I do still want to keep my Contacts list with all my old classmates and the few personal photos that I uploaded, so I want to download my data before I shutter the account.
Thankfully, Facebook makes it really easy to download your data.
Be brave. Open Facebook on your web browser, ignore any Motivational posts, cat videos or “OMGWTFBBQ This simple trick destroys cancer!” posts and skip over to your “Settings”
Click on “Your Facebook Information” in the top left-hand area.
Then click on “Download Your Information”
Now you get a pretty long list of every category of your life that Facebook has on file for you. That includes anything you’ve uploaded to their servers, Messenger histories, and some stuff you didn’t have input on – like Ad topics that Facebook’s algorithms say are relevant to you.Pick what you want to keep – if you’re only interested in Photos and Contacts, then untick all the other categories.
Facebook then zips up your data for download. Depending on how much information there is, it might take a minute (like in my case) or it might take an hour. You can close Facebook while it works, once your data is ready to download you’ll get a notification in the usual notification area.
Unzip that file and make sure that your data is there. I chose “HTML” as my download type, so got a bunch of HTML files for my contact lists, plus another folder filled with my uploaded photos and videos.
Since Facebook isn’t holding your photos anymore, you need to decide where to store them. Might I suggest taking advantage of Google Photos and its unlimited storage for images?
Now, if you want to take it further, it’s time to delete your account
Go back to Facebook and the “Settings” page we were on earlier.
This time, click on “Delete your account and information”
Since we already downloaded our data, we can just click on “Delete Account”
Facebook will ask you to confirm the deletion and for your password. Enter that, and you’ll get a message saying something like “Your account is scheduled for deletion. Facebook will start deleting your data in 14 days. Just a quick note: Facebook won’t delete anything before those 14 days are over, so at any time you can go back into your account and stop the deletion if you’ve had a change of heart.
Enjoy your freedom (and lack of Facebook data leaks)
What do you think? Plan on deleting your Facebook account? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.
Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.