How to Delete Your Twitter Account or Temporarily Deactivate It

Account icons flying from phone to trash can
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How to Delete Your Twitter Account or Temporarily Deactivate It - A Brief Guide

Deactivating or deleting your Twitter account is a straightforward and easy process.

Follow the steps below to deactivate and delete Twitter:

  1. Go to Twitter and sign in to your account.
  2. Depending on your device, go to “More” (desktop), or click on the little profile icon in the top left corner (mobile).
  3. Go to “Settings and privacy.”
  4. Click on “Deactivate your account,” and confirm.
  5. Confirm one final time by filling out your password and pressing the button below.

When you deactivate your account, your data is stored on Twitter’s servers for 30 days before it is permanently erased. If you change your mind and log in to your account before the 30-day time limit elapses, your account can be reactivated.

Twitter may not be as big as social media giants like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Still, with about 217 million monetizable daily active users, the microblogging site is a major player in the sector. Since its all-time high of about 336 million users in 2018, Twitter has lost some users, presumably to more “modern and hip” social media platforms or possibly due to privacy concerns.

Are you concerned about sharing your personal information with one too many social media platforms? Are you battling social media addiction? Do you want to get rid of Twitter to focus on your productivity and improve your mental health?

Whatever your reason, this article will guide you to deactivate or permanently delete your Twitter account step by step. All you need is a stable internet connection, your Twitter login details, and lots of patience.


First Things First: Make a Twitter Backup

Make a Twitter backup iconIf you want to delete Twitter, we understand the urge to just get on with it. However, it’s best not to delete a Twitter account hastily. After all, you may have had some memorable moments during your time on the platform. Maybe you shared some pictures or videos you’d rather not lose.

It is all too easy to forget about things you shared on social media that may be important to you. With the sheer volume of data we share these days, it is almost impossible to keep track of the things you post online. That’s why we recommend making a backup of your data before deleting your Twitter account.

To create a backup of your Twitter data, follow the steps outlined below. If you’d rather not create a backup before you delete Twitter, skip this and move on to the next section.

  1. Go to Twitter and log in.
  2. On the left panel, locate the “More” icon — it’s the circle with three dots. Tap on it to go to your account settings.
  3. SelectSettings and privacy.”
  4. Click onYour account,” then click on “Download an archive of your data.” You may be required to provide your password to proceed.
  5. Click the blue button that says “Request archive.”

Note: You can do this on a desktop device or a laptop.

According to Twitter, once you put in a request, it can take 24 hours or longer to prepare your archive for download. Twitter claims they do this as a security measure to prevent cybercriminals from stealing your data. You will get a notification from Twitter once your archive is ready.


How to Deactivate or Permanently Delete Your Twitter Account From Desktop or Android/iOS

Delete your Twitter account icon

Unfortunately, there’s no “delete Twitter account” button that you can click to erase all your data on the platform.

To delete your Twitter account, you must first deactivate it. When you do so, Twitter will store your account and data for 30 days. During this time, your profile picture, username, and display name will not be visible to anyone on Twitter. You will not be able to see tweets or send and receive direct messages. However, you can still change your mind and reactivate your account.

After 30 days, Twitter will permanently delete all your data, and recovering your account will no longer be possible.

Note: Before you continue, remember that you can only make a backup of your Twitter data while your account is still active. You cannot do so from a deactivated account. So, you need to do it, if you want to, before taking the steps we outline below.

How to delete your Twitter account from a desktop device

1. Go to your Twitter page.

2. Click on “More” from the options on the left side of the screen. Select “Settings and privacy.”

Screenshot of Twitter, side menu, "More" option highlighted.

3. Click on “Your account” if this isn’t selected yet, although it probably is.

4. Click on “Deactivate your account.” Confirm by clicking on “Deactivate.”

5. Fill out your account password and click “Deactivate” to confirm once more.

Screenshot of Twitter, Deactivation request, Confirm your password window

The deactivation process is instant. If you want to delete your Twitter, all you have to do is simply not use the platform for 30 days and your account and all associated data will be erased from Twitter’s servers. Keep in mind, however, that people may still be able to view some of your tweets on Google, Bing, and other search engines.

How to delete your Twitter account from a smartphone (Android or iOS)

1. Go to the Twitter app and log in.

2. Click on the profile icon in the top left corner of the screen. Now, tap “Settings and privacy.”

Screenshot of Twitter, Profile icon menu, "Settings and privacy" option highlighted

3. Click on “Your account.”

4. Tap “Deactivate account” and confirm by clicking on “Deactivate” once more.

Screenshot of Twitter, Deactivate your account

5. Confirm your decision by filling out your password and clicking on the “Deactivate” button.

Screenshot of Twitter, Confirm your password to complete deactivation request

Just as it is on desktop, to delete Twitter on a mobile device, you must wait for 30 days after deactivating your account before all your data will be permanently deleted from the company’s servers.

If you truly want to delete Twitter but can’t resist the urge to open the app, we recommend deleting the Twitter app from your phone. This way, you won’t succumb to the urge to open Twitter and reactivate your account.

