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Facebook's Deception of Deactivated Accounts

As an educational content writer with a Master’s Degree in Computer Science, I write articles such as this to offer insight and awareness.

Many Facebook users have multiple accounts. Many accounts are abandoned. This changes the figures that are claimed as active users.

Many Facebook users have multiple accounts. Many accounts are abandoned. This changes the figures that are claimed as active users.

When Facebook filed its initial public offering on February 1st, 2012 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, they had to disclose in the S-1 IPO filing papers that only about half of the 800 million subscribers they were claiming to have at the time were active daily users.

The numerous abandoned accounts incorrectly inflated the figures that Facebook claimed to have as active users.

A CNBC article by Reuters references the IPO filing, where it states that Facebook only had 483 million daily active users as of December 31st, 2011.

They counted me as one of the users. But I wasn't using it! Here's my story. You may relate to it with your own experience. And I'll tell you what to do about it.

When I signed up for a Facebook account and created a profile, in a short time, I began getting friend requests from other people I didn’t know. It became so annoying that I decided to cancel my account and delete my Facebook profile.

I struggled with that, and it became apparent to me that Facebook did not allow anyone to cancel their account and remove their data. Facebook continued to show user accounts as active members, though they were long gone.

My Experience Trying to Delete My Facebook Account

There are two things one can do, neither of which helps.

  1. You can deactivate your account, which still allows people to find your profile.
  2. You can request to cancel your account and remove your data. But that is very tricky and difficult to achieve.

Here is what my experience was with both of these cases:

At first, I could not find any option to delete my profile. All I saw was a way to deactivate the account. I did that. Then I used Google Alerts to monitor my name on the Internet, and months later, Google sent me an alert indicating that I was still on Facebook.

So I tried logging back in, only to discover a bunch of friend requests that were accumulating. That proved that people still saw my profile.

Logging back in had reactivated my account, so I deactivated it again. But that only put me back in the useless stage I was in before, with Facebook including me with their “active” accounts.

I wondered if they were doing that just to make themselves look bigger than they were to get a better initial stock price when the time came to go public. Google and Yahoo both tried to buy Facebook. But Mark Zuckerberg didn’t sell.

I tried changing all my profile info so that it would not match up if anyone wanted to find me on Facebook. I didn’t think it was fair to let people request to be my friend if I wasn’t looking at it and responding anyway. Those who know me can just email me. They have my email address.

When I tried to change the data, a notice indicated that the changes would take effect after a few days. But after many months, the changes I made to my city, state, and other info all remained the same as I first had entered it.

Okay, I realize that the Facebook privacy policy does say that any information you enter remains. But that is stupid. What if someone moves? Or did they refuse to allow my changes because they knew I was doing it to try to negate my profile? I wonder. (Since those early days of Facebook, they improved the ability to update profile information).

After many more months, I spent hours with Internet searches for help from other people. I discovered that this is a widespread problem. I tried going into the Facebook help section and entered the query, “I want to delete my account permanently.”

Aha! I found the following in the Help Center on Facebook's website:

Detailed Instructions To Delete Facebook Account

Detailed Instructions To Delete Facebook Account

Note that they admit, “we do save your profile information (friends, photos, interests, etc.), and your account will look just the way it did when you deactivated if you decide to reactivate it.”

And their privacy policy, the way I interpret it, clearly indicates that you have no privacy.

Anyway, I followed through with the request and waited another couple of months. My profile never disappeared. After several months I decided to try deleting my profile again.

I tried to log in, and my passcode didn't work. I clicked on the “forgot passcode” option to reset my passcode, and got back an indication that my email address was not associated with any account. Of course not, they deleted my account!


Facebook's Privacy Policy

This behavior of keeping user data is in their privacy policy. All I can say is, “Buyer Beware!” Or, in this case, “Facebook Member Beware!”

As I searched the Internet, I found people talked about destroying their lives because of comments or other information they posted that jeopardized their future. Information that Facebook will never remove.

Once these people grow up and try to get their first job employment, it all comes back to haunt them.

Facebook's Privacy Settings

In June 2009, Facebook added a feature to allow blocking various data by specifying what you want to make available and to whom. You can specify just to let friends see your data, or friends of friends, or everyone.

The problem is that when they implemented this, the default is “everyone,” and most users don’t even know the feature is available to be changed.

Mark Zuckerberg, himself, had his profile publicly visible since October 2009. You could not request to be a friend. That was blocked. But you could still see his friends list and make requests to each of them to be your friend. Major privacy issue if you ask me!

As of December 2009, Facebook introduced some new privacy settings. But their non-privacy policy remained, as I saw my "deleted" profile was still online.

The new settings allow one to specify what parts of your profile are visible and to whom. You can now hide your friend list. But third party apps exist that can circumvent that and trace your friends.

Facebook’s privacy policy still says, “We are not responsible for third party circumvention of any privacy settings or security measures on Facebook.”

Facebook continues to introduce changes from time to time. In July 2010, Facebook redesigned its event pages to make all of the site have a common look and feel. But one thing that never changed was that they continued to hold on to old accounts that were long gone.

Later in 2010, they included the ability to set privacy on everything you share. Okay, that may help. But deleting everything has always remained a mystery.

Facebook's Privacy Violations

A story in the Washington Post on November 29th, 2011, mentioned that Facebook settled eight counts of privacy violations with the Federal Trade Commission. They also avoided monetary fines by agreeing to change certain aspects of the privacy policy.

I didn't see much improvement with that since they were still taking advantage of people who never read privacy policy pages on websites before signing up.

The changes they made to settle with the FTC simply specified that they will ask users for permission before changing the way they share user data.

That didn't help those who lost their privacy rights because they signed up before this settlement. It will only require notification of changes to the present policy.

Why It's So Difficult to Delete Your Facebook Account

Previously they just had a link to deactivate your account. Facebook never provided a way to delete anything since their privacy policy said they own anything you upload and all data you enter.

