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How to download a backup copy of your Twitter data (or deactivate your account)

If you treasure your tweets, it’s easy to get a backup copy for your own safekeeping.



Enlarge / Whatever happens, it’s nice to know your data options. (credit: Benj Edwards)

Big changes are underway at Twitter as we speak—including new leadership—and some people are nervous about what the future might bring for the social network. Things may end up completely fine, but even in tranquil times, it’s good to know how to get a copy of your Twitter data for local safekeeping—or to deactivate your Twitter account if you choose. This puts control of your data in your hands.

Before we start, it’s important to know that the process of getting a copy of your Twitter data can take 24 hours or more. Twitter does this both for safety reasons and ostensibly to give its servers time to gather up the detailed data it will send you.

Also, you’ll need an email address or mobile phone number registered to your Twitter account so the site can send you a special confirmation code to complete the process. Once you have the data, you’ll get a local copy of all of your tweets that you can store indefinitely without needing to log in to Twitter.

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