Whether you just want a fresh start with a new account, or you want to leave the social network for good, this guide will show you how to cancel your Facebook account. You can do it temporarily or permanently.
Cancel by Telephone
You can call Facebook’s UK head office in London on 0844 257 3019. The answering service will give you these options: Press 1 for Customer Support, press 2 for Law Enforcement, press 3 for Press, press 4 for Marketing, press 5 for Business Development and Advertising, press 6 for Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable, or press 7 for any other enquiries. You can press either 1 or 7 to try to speak to a person about your Facebook account. They may not be able to cancel your account for you, but they can guide you on the way to do it yourself. Call if you have already tried to cancel your Facebook account but there was an issue.
The fastest and most straightforward way to cancel your Facebook account is to do it yourself online. But before you do that, you might want to back up all of the information from your account. You probably have years of photos, posts, comments, and other memories you might not want to lose. Download them all by first logging into your Facebook account. Then click the blue downwards arrow in the top right corner, and select “Settings” in the drop-down menu. Then click on “Your Facebook Information” and go to this page.
Click “View” next to where it says “Download your information.” This will take you to the following page. You can select the date range you want to save your data from, the format, and the quality of the media. If you keep scrolling down, there will be a list of all the information you can choose to save. Untick the boxes next to anything you don’t wish to download a copy of. Once you are done, press the “Create File” button.
Your download request will then appear as “Pending” in the “Available Files” tab. It can take several days for Facebook to prepare the download, depending on how much data you want to copy. You will receive a notification when the file is ready to download. Click “Download” and enter your account password to do this. You can then save all the information to your computer or device – make sure that you have enough memory space. Once your personal data is backed up, you can move on to cancelling your account. There are two options for this – deactivation, and deletion. If you deactivate, you can still use Messenger, but no-one can see your profile on Facebook. You can log in to reactivate your account at any time, and all of your information will still be there. To deactivate, go back into Settings and click on “General” to the left.
Where it says “Manage account,” click on “Edit.” This section is where you can amend your contact details and create a legacy contact or request that Facebook deletes your account when you pass away. Click on the link at the bottom to “Deactivate your account.” Deactivation will only disable your profile.
Clicking the link will bring you to this deactivation form. Select your reason for leaving from the list and add a comment to explain if necessary. You can edit pages which you are the admin of, applications, and invite notification settings. When you are satisfied with your adjustments, you can click on “Deactivate.”
As mentioned, you can restore your Facebook account at any point just by logging back in. However, you might decide that you want your account gone permanently. Deletion means that all of your information will be removed from the website and you will not be able to restore it or get it back once it has gone. You will not be able to use Messenger, either, or use Facebook to log in to other applications. If you are certain about deleting, go into Settings and Your Facebook Information again from clicking on the blue arrow at the top right. Click on “View” next to “Delete your account and information.” This won’t delete it just yet.
Facebook will give you another chance to edit your settings, deactivate, or download your information. If you have already done this, you can press the “Delete Account” button to trigger the deletion request. You will have to enter your password to confirm it. Click to continue and then finally to delete the account. You can expect it to take up to 90 days for Facebook to permanently delete all of your information, but nobody can access any of it during this time. After 30 days from your deletion request, you can’t retrieve any of it.
Within 30 days, you can cancel the deletion by logging into your account and clicking “Cancel Deletion” to stop the process. Facebook may have already removed some of your information, but they should explain to you how to restore your account. Contact Facebook if you requested deletion but your account is still up.
Cancel by Post
If you have already tried to delete your account online and something went wrong, you can try sending your request by post. You can also contact Facebook if you are unable to access your account to delete it yourself, or if it was hacked. Sometimes Facebook will investigate other people’s accounts for deletion if you report them. For example, you can report a child’s account if they are under 13 years old. If you know someone who is medically incapacitated or who has passed away, you can make a special request for the removal of their Facebook account. You will have the option of memorializing an account. Facebook will need to know the URL of the account page and the contact information associated with the account. You can send correspondence to Facebook by post at their UK head office in London. The address is as follows:
1 Rathbone Square