They finally created a way to delete accounts. But they made it extremely complicated, so the request tends to fail. But I found out how to succeed with it.

I found a link hidden away deep in the pages of Facebook that lets one permanently delete an account. But it involves all sorts of rules to follow after you submit your request.

You also have to follow strict rules throughout 14 days. If you mess up, your request is canceled.

Okay, I'll tell you the details of what I went through. I followed the steps, and it said, "Your account will be removed in 14 days." That is tricky. They don't want to make it easy.

If they wanted to allow people to delete their accounts, they would have simply let the request be done immediately. But by requiring a 14-day waiting period, it enables you to undo your request by accident, which keeps your account intact and active.

There are several ways you can easily mess up in those 14 days:

  • If you leave your Facebook app on your iPhone during those 14-days, your account will not be deleted.
  • If you click a Facebook Like Button on any other website, your delete request will be canceled.
  • If you log into any other social networking site that uses Facebook Connect, your request to delete your account will be canceled.

How to Delete Your Facebook Profile for Good

I was able to reset my password to log on to my old account by clicking "forgot my password." That was mandatory to get back in so I could delete it with the proper method.

So if you can still log in, go to the following URL and carefully follow the instructions on that page.

If you did it all as they request, your account will be in a deactivated state for 14 days and will be permanently deleted after those 14 days. But ONLY if you abide by all the following rules:

  • Remove any reference to your Facebook account from any other website that uses Facebook Connect logins.
  • Remove any Facebook apps from your iPhone.
  • Refrain from clicking any "Like" buttons on any sites if they use Facebook.

Wait 14 days, three weeks just to be sure because if you check on it before it's done, you will have canceled your delete request.

The same is true if any other service you use attempts to access your Facebook account within those 14 days.

In the three years from 2011 through 2014, Facebook lost 3 million teens but gained over 12 million adults over the age of 55. The adult usage continued to grow.

Source: 2011, 2014 Data from iStrategyLabs — 2017, 2019 Data From

 201120142017Dec 2019






Teens (13-17)

13 million

9.8 million



Adults 55+

15.5 million

28 million




28.5 million

37.8 million

1.86 billion

2.5 billion

Frustrations With Facebook

I thought it would be helpful to include some questions people are asking, along with my reply. It's a clear representation of the anguish people are feeling.

What info remains for friends to see when my Facebook account is deactivated?

Your deactivated profile remains available for search. I still got friend requests even though I deactivated my account. That will continue until you succeed at getting your account deleted as described in this article.

Facebook leaves your profile online. Deactivated Facebook accounts show up in searches because Google bots still find your Facebook profile.

Why do I still get friend requests after deactivating my Facebook profile?

As long as your profile remains and search engines find it, then other people can find you and send a friend request.

There are more questions and answers below the quiz when you scroll down.

How well do you know Facebook? Take this new quiz...

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Where does Facebook have a link to immediately delete your account?
    • At the bottom of each page.
    • On the user profile page.
    • Nowhere! It's not that easy.
  2. Who is Mark Zuckerberg?
    • Facebook’s CEO who was hired later.
    • Facebook co-founder who became CEO.
  3. When you deactivate your account...
    • People can still see your profile.
    • Your account is entirely deleted.
  4. Logging back in after deactivating will...
    • It will reactivate your account.
    • Fail because your account is deactivated.
  5. New Privacy Settings created in 2009 allow you to...
    • Specify who can log into your account.
    • Specify who can see your data.
    • Specify what websites have access to your account.
  6. How long does it take to delete all your data?
    • 14 days if you follow every step and don't touch it.
    • 24 hours if you have obeyed all the rules.
    • Immediatelly.

Answer Key

  1. Nowhere! It's not that easy.
  2. Facebook co-founder who became CEO.
  3. People can still see your profile.
  4. It will reactivate your account.
  5. Specify who can see your data.
  6. 14 days if you follow every step and don't touch it.

Interpreting Your Score

If you got between 0 and 1 correct answer: I think you need to read this article.

If you got between 2 and 3 correct answers: You can do better. Review this article.

If you got 4 correct answers: You missed some important details in this article.

If you got 5 correct answers: Not bad!

If you got 6 correct answers: You really know your stuff!

Questions & Answers

Question: If you deactivate your Facebook account, does it hide all of your posts on other pages, public or friends?

Answer: Based on feedback I’ve received from others, they found it impossible to deactivate their Facebook account until they removed all posts they had left on other people's timelines.

In addition, as I mentioned in this article, you have to remove all likes and connections with other sites before you try to deactivate your account. If you had used your Facebook account to log into other sites, you need to undo all of that too.

Question: How do I remove any reference to my Facebook account from any other website that uses Facebook connect log-ins? I can’t delete my Facebook profile since I have other account connections.

Answer: Many websites give you the option to log-in to Facebook or to create your log-in with a username and password.

It's best to avoid using Facebook to log into other services since that locks you in with an active Facebook account that is very difficult to undo later.

If you used Facebook to create other account logins with other services, you need to cancel those other accounts. Any activity will cause your Facebook account to remain active.

In April 2018 Facebook added the ability to see all the apps you have connected and provide an option to undo those connections.

Question: I want to disconnect all the apps that I have associated with my Facebook account. How can I do that? In addition, is there an easy way to undo all the "likes" I've done over the years?

Answer: A new feature allows you to see all the apps you have connected to your account and all the sites you had “liked.” You will then be able to undo those connections. That feature can be found in your privacy settings. To undo your “likes” you need to do that in your settings for your apps and games.

© 2009 Glenn Stok

What Facebook problems have you had?

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on October 05, 2021:

The information about Facebook that I wrote about in this article years ago are now becoming evident as whistleblower Frances Haugen testifies on October 5th at the Senate subcommittee hearing.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on June 16, 2020:

Dee Ardelean - Did you miss anything I said is required to do, and to avoid doing, that I mentioned in this article? If you overlook any of those things, your account will not be deleted.

