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Start Over on Twitter with the Same Username

Do you want to start over on Twitter with the same username handle and email address? I think the word we’re looking for is to reset your Twitter account.

You basically want all your tweets, retweets, likes, followers, followees and any other media deleted but not to lose your username in the process? Well, by now you might know that Twitter doesn’t officially support any of that, not even bulk deleting all of your tweets.

Instead, you have to delete all your tweets and remove your followers one by one; it’s either that or the other option which is deactivating your account.

The first option is a near impossibility if you’re a very active Twitter user with hundreds or possibly thousands of tweets and followers. Deactivating the account on the other hand will delete your Twitter account along with all the Twitter data it’s associated with.

On top of that, you won’t be able to sign up for a new account using that username or the email address it was linked to. As such, deactivating Twitter this way is only recommended if you’re thinking of leaving Twitter for good or if you don’t mind signing up with a new username.

Twitter however does gives you a 30-day grace period after the deactivation during which you can log back into your account and reactivate it without losing anything. So if it’s just a matter of taking a proper break from twitter, for let’s say a couple of days or weeks, you may consider doing this.

Just don’t make the mistake of not logging in within these 30 days; otherwise your account will be deleted permanently with no possibility of reactivation.

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Reboot Twitter with the Same Handle

There is however one possible workaround to all this, but it comes at a steep price for some: losing all your followers and those you’re following.

If losing all your followers doesn’t sound like much of an issue to you, here’s what Twitter recommends you do: just change your username and email address before deactivating your account, then sign up for a new account with the old username and email address if you wish.

I did this a couple of weeks back on my inactive Twitter account and it worked as expected. Here are the steps just in case you don’t know how to go about that.

TIP:

  • Before deactivating the account, you can request for your Twitter archive. The archive contains your Twitter information starting with the first tweet you ever made in an XML file which you can open and browse on your browser.
  • It’s sent as a ZIP file to your email address but may take a couple of days to arrive.
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Step 1: Change the Linked Email Address

  1. Log in to your Twitter account on a desktop (you can’t do this on the mobile site or the Twitter app).
  2. Go to your Twitter Settings > Your Account > Account Information and change your Username to something else.
    A screenshot showing Twitter's username settings.
  3. Go to the Email settings and update it with a different email address that you’ve access to. Don’t use a disposable one if you reckon you may change your mind before 30 days.
  4. Go to your new email address and open the confirmation link that Twitter will have sent you. Your old email will also receive an email alerting you of this email address change.
    An image of Twitter email address update confirmation email.
  5. Opening the confirmation link will open Twitter and the new email address will now be the one associated to your account.
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Step 2: Deactivate the Account and Sign Up

  1. Go to your Twitter Settings again and in the Your Account settings scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Deactivate your account link.
  2. In the next page, click on the Deactivate button to start the deactivation process. Now give it a couple of minutes to remove the account.
    A screenshot of Twitter's account deactivation page.

3. With that done, you can now sign up for a new Twitter account with your original username and email address.

Remember should you have a change of heart, you’ve 30 days before all your data is deleted permanently. Reactivating it is as simple as logging in back into your account.

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Author

Kelvin Kathia is a blogger that's passionate about finding and sharing solutions to everyday tech problems. He's the founder and editor of Journey Bytes, a tech blog and YouTube channel. Feel free to leave me comments or questions regarding this post or by contacting me directly.

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