Any experienced Twitter user would know how frustrating accidentally deleting a tweet can be. Pressing just a few buttons wrong can easily delete a tweet, never to be seen again… Or does it? While it’s not possible to restore your tweets to your Twitter profile, some services provide a way to not just see but also recover deleted tweets. Keep reading to learn about some of the best ones.
The Native Way
Even though it might sound a bit creepy, Twitter keeps an archive of all users’ tweets, meaning it’s not too hard to access them. Here’s how to get to this archive:
- Go to Twitter and log in.
- Click on your profile icon. It’s in the top-right corner, next to the “Tweet” button.
- From the dropdown menu, select “Settings and privacy.”
- In the account settings, scroll down until you find the “Content” section. At the bottom of the page, there is a “Request your archive” button. Click on it.
- Twitter will proceed to prepare your archive, immediately sending a pop-up window your way to let you know about that. Click on “Close.”
- Wait until you receive an email from Twitter. You’ll receive it on the same address you chose on Twitter. Open it when you do.
- The email will notify you that your tweet archive is ready. Click on the “Download now” button. Your web browser will prompt you to download the zipped folder “tweets.”
- Go to the folder where you downloaded it to.
- Since it’s a zip, you don’t need any third-party software to extract its contents. Just right-click on it and choose “Extract all…”
- The “Extract Compressed (Zipped) Folders” window will appear. It will show you where it’s planning to put your tweets and ask you if you want it to open up the newly created folder when it’s done. If you do, select the “Show extracted files when complete” checkbox. In case you want to change the destination folder before extracting, click on the “Browse…” button.
- When you’re ready, click the “Extract” button. If you had checked the box, a new File Explorer window will pop out.
- Open the “index.html” file that’s inside of the “tweets” folder. It will show you all your tweets, just like looking at your Twitter account but with all your deleted tweets as well. Just keep in mind that this is all offline, so nobody else can see these unless you share them again.
Use Snap Bird
Certainly, using Twitter’s native method is the safest. Since Twitter doesn’t even delete tweets, you might as well use this option. That doesn’t mean it’s the only one. There is a website called Snap Bird that specifically lets you fetch a certain tweet, even if you have previously deleted it. This also goes for other person’s tweets or your messages.
The site is quite useful and has upsides of its own, with just a potential downside in terms of security. You need to authenticate the app with Twitter, giving it access to your profile and DMs. However, if you can get past this, it’s a much better solution than lots of scrolling. That said, you also need to be logged in to Twitter, but at least the app lets you know what it can and can’t do.
This is a solution that might not work for just Twitter but other sites as well. The Wayback Machine is an online service that saves multiple states of websites throughout the years. It has saved over 370 billion web pages, so it comes as no surprise that Twitter is on the list.
To use the Wayback Machine:
- Type or copy a link in the address box and press Enter.
- It will first take you to the search results that are shown in the form of a calendar. Any date with a snapshot has a green circle. Hover over such a date to see the exact number of snapshots taken that day in case there is more than one. Otherwise, you can also just click on the date.Note: Chances are you will need to be logged in to Twitter, depending on what you want to find. Also, you can’t choose the interface language otherwise.
- The Wayback Machine will then take you to the site while still letting you change the date or the site by accessing its menu on top of the screen.
These are the most reliable ways to retrieve a deleted tweet. The native Twitter method is still the best and easiest, especially since Twitter keeps your tweets anyway and there’s nothing that you can do about it. However, you’re limited to watching them offline, so lots of scrolling may be required.
On the flipside, if you know exactly how old is the tweet you’re looking for, the Wayback Machine may be of some assistance, provided it has a snapshot close to that specific date.
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