Twitter is a great tool, but it can be too much at times. The good news is you can delete a Twitter account permanently. If you're tired of the constant arguments, we have the right stone for your sling to silence this annoying chirper once and for all.
And should you change your mind, there's even a method to resurrect your Twitter account from the dead. The body must not be older than 30 days, though.
Here's how to remove your Twitter account once and for all or until you decide to get back to micro-blogging again.
Things to know before deleting a Twitter account
You can probably tell why you want to delete your Twitter account. But can you tell what happens after it's gone for you good? That's why we recommend checking out the following list of consequences. Who knows, maybe some of them will sound dire enough to make you think twice?
Here's what you should know before deleting your Twitter account:
- Your tweets won't be gone. Yes, all your chirps will stay intact unless you delete them separately. Learn how to do that in a section below.
- Downloading your Twitter history. You may not need it now, but you may need it later. That's why we recommend you to download your Twitter archive – here's how.
- You can restore your deleted account. If no more than 30 days have passed since you've deleted your Twitter account, you can still restore it.
- Can a deleted Twitter account be traced? Unfortunately, yes. It's possible to see long-deleted tweets by using tools like Wayback Machine or Twaku. They take snapshots of Twitter, and those will likely include your account as well.
How to delete a Twitter account permanently?
If you've decided to delete your Twitter account permanently, here's a step-by-step guide explaining how to do this:
On the left menu, click More and choose Settings and Privacy.
Click Deactivate account at the bottom right corner of your Account menu.
Click Deactivate, enter your account password and click Deactivate again.
And that's it – your Twitter account is gone. As mentioned above, you have 30 days to change your mind.
You can also delete your account from a smartphone. Below are the instructions for Android and iOS devices.
How to delete a Twitter account on Android
Here's how you delete your Twitter account from your Android smartphone:
Tap your profile pic at the top left and choose Settings and Privacy.
Tap Account and then Deactivate your account at the bottom.
Hit the red Deactivate button at the bottom.
Enter your account password and tap Deactivate button.
Congratulations, you've now successfully deleted your Twitter account. However, you can still turn back time during the next 30 days.
How to delete a Twitter account on iPhone
Deleting the Twitter app won't delete your account (duh). Here's how to do that on your iOS device:
At the top left is your profile pic. Tap it, then choose Settings and privacy.
Hit Account and then Deactivate your account at the very bottom.
Tap Deactivate at the bottom.
Confirm your password and hit Deactivate one last time.
That's it, you no longer have Twitter. There's a 30-day moratorium in case you reconsider, though.
Reasons to delete Twitter
There's more than one reason for wanting to terminate your Twitter account. Most of the time one is enough, but for those still sitting on the fence, here's a list that may sway you to the right side.
1. You're giving away private information
The only private information on Twitter is your direct messages. Everything else, including tweets, is used to build targeted ads that also show up on your feed. That's how that page listing your interests is generated – the algorithms just check your timeline and do the rest.
If that doesn't look like a 24/7 surveillance tool that sees what you read, write, whom you talk to, and which brands you discuss, then we don't know what does. But there's more.
You probably don't remember these items from the Terms and Conditions, but you are:
- Giving away your device type and IP address. This allows Twitter to know your location and potentially. Unless you're hiding your IP address and encrypting your traffic using a VPN service, Twitter knows a lot about the IRL you.
- Disclosing the list of apps that are installed on your device, which in turn can access your tweets.
- Sharing contacts from your email app and elsewhere. While this may be useful, it's even more useful for Twitter. Using this data, the social network can create groups with similar interests and better understand potential customers.
To be fair, Twitter doesn’t do anything with your information that other social media and Internet companies don’t do. In general, Twitter is a safe and secure platform. However, it’s worth remembering that if you don’t protect your tweets, they’re available to every Twitter user. Not only that, search engines can find them, and list them among relevant results pages.
2. Twitter is addictive
Psychologists agree – Twitter is addictive. You start liking the bluebird's song so much that you join in. Suddenly you're no longer listening to the melody – you're waiting to hear it, standing by your window with an empty gaze, forgetting everything around you.
Does that sound like addiction? Just like any other social network, Twitter tries to take as much of your time, to the point where you're reading what people you don't know think about things that don't matter to you.
3. Twitter does not forget
Ever tried reading your old tweets? Then you know it's not the best idea. While writing "capital should be equally divided! #hangthebourgeoise" looked fun during your college years, it might not go over well with HR at the workplace you're applying for.
