Recovering and Finding Deleted Tweets Isn’t Impossible, But Twitter isn’t Making it Easy Either

Twitter faded icon

Let’s get one thing clear: you won’t be able to find a deleted tweet from a deleted account, not unless you use a third-party app or access an internet archive of Twitter. That’s just how it is: to protect your privacy and to maintain Twitter’s focus on recording ‘moments’ rather than serving as a database for everything that goes on in your day, the microblogging site (it’s strange to call it this, but that’s exactly what it is) makes sure that there’s no way for you to access someone else’s deleted tweet.

But what about your own deleted tweet? Now that’s another story.

Unbeknownst to most Twitter users (except for the real, hardcore, coding types out there), there are actually a couple of ways to retrieve deleted tweets from your own account. This can be done either through the native Twitter app or through a third-party app. Of course, relying on third-party apps can be risky –what with the amount of sensitive information you’ll be giving them access to –but with a trusted app by your side, you won’t have to worry about some weird Troll farm in some backwater country stealing your login info.

To save you from confusion (and possible phishing), we’ve compiled a list of some of the most effective ways to recover/view deleted tweets:

Use Twitter’s Native Advanced Search

As with most pieces of digital tech, using the native app for all your needs, including retrieving info, is by far

the safest.

To access or view deleted tweets from your account using the native Twitter Advanced Search:

– Go to your Twitter’s Advanced Search page

– Go to the “People” Subheading

– Enter your username (without the @ symbol) under the “From These Accounts” field

– Under “Dates”, input your start and end date search parameters

– Click “Search”, and Twitter will display all the Tweets from the time period you chose.

– Alternatively, you can also search for your tweets keywords under the “Words” subheading.

– Under the “Words” Subheading, you’ll be given three options: All of These Words (will only display tweets that match your search parameters), This Exact Phrase (will only display tweets that have the same exact word and word placement as your search), Any of These Words (will display tweets that have at least one of the words in your search).

Sure, this method has its limitations, but if you’re one of those tinfoil-hat-wearing paranoid types that don’t want to share personal info to third-party apps, then using Twitter’s native Advanced Search Feature is your best bet.

Request for a Copy of Your Twitter Archive

archive folder
Retrieved from Pixabay

This is a more complete way of seeing all the tweets you ever posted since the dawn of your account. But more than just finding or recovering deleted tweets, having an updated hard copy of your social media accounts is a responsible thing to do (not to mention a good way to recover your account if it ever gets compromised).

To request a copy of your Twitter archive:

– Go to your Accounts page in your Twitter account (https://twitter.com/settings/account )

– Go to “Content”

– From there, you’ll see a button that says “Request Your Archive”

– Depending on the volume of data that Twitter needs to compile, your copy will arrive within minutes, hours, or even days.

– When your viewable archive is ready, you’ll be sent a push notification that will lead you back to your Twitter accounts page.

– From here, click the “Download Archive” button.

– REMINDER: Before doing this, make sure that the email details you use on your Twitter is updated. Twitter usually sends a downloadable file to your email address as a backup.

When you request a copy of your Twitter archive, you’ll be sent a .zip file that contains an index.html file that allows you to browse your archive from your web browser, and a .csv file that can be opened using your favorite spreadsheet program.

Find Deleted Tweets Using the WayBack Machine

wayback machine

Granted, those two methods might not show you all your deleted Tweets; there’s a lot of data to compile, and the Twitter servers might not have the data you need. So what if you download your archive/use advanced search and are still unable to find the tweet you’re looking for?

You might have to try your luck with a time machine. Specifically, an internet time machine!

While not exactly the DeLorean, the WayBack Machine is the next best thing to a functioning flux capacitor. Founded by the nonprofit organization Internet Archive, the WayBack Machine is a digital archive that scours the internet and takes screenshots of certain pages for posterity.

Notice that we said ‘screenshot’: you can’t actually access full tweets, and the WayBack Machine takes random screenshots at random times, but it’s the closest you can get to see a deleted tweet from a deleted account. But again, no reassurances.

To use the WayBack Machine

– Access the WayBack Machine and type the full URL of the Twitter page you want to see. Input this in the search bar and click “Browse History”.

– If the WayBack Machine has crawled this page before, it will show you a screenshot of that page. This is organized by year and day.

– Choose the Year and Day of the deleted tweet and try to find it there.

Remember, the WayBack Machine only takes screenshots, so you won’t be able to scroll through the page like you normally would. It also won’t take screenshots constantly, so if a tweet was deleted before the archive could crawl the page, you won’t be able to find that deleted tweet.

Tweet Responsibly

Finding deleted tweets is one of the most popular ways to discredit someone for something they said years ago. I mean, sure, you could also use it to find a tweet you found funny, but let’s be honest: in the modern world, finding a copy of a deleted tweet saying some awful things said by a celebrity/politician is like finding a diamond in a gold mine; it can be valuable beyond measure, or could be just inane rants of a bored mind.

This is probably why Twitter made it really difficult for people to find deleted tweets, especially from deleted twitter accounts. And while Advanced Search and Archive requests might work to see your own deleted tweets, you won’t be able to view tweets from archived or deleted accounts. The WayBack Machine takes screenshots, but it’s random at best, and might not get you the results you’re looking for.

And if you still can’t find it, just hope someone on Reddit has receipts.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top