If you've been on Facebook for a long time, you've probably collected a lot of posts, some of which you wish you hadn't published. You may want to hide your previous listings from a potential employer or university admissions office – or you might just want to improve your personal security by removing identifiable information.
In early June, Facebook announced a new bulk delete feature for the mobile app It's called managing activity, and that 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 backlog, this version of the feature leaves something to be desired.
This is how it currently works:
- On your profile page, tap the three dots next to "Add to story".
- Choose "Activity Log"
- You are now on the Activity Log page. Touch the "Manage Activity" button at the top.
- You will see a "Manage Activity" pop-up window. Touch your posts.
- You are now on the "Manage Posts" page. There are three buttons at the top of the page: Filters, Archives and Trash.
- You can use the "Filter" button to filter which posts you want to select (provided you don't want to delete all). You can choose by category (e.g. text updates, photos and videos or posts from other apps), date or people. After you have selected your filter, you can click on individual filtered posts. Then click Archive or Trash at the bottom of the screen. According to Facebook, you can view all discarded entries for 30 days. Then they will be permanently deleted.
- There is also a check box at the top of the list. When you tap it, all the posts that are currently on your list are selected so you can delete them all at once.
- However, here is the catch: Facebook only deletes the posts that are contained in the visible list and only fills the list if you scroll further down. For example, while I have a lot of Facebook posts with photos, I could only select posts until May 2016 when filtering the list by “Photos and Videos” because that was as far as I had scrolled. If you have several years' worth of Facebook posts that you want to delete, this is one amount scroll – and wait. (The app was paused on my phone to refill all 10 posts.)
- When you have selected all the posts you want to delete, tap the "Trash" button (or the "Archive" button if you prefer).
- If you accidentally discarded posts or changed your mind, choose Trash at the top of the page to view all of the posts you discarded. You can then click the three dots to the right of each entry to view, restore, archive, or permanently delete the entry.
It is very likely that this is just the first iteration of the new Manage Activity feature and that a future update will offer a more practical solution. According to Facebook, Manage activity is currently only available in the mobile app, but may appear in the desktop version.