People’s views change as they grow older. Rather than search for individual tweets, it’s often easier to delete your Twitter account and start again. Or if you’re worried that some of your views may harm your chances of career advancement, canceling your account may be the only viable option.
How to download Twitter archive?
You should download your Twitter history because you never know when you might need the old tweets you’ve written. You may be accused of saying something you didn’t say. Or you may need to recall some vital information you once shared in a tweet.
It’s always best to download your Twitter archive before you start the account deletion process — just in case.
Downloading your Twitter history goes like this:
- Start by going to your Twitter “Account settings” (click the profile icon which can be found at the top right of the page).
- Then, select “Settings and privacy.”
- Towards the bottom of the menu, you’ll find the link “Request your archive.” Click it.
- You’ll receive a message telling you that a link to your archive will be emailed to you. This can take up to 24 hours, so don’t worry if it drags on.
- Click the link in the email from Twitter to access your archives via a ZIP file, and save them on your local drive.
How to delete all your tweets?
Deleting all your tweets is not so simple. If you’re keen to erase your tweets from existence, it won't be enough to delete your Twitter account. Search engines may still list your old tweets, such as "capital should be equally divided! #hangthebourgeoise," for months, or even years, after deletion.
When you delete tweets, the likes of Google keeps them in cached search engine results. Until the search engine updates the cache, your old, unprotected tweets will continue to show up on results pages. However, when someone clicks the link, they’ll be taken to Twitter’s error page.
If you want to request that Google removes your tweets as soon as possible, you can do so by sending Google’s content removal service a link to the tweet you want to be removed.
Unfortunately, it's not only Google that you have to deal with. Websites like Wayback Machine and Twaku also take snapshots of your tweets and save them indefinitely.
To sum up, you'll have to learn to control your digital footprint but your future you will be thankful!
How to restore your Twitter account?
You can regain your Twitter account if no more than 30 days have passed since its deletion. You can do that both on your computer or phone. To recover it, just follow these steps:
- Go to twitter.com/login or your mobile Twitter app.
- Enter your username and password.
- When asked, confirm that you want to restore your account.
- Start using Twitter again.
A few things to know after completing this procedure. First, your tweets, likes, and other data might take time to fully restore. Also, don't fret if you get a message about disabled reactivation – just try again later. Finally, don't hesitate asking customer support for help, especially if your 30-day deadline is coming to an end.
Couldn't stay without Twitter and back online again?
At least make it harder for Twitter to store your personal data by following these three simple rules:
- Always Log Out. If you use Twitter on a smartphone, the site may track your activity on connected apps even when you don’t think you are logged in. Yo make sure this doesn’t happen, double-check that you have logged out of Twitter after checking your account. Don’t just close it and move onto another app or website.
- Use a VPN. Using a VPN is a reliable way to hide your identity from Twitter’s data gathering bots. In fact, it’s probably the only ironclad way to ensure anonymity when tweeting. With a good VPN installed, your IP address will be scrambled, hiding your location and the nature of your device. And everything you send will be encrypted, adding another layer of protection.
These three rules will reduce Twitter’s data gathering to a minimum. At best, the network will be able to track who your account is communicating with, but linking it to your identity will be tough. Incidentally, this is also why using a VPN is so useful if you intend to tweet about controversial political issues, especially in repressive countries.
If you intend to lock down your Twitter account, make sure you use the opt-outs and a VPN together, and tighten up your smartphone security practices. In general, if you want to ensure security online, it’s a good idea to reduce “connected apps” to a minimum, as almost all of them will have data-gathering operations.
Recovering your Twitter account is just as easy as deleting it. However, that doesn't mean that all your tweets will be gone too. On the contrary, sites like Google, Wayback Machine, or Twaku will have some if not all of your tweets. Getting them to delete their snapshot archive will be a bit harder.
People tend to change their mind. That's why Twitter has decided to give you 30-days to reactivate a deleted account. However, you should download your Twitter history just in case you'll need something years from now.
You also shouldn't delete Twitter just because of privacy concerns. As this article has shown, there are ways to minimize the information that Twitter logs about you, although that often comes at the price of convenience. However, if you're serious about your online privacy, you probably got used to that already.
Finally, the chances are that you're planning to delete not only your Twitter account but other social networks as well. Since Facebook will probably be your next choice, here's our article on deleting (or deactivating) your Facebook account.