How to Quickly Delete Old Facebook Posts

PCMag
PCMag
Jun 5, 2020 · 5 min read
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Now more than ever, it’s important to curate what pops up on your social media feeds. Here’s how to delete Facebook posts from your Timeline one by one or in bulk.

By PCMag Staff & Scott Bay

Facebook is all too keen to remind you of the past. Remember that concert you went to three years ago? That person you friended nine years ago? That photo you snapped on vacation? No worries; Facebook will make sure you never forget.

But now more than ever, it’s important to curate what pops up on your social media feeds, lest a potential employer or date stumble upon an ill-advised photo, comment, or like.

If you’re sick of cringing every time you log into Facebook, it might be time to rid your account of aging memes and reminders of your 2008-era frosted tips phase. You don’t have to nuke your entire account, though. Here’s a more civilized solution for social media cleanup.

Review Your Facebook Profile

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First, it may be informative to see what your profile looks like to people who aren’t on your friends list. Go to your Facebook profile and click the View As “eye” icon, which will display your profile as it looks to someone who is not a friend. You can do the same thing on mobile by navigating to your profile, tapping the ellipsis and selecting View As.

Delete a Facebook Post

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If you see only one or two posts you want to delete, Facebook makes it easy to axe them one at a time. To do this on desktop or mobile, go to your profile, click the ellipsis icon, and select Activity Log. This will show you every action you, or another user, has taken on your Timeline, including reactions, shares, comments, tags, and posts. Tap Filter (desktop) or Filters (mobile) to select which kinds of posts you want to see. When you come across something you want to remove, tap or click the ellipsis to delete or remove a reaction or tag.

Hide a Post From Your Timeline

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It’s possible to limit the visibility of old photos and posts by making them private instead of deleting them entirely. From your Timeline, click the ellipsis next to the post you want to hide, then select Hide from Timeline in the drop-down menu.

To only hide the post from certain people, select the ellipsis button and then Edit audience (desktop) or Edit privacy (mobile), where you can select which groups of people or individuals can see your post. Here, you can also set it to Only me, so only you can see it.

Limit Past Posts

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Facebook also has a tool to hide public Timeline posts en masse. To do this, navigate to Settings > Privacy > Limit Past Posts. After clicking the Limit Past Posts button, a warning will pop up advising that all your public posts will be converted to Friends only. If that’s okay, click Limit Past Posts again and your public posts will only be visible to those on your friends list.

If you want to perform this action on mobile, you’ll have to use the Privacy Checkup tool by going to Settings & Privacy > Privacy Shortcuts, then tap Review a few important privacy settings under the Privacy section. Tap Who can see what you share and proceed through the checkup until you see Future Posts and Limit Past Posts. You can make future posts visible to anyone, friends only, or just you. Or choose specific people who can see or not see your posts. Tap Limit to automatically make past posts viewable to only your friends.

Archive or Trash Old Posts in Bulk

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Facebook just rolled out the option to archive or delete old posts in bulk. For now it’s only available on mobile and Facebook Lite. Navigate to your Activity Log and tap Manage Activity up top and then Your Posts in the pop-up at the bottom of the screen. Tap Filters to sort by category, date, or specific people. Then tap the box next to the posts you want to hide, and select Archive or Trash at the bottom of the screen.

To delete entire years from Facebook fast on desktop, you’ll need to download a browser extension like Social Book Post Manager for Chrome. These extensions aren’t forgiving and can delete years of history instantly with a click of a button, so make sure anything you want to save is safely archived before hitting delete.

Download Your Facebook Data

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To download a copy of your entire Facebook Timeline, go to Settings > Your Facebook Information > Download Your Information on desktop. If you’re on mobile, go to Settings & Privacy > Settings > Download Your Information. Choose what should and should not be included, and click Create Files to download your Facebook information to your computer.

Originally published at https://www.pcmag.com.

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