Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are great for keeping in touch with friends and family – but they can also be a bit of a nuisance.

If you’re worried about ID theft or fed up with your account being overrun by people sharing useless information, it could be time to consider stepping away altogether.

[Read more: 14 Facebook secrets that make social networking a cinch]

But social networks don’t make deleting your profile very easy, unfortunately. Often, they force you to navigate around several pages with small links that you can barely see. So if you want to get rid of your social network accounts for good, watch our step-by-step video guide above and follow the instructions below.

Step 1: Deciding whether to deactivate or delete your Facebook account

There are two ways to get yourself off of Facebook. The first one is to deactivate your account, which will remove your profile from visibility but allow you to return with everything intact. The other option – to delete it – wipes everything completely, with no chance of ever getting it back after the 14 day cut off date.

If you want to deactivate your Facebook profile, begin by going to the top right arrow and clicking on Settings.

Deactivate your Facebook account

Find Security on the left-hand menu. 

Deactivate your Facebook account

Click Edit under the Deactivate your account option at the bottom, then click Deactivate your account.

Deactivate your Facebook account

Deactivate your Facebook account

Step 2: Are you sure you want to deactivate Facebook?

Facebook will try to tempt you to stay on the next page, which requires you to give a reason for leaving.

When you select the appropriate response for leaving, Facebook will offer advice on addressing your particular problem in a pop-up box. If you still wish to proceed with deleting your account, just hit Close.

Tick the box next to Email opt-out to prevent Facebook from contacting you again – and then click the Deactivate button.

Deactivate your Facebook account

A final box will appear, asking you to enter your password for security. Once that’s done, hit Deactivate Now.

Deactivate your Facebook account

[Related story: 7 great reasons why you should be using Twitter]


Step 3: Deleting your Facebook account completely

If you’re sure you don’t want to ever return to Facebook with everything as it was, you can ask Facebook to delete your profile altogether.

[Read more: Why you should think before clicking 'Like' on Facebook]

Begin by visiting while logged into your account.

Delete your Facebook account

Hit the blue Delete my account button, then enter your password and security check code in the boxes.

Delete your Facebook account

Your account will be permanently deleted within 14 days.

Step 4: Deleting your Twitter account

If you’re looking to delete your Twitter account, there is just the one way to do it. Start by clicking on your profile picture in the top right, then click Settings from the menu.

Deactivate your Twitter account

At the bottom of the next page, find Deactivate my account.

Deactivate your Twitter account

Step 5: Are you sure you want to delete your Twitter account?

Twitter will explain what it means to delete your account. Read the details carefully, and if you wish to continue, click the blue Deactivate button.

 Deactivate your Twitter account

A box will appear asking for your password – then finally hit the blue Deactivate account button.

Deactivate your Twitter account

Step 6: Deleting other social media accounts

Facebook and Twitter are the main social networks, but there are many other places you may have accounts, each with their own procedure for deleting your account.

Thankfully tells you how to go about deleting your account on these, simply by searching the name of the site. It will even tell you if it’s easy, hard or impossible to remove your account.

Step 7: Reconsidered?

If you feel like you’re missing a social network too much, you can always choose to come back.

On Facebook, you can return at any time by logging back in as usual  if you deactivated. If you chose to delete Facebook completely, you can only reactivate your account within 14 days of your request.

On Twitter, you have 30 days to reactivate your account by signing in as normal. After that, it will be deleted for good.

[Read more: Did you know Facebook has a hidden inbox? Here's how to find it]

Have you decided to delete a social networking account? Why did you want to get off them? Share your experiences in the Comments section below.