How To Stop Facebook From Tracking You [2024 Guide]

If you use Facebook, your activity is getting tracked. We’ll show you how to stop the site from keeping up with you.
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Facebook is the largest online social media platform with more than 3.05 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 — especially if you don't use an ad blocker.

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:

  • Content you create, including posts, comments, or audio messages
  • Content you provide through Meta's camera feature or your camera roll
  • Search history
  • Messages you send and receive
  • Metadata about content and messages
  • What types of content, apps, and features you view or interact with
  • Device information
  • Information about friends, followers, groups, accounts, Facebook pages, and other pages you interact with

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.

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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.

 

Facebook launched a new feature to track your link history over the past 30 days. You can read our guide on how to turn off Facebook link history tracking for future information.

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 corner 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.
  4. Click Logged Actions and Other Activity.
  5. Click Search History.
  6. From the top-right, select 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. From here, you can review your Ad Settings to confirm 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. Select Accounts center, then click Your information and permissions.
  4. Click Your activity off Meta > Manage Future Activity > Disconnect future activity.
  5. Select Continue, then hit Confirm.

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 an ad blocker

Ad blockers can do more than just block those pesky pop-ups. They can also block trackers while you're online shopping, browsing social media platforms, and more. Here are some ad and tracker blockers we recommend: 

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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.

Subscribe to a personal data removal service

While Facebook doesn’t directly sell your data to brokers, many data brokers use social media sites to collect personal information. Data removal services scan the web for your info and send you regular reports on data brokers that are sharing your personal details. Here are some of popular services that can find and remove your data online:

  • DeleteMe: DeleteMe is easy to use and does a thorough job of finding your personal data online. This service can remove some personal info for you, and it also sends regular reports every three months to help you ensure your private details stay offline.

    Get DeleteMe | Read Our DeleteMe Review

  • Incogni: Incogni can remove your data from more than 180 data brokers online, and is a low-maintenance way to keep your personal details private.

    Get Incogni | Read Our Incogni Review

  • HelloPrivacy: HelloPrivacy’s service is centered around finding and removing your data online. It doesn’t have many other features, but it can scan the web for your info and remove some information for you.

    Get HelloPrivacy | Read Our HelloPrivacy Review

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


+

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, and use tools like ad blockers and data removal services, or VPNs, to protect yourself. 

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

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Author Details
Patti Croft is a seasoned writer specializing in technology, with three years of experience. With a B.S. in Computer Science and a background as a technical analyst and security specialist, she covers a range of topics like data security and parental control software.