How to Fix “Cannot Retrieve Tweets at This Time” on Twitter

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As a social media geek and avid Twitter user, I know how frustrating the “Cannot retrieve tweets at this time” error can be. Trust me, I’ve been there! One minute you’re scrolling through your timeline, and the next – boom – blank page and error message.

Not being able to view tweets is a real productivity killer, not to mention it cuts you off from news, entertainment, and connecting with friends. But before you panic or get angry at Twitter, take a deep breath. In most cases, this error is easy to fix with a few simple troubleshooting steps.

In this detailed guide, I’ll walk you through exactly why you’re getting the “Cannot retrieve tweets” error, along with various solutions to get your Twitter feed up and running again. I’ve helped hundreds of fellow tweeters debug this pesky issue, so you’ve come to the right place!

By the end of this guide, you’ll be armed with several methods to quickly solve Twitter retrieval errors when they pop up. Let’s get started fixing things so you can get back to scrolling your timeline and interacting with tweets!

What Triggers the “Cannot Retrieve Tweets” Error?

To troubleshoot the issue, it helps to first understand what causes those dreaded “Cannot retrieve tweets” messages. From my technical experience debugging social apps, here are the most common culprits:

Hitting Twitter’s Rate Limits

In an effort to limit spam and scraping, Twitter enforces certain rate limits on how many tweets you can view. If you go over the limit, you’ll hit the retrieval error.

Here are the current rate limits, according to Twitter’s API documentation:

  • Verified accounts: 6,000 tweets per day
  • Unverified accounts: 600 tweets per day
  • New accounts: 300 tweets per day

Recently, Elon Musk tightened rate limits further to reduce “excessive scraping.” This change triggered “Cannot retrieve tweet” errors for many legitimate users who weren’t scraping at all.

Internet Connectivity Issues

Your network connection plays a big role. If your WiFi or mobile data signal is unstable, weak, or temporarily drops, Twitter can’t pull in new tweets. Always verify you have a strong, high-speed internet connection.

Twitter Outages

Service issues with Twitter’s servers can also prevent loading tweets. In the last year alone, Downdetector tracked over 50 major Twitter outages, each causing widespread tweet retrieval errors.

App Problems

Glitches or bugs with the Twitter app can sometimes interfere with tweet loading. An outdated app version or corrupted app cache are common culprits.

Now that you know what’s behind the tweet retrieval problem, let’s walk through solutions to get your timeline rolling again!

Fix 1: Upgrade to Twitter Blue

If you think you’re hitting Twitter’s rate limits, the simplest fix is to subscribe to Twitter Blue. This paid monthly subscription boosts your daily tweet allowance from 600 to 6,000 on an unverified account.

Here‘s how to upgrade:

On Mobile:

  1. Open the Twitter app and tap your profile icon
  2. Select “Twitter Blue” from the menu
  3. Choose your preferred plan and payment method
  4. Confirm upgrade and enjoy higher rate limits!

On Desktop:

  1. Go to and click “More” in the left sidebar
  2. Choose “Twitter Blue” from the menu
  3. Pick your plan, enter payment details, and confirm upgrade

At $8/month in the US, going Blue is a surefire way to view way more daily tweets and avoid retrieval limits.

Fix 2: Update or Reinstall the Twitter App

The Twitter app on your phone or tablet needs regular updating to fix bugs that can interfere with Twitter’s backend servers.

On an iPhone, head to the App Store and check for any available Twitter updates. On Android, visit the Play Store and install the latest Twitter version.

You can also try fully uninstalling and reinstalling the Twitter app if it seems seriously glitched. Wiping the app removes any corrupted cached data that might be causing issues communicating with Twitter’s servers.

After updating or reinstalling the app, force quit and relaunch it. This will load the fresh app code. Then see if you can now retrieve tweets properly.

Fix 3: Switch Between App and Browser

Here’s a quick trick that works for many people – use Twitter’s website if the mobile app isn’t working, or vice versa.

