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How to get rid of annoying apps on Facebook

You made the mistake of logging on to some obscure web site using your Facebook ID and now your News Feed is littered with irritating updates; or you stopped playing Bejeweled Blitz and Diamond Dash months ago but you are still pestered with constant reminders to check back in.

It often seems like you have moved on in life but your Facebook account is still stuck in the past. That’s because you have collected various apps along the way, and, like jilted lovers who won’t take no for an answer, they refuse to let you go.

Fortunately, Facebook has given us a way to show those annoying apps the door. Here’s how you do it.

  • Log in to Facebook, click on the little wheel at the top right-hand corner of any Facebook and choose Privacy Settings.
  • Choose Apps from the left-hand menu.
  • In the new window, you will see a list of Apps you use. Click on Edit next to the ones you want to get rid of. Scroll down to the bottom of the new window and click Remove app.
  • In the confirmation window, you will see a useful reminder that the app you have been using may still retain the data that you have already shared. More on that later. Here, you are just trying to remove the app from Facebook. Check the box and click Remove.
  • If you want to take the more drastic step of removing all apps from your Facebook account, follow the first two steps above and then click Edit next to Use apps, plugins, games and websites on Facebook and elsewhere.
  • Click on Turn Off Platform. Note that this not only disables all your existing Facebook apps but also means you won’t be able to use your Facebook account to log in to any third-party web sites. Also, even if you turn the platform back on, all your existing apps will have been removed and you will have to reinstall them to get them back.

As mentioned above, removing an app from Facebook doesn’t mean that you are no longer registered with that app or web site. For example, if you signed up with Foursquare, UrbanSpoon or one of dozens of other third-party sites using your Facebook account, removing a related app on Facebook doesn’t mean you have severed your relationship with the third party. To do that, you would have to visit each individual web site and close or deactivate your account.

Facebook is already integrated with games, apps and third-party web sites on a massive scale and it’s only going to get worse. Every time you install an app or sign in to a web site using your Facebook account, you are handing over your personal data to developers, ad networks, and more. Even if you’re not concerned about a cluttered News Feed, it makes sense to give yourself a regular Facebook app check-up and get rid of the ones you no longer use.

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