It happens to the best of us: you wake up one day and you try to access your Twitter account and boom:
You frantically try your password again, but alas, the damage is done, there’s no turning back.
You’re locked out of your own Twitter account.
When people are locked out of their account, Twitter will ask them to re-affirm their identity using a code, it’s part of their two-step verification process that helps them figure out whether the person trying to unlock your account really is you.
Fortunately, there is a way to fix this. The easiest way to unlock your account is to request for a verification code. Sounds simple enough; but what if you didn’t sign up with a phone number? How do you unlock your Twitter account without a phone number that they can SMS with a verification code?
Why Do Twitter Accounts Get Locked?
There are so many different ways that a person can get locked out of their Twitter account; in fact, sometimes even the smallest infraction to their Terms of Service can be grounds for being locked out of your account.
There are, of course, varying degrees of severity, with the three most common being:
- Locked Account: Twitter will actively log your account off all devices, and is usually the most common. This is usually done when Twitter notices suspicious behavior around your account, like repeated logins with an incorrect password, or higher-than-normal account activity.
- Restricted/Limited Account: A slightly less severe restriction, limited accounts can still be accessed, but you won’t be able to tweet, like, or reshare other tweets. This usually happens when Twitter suspects your account of sending out spam.
- Suspended Account: this pretty much means that you’ve been banned off Twitter. A suspension, however, can be appealed and is usually a punishment for accounts suspected of sharing fake news, spam, or harassment.
Again, there are so many ways for your account to be restricted, so it’s best to review Twitter’s terms of service, as well as their rules and regulations, to make sure that you violate nothing.
Four Ways to Unlock Your Twitter Account Without a Phone Number
Luckily, there are ways to unlock a locked twitter account without needing an active phone number, and yes, they’re all legitimate ways (we don’t condone hacking, and neither should you) to get Twitter to unlock your account and give you access again. These methods include:
- Using a trusted VOIP like Google Voice (which provides you a virtual phone number)
- Reset Your Password Using Email (your first choice, really)
- Filling Out an Account Restoration Form (it takes a while, but it’s worth it)
- Contact Twitter Support Directly
Use a VOIP (but there’s a catch)
VOIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, also known as IP telephony, is a type of service that allows people to make localized landline calls over the internet. While it might sound really technical, you’re probably using one already: Skype and Google Voice are two of the most popular VoIP services available online. Most VoIP’s are free, but the premium ones offer a few more services, like a usable phone number, text messaging, etc.
But there’s a catch: most, if not all VoIP’s aren’t recognized by Twitter, not even Skype. Due to hackers and spammers constantly evolving their tactics, Twitter has had to do the same and ban most VoIP’s because of their lack of security. Google Voice, however, is still recognized by Twitter, with a Google Voice number usually being recognized during sign-up. That’s because Google allows SMS to be sent to the Voice number that they generate, not to mention that it’s Google, i.e. one of the most trusted companies out there.
If you’re locked out of your account, try registering for a (free) Google Voice number and use that for your Twitter verification code. It usually works, but some phone numbers that Google Voice generates aren’t recognized by Twitter (people complain about Twitter saying that it’s an unsupported phone number), so you might have to try multiple times. If it does work, however, Google Voice will receive the verification SMS that Twitter sends, and you’ll be able to gain access to your account again.
Reset Your Password Using Your Email
This should be your first option when trying to gain access to your locked Twitter account. Simply find the “reset password” button in the login page and click on that. If you don’t have a mobile number, input your recovery email (just make sure it was the same one you used during signup). Once completed, Twitter will send you an email with a temporary password that you can use to access your locked account. Once you’re in, you can change this password to something you like.
Fill Out an Account Restoration Form (Or Contact Twitter Support)
An Account Restoration Form is available to anyone trying to gain complete access to a locked Twitter account. You can request this through the Twitter Help section. In that form, you’ll be asked a few questions that would ascertain your identity as the original owner of the account, including your original login details.
This takes a bit of time, as the form itself is pretty lengthy, and the response time can take a while because it’s reviewed individually by human operators.
If all else fails, don’t be afraid to contact Twitter directly. Their Twitter Support page has a set of questions that will guide you towards having your password reset, and thus regain access to your locked account. It’s the same process as filling up the account restoration form; but it might take a little longer.
Fortunately, you’re not alone: people get locked out of their Twitter accounts all the time, usually temporary, rarely permanent. A person can be locked out for various reasons, from suspected spamming and posting offensive content, to something as simple as signing up for a Twitter account before you turned 13. Yeah, they’re that strict.