How to delete Snapchat


Woman looking at her phone where a Snapchat ghost is emerging from.

The social media world changes fast and can be fickle and faddy. While last month you might have been happily sending Snaps, posting Stories, and keeping Snapstreaks going, this month, the multimedia messaging service might seem a little passe.

Simply deleting the Snapchat app from your smartphone will not close your account. If you’re looking to disable, delete, or deactivate your Snapchat, we’re here to tell you how.

(Editor’s note: If you want to delete your Snapchat because you’re being cyberbullied, you can find out where to get advice and support online via The Cybersmile Foundation.)

The trick to deactivating Snapchat

Unlike other social media platforms, Snapchat does not allow you to temporarily disable your account. The only way you can deactivate your Snapchat account is to go through the deletion process, which gives you 30 days to reactivate your Snapchat account.

If this is a route you want to go down to see if you can live without the social media service, then follow our how-to-delete-Snapchat advice below. You could then set a reminder a few days before the 30-day deadline in order to make your final decision as to whether you want to de- or reactivate your account.

Before you decide to delete Snapchat…

Before you delete your Snapchat account, you may wish to download your Snapchat data. This is perfectly within your rights and relatively simple to do. In fact, you can choose to do this anytime, not just because you’re on course to delete your account.

Please be aware that, for security reasons, you’ll need a verified email address to download your data.

How do download your Snapchat data

Total Time

  • 1min
What You Need

  • iPhone
  • Snapchat
  • verified email address

Step 1:
Log in to Snapchat on the website

You can’t download your Snapchat data via app. If you don’t log in on the website often, you may get a “Suspicious Login” page appear.

The "Suspicious Login" page.

Credit: snapchat

Step 2:
Enter the code the site will send you via text message or your registered email address.

Step 3:
Click “My Data” on the account homepage.

An arrow pointing to "My Data."

Credit: snapchat

Step 4:
Scroll to the bottom of the page and select “Submit Request.”

The screen explains what kind of data Snapchat has on file for you. You should receive a copy of your Snapchat data as a ZIP file to your verified email address, usually within 24 hours. Do note you need to wait to receive this before you delete your account, otherwise, the ZIP file will not be sent through.

An orange circle around "Submit Request."

Credit: snapchat

Permanently deactivating and deleting your Snapchat account

As we’ve already explained, the Snapchat deletion process gives you a 30-day cooling-off period which means you can change your mind within that timeframe.

How do delete your Snapchat

Total Time

  • 1min
What You Need

  • iPhone
  • Snapchat
  • verified email address

Step 1:
Log into Snapchat on the website

Step 2:
Go to the Snapchat account management screen.

Step 3:
Look down the page and select “Delete My Account.”

An orange arrow pointing to "Delete My Account."

Credit: Snapchat

Step 4:
Enter your username and password. Select “Continue.”

The “Delete Account” page gives you an insight into the process.

The "Delete Account" page on Snapchat.

Credit: snapchat

And that’s it! Your Snapchat account no longer exists to the wider world. Your Snapchat account has now been officially deactivated, which means friends won’t be able to contact you on Snapchat. After 30 days, your account will be permanently deleted.

If you have verified your email address with Snapchat, you will get a confirmation email when that finally happens.

The "Account Deactivated" page.

You’ll see this when you’ve successfully deactivated your account.
Credit: Snapchat

Exercising the right to change your mind and reactivate your Snapchat account

If you do change your mind within the 30-day deactivation period, you can reactivate your Snapchat account. To do this, simply log in to Snapchat using your username (not email) and password.

It can sometimes take 24 hours before a deactivated account can be reactivated. If you attempt this within the 24-hour period, you may see a “Cannot find the user” error message. Wait, then try again.

Can I reactivate my Snapchat account after 30 days?

If you want to access your old account again, we’re sorry, but it’s impossible. According to a Snapchat spokesperson, a permanently deleted account means all of the account settings, friends, Snaps, Chats, Stories, device data, and location data are deleted from the main user database.

If you want to get back on Snapchat in general, you can make an entirely new account – but you won’t be able to use your old username, even if it hasn’t been snatched up. Any previously owned usernames cannot be claimed by new users, according to Snapchat’s spokesperson. And because all that data was deleted, you’d have to manually add back all your friends and remake any content you might have had. So make sure you really want out before you pull the plug!

Related Video: How to permanently delete your social media

This post was originally published in January 2021 and was updated in June 2024.

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