Note: There may be minor variations to the wording used for the options you have to select to delete your account on Android and iPhone. However, the differences are minimal.


Reactivating Your Twitter Account

Should you change your mind after deactivating your Twitter account, it couldn’t be any easier to undo this. Simply try to log in to your account, and a pop-up message will appear stating that your account is deactivated. You can choose to activate your account or cancel the page and keep it deactivated.

Your account deactivation is irreversible after 30 days. You’ll have to sign up to Twitter again if you want to access the service. And there’s no guarantee that your account’s username and display name will still be available.

Note: If you reactivate your account, and afterward decide you want to delete your Twitter, you’ll have to wait another 30 days.


Delete Twitter Data From Google Search Results

Even after you delete your Twitter account, your tweets and other Twitter information may still show up in the results of search engines such as Google. Twitter says it has no control over the results that search engines display.

The good news is that search engines, especially Google, constantly update their search results by “crawling” web pages and indexing them. So, your tweets will eventually disappear from Google search results. However, since there are so many pages and elements to index, it can take a long time before this happens.

If you don’t want to wait until your tweets are deleted, you can try to get the result removed.

To get your tweets removed from Google, you can simply use the Google Search Console to do this. Click on “New request” and fill out the exact URL of the page you want to get removed. You can also use this method to get images removed from Google Images and search results.

Bing has its own content removal tool, which you can use to submit a removal request.


Reasons to Delete Twitter

About 4.14 billion people were active on social media in 2020 — that is more than half of the global population — and that figure is expected to continue to climb. Despite this widespread adoption of social media, it has some negative sides. We highlight two of the most pernicious aspects of social media use below.

Privacy concerns

Using social media and sharing your data with different platforms involves some inherent privacy risks. As the saying goes, mo’ data, mo’ problems.

Twitter is free to use, and its primary source of income is advertising. Why is this problematic for your privacy?

In a regulatory filing in 2020, Twitter revealed it was being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for inadvertently using the email addresses and phone numbers of users for ad targeting. In May 2022, the company agreed to pay a $150 million fine to settle a joint lawsuit by the FTC and the Department of Justice over the privacy violations, which occurred between 2013 and 2019.

While Twitter claims it has “addressed the issue” and no longer uses phone numbers, email addresses, or any other information collected for safety or security for advertising, parts of its privacy policy could be cause for concern. We have an extensive article about privacy on Twitter and what data the company collects about you.

If you’re concerned about the privacy risks of social media, we recommend using a VPN like NordVPN. A VPN can block trackers and allow you to browse the web anonymously.

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Risk of addiction

Neuroscientists have discovered that using social media triggers the release of dopamine in the brain. Heroin and other drugs activate the same reward pathways in the brain. This is one of the main reasons for their highly addictive nature.

Social media addiction is common among young adults, and it is associated with lack of productivity, depression, low self-esteem, and sleep disturbances.

In a 2020 study involving 300 students of Saudi Arabia’s Prince Sattam bin Abdul Aziz University, researchers found that 57% of the respondents were addicted to social media, and this influenced their sleep and academic performance.

Another study involving over 6500 adolescents in the U.S. concluded that adolescents who spend over three hours daily on social media have a higher risk of developing mental health problems.

While many of these studies have focused on the effects of social media on teenagers and young adults, the findings apply to different age groups.


Conclusion

We hope this was helpful and that you can use these instructions to delete Twitter successfully. If you are thinking of deleting (some of) your other social media accounts, check out our articles on deleting Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, and LinkedIn. Would you like to go big and get yourself off the internet entirely? Then check out our guide to remove yourself from online pages.

If you’re interested in learning more about privacy on social media and how to protect yourself, we recommend checking out these articles:

How to Delete Your Twitter Account or Temporarily Deactivate It: Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a specific question about deactivating or deleting Twitter we may not have covered in the article above? Check out the FAQ section to see if we’ve answered your question. If we haven’t, leave us a comment in the section below, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Follow these steps to permanently delete your Twitter account:

  1. Go to “Settings and privacy.”
  2. Click on “Your account,” and then “Deactivate your account.”
  3. Confirm that you want to deactivate your account.

Once your account is deactivated, make sure you don’t use Twitter for 30 days and all of your information will be deleted. You can read more about the process in this article on how to delete your Twitter account.

No, it doesn’t. Deactivating your Twitter account does not immediately delete your tweets and all of your profile information. Your account, username, and display name will simply no longer be visible on Twitter.

Read our full guide on deleting Twitter for more information.

Follow these steps to back up your Twitter data before deleting your account:

  1. Log in to your Twitter account.
  2. Click on the option that says “More” with a circle and three dots next to it.
  3. Go to “Settings and privacy.”
  4. Select “Your account,” and after that click on “Download an archive of your data.”
  5. Finally, click on “Request archive.”

It may take 24 hours or longer before you can download your data after requesting your archive.

Tech journalist
Nathan is an internationally trained journalist and has a special interest in the prevention of cybercrime, especially where vulnerable groups are concerned. For VPNoverview.com he conducts research in the field of cybersecurity, internet censorship, and online privacy. He also contributed to developing our rigorous VPN testing and reviewing procedures using evidence-based best practices.