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Download your Twitter archive for a fun (or embarrassing?) trip down memory lane

Your Twitter Archive includes a ton of personal information, including every tweet you've ever posted.

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Want a copy of your Twitter account? We'll show you how to request and download your archive. 

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Whether you're thinking about cleaning up your Twitter account and your past tweets, or deleting your Twitter account altogether, take a few minutes and download a complete archive of your entire account. Not only does your Twitter archive give you an easy place to view your past tweets, but it also includes all of your direct messages along with all of the pictures, videos and GIFs you've posted. 

In essence, your Twitter archive is a snapshot of your account at the moment it's created. I've personally used my Twitter archive in the past to quickly and easily find old tweets that I've deleted (I periodically delete tweets older than a few years), like the time I broke the news that the "SE" in iPhone SE means "Special Edition" after I asked Apple's Phil Schiller at the launch event what it meant. That tweet, sadly, is gone. But I have a copy of it on my computer, if for no other reason than posterity. 

Requesting a copy of your data is a quick process until it comes time to wait for Twitter to send you a link to download it. Here's everything you need to know about requesting your archive, and then how to download and view it once Twitter processes your request. 

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How to request a copy of your Twitter data

You can start the process of requesting your archive on your phone, but you'll end up being redirected to the Twitter website to complete the request. So I suggest opening your browser and going to your account settings or clicking on this link to go directly there. 

Under the Settings section click Your Account > Download an archive of your data. Click the button to request your data, after which you'll be asked to verify your account by having a code sent to your email address or phone number. After you verify your account, the request will be processed and you'll see a message stating it can take up to 24 hours for Twitter to process it.

And so, you wait for an alert in the Twitter app letting you know your archive is ready. 

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Your Twitter archive is organized in a way that resembles the Twitter website. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

What to do once your Twitter Archive is ready

Twitter will send you a push alert via the Twitter app as well as an email letting you know your data is ready to download. Follow the link in the email or alert, which will direct you back to the Settings page on Twitter's website. Download your archive and unzip the compressed file.

Inside the folder you'll find a file titled Your Archive. It's an HTML file, so it should open a new tab in your default browser. It's not actually loading a website. Instead, it's giving you a streamlined way to view your Twitter account. Everything on the page should be interactive. 

For example, if you click on Tweets, you'll be taken to a Twitter-like view of your posts. There's a search tool on the side of the page that will make it easier to find a specific post. 

Alternatively, you can open the Data folder where you'll find media folders that contain photos, videos and GIFs you've sent or received on Twitter, Moments, direct messages or Fleets. 

A friendly warning: You will find yourself taking a trip down memory lane after getting a copy of your archive. Writing this story took me twice as long as it should have because I kept going back and looking at old direct messages and posts. 

Now that you've spent far too long looking through old messages, be sure to check out our helpful guides that walk you through downloading your data from Google and Facebook. Looking for ways to boost your Twitter account's privacy? We have your back.