Frequently Asked Questions

General overview

What is TweetDelete?

TweetDelete is a service that can mass delete your Twitter posts based on their age or specific text they contain. It can also run automatically on a schedule if you wish.

Why is TweetDelete useful?

TweetDelete is useful for people who'd like to limit the amount of data they expose about themselves online. Some specific examples where TweetDelete could be handy: -

  • To prevent a new employer seeing something regrettable that you said on Twitter a couple of years ago.
  • To remove references to an old partner after starting a new relationship.
  • To repurpose an existing Twitter account (e.g. for business use instead of personal) and remove everything in it.
When did TweetDelete launch?

We've been operating since October 2011. The current website launched in June 2019, bringing a complete redesign and numerous new features and improvements.

Before and after using TweetDelete

Can I back up my tweets before using TweetDelete?

Yes and no. You can download your Twitter data file, which contains a full list of your tweets. The "Your archive.html" file that Twitter includes in the archive allows them to be viewed in a web browser. Alternatively our premium offering includes features to view the tweets in an uploaded data file, or to get them in .csv format to load into a spreadsheet.

However there is no way to restore tweets to your Twitter account, so any of these are just lists for your own reference, not a true backup. You still need to be very careful to pick the right options when deleting content.

How do I turn off TweetDelete?

If you have any automatic tasks active there will be a button to turn them off on your Tasks page. Other types of task only run once, so don't need to be turned off.

You can alternatively revoke permissions for TweetDelete.

How can I remove TweetDelete's access to my Twitter account when I've finished using it?

You can revoke permissions for TweetDelete on Twitter's application settings page. This makes it impossible for TweetDelete to access your Twitter account unless you sign in to our site and reauthorise it.

We suggest doing the same for any others apps you no longer need in order to increase your Twitter account's privacy and security.

Modes of operation

Can I delete my likes?

Yes, the Likes option on the main menu allows you to delete your likes based on their age. This is where you've liked another user's post. You can't do the opposite and delete their likes on your posts.

This feature can only delete up to 3,200 of your most recent likes. Our free service for this is already the best it's currently possible to do, so this is not improved further for premium users. We've found that even if we get details on older likes from a data file (similar to how we remove older tweets for premium users), Twitter's API still doesn't allow us to remove them. If this situation changes in future, that's something we'd like to implement.

Can I delete old tweets automatically? (Automatic tasks)

Yes, just choose "Run this task: Automatically every few days" when starting a tweet deletion task. We'll then automatically start deletion tasks for you with the same settings every 3 days (this may vary based on service load).

Your "Tasks" page will show details on any active automatic task and provide an option to stop it. You can also see the results from any recent executions there.

  • You should pick an age limit shorter than the time it takes you to post 3,200 tweets for automatic mode to work effectively (due to the first point here).
  • Because we process automatic tasks every 3 days, expect to see tweets up to 3 days older than the deletion age you picked in your feed (e.g. if you picked "two weeks", then up to 17 days old).

If you're a non-premium user, you must sign in to our site at least once every 6 months to keep your automatic tasks active. This is to ensure we're only providing this service to people who still want it, and to prevent the number of automatic tasks we need to process becoming unsustainable over time.

Can I delete more than 3,200 tweets? (File upload)

[This is a premium feature]
Yes, you can upload your Twitter data file for us to process, which allows you to delete any number of old tweets. See the upload instructions for more details on how this works.

Can I delete tweets based on my own criteria? (Advanced mode)

[This is a premium feature intended for more advanced users]
Yes. If TweetDelete doesn't have an option for what you want, you can pass in the numeric IDs of specific tweets for us to delete. See the advanced mode instructions.

Premium accounts

What are the benefits of a premium account?

Premium users currently gain the following benefits: -

  • Delete unlimited tweets up to your full history after uploading your Twitter data file.
  • View the full list of tweets contained in your Twitter data file (or import them into a spreadsheet).
  • Your automatic deletion tasks will continue to run until you cancel them (free users have to visit our site occasionally to keep them active).
  • Access to advanced mode, to delete tweets by their numeric ID. This allows more advanced users to pick tweets to delete based on their own criteria.
  • The warm, fuzzy and slightly smug feeling of having supported TweetDelete! We're run by an individual developer and have helped millions of people to improve their online privacy.

However please be aware that: -

  • Premium users cannot delete more likes (why?).
  • Deleting everything often still won't reduce your tweet counter to zero (why?).
How much is a premium account?

Premium access costs $14.99 (US dollars) or your local currency equivalent. This is a single payment that grants your Twitter account access to any premium features we're offering for as long as TweetDelete exists.

Visit our premium page for more details or to purchase.

Can I use my premium benefits on multiple Twitter accounts?

No. Premium status is based on your Twitter account, so if you want to use these features on multiple accounts, you will need to pay to upgrade each one.

How can I cancel my premium subscription? (AKA wrong website)

This is not necessary since we don't charge repeat subscription fees and never have. Access to our premium features costs one single payment of $14.99.

If you've been charged a repeat fee and are reading this entry, you're probably confusing us with a competitor (some of which may have similar names). Please check your payment receipt for details. Paypal payments related to our service are always sent to [email protected] Any other domain means the charge is not from us and you should contact the service in question.

Specifics

How exactly does deleting tweets containing a word/phrase work?

We only match whole words (case insensitive) when using this feature. So entering 'sam' would delete the tweet 'I like Sam', but not 'I like samosas'.

