How Do I Cancel a Facebook Account?

May 2, 2011, By Christian Cawley

If you’re particularly concerned about privacy issues, the behaviour of friends and relatives or you prefer a world that doesn’t require you to “like” your friend’s worldview and share your thoughts as a “status” then cancelling your Facebook account might be a good idea.

After all, for many of us Facebook is a massive drain on our time, leading to a vast amount of lost man hours each day and potentially even costing a lot of money to businesses that permit their employees to use the service.

In addition, there are many privacy concerns with Facebook, from users displaying far too much information about themselves to apps and games purporting to be innocent but in actuality misusing people’s data or even diverting users to third party websites that are less secure than the popular social networking site.

how to cancel a Facebook account

How Easy Is it to Quit Facebook?

As you might expect from a company that is trying to make as much money as possible from information that you freely submitted, Facebook doesn’t make it easy to completely quit. In fact they make it pretty difficult.

The distinction here is between quitting Facebook and them removing your data. As things stand, when you quit Facebook, your account is in fact placed on hold. Should you attempt to login within the next 14 days, any cancellation request you make will be immediately reversed.

Think of it as a “cooling off period”!

However, keep in mind that various third party services use Facebook Connect to access your Facebook account, either to post something to your wall or to allow you to access another website. As such you need to be aware of what you are using Facebook Connect for, so use the Facebook Developers list of apps using Facebook Connect to check. If you feel as though you might want to use any of those sites in future, setup an independent account.

Cancelling Facebook

With the difficult bit out of the way, you will then be ready to cancel your Facebook account. Remember, after doing this, no attempts at signing in for at least 14 days, or the process will be cancelled!

Sign in to Facebook and then use the delete account link. This opens the Delete my account page, where you will be asked to confirm your decision.

Facebook will advise you that once cancelled, the account will be irretrievable, and you will be unable to access it again. Click Submit to proceed, and you will be asked to enter your password as well as complete the CAPTCHA text form just in case you’re not human.

If you want to check if your account has been removed, use a different browser (or even a computer) that you have never signed into Facebook with to check your profile over the next two weeks. Don’t sign in – just view what information is displayed, and after 14 days this should be removed!

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