Dee Ardelean on June 15, 2020:

I deleted my Facebook account along with 2 pages a few years ago and one of my pages still shows up, but there isn’t any activity on it. I’ve reported it as a fake account to facebook. Is there anything else I can do?

Susan Ng Yu on June 06, 2020:

I'm one of those people who never reads the long terms of service.

So Facebook now has my wedding photos, old travel photos, and pictures of my cats. I wonder what they do with our deleted photos?

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on June 06, 2020:

Susan Ng Yu - Facebook keeps everything even after you delete them. You agreed to that when you opened your account. It’s in the terms of service. You do have the right to cancel your account. But you gave them the right to keep the data.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on June 06, 2020:

george doh - If the profile isn’t shown when you search for it, then you proved that your request to cancel your account has been completed. Don’t log in again, or you will keep undoing that.

Susan Ng Yu on June 06, 2020:

I've never tried to deactivate my account so I didn't know it was that hard.

What about photos that I've uploaded but then deleted after a few years, does Facebook also keep that?

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on June 06, 2020:

george doh - Had you “liked” any other websites or groups. You’ll have to remove all those likes. In addition, if you ever logged into other sites using Facebook, you’ll have to cancel those accounts.

george doh on June 06, 2020:

I understand what you saying,but i logged after the 30 days,not before that.What i am supposed to do now?

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on June 05, 2020:

George Doh - Every time you log in you are causing your cancel request to be removed from the queue.

Darren on March 11, 2020:

Just to let you know - it's deleted now. Thank you, Glenn.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on March 08, 2020:

Darren - Did you follow every step I outlined here? If you log back in, you will cancel the request to delete your account. If you have any Facebook likes on other sites, that will cause it to remain also.

Darren on March 08, 2020:

My Facebook account should have been permanently deleted 4 days ago, on March 4th.

However, if I go to the login page, it says this:

"Your Account Is Scheduled For Deletion on Mar 4, 2020. If you want to cancel the deletion of your account or retrieve any of the content or information you have added, click Cancel Deletion. Otherwise, Facebook will start deleting your account in 1 day. After Mar 4, 2020, you won't be able to access the account or any of the content you added."

It then asks me if I want to cancel my deletion (today is March 8th)! My account shouldn't even exist any more!

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on January 15, 2019:

Liza - You can remove all connections to the sites by going to your settings in FB and select “Apps and Websites” to see all those sites you logged into with FB. You can remove them in that menu.

Liza on January 15, 2019:

Thanks for reply but I don't know how to disconnect FB from WhatsApp and how to remove all relationships. Can you please tell me how to do this?

Natalie Frank from Chicago, IL on August 26, 2018:

I have deactivated my account numerous times as I really don't use it except to send HP articles to but now with the changes probably won't bother with that anymore either. Whenever I log back on not only do I have new friend requests I always have a group of people I've never heard of who have accepted friend requests I never made especially since I had deactivated my account. There are some weird things that go on with FB and I hope we don't find out there are really problematic consequences somewhere down the road. Thanks for writing such a useful article.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on May 26, 2018:

Jai garg - The answer to your questions is in FB's prior terms of service which you agreed to when you signed up, although they have now changed them to be more in favor of the user.

Jai garg on May 25, 2018:

Very informative; and I will add what I feel about FB....,Disabling an account is fine as long as one can remove ones uploaded data which no site has a right to hold back or use.

Today Facebook is using its discretion in self interest to disable user accounts and not delete them going against the users rights. Disgusting terms even on user complaints from other users as anyone can easily block.

Remember next time you sign up for a FB account never post your data just socialise and walk away keeping in mind FB will use all your personal data against anyone even after you are dead.

For now they have data collecting centre’s and FB must be banned by governments around the world.

Facebook has become the most dangerous tool in the hands of a few people and no one seems to be doing anything about it.

So next time you want a FB account say NEVER.... and when you die ..... wish that all the FB goons go to hell!

Just forget about your losses and hard work and remember never to post any material you have created; I had made this mistake created I’ve four pages and was updating them so that my data would be safe and retrieval but FB disables my user account on what ever the reasons… why they don’t delete is a good question I want to ask anyone who can answer.

Learnt a lesson and deleted years of post on flicker as it is being taken over by Sum Dog another one like FB ? Idk.

Jeff Robarge on April 16, 2018:

Just recently made my first attempt to totally delete my fb account and did get the 14 day delay notice. I have not tried to log in since that. I will wait about 3 weeks to check the status as is suggested in this blog; hopefully not having all the issues you experienced.

Oddly enough, since my attempt to deactivate, I have come across these odd little fb page pop ups indicating some kind of sweepstakes or something like that. Not sure if it's some deceptive way of keeping me tied in to the account I want deleted or just the website I was viewing at the time.

I regret having ever signed up with fb, and now since all this crap about fb and Russia and that, I have come to utterly despise this and every other social media company out there.

Sure hope to solve these problems with my fb experience and can get back to my previous state of anonymity on the internet; if there even is such a thing in this world anymore.

Thanks for sharing your experince in this blog.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on March 24, 2018:

Qwertypop - That problem with Amazon Pop-ups has been reported. It never happened before but I got some too recently.

The issue with Facebook is ongoing since they went public, which is why I wrote this article at that time. I agree with you that it's not right.

Qwertypop on March 24, 2018:

Wow - this is my third attempt and rewrite of my response to you Glenn. This website continues to have Amazon winning pop-ups that take over. I experienced this when I was initially reading your article and it continues now that I have created a login in order to communicate with you on this subject matter. This is really a problem. I don’t think this website is secure.

For hopefully the last time - thank you for your reply. I 100% know my user email but do not know my password. All efforts through Facebook to search, recover, and find my former Facebook account result in information not found. I have tried my primary email address, my back up email address, and my telephone number. None of those are found associated with any account.

