What Happens If You Delete Your Facebook Account Permanently
But before we go any further, there’s a crucial distinction to make: the difference between deactivating and deleting your Facebook account. It’s critical that you understand the distinction so that you know exactly what’s going on with your data in either scenario. As you may have guessed from the title, deactivating is a less permanent action that leaves the door somewhat open if you ever decide you truly miss the ‘ol FB. According to Facebook Customer Service, “you may temporarily delete your account and choose to return anytime you wish.” In other words, when Facebook conceals your profile, all of your information stays on their servers in case you decide to reactivate your profile.
Because deactivating your Facebook account technically keeps the account available for business, it’s not a good option if you wish to quit using the site due to data and privacy issues. According to the Facebook data policy, as long as you have a Facebook account, the tech giant owns and can continue to collect information about you, including basic account details, details about and photos of you shared by other users, networks and connections, payment information, device information, and information from third-party partners and advertisers.
If you take the more drastic step of deleting your account, Facebook warns that you won’t be able to recover access — at least not after a brief cooling off period during which your cancellation request will be revoked if you can’t resist the temptation to check in. But don’t feel too comfy simply because the cooling phase has ended: According to the Facebook Help Center, it may take up to 90 days for the site to completely delete your data that has been saved in their backup systems. Facebook can’t access this information proactively after you’ve started the deletion process, but it’s theoretically still in their system for up to 90 days while it’s being erased from their servers.
However, remnants of your previous Facebook existence will remain beyond those 90 days, due to your interactions with other Facebook users when you did have a page. According to the Help Center, certain types of user information — such as your Messenger records — aren’t actually tied to your account, and friends with whom you previously exchanged messages may still be able to reference old conversations that you had, despite the fact that you no longer exist within the Facebook universe.
There’s one more notice in the Facebook Help Center on what happens to your data when you deactivate your FB account: “Copies of certain information (for example, log records) may remain in our database but are disassociated from personal identifiers,” it adds. It is essential to remember, however, that regardless of what they save, Facebook will eventually erase all connections between that information and you as a person.
With a few small exceptions, it seems that Facebook deletes your link to the data that was previously in their system as soon as you decide to say goodbye to them forever.