Whether you want to break your smartphone addiction, make a political statement, or keep those old keg-stand pictures away from your new employer, Facebook makes the process of deactivating your account reasonably straightforward. Before you go on social media hiatus, you might be asking, "If I deactivate my Facebook, can friends still see my profile?" or any number of other questions. Before you deactivate or delete, arm yourself with the ins and outs straight from Facebook.
Deactivate Facebook: What Happens?
When you deactivate your Facebook account, Facebook does not send out any notification whatsoever. Your friends won't know that you've deactivated your account unless they try to search for your now-deactivated profile or they ask you in the real world.
So what does happen when you deactivate? For starters, your timeline and Facebook profile are not visible to anyone, even via a search. Some private messages you've sent in the past, though, may remain visible to their recipients, and group admins may be able to see your existing group posts or comments. Bear in mind that deactivating does not delete your Facebook data. Although your account essentially goes dark, you can reactivate it whenever you want with no loss of data.
To deactivate, go to the "Settings" menu and select "General" and "Manage Account." Choose "Deactivate your account," follow the onscreen instructions, confirm your choice and enjoy the silence.
Reactivate a Facebook Account
When it comes time to end your social media vacation, you can reactivate your Facebook account – which recovers it just as you left it, with all connections, photos, posts and other data intact – simply by logging in to your Facebook account. Using your Facebook account to log in to Facebook-connected apps or sites does the trick, too.
Just as with deactivation, you can reactivate Facebook without anyone knowing. Facebook doesn't send out any notifications, although your friends will surely notice that you're back when you start interacting with people on Facebook again.
Go Big: Delete Your Facebook
In contrast to deactivation, deleting your Facebook account wipes your data. After a deletion request, Facebook gives you a few days to think it over. During this time, logging in to your account cancels the deletion request. When the deletion request is confirmed, Facebook deletes your data within 90 days. However, data that isn't stored solely on your account, such as messages you sent to others, may remain on the site, and Facebook may keep copies of related material, such as log records. Likewise, while deleting your Facebook won't delete your Spotify account, you'll no longer be able to use your Facebook login for sites and apps like Spotify or Pinterest.
To make the big move, go to your Facebook "Settings" menu, and then choose "Your Facebook Information" and click or tap "Delete Your Account and Information" followed by "Delete My Account." Input your password, select "Continue," and finalize the request with "Delete Account."
Unlike deactivation, deletion cannot be undone after 30 days, though nothing's stopping you from creating a new account should you have a change of heart down the road.
- Facebook: Help Center: What's the Difference Between Deactivating and Deleting My Account?
- Facebook: Help Center: How Do I Temporarily Deactivate My Account?
- Facebook: Help Center: How Do I Permanently Delete My Facebook Account?
- Facebook: Help Center: I Deactivated My Account. How Do I Reactivate It?