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HomeLifestyleTech & gadgetsSocial media What happens to a user's account when he dies? The...

Social media What happens to a user’s account when he dies? The owners of the social media platforms have found ways to take care of such inevitable occurrence which users ought to be aware of.

Have you ever wondered about it for once?

What happens to all your Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook photos, videos? All the posts and tweets you’ve ever released? What becomes of them? Do they just stay there in the cloud? What’s the procedure really like?

In most countries, families are entitled to a deceased person’s online data details. With Facebook, families can actually delete the deceased’s Facebook account, or request access for some content (not private chat) and the profile can be turned into a memorial.

It’s also been learnt that some users might not want their families to have access to their account, which has led to the creation of Google Inactive Account Manager, giving the user control.

Here is a breakdown of the popular accounts as they operate after the demise of a user:


On request of a family, a user’s account gets closed after the family member fills a privacy form. Another option for the user is to just leave the account as it is.


Facebook memorial pageThere are options to close your Facebook account totally or make a memorial page out of your profile page. (Facebook)

Here, you can create a legacy account, for the sake of memory. Memorialized accounts are a way for people on Facebook to remember and celebrate those who’ve passed away. A legacy contact who is someone chosen to manage your account to carry out certain permitted actions for the deceased. This option is found under the general settings tab > settings> manage account.

Families can ‘memorialize’ accounts for example by hiding the birthday feature so that the account owner’s birthday doesn’t keep notifying his friends each year.

The account owner can also select the option of getting his account deleted permanently altogether.


Google’s Inactive Account Manager works by allowing you to set a time frame (3, 6, 9 months) you want Google to wait before considering you ‘inactive.’

Google Inactive Acct managerAn inactive account according to Google usually translates to the person being dead. (CNET)

One month before that deadline, Google sends you an alert or email, which if you don’t respond to, prompts Google to notify your ‘trusted contacts’ (up to 10) and shares your data with them if you had chosen to do so.

Google uses several signals to figure out whether you’re still using your Google Account, such as last sign-ins, recent activity, usage of Gmail and Android check-ins. To set up the Inactive Account, go to go to click ‘setup’.


An Instagram account of a deceased can be reported as such by a relative for memorialization. Contact Instagram’s Help center for this with evidence of proof of death of the account holder via an obituary or news article. Only immediate family members can request for the deceased’s account to be removed.


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