How Do You Delete a Facebook Account, and Why Might You Want To?

May 3, 2023 • Devin Partida


Facebook has arguably changed the world and expanded the possibilities for how people can communicate with each other, share what interests them and find others with similar passions. However, it’s all too easy to spend more time than you’d like on Facebook, and you might eventually want to stop using it. 

So, how do you delete a Facebook account, and are there other options? Let’s take a look. 

Essential Things to Know Before You Start

Deleting a Facebook account may be too big of a compromise, even if you rarely or never use the site anymore. That’s because deleting an account means you can no longer use Facebook Messenger. 

You also can’t use Facebook Login for sites that currently offer or formerly allowed that sign-in method. That may mean you need to contact the respective sites and change or recover your login details with them. 

Finally, you cannot retrieve any data after deleting your Facebook account, and there is no opportunity to reactivate it later. Now, with that out of the way, let’s dive into the specific account deletion methods. 

Begin by clicking on your Facebook picture in the top right of the screen. Then, choose Settings & Privacy > Settings. Look for the Accounts Center link. If it’s at the top left of the Settings menu, you can delete a Facebook account through the Accounts Center. However, if you see Accounts Center at the bottom left of settings, the instructions for deleting your account through Facebook Settings apply. 

Deleting a Facebook Account Through the Accounts Center

Start by clicking your profile picture in the top right after logging into Facebook. Go to Settings & Privacy > Settings. Scroll to the Account Settings section and click Personal Details. 

Go to Account Ownership and Control. Choose Deactivation and Deletion > Deletion. 

If you have more than one Facebook account or profile, you’ll now need to confirm which one to delete. Select Delete Account, then follow the instructions to verify your choice. From there, click on Accounts Center at the top left. 

How Do You Delete a Facebook Account Through Facebook Settings? 

Log into your Facebook account and click your profile picture, which is on the top right. Select Settings & Privacy > Settings. 

Go to Your Facebook Information. Then click Deactivation & Deletion > Delete Account > Continue to Account Deletion. 

You’ll then need to click Delete Account once more, then enter your Facebook password to confirm your decision. 

How Do You Delete a Facebook Account Temporarily? 

Going through either of Facebook’s deletion options mentioned above is a permanent decision. However, if you opt for account deactivation, that’s temporary. It allows reactivating the account whenever you want.

If you’d rather deactivate your account, the steps are the same as for deletion, until you reach the Deactivation & Deletion step. Choose Deactivate Account here, then follow the steps to confirm your decision. 

Deactivating your account hides your Facebook profile when others search for it. However, the administrators associated with any groups you were in may still see your Facebook profile pictures and comments. Some of your friends may still see you appearing in their friends list, too. Another thing to note is that deactivating your account does not affect your ability to use Messenger. 

Worthwhile Reasons to Delete a Facebook Account 

If you’re at the point of researching how do you delete a Facebook account, you’ve probably had at least a few occasions that made you realize some negative things about your Facebook usage. 

Social Media’s Reality Distortion Problem

Maybe you realize that you check your feed within a few seconds of waking up each morning, and it’s the first thing you see before shutting your eyes to sleep. Perhaps you start feeling down or elated, depending on how many comments and likes you receive. 

You may start feeling that your life isn’t very satisfying — even if you used to feel generally happy with how things are. That’s because experts warn social media distorts our perception of reality. 

That may mean your overall view of the world seems smaller because you primarily see the news and opinions dominating Facebook. However, Facebook has advanced algorithms to show you the content most likely to hold your attention. It doesn’t necessarily represent an accurate version of reality. 

Algorithms aside, most people want to show their best selves on Facebook. That might mean they post pictures of frequent vacations or new cars but don’t mention anything about their unhealthy spending habits or frequent bouts of severe depression. 

Facebook Usage Can Affect Mental Health 

People receiving professional mental health treatment often receive advice to learn their triggers and to pay attention to how they feel while doing specific activities.

A recent study of how Facebook affected college students’ mental health provided some eye-opening takeaways. First, the researchers linked site usage to a 20% increase in anxiety disorders. They also found Facebook users had a 7% rise in severe depression. 

The team also calculated that the negative effects are about 20% the magnitude of what people experience after losing a job. Moreover, they said the negative effects seem to increase the longer someone uses the site. Facebook is supposed to be enjoyable. But these results show that’s not always the case. 

Researchers from the University of Bath discovered that even taking a week-long break from social media had positive effects on anxiety, depression and overall well-being. Some participants freed up about nine hours by doing this experiment, due to how much they typically used social media. 

However, your experience is at least somewhat dependent on how you use the site. Maybe you live in a different country from your immediate family and have set up a Facebook account solely to keep in touch with them. 

Alternatively, you might have a niche interest and live in a very small town. In that case, Facebook could be the best or only way to find others who like the same thing. In those cases, using social media could benefit your mental health by giving you an outlet and way to stay connected. 

You’re Becoming Too Isolated

You may wish to delete your Facebook account if you’ve noticed you’re spending too much time using the site and have tried to cut back but can’t. Social media sites can cause isolation, even as they claim to champion connection. 

It could be a good idea to delete a Facebook account if you know your usage consumes too much of your time and life. Alternatively, if you’d rather take a less drastic measure, consider deactivating your account instead. Then, after taking some time to evaluate whether doing that improves your life, you could think about whether to go all the way by deleting your account. 

Will You Delete Your Facebook Account?

You now know how to delete a Facebook account, why you might do that and an alternative to pulling the plug on your Facebook usage. Regardless of how often you engage with the site now, having this information to refer to later is always useful. Alternatively, if someone you know asks how do you delete a Facebook account, you can now walk them through the steps.