I get that Facebook legally has my information, but they are not honoring the deletion of my account and are fraudulently showing me as an active user when I am not. I resent the fact that my name shows up associated with Facebook. This is not right.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on March 24, 2018:

Qwertypop - The response you got from Google is the normal reply because Google has no authority to control what webmasters do with their site.

According to the agreement you accepted when you originally signed up for Facebook, you gave full rights to your data to them. That is why they keep it on file even when you close your account. I realize that most people don’t read those agreements, but that doesn’t change the legal issue.

The best you can do is disconnect all references. You may have missed removing some “likes” of other sites.

In addition, if you ever used your Facebook account to log into other accounts, you need to beak those ties too. I know you said you never did this, but I’m just mentioning it anyway for others who read this and who may have similar problems.

Whenever you see the option to login with Facebook, it’s safer to create a new user and password for those other sites. They have nothing to do with Facebook anyway.

You said you deleted all the info you could, but if you missed anything that connects with other sites, it will be the reason why your account is still active.

I know this is very troubling. It’s strange that you can’t log in. I knew of others who logged in after a year and that caused it to become active again. Are you sure you’re using the same user and password as you had before? That’s the only thing I can suggest as this point.

Qwertypop on March 24, 2018:

Hi Glenn, I appreciate that you are still responding to this thread.

I permanently deleted my FB account approximately 4 years ago. To this day, an internet search of my name still shows I have an active Facebook account. It shows my name and hometown only.

Today I submitted this problem to Google, and their response to the url I provided is that the “site owner needs to take down or update the content.” Which tells me FB still has my profile “up.”

I have used my spouses FB account to submit the problem, but as you know, they don’t and won’t respond.

I have had no other issues others have mentioned.

I just want my name and association removed!

In reviewing your steps for deletion after the fact, pretty sure I’d removed my phone app immediately. Certainly never logged back in. While using, I “liked” things people posted, but never, ever used my FB account to login to any other account. I did delete all of my photos and maybe some other things, but I can’t recall. Knowing me, I’m sure I deleted as much information as I could. My privacy settings were always tight. I hated FB even while I used it.

Otherwise, I can’t login, e-mail user doesn’t exist, so it seems essentially dead.

Any advice?

The very topic of FB makes my blood boil. It is such a disgusting thing.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on March 03, 2018:

Matthew - They most likely already know both accounts belong to you. If you created them and continued accessing them from the same computer, your IP address has been recorded and matches both accounts.

Matthew on March 02, 2018:

Thanks for the insight!

The way the two accounts were configured had been that the Primary one is linked to a Hotmail account, while the Secondary one had been linked to my cellphone number. I did not include the cell number in the Primary's account information, enabling the illusion of having two different, independent "Matthews."

Anyway, my purpose of disposing my accounts is purely making myself transparent to the world, not necessarily targeting in particular - although that would be especially nice!

If I decide to dispose of my primary account, I have friends whom could let me see their own FB accounts status.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on March 02, 2018:

Matthew - I actually just helped a friend terminate his account last month. The message said 14 days. I never saw a message that says it may take up to 90 days, but the keywords are “up to” - so it still can be as little as 14 days.

The other thing is that you keep,checking from one account to th either. I’m not sure if that will cause activity related delays. Facebook is known to cancel the request if you have any activity after trying to cancel your account. So the best thing is to ignore it and leave it alone.

The canceled account becomes totally hidden from view of anybody who looks for you. It works well as long as you don’t have an connections to other active sites, which is why you need to remove all your “likes” before cancelling.

Matthew on March 02, 2018:

I tried using your link on a desktop PC, and I got some interesting results. I had two Facebook accounts, one Primary and another, Secondary. The Secondary one is the one I got rid of so far.

First, now Facebook's warning message states that the account member's data termination can be up to 90 days, unlike your 14. However, once clicked on the icon for termination, another window came up, this time saying that it would be 14 days, like your findings.

Second, this time being logged into the Primary account with the desktop, a laptop and a phone, to see the effect. With both the desktop and the laptop, it was that my Secondary account was still present, clustered in "My Friends" list. But when I clicked on it, an icon came up saying, "Account Inactive," "This account has been deactivated. Only you can see Matthew on your friends list. You have the option of to 'unfriend Matthew'." Unlike those two platforms, when I looked on the phone, my Secondary account had been 100%completely removed, as requested.

Do my findings consist with other people's from your personal experience? Any additional thoughts?

Thanks so much!

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on February 25, 2018:

Laura, As you said, they probably are still keeping things around to keep the numbers up. I guess that attitude still never changed.

Laura on February 25, 2018:

I've a couple of issues with Facebook. I've tried to delete a group I created. It did come up with a 14 days to delete message and left it at that. Now when I go to the group I'm no longer an admin bit it is still very much there. Also I had created a business profile (naughty me) they have requested ID and still am waiting for reply. Some months now too. In this time created two more accounts to try advertise without using my own profile but quickly they are flagged and suspended pending ID. They don't reply and still I'm receiving email notifications for the accounts although I can't see the accounts at all when I search. How can I stop these if the accounts are properly closed? I guess these are being secretly kept as they can't be searched for but clearly still active somewhere presumably to help keep the numbers up

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on January 08, 2018:

Nijat - As I mentioned in this article, you need to avoid any activity. The fact that you left the setting that allows friends to tag you, is allowing activity.

You need to change all your settings to disable any ability to do anything. This includes posting to your timeline, tagging, etc. If you had liked any sites other than Facebook, you also need to undo those likes.

Nijat on January 08, 2018:

Hi Gleen Stok.

I just wanna get some advise)

Because I didn't find any way to contact with facebook.

