How to delete every Facebook wall post, wipe your Timeline

This gallery includes two key ways of deleting your Facebook wall posts and content, pre- and post-Timeline.

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If you arrive here directly and are somewhat confused, read more about this gallery on ZDNet.

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In this screenshot, you can see that my Facebook wall is full of test Wall posts, but Wall posts nonetheless. I could easily select each one and hit 'Delete' but this will take forever, especially if you have a profile stretching years back. 

If you are lucky enough to not have enabled the new timeline, then you have saved yourself a great deal of time -- should this method work for you. If it does not, then never fear. There are other options you can explore.

1. For this, you need to be running Firefox as your web browser, and not Chrome. It's not clear why the 'magic button' does not work on Chrome, but it doesn't.

2. Head to the Mozilla Addons pages from your Firefox browser. You should be looking at a script called Greasemonkey.

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Greasemonkey allows users to install scripts to Firefox to change the behaviour of web pages, or to add additional tools and tweaks to web applications, such as Facebook. From here, we want to install the add-on.

3. Click the Add to Firefox button. You may be prompted a few times to install the addon to the browser.

4. You should then restart Firefox when it prompts to you to do so. In doing this, it will install Greasemonkey and will allow you to install additional scripts.

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Userscripts.org is a repository for bits of code that can be used by Greasemonkey to improve the experience of web pages, tweak styles, or add features and tools to your browser. All content here is user generated, making the community such a fantastic resource for creative works.

We need to install the 'magic button' tool, called the 'Facebook Scrubber', which deletes all Wall posts and other activity on your Facebook profile.

5. Head over to the Facebook Scrubber script page on Userscripts.org.

6. At the top-right of the page, select the Install button. 

7. When Greasemonkey kicks into gear, select the Install button again.

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When you go back to your Facebook profile page (you may have to hit refresh on your browser), you should be presented with a somewhat out-of-place but new button that was not there before. This is the Greasemonkey script that you have installed which embeds what the 'magic button' underneath your status update box.

8. Hit the 'magic button', which should be marked as 'Delete ALL Older Posts'.

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But the Greasemonkey script will warn you, as you are about to begin wiping your Facebook wall of Wall posts, comments, activities, and anything else that might display on your profile page. This is the final warning before you begin wiping content.

9. Click the OK button. This will begin wiping the content on your current profile view.

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You should notice that your Facebook content has begun to disappear. It should have been deleted. You should refresh the page to play it safe to make sure that content has in fact been deleted. 

10. You should notice that the content has been deleted. As you can see here, older content that is hidden from view may not have been deleted yet. Simply 'rinse and repeat', by refreshing the page and pressing the 'magic button' again. 

A word of warning: This only deletes a mass of posts at a time. You may need to scroll to the bottom of each page to hit Older posts in order to wipe more, or keep having to refresh the page to retrieve older content. It's not perfect, but it's a far quicker way of deleting content than individually hitting the delete button on each post.

Along with others, it seems there is roughly a 90 percent success rate. I have tried this and it has worked, along with others with a majority of success. In some cases it has not entirely worked, only to work a second or third time. Be persistent. If it continues not to work, then try another method later in this gallery.

Also, in some cases, content can get 'stuck'. You may need to manually intervene to remove one or two posts that the script does not recognise, such as game or application activity, and then try hitting the 'magic button' again.

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Eventually, once you continue to 'rinse and repeat' by refreshing the page and hitting the 'magic button', you will have no more content to delete. It would be wise to set aside an afternoon, get a pot of coffee brewing, and get your mouse-clicking finger at the ready.

Or, if you continue, and learn how to use macro applications, you could even automate this process to leave it (mostly) unattended. It's not a perfect solution, but it's quite speedy and requires little intervention once it gets ticking over.

Once you see the 'This is your Wall' message, you should have no more posts to delete. Success!

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Getting set up with the macro software is easy, but actually getting the correct combination of macro code to work is something else entirely.

