How to Deactivate or Delete Your Facebook Account on the iPhone

The movement to delete or deactivate Facebook continues to gain steam as controversies mount, such as the platform’s improper handling of user data, its reluctance to remove false ads, and its reported manipulation of users’ emotions. If you’re wondering whether it's time to join the movement and take a break from Facebook, this article explains how to permanently delete Facebook, how to deactivate Facebook temporarily, and how to reactivate Facebook if you change your mind. We'll also cover how to adjust your Facebook privacy settings for tighter control over your data. 

Related: How to Set Screen Time Limits for Specific Apps on the iPhone & iPad (Updated for 2019)

What's in This Article:

While following these steps on how to permanently delete Facebook, you may want to download a copy of your Facebook data for your reference during the deletion process. Be aware that while your profile will no longer be visible or searchable, it may take up to 90 days for Facebook to delete everything and that Facebook Messenger will also be deleted.

If you decide you don't want to delete Facebook after all, and it’s been less than 30 days since you activated the process, you can cancel the deletion. After 30 days, it’s final.

  1. Launch the Facebook app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the Menu icon in the bottom right corner.
  3. Swipe down to the bottom and tap Settings & Privacy.

    three line icon facebook settings and privacy
     
  4. Tap Settings.
  5. Swipe down and tap Account Ownership and Control.

    facebook settings facebook account ownership and control
     
  6. Tap Deactivation and Deletion.
  7. Choose Delete Account and tap Continue to Account Deletion.

    deactivate and delete facebook facebook account deletion
     
  8. Review the options to deactivate Facebook or archive posts instead.
  9. Tap Download if you want to save your data before you delete Facebook.
  10. When you're ready, tap Delete Account.

    delete facebook
     
  11. Enter your password to confirm account ownership and tap Continue.
  12. Tap Delete Account to confirm that you want to delete Facebook.

    delete facebook enter password confirm delete facebook

How to Deactivate Facebook on Your iPhone

If you want to take a break from Facebook, but don't want to delete your Facebook account, follow these steps on how to deactivate a Facebook account. You can reactivate Facebook later if you choose. When you deactivate Facebook, your profile won’t be visible to other users but your messages will.

  1. Launch the Facebook app on your iPhone and tap on the menu icon in the bottom right corner
  2. Swipe down to the bottom and tap Settings & Privacy

    three line icon facebook app the three line icon
     
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Swipe down again and tap Account Ownership and Control.

    facebook app settings facebook app account ownership
     
  5. Tap Deactivation and Deletion.
  6. Choose Deactivate Account and tap Continue to Account Deactivation.

      deactivate facebook account delete facebook account
     
  7. Enter your Facebook password if requested.
  8. Enter your reason for deactivating Facebook and tap Continue.

    reason why I'm deactivating facebook
     
  9. Scroll down and select how long you want to deactivate Facebook.
  10. Tap Done and then tap Continue.


     
  11. Tap Deactivate My Account to complete the deactivation.

How to Reactivate Facebook

Whether you chose to delete Facebook or deactivate your Facebook account, the process to reactivate Facebook is the same. The only difference is that while a deactivated account can be reactivated at any time, if you have deleted your Facebook account you only have 30 days to change your mind and reactivate.

  1. Open the Facebook App.
  2. Log in with your email or phone number and password.
  3. Your Facebook account is now reactivated.

How to Change Your Facebook Privacy Settings

If you’d like to continue using the platform but with tighter control over your privacy and the data Facebook keeps about you, such as location and face recognition, you can simply adjust your privacy and security settings.

  1. Launch the Facebook app on your iPhone and tap on the menu icon in the bottom right corner
  2. Swipe down to the bottom and tap on Settings & Privacy

    three line icon facebook settings and privacy
     
  3. Tap on Privacy Shortcuts.
  4. Read through the various privacy and data settings and adjust them as you like.

    facebook app privacy settings facebook privacy and data options
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Sarah Kingsbury's picture

Sarah Kingsbury is the Senior Web Editor and SEO Content Manager at iPhone Life. She manages the web editorial team and oversees all web and newsletter content. A long-time Apple enthusiast, Sarah can't live without her iPhone, Macbook Air, HomePod, Apple TV, or Apple Watch. As the original contributor to the iPhone Life Tip of the Day Newsletter, she wrote hundreds of iPhone how-tos to help users master their iPhones. It's safe to say that she has written or edited every tip published on iPhoneLife.com! In her 20 years of editing and writing, Sarah has done everything from working as the associate editor of the Iowa Source magazine to developing recipes and reviewing cookbooks for a vegetarian cooking website. But teaching people how to use their Apple devices is her favorite job so far.