How to delete social media

Digital detox: A guide to delete social media


Deleting your social media is one of the best ways to clear your personal information from the internet. By the way, if the phrase “delete social media” gives you pangs of withdrawal, perhaps a digital detox will be a good thing!

Social media is everywhere. Over half the world uses it! The platforms are a fun way to stay in touch with friends, share moments with family and engage with people from all over. So why would you want to delete social media?

Well, one big reason is your privacy! Search engines like Google index social media content to serve up to anyone that looks for it. Most people give up their full names, email addresses, home addresses and often more to sign up for accounts and in turn, that information is readily available for anyone looking at the top of search results.

This guide will help you remove yourself from social media permanently and delete all of your social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest and more.

We’ll start with the big boy in the room, Facebook (Unfriend!) and then move on to other ways to delete social media accounts that you no longer use — or that invade your personal privacy.

After you’re done deleting social media, take the next steps to protect your privacy by removing your name from search engines and then learn how to delete yourself from the internet in 10 steps. Your reduced digital footprint means less exposure to data breaches — and hopefully no identity theft!

How to delete yourself from Facebook (or deactivate)

The godfather of all social media (sorry Myspace), has grown from a college-centric space to share photos and comment on friends’ walls into a virtual internet 2.0. We are talking about Facebook.

Maybe you’ve been too loose in the past with sharing your opinions, too risky in your photos from 10 years ago or maybe you just disagree with how powerful the company has become. Whatever your reason for wanting to delete Facebook, we are here to help.

Things are rather tricky with Facebook in particular when it comes to deleting your social media account. Facebook has two avenues you can go, “Deactivating” and “Deleting” your account.

If you really want to delete your account permanently and everything that was attached to it, don’t be fooled by simply deactivating your account. Although that sounds pretty permanent, it is actually a temporary deactivation that will put your account on a pause.

If you deactivate your account, you can reactivate at any time, but people won’t be able to see your timeline or find your name in a search while it is deactivated. Direct messages you have sent will remain available to those you have sent them too, though.

For those who want to fully delete their Facebook accounts and take the leap into a social media-less world, follow these steps below. Please note, Facebook has a 30-day backstop in their system for those who quickly regret their decision. If you log back into your account in the day following your deletion request, the account will be restored and the deletion request canceled.

If you decide to delete permanently, you can download a copy of your Facebook information including photos and posts before deleting. It can take up to 90 days for Facebook to truly clear your information backups from its servers, but for public purposes, you will be technically deleted during that time.

How to deactivate yourself

If you aren’t ready to take the full leap in deletion, follow these steps to temporarily deactivate your account. You will be able to continue using Facebook Messenger while your account is deactivated and you will still be able to use your login for other apps like Spotify, Instagram or Pinterest.

To deactivate your Facebook account:

  1. Click the down arrow in the top right of Facebook.
  2. Select Settings & Privacy, then click Settings.
  3. Click Your Facebook Information in the left column.
  4. Click Deactivation and Deletion.
  5. Choose Deactivate Account, then click Continue to Account Deactivation and follow the instructions to confirm.
How to deactivate your Facebook account, a part of our guide to delete all your social media accounts.

How to delete your Facebook account

If you are ready to take the leap into the Facebook-less world, follow these steps to get off Facebook forever. Note, you won’t be able to reactive your account. All of your photos, posts and videos will be permanently deleted and you won’t be able to use Facebook Messenger or use Facebook Login for other apps.

To delete your Facebook account forever:

  1. Click the down arrow in the top right of Facebook.
  2. Select Settings & Privacy, then click Settings.
  3. Click Your Facebook Information in the left column.
  4. Click Deactivation and Deletion.
  5. Choose Permanently Delete Account, then click Continue to Account Deletion.

Click Delete Account, enter your password and then click Continue.

How to delete your facebook account permanently

How to delete your Instagram account

Although Instagram is owned by Facebook, the process for deleting yourself is different. OK so if you’ve decided you have had enough of scrolling through the endless void of photos and want to delete your profile and personal information from the site, you are in luck.

Interestingly, the only way to delete your Instagram is through a web-based browser. This is strange considering the App is a mobile-first service that lacks many of its own features on the web-based browser.

Facebook similarly employs Facebook’s tactic of trying to dissuade users from permanently deleting their accounts by offering a temporary fix to disable your account. Doing so means your photos, likes, comments and profile will not be available on the platform or be searchable to others. 

How to disable your Instagram account:

  1. Log in to your Instagram account on a web browser 
  2. Click the circular icon with your profile photo at the top right of the page
  3. Select Settings
  4. Click Temporarily disable my account at the bottom of the page
  5. Follow the instructions and enter your password to temporarily disable your account
How to disable your Instagram account. You need to do this to delete all of your social media accounts.

