline?

We took at a look at the guidelines Facebook provides for those who want to leave the service – detailing the quickest and easiest way to delete your profile.

Deleting vs Deactivating your Facebook profile

The first step is knowing the difference between Facebook’s “deactivation” and “delete” profile functions.

Deactivating your account is a temporary measure which shuts down your profile until you decide to return.

This includes information on your Timeline being hidden; you won’t be searchable; and all your information, friends, and photos will be saved.

To deactivate your account, go to: Account menu (small arrow next to the lock icon on the top right) > Settings > Security > Deactivate your account.

Follow the steps from there to deactivate your Facebook account.

Deleting your Facebook account, on the other hand, is permanent, and you will not be able to regain access to it.

Messages you have sent to friends may not all be deleted, while log records will remain with Facebook for “technical reasons”.

The entirety of your account – such as all photos, status updates, and other data – may take up to 90 days to be deleted once you have requested for your profile to be shutdown.

There is no option for recovery once this is done.

To delete your account, you must ask Facebook to remove your profile.

This will involve you logging into your account, and

Once there, click Delete my account, and Facebook handles the rest.

How long will it take to delete?

Once you have requested your account to be deleted, Facebook delays the action for a “few days” in case you change your mind.

“If you log into your account again during this time you’ll cancel your deletion request,” said Facebook. No definite time period is given for how long the deletion process will take.

Can I delete my child’s or deceased friend’s account?

Facebook “may be able to help” when it comes to the deletion of other users’ accounts, in the case they cannot delete it themselves.

The minimum age limit for Facebook use is 13 years, and children under this age can be reported here. A link to the offending profile must be provided, after which Facebook will investigate and delete the account if warranted.

To request the removal of an account of someone who is “sick, injured, or otherwise incapacitated”, you must fill in this form.

You must provide a link to their account, their full name, your relationship with the person, and your full name. Identity documents will also have to be provided.