How to download your Twitter data and tweets in case it shuts down

With rumours of Twitter’s demise spreading, here’s how you can save all of your tweets if you need to reference them in your memoirs one day

Twitter appears to be in a slow death spiral, less than a month since Elon Musk completed his takeover of the social media site. The hashtag #RIPTwitter has been trending today, as more engineers and other workers announce they’re quitting, and users have been speculating on what happens next.

Today (18 November), reports have emerged that all Twitter’s offices will be shut. But Musk has so far offered no reason for this (despite continuing to post oblique tweets relentlessly, like a skull and crossbones emoji).

Musk, the richest person in the world, has already got rid of half of the company’s full-time staff of 7,500 and an untold number of contractors responsible for content moderation and other crucial efforts. He fired top executives on his first day as Twitter’s owner, while others left voluntarily in the ensuing days.

But the turmoil inside Twitter has been accelerating this week. On Tuesday, reports emerged that he was firing a small group of engineers who took issue with him publicly or in the company’s internal Slack.

Then overnight on Wednesday, Musk sent an email to the remaining staff, asking employees to decide by Thursday evening if they want to remain a part of the business. Musk wrote that employees “will need to be extremely hardcore” to build “a breakthrough Twitter 2.0” and that long hours at high intensity will be needed for success.

However, in an email on Thursday (17 November), the Tesla tycoon backpedalled on his insistence that everyone work from the office. His initial rejection of remote work had alienated many employees who survived the layoffs. He softened his earlier tone, writing that “all that is required for approval is that your manager takes responsibility for ensuring you are making an excellent contribution”.

With the rumours of Twitter imploding due to the exodus of the staff who built and maintain it, many users will be wondering how they go about saving their data. Sure, the thought of being reminded of ancient tweets you sent in your younger, more naive days may not be too appealing, but best to act now than regret it later. Here’s what you need to know…

How to download your Twitter data:

  1. Go to your Twitter Account settings by clicking on the ‘More’ button in the navigation bar, and selecting ‘Settings and Support’ then ‘Settings and Privacy’ from the menu.
  2. Click on ‘Your Account’ then click on ‘Download an archive of your data’.
  3. Enter your password under Download an archive of your data, then click Confirm.
  4. Verify your identity by clicking ‘Send code to your email address and/or phone number’ on file. If you do not have an email address or phone number on file, you will be redirected to the Account information page. Enter the code sent to your email address and/or phone number.
  5. Once you have verified your identity, click the ‘Request data’ button. If your Twitter account is connected to Periscope, you’ll have the option to request an archive of your Periscope data on Periscope directly.
  6. When your download is ready, Twitter will send an email to your connected email account or a push notification if you have the app installed. From your settings, you can click the ‘Download data’ button under the ‘Download data’ section.
  7. Once you receive the email, click the ‘Download’ button while logged in to your Twitter account and download a .zip file of your Twitter archive.

What you then do with this priceless treasure trove of all of your tweets is entirely up to you. But at least you won’t have lost it forever if Twitter does go down.