Do you ever feel like Facebook is taking over your life? In this article, we evaluate the difference between deactivating vs deleting your Facebook account.

Facebook is a popular social media platform that is used globally. You can easily subscribe to Facebook on any device that can access the internet. For users who are looking to take a break from the service, however, Facebook gives the option of deactivating or deleting their account. Before choosing one option or the other, users have to first decide whether they want to stop using Facebook permanently or temporarily.

Facebook’s deactivate vs delete options on a short-term basis

A Facebook user may decide to take a vacation, in which case deactivating their account becomes a good option.

Once a user deactivates their account, other users or followers cannot see what is on the user’s timeline or search for them. Some information, though, may remain visible to others, such as previously sent messages.

The best thing about deactivating a Facebook account is the fact that it can be reactivated whenever the user wants.

Account reactivation is simple, as a user just needs to log on to Facebook with their existing username and password. Once an account is reactivated, a user regains access to their photos and posts, and also gets reconnected to followers and Facebook groups.

Facebook’s deactivate vs delete options on a permanent basis

What about a Facebook user who wants to permanently stop using the platform? They can choose to delete their account without the possibility of reactivating it in the future.

Permanent deletion leads to the loss of a user’s profile, posts, Messenger conversations and photos without any retrieval options.

However, messages sent by friends remain visible to them after a user deletes their Facebook account.

For a Facebook account to be deleted, the user is given a time period of 14 days before the account vanishes for good. During these 14 days, a Facebook user can decide to cancel the deletion of their account. The process of cancellation is as easy as clicking on the ‘cancel deletion’ option in Facebook’s settings.

Steps for deactivating or deleting a Facebook account

Facebook provides steps, which we have outlined here, which a user can follow to deactivate or delete their account.

  • First, click on the account menu down arrow on the top right corner of the main Facebook page.
  • Select ‘Settings and privacy’.
  • Go to Facebook information, and then click on account ownership and control.
  • Choose account deactivation or deletion, then follow the instructions provided.

Reasons for deactivating or deleting a Facebook account

A Facebook user may have numerous reasons for deleting or deactivating their account, such as:

  • Facebook is compromising a user’s privacy in the case of a password hack, and personal data is being shared online.
  • The user is addicted to Facebook and cannot sign out for fear of missing out on something.
  • They have anxiety or feelings of inadequacy from seeing other people’s supposedly perfect lives.

Pros and cons of deactivating v. deleting your Facebook account

Facebook deactivation or deletion may benefit or disadvantage a user. Once a user deactivates or deletes their account, they are able to save more time doing other things, and they have more privacy as they share less on Facebook. However, the user is also bound to miss out on social media entertainment on Facebook, as well as connections to their online Facebook friends.

If you’re concerned about the information that Facebook knows and keeps about, learn how to delete in.