Many have tried and struggled with the code, which is generated automatically by button clicks and mouse movements. Facebook certainly doesn't make it easy for those who want to rid their profile pages of the vast amount of data that is put there.

1. For this, you need to be running Firefox still as your web browser, and not Chrome. 

2. Head to the Mozilla Addons pages from your Firefox browser. You should be looking at a script called iMacros for Firefox.

iMacros will be installed directly into your Firefox browser, allowing you to 'sandbox' your macros to interact with only web pages, rather than your system as a whole.

3. Click the Add to Firefox button. You may be prompted a few times to install the addon to the browser.

4. You should then restart Firefox when it prompts to you to do so. In doing this, it will install iMacros to the browser allowing you to create automated code.

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Once you have iMacros installed, don't be put off. It may look daunting and strange, but it's surprisingly easy to use. What you do need to focus on is the left hand sidebar that will appear.

(If it doesn't appear, click the small button next to the back/forward buttons in Firefox. This will display and hide the sidebar).

5. You can continue to browse once while the sidebar is open. Navigate to your Facebook timeline page.

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With the Facebook Timeline, what you can privately see is very different to what the public or your friends can see. You need access the 'private' log of all of your Facebook content. Facebook has helpfully (it's up to you whether you read that sarcastically or not) kept a record of quite literally everything that has ever taken place on your profile.

6. Once you are here, select the Activity log button to the right hand side of the page, in line with your name.

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In this example -- no doubt yours will be far more cluttered, with more pictures and other activities -- you can see on this rather bare Activity log list has a string of things that can be removed. You can either hide things from your timeline, or delete them altogether.

Wherever possible, we will delete what we can. But you can always hide things from your timeline instead. If anything, it might be easier to hide than delete, seeing as hiding content is far more prevalent in Facebook's options than the ability to delete, particularly if the content that tags you belongs to someone else.

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Here we need to change the settings so that certain key hidden code on the page gets picked up rather than specific mouse co-ordinates. You may have to alter this setting, because whilst mouse co-ordinates can work, the Activity log can often shift upwards and include additional lines and spaces, meaning the co-ordinates are missed and nothing happens.

7. On the iMacros sidebar, select the Rec tab. From here, select the Click Mode button. It may be set to Auto.

8. In the dialog box, select Select the best click mode automatically, the top button. Select OK. This will save your setting.

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Your macro will record as you click or manipulate your browser (such as opening a new tab, or refreshing the page). You need to recreate a single step of deleting (or hiding) a post or comment on your timeline, and then seeing if the macro reproduces. Don't expect perfect results first time.

The macro is generated in such a way that it's quite easy to see what is happening on each line -- even if you are not a developer. There's also plenty of support out there for iMacros users.

9. Start off by clicking Record on the Rec tab. 

10. Click on the hollow circle and select Delete post or Hidden from Timeline.

11. Select the Delete button if a dialog appears.

12. Stop the recording by selecting the Stop button from the sidebar. 

13. On the Play tab, run the macro to see if it reproduces what you just did. You can also loop play the macro to see if it repeats over a number of instances.

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Again, this is not an exact science. Facebook does seem to be playing difficult in this, but can you blame them? The last thing Facebook wants is for you to delete your data. It sustains their business model of serving targeted advertisements based on the content you post. 

14. One thing you can do to prevent unnecessary refreshing is to remove the URL GOTO line, often the third line in your code. You can access this dialog box by selecting the Edit tab and Edit Macro from the sidebar.

Note: You will, with this method, need to intervene at times, switch modes, and alter your macro. Others no doubt will offer suggestions in the comments, so keep your eyes peeled.

If it helps -- perhaps it will, perhaps it won't -- this is the code that I used during the deletion process. It worked sporadically at best, but perhaps it will work for you. Other methods exist, but because of how Facebook works, often runtime errors can occur, forcing the macro to shut down unexpectedly. If you have an Android phone, there's an app for that, too.

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