How to . . . delete your Twitter account

Musk-Twitter not for you? Here’s how to say goodbye

Twitter is going through a time of change. If it’s not laying off half its staff via email, it is introducing new features that new overlord Elon Musk hopes will raise revenue.

The social media company that tested every feature repeatedly before it launched seems to be in chaos, with new features going live and then being paused or rolled back. The chief executive is threatening “a thermonuclear name and shame” as advertisers pause their spending on the platform, in the midst of loudly claiming Twitter use is at an all-time high. It’s fascinating to watch.

But for some people, the Elon era is not for them. If you’ve decided that time has come to delete your account, how do you go about it?

It’s not as straightforward as hitting the big red delete button. If you want to delete your twitter account, you first have to deactivate it. Then – and this is key – stay away from it for at least 30 days. If you don’t reactivate the account within the minimum 30-day period, your account will be automatically deleted; you can also set the deactivation period to 12 months if you feel like you might have a change of heart a few months down the line.


That’s not much good to those of us who want our Twitter account nuked within days, but that is the process you have to follow.

Before you take that step though, make sure that you have all the information you want to take with you. If you want to download your Twitter archive – posts, messages and so on – before you cut the cord, you have a couple of options. On the mobile app, go to your profile image and select it. Then tap Settings & Support> Settings & Privacy> Your Account>Download an archive of your data.

On desktop, click “more” on the right hand column, and select Settings & Support>Settings & Privacy>Your Account>Download an Archive of your Data.

Once you have that, check what apps are connected to your Twitter account, and in particular what services you have used your Twitter account as a log in. You’ll find that under Settings & Privacy>Security and account access and select Apps & Sessions>Connected Apps. There you’ll find a list of apps that have been connected to your Twitter account, and you should be able to identify the ones that you need to find alternative login credentials for. Once you have sorted those out, you are free to deactivate your account and free your life from toxic Twitter exchanges.

To begin the process, select your profile picture, go to Settings and Support>Settings & Privacy>Your Account and select Deactivate your account. From there, you can choose a reactivation period of 30 days or 12 months, after which your account will be permanently deleted.

And there you have it: a Twitter-free life.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist