How to delete your old Facebook posts

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Now it’s easier to get rid of all those embarrassing posts

If you’ve been on Facebook for a while, chances are you’ve piled up a lot of posts, some of which you wish you hadn’t posted. You may want to hide your past entries from a potential employer or college admissions board, or you simply want to improve your personal safety by removing identifiable information. In early June, Facebook announced a new bulk delete feature for the mobile app called Manage Activity, which makes it easier to get rid of all your previous posts. The idea is that you can now select some or all of your posts and delete them all at once. However, if you really want to clean up your Facebook order book, this version of the feature leaves a lot to be desired.

This is how it currently works:

  • On your profile page, tap the three dots next to “Add to the story”
  • Select “Activity Log”
  • You will now be on the Activity Log page. At the top, tap the “Manage Activity” button
  • A “Manage Activity” popup will appear; tap “Your posts”
  • You will now be on the “Manage your posts” page. At the top of the page, there are three buttons: Filter, File, and Trash.

  • The Filter button allows you to filter which posts you would like to select (assuming you don’t want to delete them all). You can select by Category (such as text, photo, and video updates, or posts from other applications), Date, or People. After selecting your filter, you can click on individual filtered posts. After that, click on File or Trash at the bottom of the screen. According to Facebook, you will be able to retrieve the entries from the trash for 30 days, after which they will be permanently deleted.
  • Also, at the top of the list, there is a checkbox; if you tap that it will select all the posts that are currently on your list so you can delete them all at once.
  • However, here’s the catch: Facebook will only remove posts that are in the visible list, and will only populate the list if you continue to scroll down. So for example, even though I have a lot of Facebook posts that have photos on them, when I leaked the “Photos and Videos” list, I was only able to select posts until May 2016 because that was what I had scrolled through. If you have several years of Facebook posts you want to delete, it’s a lot of scrolling and waits. (On my phone, the app stopped repopulating after every 10 posts.)
  • In any case, once you have selected all the posts you want to delete, tap the “Trash” button (or the “Archive” button if you prefer)
  • If you have mistakenly rejected a publication or changed your mind, select “Trash” at the top of the page to see all the publications you have rejected. You can then click the three dots to the right of each entry to view the entry, restore it, archive it, or delete it permanently.

This may very well be just the first iteration of the new Manage Activity feature, and a future update will provide a more practical solution. According to Facebook, Manage Activity will only be available on the mobile app for now, but will eventually appear on the desktop version.

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