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How to delete your Facebook account and bring your photos and other info with you

Key Points
  • A new report on the terrible working conditions at a Facebook content-moderation shop run by contractor Cognizant gives another reason why you might want to delete your Facebook account.
  • Facebook has made it easier than ever to delete your account and save everything before you go.
  • Here's how to delete your Facebook account without losing anything.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Facebook Inc's annual F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, May 1, 2018.
Stephen Lam | Reuters

Facebook has given us plenty of reasons to want to delete our accounts.

As if the massive leaks of private information, its bizarre decisions to leave fake videos online and its huge role in the Russian interference during the 2016 election weren't enough, there's now a truly disgusting report about the working conditions of people who monitor the content Facebook users upload.

If you've decided enough is enough and you're ready to leave Facebook, then I'll show you how. It's easier than ever, even since just two years ago when I wrote a similar guide on how to delete Facebook, when there wasn't a clear way to simply delete your account. Plus, Facebook makes it easy to take everything with you before you go, so I'll walk you through that, too.

Keep in mind that when you delete your Facebook account, you won't be able to use Facebook Login for other apps you may have signed up for with your Facebook account, such as Spotify or Pinterest. You may need to contact the apps and websites to recover those accounts. It will also delete your Facebook Messenger account, but your Instagram account will remain active.

Here's how to delete your Facebook account.

Tell your friends you're quitting Facebook

Write a message letting people know you're leaving, and how to reach you in the future. Then they'll know you didn't just block or unfriend them.
Todd Haselton | CNBC

Before you go, consider your Facebook friends and family members. They might want to know you're leaving, and you don't want them to think you've dropped off the face of the planet or unfriended and blocked them. Consider making a post that says you're quitting in a week, as one of my editors did, and how they can reach you moving forward.

Once you've sounded the alarm, here's what to do.

Visit the Facebook homepage, tap the arrow on the far top right and select 'Settings'

Todd Haselton | CNBC

This is the main area where you can manage all sorts of things on your Facebook account.

Select 'Your Facebook Information' on the top left of the page

Choose "Your Facebook Information" on the top-left of the page.

Select 'Deactivation and Deletion'

Choose the Deactivation and Deletion option
Todd Haselton | CNBC

Tap 'Permanently Delete Account'

Choose "Permanently Delete Account" on the bottom.
Todd Haselton | CNBC

Facebook warns that, when you delete your account, "you won't be able to retrieve the content or information you've shared on Facebook. Your Messenger and all of your messages will also be deleted."

There's an option to deactivate your account if you think you might want to come back later. But if you're sure you want to quit Facebook forever, tap "Continue to Account Deletion."

Download your Facebook files

Download all of your Facebook stuff before you delete, if you need to.
Todd Haselton | CNBC

Facebook gives you a last chance to download a copy of everything you've ever stored on the social network, including your photos, posts, location data and more.

  • Tap "Download Info" to choose what you'd like to save, then choose "Create File" to get the folder. It can take a few days to get this if there's a lot of stuff.
  • Tap "Delete Account" if you don't care about that, or create a file and come back to the Delete Account page when it's ready.

Delete your Facebook account

Confirm one last time that you're ready to delete your Facebook account.
Todd Haselton | CNBC
  • Now tap "Delete Account" again.
  • Log in with your Facebook password to confirm it's really you.
  • Accept the final warning, which says you have 30 days to reactivate your account and cancel the full deletion. But, after 30 days, the process begins and you won't be able to retrieve anything.
  • Tap "Delete Account" one last time.

That's it

Now you're done. You've deleted your Facebook account and, as long as you don't try to log in over the next 30 days, your account will be gone forever.

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