Twitter is a handy way to get your memes, world news, and popular pop culture all in one place. However, to be an active Twitter user, you have to scour a daily deluge of poisonous characters, including QAnon, white supremacists, bots, and deepfakes. In addition, a recent change of management may make you think strongly about the benefits of bailing. And there’s no denying the stress and anxiety that the fast pace of the Twitter news cycle and the tension of constantly debating replies 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 bear not knowing what’s going on with the new management – you can get your account back up to 30 days later. And if it ever gets too much again, just come back to this article and follow the steps. There’s a whole world beyond your timeline to explore.
If you’re on a computer or mobile browser, go to Twitter.com and log in to your account. To deactivate:
There will be a lot of information on the page before you get to that link, some of which is quite helpful. There’s a full description of what’s no longer visible (your display name, @username, and public profile), a guarantee that you can restore your account “for a while” if it’s been accidentally or mistakenly deleted, and a way to restore it. activate after 30 days or 12 months (useful if you’re under siege and want to take a vacation from Twitter instead of completely deleting your account).
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. The latter is always a good idea before deleting an account; here is 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 chore, but to Twitter’s credit, it’s much easier than deleting some other services, such as Uber and Lyft.
So Twitter is gone from your life. Congratulations! But what are you going to do now that you don’t have an endless barrage of tweets to scroll through? Here are some other things you can try with your new free time. (And keep an eye out — more may appear in the future.)
Update October 28, 2022, 10:10 AM ET: This article was originally published on February 25, 2020 and has been updated to reflect interface changes and current events.