22/12/2017 I permanently deleted my account. 14 passed I never logged in. Now I log in my account it says your account will be deleted 04/01/2018. already 4 days gone but facebook still shows me 4 january my account will be deleted. I cannot access my account. They say it is unable to do it. But my friends on facebook still see my profile, still tag me. My account totally visible for everyone. This is so disgusting. I don't wanna people see my profile, How can I find a way to solve this problem, facebook really doesn't care I wrote the mail, I reported many times. Could you please help me what to do.

thanks in advance Glenn

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on January 04, 2018:

Nihal - It sounds to me like you received emails from a hacker. You didn’t say if you tried to login by clicking a link in those emails. If you did, you probably went to a fake Facebook site that looked like the real thing.

If you entered your username and password, then you just gave it to the hacker.

Of course it would not let you log in because it’s not the real Facebook. But the hacker can now log into your actual account and change the password so you no longer can get access.

If you did indeed follow a link from an email, try to get back in and change the password before the hacker does. Or it may be too late.

Never, ever, follow a link in an email. That is an absolute no-no.

Nihal on January 04, 2018:

Hi Glenn,

i really enjoyed reading your article :)

but may i ask a not related question?

facebook keeps on sending me emails about notification, but when i try to login, it says that:

You can't log in at the moment

We'll get in touch with you shortly after we've reviewed it. You'll now be logged out of Facebook as a security precaution.

i don't know what does that mean? i tried to fill the form for disabled account, but they told me that my account isn't disabled..

do you have any recommendation i can do so that i can be able to login back?

thank you in advance and sorry for asking a non-related question.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on January 04, 2018:

Amanda - Many sites (not related to Facebook) give you the option of logging in with your Facebook account instead of creating a username and password. If you ever had done any of that, you need to undo them.

Amanda on January 04, 2018:

Hi Glenn,

Thank you for this information. You said in your post:

"Remove any reference to your Facebook account from any other website that uses Facebook Connect logins.

Remove any Facebook apps from your iPhone.

Refrain from clicking any "Like" buttons on any sites if they use Facebook."

Can you give me an idea of what some of those more common apps may be? I have deleted messenger and the facebook app, but I am not sure what other apps or social media outlets Facebook owns.

Thank you!

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on December 23, 2017:

Shahana - I don’t work for Facebook. There is no way I have access to their database.

Shahana on December 23, 2017:

From reading this aticle I understood that Facebook accounts never get deleted. So please can you confirm that my Facebook account is OK - Facebook removed my account but I believe they can restore it and it will be found the way I had left it.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on December 23, 2017:

Kailee - If it were just one account I would think you just ran into someone who didn’t set up their profile. But since it’s happening to many accounts you look at, it might have something to do with settings in your browser.

Kailee on December 23, 2017:

Hi I have a question. What are all of the blank accounts that show up in search but when you click on it there’s no photo or timeline or any information whatsoever aside from a name?

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on November 27, 2017:

Sasha Rogers - How do you know it’s back in a few hours unless you looked at it. It’s possible that access from your IP address is enough to keep it active, even though you are not logging in again.

Sasha Rogers on November 27, 2017:

I gave Tried to delete my Facebook page twice. And for some reason a few hours after deletion it pops back up again. I haven’t tried accessing it or anything. What can I do?

Melis on November 21, 2017:

I deleted my FB account one week ago and my name is neither shown up on search/friend list nor google except for FB chat but that is a different story as they doesn't have to work simultaneously.

Although I'm pretty sure that every data I put in FB (even though I deleted afterwards) from the beginning is stored for govermental purposes which is same for everybody. Son, in this respect deleting a FB account will only give you a virtual peace of mind and nothing more.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on November 14, 2017:

Laura, a friend of mine canceled his Facebook account and two months later he changed his mind. He thought he had to create a new account but I told him to try logging in with his old user and password. He discovered that everything came back just as he had left it.

I can’t be sure how he cancelled his account because I didn’t do it. I can only assume that he did it the same way as you had.

laura on November 14, 2017:

Thank you for answering me.

Its true that Some data may remain in facebook servre, BUT!!! When the 14 days ended there is no way to access the account, Or recovre it ( once it has been deleted,NOT deactivate!) Thats what I understand from facebook team.

There is diffrence between deletion and deactivate.

When the account has been deactive you can simply log in and everything will be the same. Unlike deletion process that you won't be able to log in again when the 14 days has ended!

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on November 14, 2017:

Laura, Sounds like you already confirmed it yourself since you say your name doesn’t appear in friend's lists or in search. Just remember that you will undo the deleted account and reestablish it if you ever log in again.

If you read the terms of service when you first opened your account you will understand that nothing is ever really removed from the server.

laura on November 14, 2017:

I meant that I have deleted my Facebook account permanently (for ever) and the 14 days has passed. And my name doesn't shows in search results or in friends lists. I wanted to be sure if the account has really deleted.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on November 13, 2017:

Laura - It never is totally deleted because you gave Facebook rights to your content when you approved the terms of service when you first opened your account. I know most people never read those rules, but that doesn’t change the facts.

It will simply remain deactivated. If you log in you will reactivate your account.

laura on November 12, 2017:

Hi, I asked you how to be sure if my FaceBook account has detleted.. not just deactive?

( my name doesn't show in search or friends list)

I'm afraid to log in. Althogh the 14 days has ended .

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on November 11, 2017:

Pondok Indah - The problem is that your wife agreed to the terms of service when she opened the account, stating that Facebook has rights to the content she uploaded.

She does have the right to delete her pics, but nothing much can be done if she lost her own logon info. That information should always be treated like gold and stored safely somewhere. I’m just saying that for future reference.

Pondok Indah on November 11, 2017:

Help! My wife's old fb account was deactivated circa 5 years ago. It suddenly reappeared a few weeks ago. It even posted some ads of which my wife takes no part of. She did report to fb but they said they didn't find it in violation.. (what?! These are old pics of my wife that she wanted gone!)

