twitter delete

Illustration via Mike Wehner

It's easier than you think.

Twitter is currently the third most popular social network, behind Facebook and Snapchat, but just because it's popular doesn't mean everyone is going to like it. Here's what to do if you find yourself wanting to take a Twitter exodus. 

1) Save your important stuff

Mike Wehner

Once you actually delete your Twitter account all your public posts will obviously be gone, but this also applies to your personal direct message conversations, too. If there's anything in there you want to save—like a touching message from a friend or vital network contacts—you need to go into your DMs and copy/paste that information into a notepad before you move on. 

2) Download your archive

Mike Wehner

You're saying goodbye to Twitter, but there's a decent chance you might want to come back some day, or at least want to reconnect with your Twitter-only buddies at some point. Downloading your Twitter archive is a great way to save all the memories you've had, and it doubles as a handy list of all the Twitter personalities you've been in contact with. 

Head into your settings menu and under the Account tab, click "Request Your Archive." You'll get an email with a link to a plain text document with all of your tweets! 

3) Deactivate your Twitter account

Mike Wehner

This part is actually the easiest: Simply select "Deactivate My Account" on the Account tab in your Twitter settings. It's tucked away at the very bottom of the page. 

4) Confirm your decision

Mike Wehner

Twitter will make one last attempt to keep you around, telling you that you can change your account name without deleting your account (if that's why you were doing it, but you're probably not), and notifying you that Twitter will save all your user data for 30 days. 

The company does this so that you can take a "Twitter vacation" and decide if you miss it or not. Your content will not be viewable on the web, but can be reactivated at any time within the following month. You can also click the "Tell Us" link to explain why you're leaving, but it's not required. 

5) Remember: Nothing on the internet is gone forever

The most crucial part of Twitter's confirmation is the warning that deleting your account doesn't necessarily wipe its contents from every corner of the web. Many sites index and archive tweets as a service, and your public tweets may remain there for a long, long time after you deactivate your account. The good news is that any links to your tweets will be essentially dead, so anyone trying to track you down for whatever reason will be met with a blank screen. 

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