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From the author of Deleting Your Account

Deleting Your Account

If you really, really want to leave Facebook—forever—then you need to delete your entire account. This is a more difficult, but not impossible, process, because you have to sever all connections between your Facebook account and other websites.

Don’t have any connections between Facebook and other sites? Think again. Any site you’ve visited that has prompted you to log in with your Facebook information, any site where you’ve shared something to your Facebook profile, or any site that you’ve “liked” to Facebook, is connected to your Facebook account. These are official called Facebook Connect sites, and Facebook has done a good job encouraging the participation of thousands of other sites in this extended social network.

What you need to do is visit each of your personal Facebook Connect sites—especially those where you’ve been logging in with your Facebook account—and establish a different login method. Once you delete your Facebook account, you’ll no longer be able to log into these sites with your old Facebook account, so you want to make sure you can get in afterwards. Practically, this probably means logging in with your Facebook account, and then, once you’re in the site, changing your login information to something different.

This is also important because you can still log into these connected sites with your Facebook account info for two weeks after you’ve deleted your Facebook account. In spite of what you might think, this is not a good thing; if you log into a Facebook Connect website, you’ll actually undelete your newly deleted account, and have to start over with the deletion process. Better to do your homework ahead of time.

Once you’ve disconnected from all connected sites, you can formally delete your Facebook account. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Log into your Facebook account.
  2. Go to http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=delete_account. You’ll have to enter this URL directly into your web browser; there’s no link (that I’ve been able to find, anyway) to this page from within Facebook.
  3. When you see the Delete My Account page, click the Submit button.
  4. Figure 2 Deleting your Facebook account.

  5. You now see the Permanently Delete Account dialog box. Enter your Facebook password and the characters in the Security Check box.
  6. Figure 3 Are you really, truly sure you want to delete your account?

  7. Click the Okay button.

That’s it. Facebook now deletes your account—as long as you don’t log back into Facebook for the next 14 days. (In fact, Facebook will send you an email to this effect.) Any interaction with your Facebook account during this 14-day period will reactivate your account.

So you should make sure you do the following:

  • Do not log into your Facebook account.
  • Do not log into any Facebook Connect sites using your Facebook account.
  • Do not click the Facebook Share or Like buttons on any websites you visit.

After two weeks, you should be in the clear, and your account should be permanently deleted. Bye bye, Facebook!

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