Twitter’s a convenient way to get your memes, world news, and pop culture hot takes all in one place. However, being an active Twitter user requires sifting through a daily deluge of toxic characters, including QAnon, white supremacists, bots, and deepfakes. In addition, a recent change of management may have you strongly considering the advantages of bailing. And there’s no denying the stress and anxiety that the fast pace of Twitter’s news cycle and the strain of constantly debating reply guys can bring.
Don’t worry: it doesn’t have to be permanent. If you find yourself feeling empty and directionless after doing this — or if you can’t stand not knowing what’s going on with the new management — you can get your account back up to 30 days after the fact. And if it ever gets to be too much again, just come back to this article and follow the steps. There’s a whole world outside of your timeline to explore.
If you’re on a computer or in a mobile browser, go to Twitter.com and log in to your account. To deactivate:
Select “Settings and privacy” and then “Your account.”
At the bottom of the list, tap “Deactivate your account.”
There’s going to be a lot of information on the page before you get to that link, some of which is pretty useful. There’s a full description of what will no longer be viewable (your display name, @username, and public profile), an assurance that you can restore your account “for some time” if it was accidentally or wrongfully deleted, and a way to reactivate after 30 days or 12 months (useful if you’re being besieged and want to take a vacation from Twitter rather than delete your account entirely).
There are a lot of options to choose from before you reach the “Deactivate” link.
There are also links if you just want to change your name, use your current name with a different account, or download your Twitter data. This last one is always a good idea before you delete any account; here’s the link.
If you’re using a smartphone, go to the Twitter app and make sure you’re logged in.
Deactivating your account can be a hassle, but to Twitter’s credit, it’s much more straightforward than the process of deleting some other services, such as Uber and Lyft.
So Twitter is gone from your life. Congratulations! But what will you do now that you don’t have a never-ending barrage of tweets to scroll through? Here are some other things to try with your newfound free time. (And keep an eye open — there may be even more showing up in the future.)
Update October 28th, 2022, 10:10AM ET: This article was originally published on February 25th, 2020, and has been updated to account for interface changes and current events.