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MF EXPLAINS IT ALL

The Simple Way to Deactivate Your Twitter Account for Good

Ellen Gutoskey
Bye bye birdie.
Bye bye birdie. / SOPA Images/GettyImages
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There are myriad reasons why someone might want to say goodbye to Twitter. Maybe its upcoming change in ownership is causing you to reevaluate your relationship with the platform. Maybe balmy spring temperatures are encouraging you to spend more time outside and less time on social media. Maybe someone who shares your name offered to pay you a small fortune in exchange for your handle (though you can easily just edit your handle without hopping off the app forever).

Whatever the case, the hardest part of not having Twitter in your life is actually doing the deleting. Luckily, you don’t even have to press the ‘delete’ button yourself. As MarketWatch explains, you can’t outright delete a Twitter account: You first have to deactivate it. If you don’t log into your account at any point during the 30-day deactivation period, Twitter will then delete it for good. (There’s also an option to deactivate your account for 12 months, rather than one.)

While deactivation doesn’t bar you from the platform, it does get rid of many elements that may prompt you to open Twitter in the first place. Your handle and profile won’t appear anywhere on the site or in the app; and all your tweets, likes, and comments will vanish. Your handle will still show up in whatever tweets others have tagged you in, but it won’t link to your profile. After 30 days of inactivity, Twitter will permanently delete your account and all the data that goes with it. You can download your whole Twitter archive before that happens, but you have to do it prior to deactivation.

If the deactivation-to-deletion pipeline seems too dauntingly irreversible for your taste, there are still plenty of ways to control how you use Twitter. Tap your profile icon in the app, choose “Settings and privacy” from the menu, and open “Privacy and safety” to explore the options. If you want to update your account so that only your followers can see your tweets—and others must request to follow you—select “Audience and tagging” and then “Protect your tweets.” You can also mute words, block accounts, turn off notifications, update who’s allowed to send you direct messages, and more.

[h/t MarketWatch]

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