Why is deleting my Facebook account so much work? How to DELETE Facebook!

Estimated read time: 3 minutes



After the outcry over privacy concerns for users of Facebook in early 2018 people started deleting their Facebook accounts and apps. Or at least they said they were.

Some companies also said they would delete their Facebook pages, and other users started tweeting #DeleteFacebook, which have about 700 tweets an hour the day I was writing this article.

Related: The New York Times has a piece here on how huge Facebook is. Whoa!

Of course, with plummeting organic reach and other negative updates to how brand pages can connect with your audience deleting your Facebook page might not be that big of an impact to an organization anyways. Maybe it’s even similar to politicians resigning NOW after they reached their tournaments.

On a personal side, I find it much harder to delete my Facebook profile completely. I have all kinds of pictures on there and I love the reminders of posts from years gone by. I’ve probably been on Facebook for almost a decade by now.

But nonetheless I wanted to find out how I would be able to delete my Facebook account. Here is how I got there. Going to the settings setting and then into account settings seems to be the natural way to do that and is also a way I’ve seen other providers handle account deletions. Once there, it offers me the option to deactivate my account. Deactivation and deletion are technically different things but they sound very similar so that sounds like the right way to go. Once I clicked on the activation I get this screen:

As you can see the screen actually explains that the activation doesn’t delete your account but just removes it from people being able to see it. Facebook also tries to get a reason out of you for why you are deactivating your account and when you give a reason they give you suggestions why to stay with Facebook.

Either way, I gave it a try and deactivated my account. Once I did, I was signed out of all my apps but to re-activate it I literally just had to sign right back in.

So if deactivation isn’t the same as deletion how do I actually delete my account?

Good question and that took me a while to figure out. There’s no obvious place from what I could tell in the account settings section as of this writing but I was able to find a solution by going back to the navigation and clicking on the help center, which is really close to the account settings section:

This view is from the mobile version from Safari. Of course, it looked slightly different in the app but the same concept applies.



Once in the help center I can search for questions and keywords. Search for how do I delete my account to get the following help screen:

And then this if you want to proceed:

So that’s a lot of work to delete your account because first of all you might just be deactivating it and then you have to find whereever the actual deletion option is. I’ve canceled hard-to-cancel contracts quicker than this!

Then of course the question comes to mind whether or not we actually want to or should delete our account. In the early days of Twitter I had probably two to four different accounts and I kept deleting them because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to participate. Quite honestly it was a pain and it would’ve been much easier just to stick with one account.

Then of course we have the social media managers and they might still need access to Facebook pages, which likely wouldn’t be possible because Facebook pages’ roles are tied to personal accounts.

So for the time being after all that work I’ll probably keep my Facebook account for a bit yet but I’ve already seen myself use Facebook less and less.