Similarly if you enter a phrase, only tweets with that exact phrase as whole words would be deleted. So entering 'my cat' would delete 'I love my cat' but not 'I love my catamaran'.

The reason we implemented it this way is to reduce the risk of users deleting tweets they didn't intend to. Consider advanced mode if you want to apply some other kind of search yourself.

Can TweetDelete delete tweets with attached media?

Yes. We treat these exactly the same as other tweets, so they will be deleted if they match the age and/or keyword you specified. The same limitations also apply, so we might only be able to access the older ones after processing your data file.

Problems and troubleshooting

What are the limitations of TweetDelete?

TweetDelete's standard mode can only see up to your most recent 3,200 tweets. So it won't be able to delete older content outside that range. Some specific consequences of this are: -

  • If you pick an age limit longer than the time it takes you to post 3,200 tweets, nothing will be deleted (the 3,200 recent tweets we can see are all newer than your limit).
  • If you have more than 3,200 tweets and ask TweetDelete to delete all your tweets, the older ones won't be deleted and will remain on the counter.
  • If you've already deleted all your recent tweets with our site or another service, trying it repeatedly won't delete any more (the deleted tweets still count for the purposes of this limit).

This limit isn't specific to our service. It's the most tweets that can be fetched live, and relates to the API function that Twitter makes available to developers to fetch tweets.

This 3,200 limit for tweet deletion doesn't apply to premium users who've uploaded their data file (it's then unlimited).

Why didn't TweetDelete delete anything?

This is nearly always due to one of the bullet points mentioned in limitations of TweetDelete.

Why does my Twitter timeline look empty when there are still tweets on the counter?

Twitter's timeline/home page only shows recent tweets, so if you delete all of your most recent 3,200 tweets, it will appear empty. The number on the counter is correct - these tweets still exist and may appear in search results or on other pages. For example the "media" page seems to work differently and can show tweets of any age.

You can get an accurate list of the tweets remaining in your account from your Twitter data file.

Why is my tweet counter not 0 after uploading my data file and deleting everything?

There are certain specific circumstances where tweets can become inaccessible, so can't be viewed or deleted by any means. Some cases where we've noticed this are: -

  • When you've retweeted a tweet and the original tweet was later deleted.
  • When you've retweeted a tweet and the original tweet poster's account has later been deleted, suspended or made private.

In these cases your retweet becomes inaccessible, so it's not possible to delete it, and it remains on the counter forever. For this reason, even if you're deleting everything using an uploaded data file, we often won't be able to reduce your tweet count right down to zero.

What do the numbers in my task's status message mean?

The counts that usually appear in the status message for completed tasks are: -

  • Checked - the total number of tweets we looked at. If this is lower than expected it's probably because you already deleted your recent tweets (see limitations of TweetDelete).
  • Deleted - the number of tweets we successfully deleted. Generally if this is less than 'checked' it's because tweets didn't match the age or keyword you specified.

Some other counts only appear if we encounter particular errors: -

  • Missing - Twitter's API returned a 404 (Not Found) error when we tried to delete a tweet. The most common cause of this is that you or another application already deleted the tweet before we got to it.
  • Unauthorized - Twitter's API returned a 401 (Unauthorized) error when we tried to delete a tweet. This can be caused by revoking TweetDelete's access to your account while a task is in progress.
  • Forbidden - Twitter's API returned a 403 (Forbidden) error when we tried to delete a tweet. This is most often caused by inaccessible retweets.
  • Errors - Twitter's API returned another kind of error status.

If your task is encountering errors and you don't know why, get in touch and we'll take a look. We may have logged additional information.

What does my error message mean?

Types of error that TweetDelete tasks can return include: -

  • Authentication error - this can be caused by revoking TweetDelete's access to your Twitter account, or changing certain account details. It's usually fixed by signing in to our site again, which will update our access keys.
  • Rate limit error - your account has made too many requests to Twitter recently. Wait a while and try again. If that doesn't help, disable other apps that may be using your account.
  • Account locked error - your account has been locked by Twitter (often due to suspected abuse), so we can't access it. Try to unlock it by signing into Twitter, or contact Twitter support.
  • Aborted - TweetDelete encountered an unexpectedly high number of errors while attempting to delete your tweets, so gave up.
  • Stuck task detected - in rare circumstances an active task can get stuck in our system. This is usually related to maintenance, for example if a server is rebooted while processing your task. After about 30 minutes our system will detect the problem and set this error status. Your deletion will likely only have been partially processed, so you should run it again.
  • Unexpected error (details logged) - some other kind of error occurred that our service doesn't currently know how to deal with. We should have captured some info for debugging purposes, so get in touch if you'd like us to investigate.
I deleted too many tweets, can I get them back?

Sorry, we can't do that. For privacy reasons, we do not store a record of anything TweetDelete deleted. It's impossible for us to recover any deleted tweets.

We state this clearly on every page where you can start a deletion job, and have designed our site very carefully to help users avoid common pitfalls (e.g. being logged in on the wrong account). Unfortunately there will always be some potential for people to accidentally choose the wrong options.

Other

Acknowledgements

Thanks to everyone who created software or resources that TweetDelete uses. This includes: -

TweetDelete also makes use of a whole stack of fantastic larger open source software projects including Bootstrap, Django, nginx, PostgreSQL, Python and Redis.