How To Stop Facebook from Tracking You [2023 Guide]

If you use Facebook, your activity is getting tracked. We’ll show you how to stop the site from keeping up with you.
Patti Croft, Author
Catherine McNally, Editor
Last updated Dec 21, 2022

Facebook is the largest online social media platform with more than 2.7 billion active users on the app daily. With so many users, the Facebook audience is a perfect environment for tracking online behavior. When your online activity gets captured, Facebook can send you coupons and promotions tailored to your browsing habits.

If having your online movements followed makes you nervous, you may wonder, “Can I stop Facebook from tracking me?” Fortunately, there are steps to stopping the app from tracking you. Not everyone enjoys having their information gathered by social media, so we’ll show you how to avoid it with our detailed guide.

In this article
What data does Facebook collect?
How to stop Facebook from tracking you
Facebook data FAQ
Bottom line

What data does Facebook collect?

Because Facebook collects data even when you’re logged off, you should be aware of what information is getting tracked. Facebook uses tracking cookies that are stored on your computer or mobile device. These cookies are files that contain logged information about your online activity.

Facebook also collects your data from third parties, such as app developers and advertisers. That means it can use data from other websites you choose to visit.

The data Facebook gathers may include the following:

  • Files you send and receive
  • Emails
  • Calendar invites and notes
  • Downloaded files
  • Messages you’ve sent and received
  • Audio messages you’ve sent and received
  • Phone contacts
  • Call history
  • Browsing history
  • Location
  • Camera information
  • Music
  • Search history
  • Games you’ve played
  • Microphone data

If you have an iPhone or iPad with iOS 16+, you can run a quick sharing and access check. Go to your iOS Settings > Safety Check and choose the Manage Sharing & Access option. In step two, you'll be able to see which apps have access to your information and have the chance to end their access.

How to stop Facebook from tracking you

When you review the list of data Facebook can collect, it can be a little overwhelming. That’s a lot of information to share with a social media app. If giving out all this knowledge makes you uncomfortable, you should know how to turn off Facebook tracking. 

Thankfully, it’s fairly easy to do this by adjusting your Facebook app permissions.

Run Facebook’s Privacy Checkup tool

Facebook’s Privacy Checkup reviews your privacy settings with you so that you can manage your choices and release only the data you want to share. Follow these steps to go to your Privacy Checkup:

1. Go to your profile picture on Facebook and click it.

2. Select Settings & Privacy, then click Privacy Checkup.

To turn off Facebook activity tracking, click your Facebook profile image and select Settings & Privacy, then click Privacy Checkup.

3. Here you’ll access the different areas where Facebook can track you. Follow along with each step to adjust your settings.

Clear activity log

Your activity log is a list of everything you’ve searched for on Facebook. The platform keeps a record of all these activities, so deleting your activity log helps keep your data more private.

1. Click on your profile picture or the three horizontal lines in the top right of Facebook, then click your name.

2. Tap the three dots below your profile picture, or select the down arrow underneath your profile picture and go to Settings & Privacy.

3. Select Activity log.

To clear your Facebook activity log, go to the Settings & privacy menu and select Activity log.

3. Scroll down to Logged Actions and Other Activity, and tap View Logged Actions.

4. Click Search History and tap Clear Searches.

Change ad preferences

Facebook ad tracking shows you how your data gets used to send you the ads you might find most interesting. To change your ad preferences:

1. Click your profile picture.

2. Go to Settings & Privacy, then click Settings.

3. Click Ads in the left menu.

To change your Facebook ad settings and choose what types of ads you see (or don't see), click the Ads option in the Settings menu.

4. Click Ad Settings to review what data is used to show you ads and the ads you want to hide.

Change your off-Facebook activity settings

Can Facebook track activity even when you're not using it? The answer to this question surprises many people, but yes, Facebook can track your behavior on other sites too. 

When you don’t want Facebook to know what you do when you’re off the platform, you can use the off-Facebook activity tool to shut it off.

To turn off future off-Facebook activity tracking:

1. Click your Facebook profile picture.

2. Go to Settings & Privacy, then select Settings.

3. Click Your Facebook Information on the left, then choose Off-Facebook Activity.

4. Click Manage Your Off-Facebook Activity, then Manage Future Activity or select Disconnect future activity.

Facebook gives you the option to turn off its activity tracking even when you're not using the platform.

Turn off location tracking

Facebook uses location tracking to send you targeted ads. It also uses it to show you events happening nearby and to identify your geographical location when logging into the app. If you don’t want Facebook to have your precise location, it’s a good idea to turn location tracking off.

To turn off location tracking:

1. From your Facebook profile picture, go to Settings & Privacy.

2. Select Settings and scroll down to Privacy.

3. Click Location on the left side to adjust the settings.

Unlink third-party apps

You can turn off Facebook’s integration with other apps to give you more control over your information. You may have connected other apps to your Facebook account in the past. That allows you to log in to these software apps through Facebook but could also allow app tracking.

When you turn off Facebook’s integration with apps, you may lose saved data such as game scores, posts, and other information.

Here’s how to quickly unlink apps from Facebook:

1. Click your profile picture.

2. Go to Settings & Privacy, then click Settings.

3. Click Apps and Website on the left side.

4. Scroll down to Preferences, and next to Apps, Websites and games, click Turn Off.

You can also go to your Facebook Preferences and unlink the social media platform from certain apps, websites, and games to prevent tracking.

Use a secure web browser

When you use a secure browser, your data is encrypted. If you don’t want your information tracked, a secure browser will hide your online activity and block tracking. Many users choose more secure browsers such as Tor, Opera, Firefox, and Brave. These browsers focus on privacy and online security.

No matter which browser you choose, learning how to clear cookies will help protect your data. (You should also clear history and cache too.) The whole purpose of cookies is to save your user data, so clearing them will ensure better privacy.

Delete your account

The easiest way to turn off Facebook tracking is to delete your account. That’s an extreme option and doesn’t leave you room for much fun if you enjoy social media. 

Some people decide to delete their Facebook accounts for a short time. If you don’t know how to opt out of Facebook tracking, this is a choice, but with our guide, you shouldn’t have to take such drastic measures.

Facebook data FAQ


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Can Facebook track your off-Facebook activity?

Facebook can track your off-Facebook activity, but you can turn those settings off to disable that feature by following these steps:

  1. Click your Facebook profile photo.
  2. Choose Settings & Privacy, then select Settings.
  3. Click the Your Facebook Information option on the left, then choose Off-Facebook Activity.
  4. Click Manage Your Off-Facebook Activity, then choose Manage Future Activity or Disconnect future activity. 

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Why is Facebook tracking me?

Facebook tracks you to gather information about your online activity. By doing so, Facebook can use this data to send you targeted ads.


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How long does Facebook keep my profile information if I delete my account?

Facebook keeps your data for at least 30 days. Some of your data may take 90 days to delete. It is also possible that a portion of your data will get kept after that time in backup storage.

Bottom line

You may use Facebook every day to catch up with old friends and post about your experiences. Facebook can be a fun app when you know your information is safe and remains private.

The social media platform is upfront about tracking online user behavior. That doesn’t mean you have to leave all your data to chance. With our guide, you can adjust your settings to match your data preference.

You can read more about social media safety to get all the latest tips and trends for online data security.

Author Details
Patti Croft has a B.S. in Computer Information Systems and an MBA. She also worked in Information Technology for 16 years and loves everything tech and gadgets!