Don't forget to download a copy of the data Facebook has on you before cutting ties with the site / REUTERS/Stephen Lam

The social network can be great for keeping people in touch, but it can also be a huge waste of time

Mark Zuckerberg kicked off Facebook’s F8 developer conference this week with a keynote detailing a number of his grand visions of the future.

Augmented reality, advanced chat bots and a rather grim-looking social VR app called Spaces are the next-generation products Mr Zuckerberg will use to keep us glued to our screens.

While the social network is a handy tool for staying in touch with friends and organising events, it's become bigger and far more powerful than the site many of us originally signed up to. 

Facebook can be and has been called out for a wide range of perceived misdemeanors. In some circles, it's long been viewed as a rather sinister threat to privacy and criticised for its tax practices, but more recent issues, such as the spread of fake news, the site’s approach to illegal content and incredibly disturbing uses of Facebook Live are particularly troubling.

However, for many, it’s simply a colossal waste of time.

Regardless of why you want to cut ties with Facebook, here’s how to deactivate and delete your account now.


Unless you’re absolutely sure you want to get rid of your Facebook account once and for all, we’d recommend going down the deactivation route. 

Deactivating your account hides your profile from friends and search, but allows you to resurrect your account – complete with friends, updates, pictures and Likes – if you ever decide to return, simply by entering your login information. 

To deactivate your Facebook account:

  • Click the downwards-pointing arrow in the top-right corner of the screen
  • Select Settings
  • Open the Security section
  • Choose the Deactivate Your Account option at the bottom of the menu 


Deleting your account is a major step, so think it through before committing. Facebook can take up to 90 days to process account deletion requests, but once your account's gone, it’s gone.

Before taking the plunge, it’s well worth downloading a copy of the data Facebook has on you

To do this:

  • Click the downwards-pointing arrow in the top-right corner of the screen
  • Select Download a copy of your Facebook data

Once that’s done, you’re ready to delete your account. Bear in mind, however, that your sent messages will continue to exist even when all other traces of your account are gone.

To permanently delete your Facebook account: