In light of the recent news on Twitter, it might have occurred to you to leave the platform. However, logging out of Twitter is not as easy as logging out one last time and never coming back.
This is because platforms like Twitter collect a huge amount of data about us while we use them. To prevent Twitter from continuing to use your data after you leave, you must take appropriate steps to permanently delete your account and all data associated with it when you leave.
In this guide, we will explain how to do it, and especially how to take all your valuable data with you. Follow the steps outlined here and you’ll be done with Twitter. If you change your mind and decide that you cannot leave the microblogging service, we will also tell you how to cancel the process.
Step 1: Disable third party services.
Unlike some other sites that allow you to immediately delete your information and close your account, Twitter requires a 30-day or 12-month deactivation window when you decide to delete your account. If a third party application that you have associated with your Twitter account connects to your Twitter account during this period, your account may be reactivated and will remain active even after the 30-day or 12-month period has elapsed.
For this reason, the first step to take when deciding to delete your account is to disable all third party services associated with your account. Here is the procedure to follow:
- Sign in to your Twitter account;
- If you’re using a desktop browser, click More on the left, then Settings & Privacy. If you’re on the Twitter mobile app, click on your profile picture in the top left corner, then on “Settings and Privacy”;
- In your account, click or tap “Security and account access”, then “Apps and sessions” and finally “Connected apps”;
- Twitter will provide a list of all third party apps and services connected to your account. You will need to select each of them and then click “Revoke App Permissions”.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll be ready to delete your account without worrying that a forgotten app you pinned to your Twitter profile years ago will inadvertently thwart your attempt to leave.
Step 2: Archiving your data (optional)
When your deactivated Twitter account reaches the 30-day or 12-month threshold (depending on your choice), all of your data is permanently deleted from the social network’s servers. However, if you still want to keep your data, Twitter offers a way to download an archive of everything associated with your account that remains on its servers. To do this, you must use the Twitter site. None of its mobile apps offer this option. The process is nearly identical whether you access the website through a desktop browser or mobile browser.
Here are the steps in this process:
- Open a desktop or mobile browser;
- Go to Twitter.com and click “More” on the left;
- Then click “Settings and privacy”;
- Once inside, click “Your Account” then “Upload an archive of your data”;
- At this point, you may be required to enter a password, after which you can click Request Archive.
Once you do this, you will be notified that the process may take up to 24 hours. Once the archive is ready, you will receive a push notification via the Twitter mobile app and email. Both of these notifications will contain a link that will automatically take you to the settings page on the Twitter website. There you can download the prepared archive of your data as a .zip file. It contains an HTML file called “Your Archives” and a data folder containing all the content you’ve posted on Twitter.
You can navigate to this folder as you would any folder on your desktop or smartphone. In this folder, you can play/view your media files locally, as long as the media type is supported by your current device. After that, you will receive your data and can proceed to the last step. If any of this data is of value to you, we strongly recommend that you back it up either locally or to the cloud storage of your choice.
Step 3. Deleting an account
Since this process is slightly different depending on whether you do it on your PC or on your phone, we will describe each scenario separately.
Deleting an account on your PC:
- Sign in to Twitter.com on your desktop browser.
- Click “More” on the left.
- Click “Settings and Privacy” and find the “Your Account” section.
- In this section, click Deactivate your account. You are currently offered two “reactivation” periods: 30 days or 12 months. It is important to choose carefully because when this period expires, your account and all of its data will be gone forever. If you think you might change your mind in the future, the 12-month option might be for you. Or, if you’re sure you want to retire as soon as possible, choose the 30-day option.
- Once you’ve made your choice, click Disable.
- You will then need to enter your password and confirm your decision one last time by clicking “Deactivate Account” one last time.
Deleting your mobile account:
- Sign in to the Twitter mobile app.
- Tap your profile icon in the top left corner.
- Click “Settings and Privacy” in the pop-up menu.
- In this menu, click “Your Account”, then “Deactivate Account”. The same two “reactivation” options are available to you. It’s up to you to make your choice.
- Once you’ve made your choice, click Disable.
- At this point, you will need to enter your password and confirm your decision one last time by clicking “Deactivate Account” one last time.
After you have completed this procedure on your computer or mobile phone, please wait for your chosen reactivation period. After 30 days or 12 months, your account and all associated data will be permanently deleted. However, if you change your mind within the aforementioned time frame, read on to find out how to reactivate your Twitter account.
Reactivate your Twitter account
As you might expect, Twitter makes it easy to reactivate your Twitter account instead of archiving or deleting it. Just log into your account for 30 days or 12 months (depending on what you chose when deactivating). After logging in, you will receive a message asking if you want to reactivate your account. If you select “Yes”, you will immediately be taken to the restored homepage.
It can take a while for Twitter to restore all of your account content, including followers, media, tweets, and past private messages, so don’t panic if anything is missing when you return to your home page.
Return to Twitter after account deletion
Last note. If you ever decide to return to Twitter after the 30 day or 12 month period, you will need to create a completely new account. If you want to reuse a username you had before, you’ll have to hope that no one has chosen it as your username in the meantime. When an account is deleted, anyone who registers can claim that account’s username as their own. If someone chose your username while you were away, you will need to choose a new username.
Please note that this does not apply to the reactivation period. Twitter keeps your username reserved until the reactivation period expires.