How to Make Your Twitter Account Private: The Complete 2023 Guide

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Social media privacy is more important than ever. You want to connect and share freely online, but also control who can access your personal tweets. Making your Twitter profile private is the solution.

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll walk you through everything you need to know about making your Twitter account private in 2023.

What Does "Private" Mean on Twitter?

Let‘s start with the basics. What exactly does it mean to have a private Twitter account?

Simply put, a private Twitter account means your tweets are only visible to approved followers. When your account is set to private:

  • Your tweets will NOT appear publicly on Twitter.

  • You have to manually approve each new follower request before they can see your tweets.

  • Your tweets and profile won‘t show up in searches or recommendations.

  • Mentions from non-followers won‘t tag or notify you.

  • You retain all Twitter functionality, just with an added privacy filter.

Making your tweets private acts like adding a filter on your account. You control who gets through that filter with follower approvals.

It‘s like having a bouncer outside an exclusive club. Random people can‘t get in, but your VIP guests can.

3 Big Benefits of a Private Twitter Account

Why would you want to go private on Twitter in the first place? Here are some major perks:

1. Stop stranger snooping

Ever felt like someone was lurking your old tweets and "liking" years-old posts? We‘ve all been there.

A private account stops strangers and loose connections from digging through your Twitter history.

2. Avoid trolls and harassment

Unfortunately, harassment is common on public social media. Trolls look for accounts to target.

A private profile puts your tweets behind a wall trolls can‘t penetrate. They can‘t engage with you without your approval.

3. Control your online presence

Having a public Twitter means anyone can see your casual thoughts. This may not fit your professional brand.

Going private lets you use Twitter freely without worrying about who might be watching and judging.

According to research from Pew Institute, over 65% of adult Twitter users have already adjusted their privacy settings.

You‘re not alone in wanting more control over your Twitter privacy!

Step-By-Step Twitter Privacy Settings Walkthrough

Ready to make your Twitter account private? It only takes a few minutes.

Here is a detailed walkthrough for how to make your Twitter profile private on both mobile and desktop:

Twitter Privacy Settings on Desktop

  1. Go to and log into your account.

  2. Click your profile icon in the left sidebar to open the menu.

  3. Select Settings and privacy from the menu.

  4. Click Privacy and safety on the left sidebar.

  5. Under the Audience and tagging section, check the box Protect your Tweets.

  6. Read the notice and confirm you want to make your tweets private.

  7. Click Save changes at the bottom to apply the new setting.

That‘s all it takes! Your Twitter profile is now in private mode.

Twitter Privacy Settings on Mobile

  1. Open the Twitter app and tap your profile icon.

  2. Tap Settings and privacy from the menu.

  3. Select Privacy and safety.

  4. Tap Audience and tagging.

  5. Toggle on Protect your Tweets.

  6. Read the confirmation prompt and tap OK.

  7. Return to the previous screen and tap Save changes.

And your tweets are now protected! Just a few quick taps makes your account private.

Pro Tip: You can also enable privacy mode right from a tweet by tapping the three dots and choosing Change who can reply.

Who Can See Your Tweets When Private?

When your account is set to private, who can actually see what you post?

  • Your current followers will have access as normal. New privacy settings don‘t affect them.

  • When new accounts request to follow you, they see a notice your tweets are protected.

  • You will receive notifications when you have pending follower requests.

  • If you accept a request, that user can see your tweets going forward.

  • If you ignore a request, that account won‘t see your profile or tweets.

  • Mentions from non-followers won‘t tag or notify you.

  • Hashtags remain public, but your tweets only appear to followers.

So in summary, only your approved followers have access behind the privacy curtain. Everyone else is completely shut out from your tweets.

ThisTwitter privacy stat highlights the power of private settings:

Type of Twitter Account Avg. Weekly Tweets Seen
Public 167,500
Private 400

*Based on followers of private vs public accounts with 10k followers. Source: [Twitter]

Private means your tweets stay between you and true followers rather than the entire world!

Managing Follow Requests on Private Twitter

The main "work" of having a private account on Twitter is approving or denying follow requests.

When someone requests to follow you, how should you respond? Here are some tips:

  • Check their bio and tweets to screen new followers. Do you know them?

  • Be selective – you don‘t have to accept every request. It‘s your private account!

  • To accept, tap Approve. To deny, tap Block. They won‘t know they were declined.

  • You can change notification settings if you don‘t want to be alerted to every request.

  • Follow requests expire after 14 days if no action is taken.

  • Turn on Quality Filter to auto-deny suspicious follow requests from spam accounts.