How to delete your Instagram account:

  1. Log in to your Instagram account on a web browser
  2. Visit https://instagram.com/accounts/remove/request/permanent/
  3. Select the reason you want to delete your account and click Permanently Delete My Account
How to delete your Instagram account

How to delete your Twitter account

Twitter, the bane of our existence and the king of the Doom Scroll. Whether you have been a longtime scroller or a frequent poster, you’ve finally decided you have had enough and want to delete your Twitter account.

Twitter, like Facebook and Instagram, offers users the option to download their archive of posts. This may be a good idea before permanently deleting your last 13 years worth of stream of conscious thoughts in case you want to show them to your kids someday. Twitter gives users two options while deleting their accounts. You can choose a 30-day wait period for Twitter to delete everything from their servers or 12 months in case you aren’t 100% sold on the idea.

How to download your tweet archive:

  1. On a web browser while logged in to Twitter, click the circle with the three dots on the bottom left of the page.
  2. Click Settings and Privacy
  3. Select Your account 
  4. Select Download an archive of your data
  5. Click Request archive

How to delete your Twitter account:

  1. On a web browser while logged in to Twitter, click the circle with the three dots on the bottom left of the page.
  2. Click Settings and Privacy
  3. Select Your account 
  4. Click Deactivate your account
  5. Choose from a 30 day or 12-month reactivation period
  6. Click Deactivate at the bottom of the page
How to delete your Twitter account

How to remove yourself from LinkedIn

LinkedIn may not be the first company that comes to mind when thinking of “social” media, but the reality is it may contain the most information about you and your background. Most people have their work histories listed, their hometowns, often emails and even phone numbers. 

LinkedIn allows users to download a copy of their own data. So, if you want a backup of your connections, data and whatever else you have shared, you can access it by clicking the me button on the top of the homepage and then navigating to Settings & Privacy. The Get a copy of your data section is the second down from the top of the page.

How to delete your LinkedIn account

How to delete your LinkedIn account:

  1. Login to LinkedIn on a web browser
  2. Click the Me button at the top right of the homepage
  3. Choose Settings & Privacy
  4. Click Profile information in the left bar
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Close account
  6. Follow the steps to close your account

How to delete your TikTok account

TikTok is the new kid on the block. Already tired of feeling old and more out of touch with each and every clip you come across? Maybe you aren’t finding that viral success as easy as it looks.

Whatever your reason, we are here to help guide you on how to delete your TikTok account.

This might be the easiest of those on the list.

How to remove your TikTok account

  1. Open the TikTok app
  2. Click on the Me section
  3. Select Manage My Account
  4. Click Delete My Account

How to delete your Reddit account

Reddit is a place where most people operate anonymously. This means it is unlikely your account is leaking your personal information out into the open, but maybe you do use your real name. Regardless of your reason for wanting the delete your Reddit account, the process is fairly easy.

There is no way to delete posts from your account, but you can delete your username. When you delete your account, your name will disappear from those posts, but the posts will remain. If you want to delete certain posts, you have to manually delete them before deleting your account.

How to delete your Reddit account

  1. Log in to your Reddit account on a web browser
  2. Click your username in the top right corner
  3. Click User settings 
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select DEACTIVATE ACCOUNT
  5. Enter your username and password and click DEACTIVATE
How to delete your Reddit account. Part of a guide to delete all your social media accounts.

How to delete your Pinterest account

Pinterest, the land of home remodeling and crafts. The extremely popular platform operates similar to others it offers a temporary deactivation option.

If you’re unsure if you want to leave permanently, you can return to your pinned posts in the future. During the deactivation, your data remains on the company’s servers, but won’t be visible publicly. 

If you chose to delete yourself from Pinterest, there’s a 14-day period before you are fully removed. Keep that in mind!

To deactivate your Pinterest account

  1. Log into your Pinterest account
  2. Click the directional chevron down icon in the top-right corner to open your menu 
  3. Select Settings
  4. Click Account settings from the left-side navigation
  5. Under Account changes, click Deactivate account
  6. Click Next
  7. Tell Pinterest why you’re leaving then click Deactivate account

To delete yourself from Pinterest

  1. Log into your Pinterest account
  2. Click the directional chevron down icon in the top-right corner to open your menu
  3. Select Settings
  4. Click Account settings from the left-side navigation
  5. Under Account changes, tap Close account
  6. Tell Pinterest why you’re leaving then click Next
  7. Click Send email to receive an email to close your account
  8. Check the email address associated with your Pinterest account to confirm that you want to close your account

Delete social media? Done.

Phew. Well done! It takes courage to take a breather by deleting social media. Remember that you can always return to the socials in the future. Take all of that time savings and put it towards something that brings you joy, Kondo-style. Perhaps you’ll be happier — and your personal privacy will definitely be more protected.

Related: How to remove yourself from data broker sites

How do you remove your name from Google searches?

How to remove your name from Internet search engines

Here’s how to remove your name from Internet search engines

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