Temporarily Deactivate Your Facebook (2020)
We wake up, we go on social media, and we scroll.
We brush our teeth, we go on social media, and we scroll.
We make breakfast, we go on social media, we take a bite of cereal, and we scroll.
Information overload has become a norm in today's society and some users have reacted by fighting back with social media detoxes. Facebook makes it easy for you to step away for a bit (though they really don't want you to) by deactivating your account.
What Does it Mean to Deactivate Your Facebook?
For users wishing to step away from Facebook, there are two options:
- Permanently delete your Facebook - This is a slightly more complicated process that involves a lot more commitment.
- Temporarily deactivate your Facebook - Think of this as a vacation from your Facebook account. For as long as you stay logged out of Facebook, your profile is disabled.
To summarize deactivation in a bit more detail:
- Your profile will be disabled
- Your name and photos will be removed from most things that you've shared
- You'll be able to continue using Messenger if you would like to do so
- Your friends can still invite you to events, tag you in photos, or ask you to join groups
- You can turn off all email notifications for the interactions listed in the point above
We'll walk you through a simple tutorial on how to take advantage of this feature as of August 2020.
Why Should You Deactivate Your Facebook?
There are several reasons why you might want to deactivate your Facebook:
- You have an important event (maybe an exam, a wedding, or a vacation) coming up and don't want Facebook to be a distraction
- You need to stay off Facebook for a while due to logistical reasons and you don't want to worry about what you might be missing
- You're feeling overwhelmed or exhausted and want a break from social media
- You want to challenge or train yourself to use Facebook less
- You're thinking of deleting your Facebook permanently and want to try it temporarily first (baby steps!)
There are numerous other reasons you might want to have your Facebook profile disabled, and deactivation is the solution for any of those reasons that are temporary.
Also, if you just want to stay off of Facebook for a while without having your profile disabled, you should just log out as opposed to deactivating your account. If you're worried about being tempted to get back online, we've discussed some options at the end of this article.
How Will You Reactivate Your Facebook? (And Why You Have to be a Bit Careful About It)
Reactivating your Facebook is extremely easy. When you successfully deactivate your account, you will immediately be logged out. To reactivate your account, all you have to do is log back in!
Of course, this means that an accidental login (which is not so farfetched) will undo your deactivation. The truth is, Facebook doesn't want you to leave, even for a short while. This is why reactivation is just a little too easy.
Here are some steps to avoid an accidental log in:
- Delete Facebook apps from your phone while you want to have your account deactivated and reinstall them once you're ready to reactivate.
- Clear your computer's cookies; this logs you out of most websites so don't bother if this sounds like too much of a headache for you.
- Clear your browser's autofill entries for your address bar to avoid accidentally landing on Facebook (here is an article about how you can do that according to your specific browser)
- Just be careful! This should be sufficient if you don't want to take any of the above steps.
The Steps to Deactivation
1) Start by heading over to https://www.facebook.com/. You will need to log into your account if you are not logged in already.
2) Once you're on your Facebook, click the small upside-down triangle at the rightmost top corner of the page. This will open up a dropdown menu. From here, select 'Settings'.
3) You'll see some fields that you can edit on that page including Name, Username, Contact, and Manage account. Select 'Edit' next to 'Manage account' as pictured below.
4) At the bottom of this section, select Deactivating or deleting your Facebook account. You might be prompted to re-enter your password at this point.
5) Facebooking will ask you to choose a 'Reason for leaving'. You can choose any of the options provided.
One of the reasons to choose from is: "This is temporary. I'll be back. Automatically reactivate my account in ____ days."
If having your account automatically reactivated after a certain number of days sounds appealing to you, you can select this option and choose between 1- 7 days.
After choosing a reason, Facebook will likely prompt you to take an alternative route to deactivating your account, such as logging out instead. You can just ignore this prompt by clicking 'Close'.
At this point, you can provide additional explanation for your reason for leaving if you would like to do so in the text box labeled 'Please explain further', located right under the list of reasons for leaving. This is optional.
6) Facebook gives you the option to opt-out of email notifications for :
- Invitations to attend events
- Invitations to join groups
- Being tagged in pictures
If you want a complete break from Facebook, you can opt-out by selecting the checkbox labeled 'Email opt-out' under the list of reasons. However, if you are concerned about missing out on important events or being tagged in unflattering pictures, this option allows you to take your Facebook break while still keeping a foot in the door.
7) The second checkbox on this page is labeled 'Messenger' and can be checked if you would like to continue to use the Facebook Messenger application after deactivation. Checking this box is another way to take a break from Facebook without completely disappearing. It is ideal if you prefer to remain partially accessible to your Facebook friends.
8) Finally, click the blue 'Deactivate' button at the bottom of the page when you are completely ready for your account to be deactivated. A prompt will appear re-explaining what deactivation entails. Click the blue 'Deactivate Now' button and you will immediately be logged out.
Your account is now officially deactivated!
9) To reactivate your Facebook, simply head back over to https://www.facebook.com/ and log in again. Your account will immediately be reactivated.
How Do You Actually Stay Off Facebook After You Deactivate?
Deactivation is the first step of your temporary Facebook break, but if you're deactivating for non-logistical reasons, you might be concerned about logging back in when you're bored twenty minutes from now. We get it; Facebook is addicting! Here are some ideas:
- Take advantage of the steps mentioned in the section titled 'How Will You Reactivate Your Facebook? (And Why You Have to be a Bit Careful About It)' above to make logging back in a little bit more difficult. Additionally, you can delete Facebook from your browser's bookmarks/history to get rid of even more traces of it.
- There are several app blockers and website blockers designed specifically to help you with this.
- Replace your Facebook usage with another activity. This can be turning to another app that you deem to be more useful or even engaging in a separate activity. Some examples include learning a language, listening to podcasts, reading a book, and the list goes on. It really depends on your own preferences. Just don't choose anything that might bore you into turning back to Facebook!
- Try reading content, watching videos, or listening to podcasts of other people who have tried out social media cleanses. You can also get a friend or relative to try detoxing with you. This might eliminate that feeling that you're "in it alone".
How Did We Feel About This Facebook Feature?
Deactivation is extremely easy and convenient. It can be useful for a variety of users, though the most obvious usage is to facilitate a temporary Facebook break.
Is it the best solution for someone who's "Facebook'ed out"? Possibly. It's a great way to ease yourself away Facebook, which is built to keep you wanting to come back. However, due to the matching ease of reactivation, deactivation is best paired with additional measures that were discussed in this article (see the section titled 'How Do You Actually Stay Off Facebook After You Deactivate?').
Overall, deactivation is highly useful and we believe that every user should take advantage of it for their personal Facebook accounts from time to time.