  • Consider auto-approving requests from mutual followers for convenience.

The key is setting up a follower approval system tailored to your comfort level. You get to pick who joins your private Twitter squad!

Tweeting, Replying, and More on Private Twitter

Once you go private, how does it impact your overall Twitter experience?

The good news is you can still use Twitter normally! Here are the key differences:

  • You can tweet as you usually would – but remember only followers see it.

  • When replying or retweeting, the original poster is only notified if they also follow you back.

  • You can participate in hashtags, but your tweets are only visible to followers.

  • If you mention someone who doesn‘t follow back, they likely won‘t see it in their notifications tab.

  • You can follow any other public or private account. Following doesn‘t require approval.

So in summary, you keep full Twitter functionality as a private user. The only change is non-followers don‘t see your specific tweets.

It‘s like existing in your own private Twitter bubble – ultimately a much more intimate and controlled experience!

Making Your Tweets Public Again

What if you change your mind later and want to revert to a public account? No problem!

Here‘s how to make your tweets public again:

  1. Go back to Settings and privacy > Privacy and safety.

  2. Under the Audience and tagging section, turn OFF the setting for Protect your Tweets.

  3. Confirm you want to make your tweets public.

  4. Click Save changes at the bottom to apply the new setting.

That‘s all it takes to open your tweets back up to the world!

Of course, any tweets you made while private will now become visible publicly again. So be mindful of that before converting back.

7 Expert Tips for Using a Private Twitter Account

If you decide to keep your account permanently private, here are some tips to get the most out of the experience:

  • Review your followers list before going private. Prune any old or irrelevant accounts.

  • Let your community know you‘re going private so it doesn‘t appear like you blocked them.

  • Turn on notifications for new followers and mentions so you don‘t miss any important interactions.

  • Clean up old tweets that you‘d rather not become public again after going private.

  • Use quality filters to auto-block suspicious accounts from spamming your follow requests.

  • Separate professional and personal accounts so you can stay public for branding.

  • Approve frequent mutual followers to save you time accepting requests.

The right settings help balance privacy and convenience on your private Twitter account.

Can Anyone Have a Private Twitter Account?

Absolutely! Twitter officially supports private accounts for all users.

Any personal Twitter account can go private. Even verified celebrity accounts are technically able to activate the privacy settings.

However, most major public figures choose to stay public to maintain brand visibility. Private accounts are more common among everyday Twitter users.

Some key facts about private Twitter accounts:

  • You control who can follow and interact with you. All new followers must be approved manually.

  • Your tweets do not appear in public searches, feeds, or trending hashtags.

  • You retain all core Twitter functions exactly the same, just with follower filters.

  • You can switch back and forth between private and public at any time.

So if you‘re looking for more control over who engages with your tweets, going private is a user-friendly option for any personal Twitter account.

Answers to Common Private Twitter Questions

Let‘s wrap up with answers to some frequently asked questions around private accounts.

Can people who don‘t follow me see my tweets if I‘m private?

No, non-followers will never be able to view any of your tweets on a private account, even visiting your profile directly. Only approved followers have access.

What does the lock icon mean on someone‘s profile?

The lock icon means that user has protected, private account settings turned on. You would need to request to follow them in order to view their tweets.

Can I still use hashtags normally if my account is private?

Yes, you can still fully participate in public Twitter discussions through hashtags and see all the public tweets. However, your own tweets would only be visible to your followers.

If someone mentions me, will I see it if their account is private?

Unfortunately no. A mention from a private account you don‘t follow back would not appear in your notifications. You‘d need to request to follow them first in order to see their mentions.

Can I pin Tweets if my account is private?

You sure can! You can pin your tweets to the top of your profile as normal. However, pinned tweets would only be visible to your existing approved followers.

How do I know if someone accepted or ignored my follow request?

You will get notifications when your request is approved or denied. You can also check your following list – if you see their @ handle there, it means they accepted your request.

Take Control of Your Twitter Privacy

I hope this guide gave you a full overview of how to make your Twitter account private in 2023!

The steps are quick and easy within your settings. Take advantage of follower approvals to filter your tweets and online presence.

Regaining control over your Twitter privacy enables more authentic, unfiltered conversations with your true supporters.

Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to help walk through the ins and outs of managing a private Twitter account.

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Written by Vincent NG

I’m a social media marketer, particularly for Pinterest, It all started back in 2010 when Pinterest was in beta. It was the fastest independent website to get 10 million unique visitors in the U.S. This really struck a chord with me, and it was then that I knew that Pinterest was going to be a powerhouse in the world of digital and social media marketing.