Facebook can be downright annoying at times, or maybe you just want to go off the radar for a little while. Here's how to delete your Facebook account temporarily or permanently. Also see: 13 best Facebook tips and tricks

It's important to understand the difference between temporarily deactivating your Facebook account and permanently deleting your Facebook account. When temporarily deactivating your Facebook account your data will remain on Facebook's servers, and to reactivate your Facebook account all you need to do is log in again.

This is ideal if you might return to the social network at a later date, and in the meantime no-one will be able to find you through Facebook's Search function, nor view your profile online. See: How to view most recent stories in Facebook's News Feed

In permanently deleting your Facebook account, however, your photos, messages, posts and more are gone forever. There is a way to download all of the information from your Facebook account before you delete it, though, which we'll explain later in this article. (Also see: How to switch off notifications in Facebook Messenger.)

How to temporarily deactivate Facebook account

To temporarily deactivate your Facebook account you first need to log into the social network. Click the downward arrow in the blue bar at the top of the window and choose Settings. This will take you to your General Account Settings page. Select the security tab on the left.

To temporarily deactivate your account you should click on the bottom link here to 'Deactivate your account'.

Facebook will explain that: "Deactivating your account will disable your Profile and remove your name and photo from most things that you've shared on Facebook. Some information may still be visible to others, such as your name in their Friends list and messages that you've sent."

Click the 'Deactivate your account' below this message.

Deactivate Facebook

Facebook will try to convince you to stay by showing you some of your friends who might miss you, and it will ask you to say why you want to leave - with options ranging from a lack of understanding of Facebook or the confession that you spend too much time using it.

If you're the sole admin of any Facebook Pages, they'll be deactivated unless you choose to pass on your admin duties to a friend. You can do so by clicking the 'Edit Admins' button presented here.

Finally, we'd advise you to tick the 'Email opt out' option. Otherwise, you'll run the risk of getting event invites and more clogging up your inbox.

Now, all that's left to do is click 'Confirm' and your account will be deactivated. Remember, logging back in to Facebook like normal will reactivate your account.

Deactivate Facebook

How to permanently delete Facebook account

If you've decided that you want to permanently delete your Facebook account, you'll need to go about things slightly differently. Visit Facebook's Delete Account page (click here) and log in (if haven't already).

You'll then need to click "Delete my account," but please make sure that you're absolutely certain that you don't ever want to revisit your Facebook account again.

Delete Facebook

Before you go - How to download Facebook data

If you want to keep the information and data on your Facebook account before you delete it, you can download everything as an archive onto your computer. To do this, you'll need to be logged in.

Navigate to the arrow at the right of the blue bar at the top of your Facebook window, click 'Settings' and then click 'Download a copy of your Facebook data' at the bottom of the page. You'll then need to click the green 'Start My Archive' button download get everything including posts, photos, videos, messages, chats and information from Facebook.

Download Facebook data