Twitter is a fantastic communication tool and I use it all the time. However, it can get a bit tiring sometimes. Whether it’s Donald Trump doing his latest tweet-storming, or someone starting a pointless argument, it can sometimes get a bit much. Under those circumstances, you may think it’s time to permanently delete your Twitter account.

But what is involved? How easy or difficult is it? Does it involve selling your soul to the Devil? No, it’s much easier than you might think. And Twitter even gives you 30 days to reconsider.

How To Permanently Delete Your Twitter Account In 4 Easy Stages

Before we begin, there are some important caveats we need to stress first.

  • This cannot be done on the mobile version of Twitter. You need to go to the normal Twitter website on a computer.
  • Deactivation and deletion are two totally different things (we’ll expand further on that below). Even when you deactivate the account, it is still in the Twitter system for a further 30 days with your data intact. THEN it starts to delete your account and associated data. Twitter says that process can take a further week.
  • Even after deactivation, people may still see your tweets in Twitter search results for a further few days. Your tweets may also show up in search engine results for an unspecified period.

So the main takeaway here is that if you are looking for a quick disappearing act from social media, it is technically not going to happen in minutes.

Go To Your Twitter Settings Page

First, go to your Twitter settings page. This is a direct link, or alternatively you can find the link in the drop-down menu at the top of each page.

Scroll Down & Deactivate

On the settings page, scroll down right to the very bottom and click “Deactivate My Account“.

Read The Small Print (Or Pretend To), Then Confirm

Nobody likes small print, but thankfully Twitter keeps it brief. Either read it or tell yourself you’ve read it.

Then click the purple “Deactivate <username>” button.

Enter Your Password Then Confirm Again

Nobody can say Twitter isn’t being over-cautious about accidental deactivations and deletions. You are asked to put your password in and confirm once more that you want to deactivate the account.

This then logs you out of the account and puts your account into a queue to be deleted. But as I said, it’s held for 30 days in case you have a sudden change of heart.

After day 30, the account starts to get nuked and getting the account back with all the tweets intact will be irreversible.

So be sure you know what you are doing!

Wait What, You’ve Changed Your Mind?

Assuming it is within the 30 day grace period, you can get the account back simply by logging back into the account. This stops the deactivation and deletion process, and you can continue on as before.

In fact I know some people who take a “Twitter holiday” by putting their account into deactivation status. Then they log back in on Day 29, tweet for a few weeks, then repeat the process.

Conclusion

So that in a nutshell is how to close a Twitter account. However, remember the old saying – “nothing on the Internet ever disappears”. So deleting your account may be a first good step if you are trying to make embarrassing drunken tweets disappear.

But someone may have screenshots, and don’t forget the Wayback Machine. Plus the Library of Congress archives all tweets ever made (although the project has been in limbo for the past two years).

It’s nice to see though that Twitter is making the deletion process as painless as possible.

Mark O'Neill
Mark O'Neill
Freelance journalist and editor living in Würzburg, Germany. Former Managing Editor of makeuseof.com (2007-2013), and contributing writer for other sites such as PC World and Quiet Light Brokerage. Specializing in online security and privacy issues.