How to delete your Facebook account

It was fun while it lasted, but what if you want to leave Facebook? Where is that all powerful delete key, and how do you go about removing yourself from the social networking site?

We've put together a simple four step guide to helping you remove yourself from the social networking site once and for all. But be warned following all the steps below will wipe you from the site. 

Step one

Just like finishing a relationship with a girlfriend or partner, take a moment to think about why you want to delete your Facebook account, is it something you really want to do? What do you use the social network for? Is it keeping up with friends, tracking birthday's, or just playing Farmville?

Step two

You've decided it's time to leave and your life will be better without Facebook. Whether it's the privacy issues that got to you, or the fact you've moved on in life so be it. Be brave.

To deactivate your account, login in, and try to avoid interacting with any new messages. Within your account click on "Account" (top right), then "Account Settings" and then scroll down to the bottom of the page. It's the last menu item in the "Settings" panel.

Click on "Deactivate Account" (link)

Just like a partner crying as you've told them you are leaving, Facebook will attempt to do the same and guilt you into not following through with your decision; as if you are at an intervention with your friends where you're the guest of honour.

"Are you sure you want to deactivate your account?" reads the page, followed by "Your xxx friends will no longer be able to keep in touch with you". Pulling at yet more heart strings. 

If that isn't enough to make you pause and think, then pictures of those friends you hold so dear with the words "xxxx will miss you" are shown. Facebook even stoops so low as to emotionally blackmail you with photos of you and friends in the good times hoping to sway you into changing your mind.

Remember, you've come this far, you must stay focused. 

If appealing to your emotional side hasn't proved strong enough, Facebook launches into an attempt to numb you with why. A man who can't find a reason is surely wrong.

Answer the question if you must, but most importantly you need to tick the "Opt out of receiving future emails from Facebook" Button below. 

Failure to do so means that you'll still get all invites to events, photos you've appeared in and whether you want to be in yet another group from your friends.

If you opt out, you will NOT receive these email invitations and notifications from your friends.

Click on the "Deactivate my account" at the bottom.

Step three

You thought that was it didn't you? Well you were wrong. While you might think you've deleted your account, you've actually, as the wording on facebook says, only "deactivated" it.

That means it's still actually there lurking in the background like an ex that didn't take too kindly to you finishing with them. If you click on a "Facebook like" button around the Web, your account will spring back into life, if you interact with a Facebook email it will spring back into life. In fact it will spring back to life with your friends, photos, interests and everything else, as if you had a moment of weakness and got back with your partner after a drunken fumble 2 weeks after your break-up.

Before any of that happens you have to email (yes email) Facebook and ask them to permanently delete your account with no option for recovery. To do this:

Log in to your account and then submit your request to this page. 

https://ssl.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=delete_account

Click on the "Submit" button and then wait.

Step four

It will take a few days for Facebook to completely remove you from the site and then you can cheer that this particular part of your life is over. Go and get your haircut, change your wardrobe, make real-life friends.

One thing we would suggest though is do not hit the rebound and sign up for "a n other" social networking site straight away. That's what got you into trouble in the first place.