Even before recent events, there were many reasons why people wanted to leave Twitter. From social media detoxes, to simply migrating to a new platform, the transition happens more than you might think. Now, following Elon Musk’s tumultuous take-over of Twitter, a new flood of individuals are looking for greener pastures. Given the chaos at the company, it’s more important than ever for you and your data to handle that exit the right way.
Unlike most sites that we frequent on the web, leaving Twitter isn’t as simple as signing off for the final time and never going back. That’s because of the massive amounts of data sites like this collect about us while we’re using them. To ensure that Twitter won’t continue exploiting your data after you’ve gone, you need to take the proper steps to fully delete your account and all of the data tied to it on your way out.
In this guide, we’ll explain how to do just that, as well as how to take all of your valuable data with you. Follow along with the steps here and you’ll be done with Twitter. Or, if you change your mind and decide you just can’t quit the microblogging service, we’ll tell you how to undo the process as well.
How to delete your Twitter account
Reactivating your Twitter account
Unsurprisingly, Twitter makes the process of reactivating your Twitter account much easier than archiving it or deleting it. All you’ll need to do is log into your account within 30 days or 12 months (whichever you chose when deactivating it). Once you’re logged in, you’ll receive a notice asking if you want to reactivate your account. If you choose Yes, you’ll be immediately directed to your restored Home page.
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It might take some time for Twitter to fully restore all of your account’s contents, including followers, media, and past tweets and DMs, so don’t panic if something is missing when you land back on your homepage.
Coming back to Twitter after deleting your account
One final note: If you choose, somewhere down the road, to return to Twitter after your 30-day or 12-month period has expired, you’ll need to sign up for a completely new account.
If you’d like to reuse the same handle you had previously, you’ll have to hope that no one chose it as their username in the meantime. Once an account is deleted, anyone signing up can claim that account’s username as their own. If someone selected your username while you were away, you’re out of luck and will need to choose something new.
If you’re absolutely determined to keep your existing username from being claimed by anyone else, you can leave your account active and set it to Protected in the Audience and tagging section of your Settings and privacy menu. Just be aware that, while this will prevent sharing of your tweets via the usual channels, and will forbid new accounts from following you, all of your existing data will remain on Twitter’s servers for any use they see fit to put it to.
Please note, Twitter will not let a new account claim your handle if you’re within your chosen reactivation period. Twitter keeps your username reserved for you until that reactivation period expires.