Unfortunately she can't login back cuz she forgot the email and password. Is it possible that it had been hacked? Please let us know what we should do to permanently delete this as it is infuriating that the public can see this. Many thanks.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on November 11, 2017:

Laura - Since you didn’t delete all your prior messages before requesting to delete your account, they will remain forever.

The terms of service that you read and agreed to when you signed up state that they own the rights to anything you put in your account. If you go back in to delete those messages you will automatically be reinstating your account, and you will have to start over with the deletion process.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on November 11, 2017:

Geekerella - I understand that based on your business it’s best not to even have a Facebook account since their terms of service require use of a real name. You can delete your account by carefully following all the steps I explained in this article.

laura on November 10, 2017:

Hi ,

I have deleted my facebook(the 14 days ends today). And My account doesnt show on search or in friends lists. But only my name still shows on messages with friends but they cant send me any messages and they cant see my profile or timeline.

How I can be sure if it deleted forever and not just deactive.?

Thank you.

Geekerella on November 10, 2017:

Hello Glenn,

Really great article. I have a question. My fb account was suspended over the real name policy. I can't log into it unless I provide official ID. If I do that they will convert the account to my real name and I don't want that. I volunteer in the criminal justice system and I don't want my friends and family put at risk so I don't put photos online or use my real name in case somebody recognises me and targets them. Is there a way to get my account deleted? I would rather not reinstate it. There is no easy way to contact facebook and make that simple request that I can see. Hope you have an answer.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on November 10, 2017:

Marlen - Same problem I keep referencing with all the other comments. See the other responses for more info. Your situation is no different.

Marlen on November 09, 2017:

I request to delete my facebook permanently, it has scheduled to deletion but it’s still visible to friends

I tried to log in to be sure it still scheduled .. it says my profile will be deleted nov. 10.

I got 2 options: 1 to confirm deletion ..and the 2 to cancel deletion. So I click on confirm deletion.

And log out . Without access to my profile. Today is November 10 and my profile still there.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on November 09, 2017:

Marlen, Did you follow everything I said? Did you ever like pages on other sites and forgot to unlike them? Did you ever log into another account using your Facebook? If so, you need to undo that account first. This are two things that people usually miss.

Marlen on November 09, 2017:

Facebook didn’t delete my account as they say on November 10. Why ? I still can see my profile in the search results. And everything is the same. Only my profile pic was removed.

Can you help me, please? (I haven’t try to log in)

JM Bell on October 30, 2017:

I am quitting because I have had enough with their censorship, shadow banning, and Facebook jail. It will be the new Myspace in a couple years. "What's Myspace?" Exactly.

"And nothing of value was lost."

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on October 10, 2017:

J - Either you used a different login email or they totally removed your data. Two years is a long time.

J on October 10, 2017:

It's funny because I deactivated my page 2 years ago thinking it would still be there when I was ready to get back on. I tried to log in and reactivate it but of course it says there is no such profile that exist. Smh! I'm so confused I thought it would still be there.

Joe on October 05, 2017:

Thanks. No, I used the same email when I deleted it, and I used the same process for deleting an account that you describe above. Doesn't make sense, but I've seen some similar complaints on other sites online so I guess I'm not the only one with this issue. Thanks again.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on October 05, 2017:

Marlon - No matter what you do, you cannot hide unethical behavior. Your location in India is still traceable.

Marlon on October 05, 2017:

I Glenn, I had created some fake facebook accounts. For posting comments on pages and people I did not like. Now someone seems to have reported a comment or something and facebook has blocked me. And even though I change my IP with a VPN, Facebook still won't let me create a new account without a picture. Question is, how might they be figuring out how the same user is trying to create a new fake account? I clear my cookies and everything and take all precautions. But they have got something else figured out over this, obviously! Might you have an idea? I know it is unethical. But is Facebook any better, really? They are the gangsters of the digital age.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on October 04, 2017:

Joe - A friend just did that last month after he had canceled his account several months ago and changed his mind. I told him to just log in again and it would automatically reactive. He didn't believe me but when he tried it, it worked.

I have no idea why in your case it says your email is not associated with any account.

I wonder if you inadvertantly found a way to actually totally remove the account. Did you do something different from me instructions when you canceled? Or did you use a different email address? That would explain it.

Joe on October 04, 2017:

Hi Glenn. Thanks for the article. Can you clarify something for me? You mentioned putting in a request to delete your account and waiting a couple months, after which time your profile hadn't disappeared. This happened to me as well, and, like you, when I try to go into the account to re-delete it, it says that the email address is not associated with any account (preventing me from doing anything). You later say you were subsequently able to get back into the account. How did you accomplish this? Any advice? Thanks.

Amirah on September 08, 2017:

An eye opener! I got rid of my fb account years ago. But because I used the same email address to create an Instagram account later, when this company was aqcuired by Facebook maybe their user data was combined -- I think this reactivated my dead fb. Now I get alerts about ON MY INSTAGRAM about fb activity! It's disturbing and annoying as all heck. I don't intend to log back into fb ever again. Haven't touched it for over 5 years. I wish it would get out of my life -- my instagram is private and only for photos I share with siblings, and that is enough for me. But having other social media accounts is unnecessary to me. Getting "off the grid" is a lot harder than it used to be. It makes ordinary people who don't want to participate seem like we have something to hide, and forces our past info to stay visible on the internet no matter what.

annie on August 28, 2017:

thanks for responding, glenn!

