Ask Leo! #699 – How Do I Delete My Facebook Account?


This Week’s Newsletter

#deletefacebook? Lots of controversy in recent weeks, so if you want to I’ll show you how. (FWIW: I’m not. I try to use it carefully, knowing what Facebook, and others, might be doing. I get value out of the connections I have there.)

Also: cute video of “Little Leo” in a story of data loss pulled from the brink by judicious backups, and the kindness of strangers.

And, of course, tech terms continue to confuse: the two chromes that aren’t related to each other at all.

This week also saw a new post over at Ask Leo! on Business: You are not your customer, an important lesson that took me a while to learn.

How Do I Delete My Facebook Account?


What is the safest way to deactivate and completely eliminate my Facebook account?

A lot of people are concerned about Facebook’s recent privacy policy changes and revelations, and are seriously considering deleting their Facebook account completely.

I’ll walk you through some simple steps to do it, pointing out a couple of issues that make it easy for the deletion not to happen.

Internet privacy

I have to start by quoting Chris Pirillo’s two-step plan for internet privacy:

  1. Don’t share s**t you don’t want the world to see.
  2. Repeat step 1.

While that’s clearly Chris’s attempt to shock you into paying attention to the issue, he has a point.

If you don’t want something to become public, don’t share it online. Period.

It’s a simple plan, and completely insulates you from the privacy policies of various organizations, as well as unexpected changes to those policies over time. What’s private today might not be private tomorrow.


Note: “Deactivation” is not the same as “deletion”.

Deactivation “turns off” your account, but does not remove your data. You can still be tagged in photos, and much of your information may still be visible, either publicly or to other Facebook members.

The idea behind deactivation is that someday you’ll come back and want all your old stuff to be restored.

Naturally, Facebook points you at deactivation rather than account deletion. Visit the Facebook Settings page, go to the General section, and under Manage account, you’ll see the option to deactivate your account.

Deactivate Facebook Account

However, if you’re absolutely positive you want a solution that says “I’m never coming back”, this is not what you want.

You want to delete your Facebook account.

Deletion prep

Start by deleting all the ties you’ve created to your Facebook account from outside of Facebook.

Specifically, if you’ve ever used the “log in using Facebook” option on other websites and services, those logins will stop working once your Facebook account no longer exists. Go to each of those sites and change how you log in before you delete your Facebook account.

Are you using a Facebook application on your mobile phone? Delete it first, from all your devices.

Using Facebook Messenger? Delete that too, from all your devices.

As we’ll see in a moment, any still-existing outside connections to Facebook can cause your account deletion to be canceled.


Go to this link:

Follow the instructions there.

Delete My Facebook Account

After the process is complete, it’s not uncommon to want to try to login to the account to make sure it’s really gone. Don’t do that. It’s also common to accidentally login to the account, either on your computer or via one of the connected apps I mentioned above. Don’t do that either.


I’d wait longer.

I can’t stress the importance of this enough. If you log in within two weeks, you will cancel the deletion. If any of those external Facebook applications logs in again, I believe you also risk cancelling your account deletion.

After 14 days, the deletion is permanent. If you change your mind and want a Facebook account again, you’ll need to create a new one.

What am I doing?

I’m keeping my Facebook account.

I don’t share … uh … “stuff” … that I don’t want the world to see. I also avoid Facebook games and polls and quizzes that can slurp up my Facebook information to be used elsewhere for other purposes.

Even if I post something “privately” today, I’m very aware that someday, Facebook could change their terms of service to make my formerly private information public.

Would that be evil? Absolutely —  yet Facebook has a reputation for doing so.

I don’t control Facebook. I can only control what I do and what I choose to share. That means that right or wrong, the only way to protect myself and my privacy is to not share stuff I don’t want the world to see.

Assume anything you post on Facebook – even the “private” stuff – will someday be public, and act accordingly.

And for some, “acting accordingly” may mean leaving Facebook.

While I personally don’t see the need and would simply counsel you to be aware of and restrict what you post, share, and how you interact with Facebook, I can certainly understand if deleting your Facebook account is the solution you choose.

Related Links & Comments: How Do I Delete My Facebook Account?

Get Backing Up In Windows 10 Today!

You Are Not Your Customer

Ask Leo! On Business

We all think we know what our customers want, but more often than not we’re flat out wrong. I’ll review some of the ways in which we’re wrong these days, and some steps to overcome our egos and our preconceptions.

Continue Reading…

This Is Why I Back Up

This is why I go digital at every opportunity.

For years, I’ve had a collection of 8mm and Super-8 movies stored in my basement. As technology has progressed and the projector deteriorated, I realized that the only way I would ever see them would be to get them converted to a digital format.

That involved shipping them across the country. If that makes you nervous, it absolutely should. It did me.

Continue Reading: This Is Why I Back Up

How Do Chrome and Chrome Relate?

3-4 times per week I find a Chrome script message overlaid on my email s/w (Thunderbird) page.

Typical message reads “chrome://global/content/bindings/general.xml:113”

The message text varies, but is always prefaced with “chrome…”. When this happens, Firefox slows to a crawl and the T-Bird tray icon shows an ominous orange background. I had Chrome on my machine at one time but deleted it (hopefully) using Revo Uninstaller at the most thorough uninstall setting.

In yet another case of horrifically confusing terminology choices, the “chrome” you’re seeing isn’t the Chrome you’re thinking of.

Put another way, this isn’t the Chrome you’re looking for.

Continue Reading: How Do Chrome and Chrome Relate?

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Posted: April 10, 2018 in: 2018
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