How to delete your old tweets (the ten second summary):
- Sorting through and deleting tweets manually is a time-consuming nightmare
- You have two options: delete specific tweets or remove everything
- Both have their own advantages and disadvantages
- There are tools you can use for each to make things easier
Before you get started deleting your old tweets there’s something important you should know:
There are two very different paths you can take when giving your tweets some spring cleaning.
We’ve heard from a bunch of people who weren’t aware of this and wish had been.
Here it is:
You can delete tweets with a scalpel or a flamethrower.
What does that mean?
In this post we’ll explain, help you figure out which method is right for you, and share the best tools that save you massive amounts of time.
Out of the two options we mentioned before, deleting specific tweets (the scalpel) is the one that most people don’t know about.
It’s unfortunate because this means they end up using bulk removal tools and deleting a lot of tweets they liked, for the sake of eliminating a few they didn’t.
If they had known they could easily find and delete suspect tweets with online tools, they probably would have done that instead.
But why would you spend time deleting a handful of tweets instead of just removing everything in bulk?
Here’s the tradeoff:
Deleting specific tweets that could come back to bite you takes a little more time than getting rid of all your old tweets in bulk. That’s the downside.
This is a lot of tweets to sort through:
The upside is your online reputation, personal brand, and Twitter account don’t take a hit. And trust us, getting rid of all your old tweets in bulk will definitely do that.
On the other hand, if you choose to delete all your tweets you save some time because everything will be gone with just a few clicks. Everything.
The downside of this is you miss out on the branding benefits that an active Twitter account affords you. This can be for your career, business, or personal life.
Why can’t you just start from scratch?
Deleting all of your tweets in bulk and starting from scratch isn’t as simple as it seems.
To put it in layman terms, most people think this process is taking one step backwards when it’s actually taking two or three.
Why is this?
A good chunk of the value that comes from your Twitter account is the tweets associated with it.
This helps the account:
- Rank higher in search engines
- Appear trustworthy (accounts with no activity look like spam)
- Send stronger signals to other social media properties and websites you have
Despite these downsides we’re not saying this is a bad move for everyone.
We just want you to be aware of the positives and negatives each option brings.
If you don’t care about any of the stuff above feel free to bulk delete all of your tweets with no regrets.
If you do care, the scalpel is your best bet.
Deleting Specific Tweets (The Scalpel)
Deleting specific tweets is our favorite method because the only downside is time.
That might seem like a big deal, but if you use the right tools you can cut this down drastically.
You see, the main reason why everyone in your position used to go with the flamethrower option was because the choice looked like this:
A. Spend hours sorting through everything you’ve ever tweeted to find what you should get rid of
B. Press a button, torch everything, and get back to watching Netflix
That’s not the case anymore.
This process now takes a fraction of the time it used to, and here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Create your BrandYourself account
Not to toot our own horn, but there really aren’t any better tools to help you only delete the tweets that could come back to bite you.
So to get started, head over to this page and create your account.
Step 2: Connect your Twitter
Once you’re up and running click on the “connect profiles” option in the left hand sidebar.
Next, connect your Twitter account. Our tool will automatically start scanning your tweets once it’s connected.
Step 3: Give the scan a second
Depending on how serious your Twitter addiction is (and how troublesome your tweets are), it could take our tool a moment to scan everything.
This step is where you’re saving the most time. Manually sorting through your full list of tweets is a punishment we wouldn’t wish on anyone.
Now it’s all done in a minute or two.
While that’s running you can either wait it out or explore some other areas of the tool. In addition to taking care of your social media it can help you improve your Google results and grow your personal brand.
Step 4: Delete any tweets that might be a problem
Alright, the scan is done and it’s time to delete some tweets. Go through your list of flagged posts and click on the “delete” button next to each.
Our tool gives you a direct link to the exact tweet so you can hop in and banish it from your feed forever without wasting time.
Don’t forget to mark them as deleted when you’re done. This makes it a lot easier for our software to keep track of any high-risk tweets in the future.
Deleting All Your Tweets In Bulk (The Flamethrower)
Hey, maybe the scalpel approach just isn’t your style.
You like to chew bubblegum and kick butt… and you’re all out of bubblegum.
We hear ya.
Here’s how you can quickly delete all your old tweets as fast as possible:
Step 1: Head over to any bulk tweet delete tool
There are a ton of mass tweet delete options out there and honestly, we can’t tell the difference between any of them.
Note: That’s actually why we’re working on making a better, more comprehensive bulk deletion tool right now. Check back soon for more updates on this.
Step 2: Sign in by authorizing your account
This is a pretty standard step no matter what site you use because they’ll need access to your Twitter account in order to delete everything.