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on August 27, 2017:

Annie, it's not surprising that you are invisible because, as you said, you deactivated your account. You see your own posts because every time you log back in, you are activating your account again.

annie on August 27, 2017:

hi glenn, thanks for this info.

whenever i deactivate my account, i seem to be altogether invisible..... when i activate it, i send private messages or post on another person's wall... but i deactivate at the end of that session. i found that my posts are not seen by my fb friends. the weird thing is that when logging back on, i can easily see a record of my communication, but my friends cannot. if you have any info on this "invisibility" which happens when toggling back and forth between deactivation and activation it would be appreciated.

also, if you have any tips about how to delete a "page" that was not created intentionally (fb made a "page" out of a name that i called my workplace), please tell us. i have tried what they suggest dozens of times... i tried "editing" the page, etc. it's irritating to see this "page" show up on google search. when i send the "help" at fb my request, they simply ignore it, or answer generically. i'm guessing that their employees could probably delete the page so easily.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on June 28, 2017:

Robin Steele - Thank you for adding that information Robin. Sorry to hear about your brother. Please accept my condolences. Wishing you peace during this difficult time for you.

Robin Steele on June 28, 2017:

I saw a question about deleting a person's account who has become deceased. My brother died (suicide) and it was up to me to remove his account. Facebook has a process which is described on their site (I'm not sure if anyone answered this on this string yet) Anyway, if you follow the process you have to provide a copy of the death certificate and be an immediate member of the family I believe. When they said it was deleted, I could still access my brother's profile. When I complained about it, they said it would take a week or so to disappear. I checked back again a short time later and can no longer find his profile with a search. At least they have a process for that which seems to work.

Phoebe on May 21, 2017:

Yes, unfortunately I think you're probably right. Thanks again for your time. All the best to you.


Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on May 21, 2017:

Phoebe - I see you understood the methods I described very well. It sounds like you've done everything correctly to get your account deleted. I don't know why your profile data is remaining if you definitely have no active likes or connections. The only thing I can imagine is that you missed one. The terms of service never actually where changed — Facebook still has rights to all the information you put on the site. Maybe they are enforcing that right more strongly now, compared to the time I wrote this article several years ago.

Phoebe on May 21, 2017:

Hello, sorry, I realise you wrote this article a few months ago and I'm sure you'd quite like to move on but I found your article after searching how to permanently vamoose my facebook account once and for all and you see I've actually done all the steps you suggested and when I search for it it still appears.

Further puzzling is I've never actually 'used' my account, never posted, never 'liked' anything. I certainly don't have it on my phone or linked to anything. I suppose you might say "well if it's blank just forget about it and move on" but it really bothers me and I want it removed.

I know this is a long shot but do you have any advice?

I've gone through the 14 day waiting period at least 4 times, if I try to log in now it says "my email that you've entered does not match any account" which is progress because prior to that even months after the 14 day waiting period when it occurred to me to check and see if my account had actually disappeared for good I was still able to log on and would have to restart the 14 day waiting period.

As I said I've never 'used' the account so I can't figure out what would trigger facebook to hang onto the data. If you have any ideas about where I should go from here I'd be very grateful.

Many thanks


Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on May 18, 2017:

Alex, The only thing I can imagine is what I explained in the article – that being – you probably used your Facebook account to log into other sites in the past, or liked other sites. If you didn't disable all those likes and logon permissions before cancelling your Facebook account, then the account remained active. Today they are forcing everyone into using the messenger app.

If you lost your password, click "forgot password" and follow the steps to get back in. Then clean up everything before requesting to cancel your account again.

Alex on May 18, 2017:

Hi there! I have an issue!? I deactivated my Fb account 2 years ago... last days some friends told me that they got a notification that i was joining messenger... I didn't do that .. i even don't remember the email or password... and nobody else knows it... after that was again blocked ... if somebody can help me with some answers, please. Thank u!

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on May 03, 2017:

I have heard they had done that in the past, but they are more careful now. However, the rules are still in place that if you used your Facebook account to log into other social sites, then your deactivation will be reversed when you use the other site. That's why you need to undo all external connections to your account, which is not an easy task since most people have their Facebook linked to so many other social sites.

Ramsey on May 02, 2017:

I deactivated my Facebook account 6 months ago. I don't want to delete it because at some point I probably will go back. Today I found out that my page is up & running... 100%!!! I'm angry! Can they just activate my account whenever they feel like it without notifying me???

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on March 07, 2017:

John, you have to follow the instructions I gave in this article in order to completely delete your Facebook account. If you did any Facebook likes for other sites then you have to undo those before you request to delete your account, otherwise it remains active as I mentioned. In addition, all connections you have with other sites need to be disabled first. For example, if you used Facebook to log onto other sites, that's a connection you need to dissolve too.

John13531 on March 07, 2017:

I deactivated my Facebook account 2+ years ago, but I STILL get friend requests in my e-mail off and on.

Is there anyway to unsubscribe/block/remove whatever others are seeing and trying to 'friend me' at all, or is it a lost cause?

*IIRC: I set all privacy on my account/profile to 'only viewable to myself' before I followed the link to delete my account permanently, no idea why I'm still getting requests now and then*

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on July 22, 2016:

Marcia - Remember that according to the terms of service that you agreed to when you opened your account, you have given Facebook full rights to your photos that you upload.

Marcia on July 21, 2016:

How do I get my stuff off Facebook if I was wrongfully banned? My husband showed me on his phone that my page and all my photos are on there. I want my family photos deleted. And they should give us so many hours to get our stuff deleted first.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on June 23, 2016:

RS - You're right! This is true. I see stories on the news about people posting about illegal things they did and getting caught because of making it public. It's amazing how silly some people are. As for personal beliefs on any controversial topic, it's best to keep those private.

RS on June 23, 2016:

I wanted to delete due to the fear of my political beliefs being used against me, but I guess there is nothing I can do since FB owns everything I post. Now that I am older and wiser, I've come to realize that FB is the single greatest tool the CIA has ever had.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on May 26, 2016:

Queen_Lioness - If you forgot your password, click on the link "forgot passed" to create a new one.

Queen_Lioness on May 25, 2016:

The problem is with me, Facebook has lock me out or some how my old account doesn't exist, yet, I still get email notifications from that Facebook account. I haven't used it, or have been able to log back into do I get rid of this crazy problem????