For example, if tweets won’t load in the Twitter iOS app, try accessing Twitter from your Safari or Chrome mobile browser. Similarly, if the Twitter website is failing on desktop, install the mobile app and use that instead.

Switching twitter platforms essentially resets your rate limits and clears any platform-specific software bugs getting in the way of tweet retrieval. It’s an easy workaround worth trying!

Fix 4: Check Your Internet Connection

More often than not, the culprit behind Twitter retrieval errors is an unstable internet connection.

If you’re on WiFi, turn it off temporarily and switch over to mobile data. Or try resetting your modem and router to refresh the network connection. Also make sure to disconnect from any VPNs before troubleshooting Twitter.

Quick tip: Run a network speed test to verify your actual download and upload speeds. You need at least 3-5 mbps download throughput for reliable Twitter use.

With a super fast, low latency internet signal, you eliminate network issues that can interfere with loading tweets from Twitter‘s servers.

Fix 5: Create a New Twitter Account

Here’s a power user trick that helps when all else fails. Set up an entirely new Twitter account to take advantage of the higher rate limits granted to fresh accounts.

According to Twitter’s API rules, any account less than 30 days old gets 300 tweets per day – compared to just 600 on an average unverified account.

To set up a new account:

  1. Go to or download the Twitter app
  2. Click sign up and enter your name, email, password to register
  3. Verify your email address to activate the account
  4. Enable two-factor authentication for added security
  5. Search and follow your favorite accounts to populate your new feed

Use your fresh account anytime your main account hits its rate limit. As a bonus, a new account gives you access to Twitter analytics showing how many tweets you‘ve viewed per day. This helps you stay under your limits.

Once your main account is back working properly, you can either keep the new account or delete it if no longer needed.

Fix 6: Use a VPN to Reset Limits

A virtual private network (VPN) masks your device’s IP address and location. This essentially tricks Twitter into thinking you’re accessing it from a new device.

By changing your IP, you shed any rate limits or bans tied to your original IP address. It’s like getting a fresh start!

To use a VPN for resetting Twitter:

  1. Download a reputable paid VPN service like ExpressVPN or NordVPN
  2. Connect to a US-based server for optimal performance
  3. Launch Twitter and see if you can now retrieve tweets normally
  4. Try switching VPN servers if issues persist

The key is using a paid VPN, as free ones rarely work reliably to access social media sites like Twitter.

Fix 7: Sit Tight for Twitter to Resolve Outages

Despite Twitter engineers‘ best efforts, service outages still happen. When the “Cannot retrieve tweets” error stems from platform issues on Twitter‘s side, patience is unfortunately your only recourse.

But take heart knowing the outage is rarely more than a few hours max, as Twitter works urgently to stabilize its servers.

You can check Downdetector or Twitter’s API status page to confirm if an outage is occurring and track when it’s resolved.

While waiting, it’s a good time to take a breather, make some coffee or tea, and recharge your own batteries! Before you know it, those tweets will be rolling in again.

Avoid Future Twitter Retrieval Errors

To reduce repeat issues loading tweets, be sure to:

  • Set your account to private and avoid following spam accounts

  • Enable advanced filters to screen noisy tweets flooding your timeline

  • Never use third-party Twitter scrapers or programs leveraging the API

  • Keep the Twitter app updated to the latest version

  • Maintain a fast, low-latency internet connection

  • Upgrade to Twitter Blue if hitting rate limits frequently

Do your best to stick to these preventative measures. But if you do see “Cannot retrieve tweets” again, come back to this guide for troubleshooting steps to get you back up and running!

I hope these fixes help you once and for all conquer temperamental tweet retrieval errors. Just remember – with a bit of patience and some strategic tweaking, you‘ll have your Twitter feed flowing smoothly again in no time.

Let me know if you have any other questions! I’m always happy to help a fellow tweeter in need.


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.