Click the sign in button and then authorize your Twitter account.
Step 3: Select how many tweets you want to get rid of
Here’s where you have a choice to make.
A lot of these tools give you the option to get rid of tweets by how old they are. They have a bunch of options ranging from one week to one year.
On the other hand, they’ll typically have a big red button (figuratively speaking) you can use to torch every tweet on your account.
In our opinion, that’s the only option that makes sense when it comes to using a service like this. The tweet age options are just a less accurate version of the scalpel strategy mentioned above.
So either get rid of everything, or use our tool so you can pick and choose.
Note: If you don’t want to advertise that you used this service you should uncheck the two boxes above the green button before you proceed
Step 4: Press the big red button
Assuming you’ve decided to stick with deleting all your old tweets, all that’s left to do is press the big red button.
It doesn’t take that long for the whole process to finish, and they’ll typically notify you when it’s done.
Something else to be aware of is they will often try to lock you in to a recurring delete plan. We recommend revoking the access you gave to your account when it’s all over.
If you play it smart going forward, you won’t be needing a tool like this again.
Why This Isn’t Completely Foolproof
We have to take a second and mention that if you had any damaging tweets, deleting them isn’t going to protect you 100%.
Don’t panic, you’re probably fine.
However, it’s important to be aware of a few tools most internet-savvy people know of that can immortalize a bad tweet forever.
If someone came across a tweet you’re not proud of and took a picture of it (a screenshot) then deleting the tweet isn’t going to help you.
Yes, it will prevent others from finding it and potentially doing the same thing.
However it won’t stop this person from potentially using it to harm you.
If you want to play a little defense in advance, you can work on preventative online reputation management to make sure things like this can’t be used against you.
The Wayback Machine is another tool that prying eyes can use to look at your old tweets, even after they’ve been deleted.
Without getting too much into the technical jargon, it basically finds and saves old versions of web pages.
You can find pretty much any old web page on there.
Fortunately fewer people know about this trick than taking screenshots. Unless you’re a public figure being looked at by a journalist, chances are this won’t be used against you.
How To Protect Yourself In The Future
Yes, it’s way easier to delete tweets than it used to be.
That doesn’t mean the process is fun (be honest, it’s kind of a pain).
The issue is, you have to stay on top of this stuff or else it could come back to haunt you.
One option is to never use Twitter again. For most that’s a touch on the extreme side though.
So what’s the best course of action?
Think Before You Tweet
This is the first and most obvious solution. If you don’t tweet anything that could get you in trouble, you’re all set.
Unfortunately this is a lot easier said than done.
Twitter is a casual medium of communication, which makes it easier to slip up.
You never hear about anyone getting in trouble over their LinkedIn posts (way too professional over there).
Here’s how you can avoid shooting yourself in the foot:
If it helps, remember how annoying it was having to delete your old tweets in the first place. Keeping this in mind can help you avoid getting a little too wild on Twitter.
Also, be aware that whatever you tweet can be found by anyone.
Even if your Twitter account is private.
Time and time again we hear from people who are shocked because an inappropriate tweet got out despite having their account set to private.
It’s not a reliable defense.
Assume that everything you share can be seen by anyone, and you won’t have to delete tweets later on.
If you want to protect yourself even further, this is how you do it.
Building a bulletproof online reputation is by far the best way to prevent someone from causing damage to your professional or personal life.
Let’s say that someone wants to harm your reputation. This could be a disgruntled coworker, employee, an ex, anyone.
They head over to your Twitter account to find something they can use against you.
Jokes on them! You just deleted your tweets so they’re completely out of luck right?
Most of the time when there’s a lack of ammunition to use, people just make something up instead.
It works like a charm (unfortunately).
This is where a bulletproof online reputation comes into play.
If you’re in control of how you look online it becomes significantly harder for anyone to take something like a deleted tweet and use it against you.
This is done by building up a number of positive web properties and content that drown out or suppress anything negative.
If you don’t want to worry about attacks on your reputation online, this is the way to go.
Not only that, you can also turn this into more opportunities for yourself (business, career, etc.)
Check out our highly rated guide on personal branding if you want to learn how to do this.
Here’s What To Do Next
First, decide on your weapon of choice (the scalpel or the flamethrower). If you’re unsure which to choose, we recommend you play it safe and go with the scalpel.
Make sure you follow the exact steps for each. Both are pretty simple but you want to do it right so you don’t have to delete old tweets all over again.
Going forward, make sure you’re mindful of the damage a tweet can cause. This will keep you out of trouble.
Protect yourself even further (or turn your online presence into an opportunity engine) by getting started ASAP.
We’re more than happy to help.