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on October 11, 2015:

CM - If you no longer have the email address you used when you created your Facebook account, and you forgot your password, then it seems your profile will forever remain as if you still existed on Facebook. I was able to get a new password because the email I used was still active. So once I was able to log in, I canceled my account and followed the steps I mentioned in this article to get the account completely removed. Thanks for your comment. It confirms that Facebook is still playing the same game to make it look like they have more users than they actually do.

CM on October 11, 2015:

"I was actually able to get a new password to log on to my deactivated account. That was mandatory in order to get back in to delete it with their new method."

I am having the same problem as you with an account I thought I had deleted 5 years ago still searchable by others. How did you get a new password when it doesn't recognise your email address or name?

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on January 29, 2015:

Wow--what a ridiculous rigamaroll!

I am on Facebook; I use it to stay in touch with far-flung friends and family, not all of whom bother to write letters or send e-mails.

I also use it as my political action platform, trying to spread information and education about what the government is up to.

I'm not looking to delete my account, but your tale is nonetheless at once interesting and concerning.

Does that 14-day period mean not even logging into HP, because they have a FB button? I don't even KNOW all the different places I may have signed on using FB login...and truthfully, there are not that many; I rarely do that. I usually join sites's just that I don't recall which are the few that I may have at one time logged in using FB. Which in turn, apparently means, I could never delete my account even if I wanted to.

I guess this explains the still-visible, semi-active accounts I see for a couple of people I know to be deceased!

Voted up, interesting and useful.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on February 22, 2014:

envivolili - I realize you are saying that you are just trying to delete a page, but that is against the terms you accepted when you opened your account. The terms state that everything you post in Facebook becomes their property. Many people don't read the fine print. But agreement to the terms is made by using the account. Your only choice is to delete the account. if you have any activity during those 14 days then your request to cancel your Facebook account will be nullified. So you need to be sure no one posts to your wall. You also have to undo all 'likes' that you might have done prior.

envivolili on February 22, 2014:

Ong...Thank you so much.. I was spinning my wheels for months trying to figure out what I had done wrong...I am trying to delete a couple BAND fan pages I used to manage for an EX boyfriend.. those bands no longer exist and he and I would very much like NOT to be linked by the common administration of these defunct pages. We both have FB profiles that we are not trying to delete.. just the pages.. but I did the 14 day waiting period and they are still there.. I have FI on my android and my I pad and yes both are on and active 24/7... is there any way to unlink those pages to my personal account? It's maddening...

Darren on November 29, 2013:

As you said, the profile still shows and even marks as sending friend request, has no pics or info but is there with the same name I left. What a bunch of fake privacy policy, should be called piracy policy.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on February 24, 2013:

Zeta - Based on their privacy policy, you will have to accept the fact that anything you put out there is no longer your property. The best you can do is not log on anymore after requesting to delete your account as I explain in this article. Eventually your account may be removed and later it will be removed from search engines. But this can take a long time and if anyone adds anything to your Facebook wall, your account will not be deleted.

Zeta on February 24, 2013:

Read with interest, scary thing. Now what to do to make my facebook profile invisible in other search engines? I have this setting off as they advice but it still shows there...

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on February 12, 2013:

Lydia - the only way to stop the emails is to log back not your Facebook account an turn off all notifications. Of course the side effect is that your account will be reactivated by doing so. But then you can go through the complete delete request process again. The other option is to find out if you can program your mail program to ignore any mail from Facebook. Or send it directly to your spam folder.

Lydia on February 12, 2013:

Thanks for answering, but as far as I know, I am totally removed from facebook, at least my friends say I'm gone, I do know that facebook had all those hidden policies, which even if I did read, I had no clue what it all meant until it was too late! I just wish I knew how to stop the notifications that are still incoming, can't even move them to my spam folder, they still come to my inbox on my email!

Before I allowed that stupid app, (forgive my language) I never received any notification via email, I had it all sent to my facebook, now just before I deleted my account, this had to happen! Frustration is the least of what I feel right now.

Short of changing/deleting my email and getting a new one, I have no idea what to do....

You mentioned something about digging through anything remaining that I may have forgotten, where would this be? on facebook? because no way am I going back there, guess I'll have to live with it.

And I must say that is pretty low of facebook to do such only to say they have so many ppl still with them.

Note to self, read the small print, and find out what it actually means!

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on February 12, 2013:

Lydia, The terms of service with Facebook that you agreed to when you opened your account allows Facebook to keep your data. That makes it hard to delete your account. I know most people never read that stuff. That's how they get away with it.

They do allow full deletion as long as you don't let any of your friends access your wall for two weeks after requesting to delete your account. Any form of access such as apps or existing links in old emails need to be removed. I know it's not easy, but you need to dig through anything remaining that you may have forgotten about. They seem to make it difficult on purpose since they want to claim they have more active users than they really do.

Good luck with it. Hope you succeed getting it deleted.

Lydia on February 12, 2013:

Hi, I recently deleted my facebook account, and as far as I know (or care) it is gone, but my problem/issue is I am still receiving notifications via my email that my friends poke me, write on my wall and stuff like that, if I do follow the link it leads me to an app which I may have activated before I left, but thought I had removed. Does anyone know how I can stop getting these notifications? I do not wish to sign up again, which seems to be the only way to let facebook know I have this issue, and I have changed my email account's password, which didn't help either. I deleted my facebook account about 3 weeks ago. any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

the thing of it is, I never allowed apps to interact with my facebook page because of the fact that they can access my personal information, so I am not sure why this one stupid app is still active!

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on January 03, 2013:

Bookworm35, There are many people like you who are getting away from Facebook. I just heard that tonight on the news. Most people never read the privacy page before signing up, and they are just finding out now that they are giving away their privacy in return for using the Facebook platform. Keep a close eye on your kids as young people generally don't understand the consequences. Thanks for your comment.