When Snapchat first started out, I had a cell phone, but no data plan.
It was my freshman year of college. I used to roam onto campus, connect to the wifi, and use my iPod touch to learn how to use Snapchat. My friends and I joked that it would be quicker for me to develop photos and just pass them out.
That was six years ago. Since then, I’ve amassed more than 15,000 images and videos sent, and seen the application undergo multiple iterations. Do you remember a time before Snapchat had news features?!
Wait through the 30-day deactivation period until your account is permanently terminated
The temporary social media-sharing application has grown from a way to share unflattering selfies, to another method of consuming pop culture and breaking news. It’s also the first place many of us learned exactly how we’d look if we were all the same type of cartoon dog.
See: Kim Kardashian as an animated pup.
Even so, there is a time where all good things must come to an end. If you’re on other social media platforms, you know they’ve all started to adopt similar features: facial filters, Snapchat filters, and the ability to post Snapchat stories, so maybe you feel less inclined to stay on Snapchat.
Perhaps you just want to decrease the amount of platforms taking up space on your phone. Maybe you want to give your ex one less way of seeing what you’re doing.
If you’ve decided that your time with Snapchat has come to an end, and you’re ready to delete your account altogether. Keep in mind that deleting the application from your phone, or even logging out, does not delete your account. You can still receive media through the app, and it will be waiting for you the next time you log in.
How to delete Snapchat
So, how do you remove your account permanently? Let's start with step one.
Begin by going to the accounts portal. You’ll have to log in with your username and password. If you’re having trouble remembering either of these (which is common, seeing as we rarely log in and out of applications), click on forgot password and follow the instructions for a reset.
Once you’re logged in, the above link takes you directly to the page where you will delete your account. The following prompt will appear, ensuring you’re ready to delete your account and leave Snapchat permanently with this username, password, and account history.
Once you’re on the delete account page, you will be asked to enter your username and password again. This is to confirm your identity and that the account really belongs to you.
Now is a good time to remind you that you should only be sharing passwords with people you trust or keeping them safely stored in a password manager solution. These tools, “Store and control a user's passwords through either an encrypted vault downloaded to a user’s computer or mobile device or digitally through browser plugins or extensions.” They are a much safer idea than sharing your password with friends or even family.
Wait Through the Deactivation Period
Take note that, much like Twitter, Snapchat does not eradicate your presence immediately. In fact, it puts your account into a 30-day deactivation period. (Curious how to delete Twitter?) During this time, your account is basically turned-off. Friends cannot contact you, and you cannot contact them.
However, if you go two weeks without Snapchat and then realize it was all a terrible mistake, that’s no problem! You can still log in to Snapchat, automatically reactivating your account. Everything is still there, including contacts, pictures, and your other data. (Except for, of course, your snap streaks, also known as the days you’ve consecutively sent Snapchats to your friends. Users will lose these when they fail to log in for a day.)
Request or Download Data
One important thing to note is that Snapchat acts as an album of photos, videos, and other digital memories for many. When I scroll through my snaps, it’s a walk down memory lane. If I deactivate my Snapchat account without saving any of that, I lose precious memories of my final few years in college and my transition moving to Chicago.
A way around this issue is to request access to your data or save all media to your phone’s gallery.
Your data belongs to you, and you have a right to access and keep it should you want to.
Examples of the data that can be accessed through this request are as follows:
Login history and account information
Our Story and crowd-sourced content
Snapchat support history
There are stipulations regarding what exactly will be sent to you. To learn more about requesting and downloading your data, check out the download my data page on Snapchat support. It has a full list of instructions, as well as information on how you can expect the data to arrive.
Say Goodbye, or Start Over!
Once your 30-day deactivation period is up, your account is done. You can no longer use your login information to access your Snapchat account. If you’ve come this far, that was hopefully the point!
It may seem frustrating to wait a full month for your account to disappear fully. Rest assured it’s helpful to have this purgatory period to help decide if this is what you really want. Plus, deactivation periods are a great time to take a break from a social media platform that has maybe been causing you stress or if you're being cyberbullied on the app.
Now that your account is officially all closed out, you’re free to live a life free of Snapchat. Enjoy a concert without the pressure to take pictures. Hike a mountain and share it with only the friends who accompanied you. Order a steak dinner and dig in while it’s hot instead of grabbing the perfect shot.
Or…You could begin anew! Now that your account is all closed out, you’re able to create a new one with that same email address.
Just remember that it won’t be the same. All of your accumulated information will be gone. You will have to completely restart your friends list, begin your new Snapchat count, and refill your photo repository.
But, hey, who among us couldn’t use a clean start?
From Twitter to YouTube to Instagram to Facebook, there are a bunch of social media platforms you can use. Discover and compare the best social networks software below:
Grace Pinegar is a lifelong storyteller with an extensive background in various forms such as acting, journalism, improv, research, and content marketing. She was raised in Texas, educated in Missouri, worked in Chicago, and is now a proud New Yorker. (she/her/hers)