You may decide to delete your Twitter account, because social media isn’t for everyone. Perhaps you set up an account to see what the big deal is. Maybe you wanted to hang out with friends but you’re all moving to a new platform. It’s possible the service just isn’t very good and filled with trolls or bad content. Some folks also discover that they’ve posted a little too much personal information down the years and would like a clean break.

Whatever your reason, if you’re looking to delete your account, you’ve come to the right place.

How to delete your Twitter account permanently

Deleting your account on Twitter can be a confusing subject for some, because the process is actually a little more involved and called something else: deactivation. If you don’t follow the steps below, your account won’t be going anywhere. Settle in as we lead you through the process.

Twitter account deactivation

“Deactivation” is a kind of halfway-house for deletion. When you deactivate, Twitter places you in a deletion queue for 30 days.

For that 30 day period, your profile is not visible to anybody and references to it by other people won’t tie back to your account. Eventually, your username is released back into the wild for others to use.

We’re using the web version of Twitter (not mobile, no apps) to give you the most vanilla description possible. These steps may differ slightly from app to platform, but in the main they should be mostly identical.

Directly above the “Tweet” button on the lower left hand side, is a “More” option. Click that, and then click into the “Settings and Privacy” option. Under “Your account”, select “Deactivate your account”.

You now have to confirm and reconfirm a few times to let Twitter know you definitely want to do this. After reading the deactivation information, Twitter will pop a password prompt and then ask you one final time to deactivate the account.

Deleting Twitter accounts from your phone

It’s important to note there are two possible aspects to this on a mobile device, and they don’t have the same end result. You may mean deleting the app from your phone, as opposed to your account itself. If this is the case, remove the app the way you’d normally delete an app from your phone. This is typically whatever form of App Manager your flavour of device is using. Important: This will not delete your Twitter account, it will only remove the app from your mobile. Your account will still be out there, on Twitter.

To delete your account, the steps listed further up will work in the same way if on mobile web. Please note there may still be variance if you’re using various types of Twitter app to manage your account.

How to delete an old Twitter account you cannot access

If you’ve lost access to the email account tied to your Twitter profile, support won’t be able to do anything about it. Not great, but this is one way to prevent trolls simply causing account deletions galore for innocent parties. Apart from anything else, it’s good practice to secure email accounts anyway. Lock them down with two-factor authentication (2FA). Anything which tightens the security of your email will also strengthen Twitter accounts connected to it. Win win!

When your account vanishes, Twitter may retain some data to “ensure the safety and security of its platform and users”. They link to this article as an explanation of what they might keep.

Otherwise, that’s it! You’re all done, and your account is gone...or at least, it will be once the 30 day window passes. Note that the usual Internet rules apply. Old Tweets may well be cached in search engines. Portions or all of your account could be saved in the Internet Archive, screenshots on other people's computers, by Reddit data archivers, or even on sites like Politwoops. While cached search engine results will likely eventually vanish, and you’ll need to contact the Internet Archive directly to see if there’s anything it can do to help, the rest are out of your hands.