How to Remove Your Phone Number From TikTok – A Step-by-Step Guide

default image

Hey there!

So you‘ve decided it‘s time to delete your phone number from your TikTok account. Maybe you got a new phone and don‘t have access to your old number anymore. Or perhaps you‘re just concerned about privacy and don‘t want TikTok to have your personal mobile number anymore.

Whatever the reason, removing your linked phone number from TikTok is totally possible. But the way you go about it depends on whether or not you still have access to that number.

In this detailed guide, I‘ll walk you through everything you need to know to delete your phone number from your TikTok profile. We‘ll cover:

  • The reasons TikTok requires a phone number in the first place
  • The pros and cons of keeping your number linked
  • Step-by-step instructions to change or delete your number, with and without access
  • Additional tips to keep your TikTok account secure
  • Answers to common questions about unlinking your TikTok number

By the end of this guide, you‘ll know exactly how to remove your number from TikTok smoothly and what to look out for along the way. Let‘s get started!

Why Does TikTok Require a Phone Number to Sign Up?

When you download the TikTok app and create a new account, one of the first things it asks for is your phone number. This is mandatory – you can‘t complete signup without entering one.

But why does TikTok require a phone number when other social apps like Instagram don‘t? There are a few reasons behind it:

  • Account security – By verifying your number, TikTok can crosscheck your identity and prevent account hacking. If you ever forget your password, they can also use your number to help you reset it.

  • Preventing spam/bots – Spammers often create multiple accounts using fake numbers. Forcing users to enter a real mobile number helps TikTok fight spam.

  • Legal compliance – Some countries require valid ID verification to create social media accounts. Linking real phone numbers helps TikTok comply with these laws.

  • SMS notifications – Users can opt to receive TikTok notifications via text message to their linked number. This isn‘t possible without a number.

  • Age verification – Having a legitimate phone number helps TikTok confirm a user‘s age in areas where there are age restrictions.

According to TikTok‘s own numbers, linking phone numbers has helped them remove over 104 million spammy accounts and detect over 450,000 accounts belonging to underage users trying to bypass age restrictions.

So while it may seem intrusive, TikTok‘s phone number requirement has some legitimate reasons behind it in terms of security, legal compliance and protecting the community.

The Pros and Cons of Linking Your Phone Number to TikTok

Before deciding whether to delete your phone number from TikTok entirely, it helps to know the potential upsides and downsides of keeping it linked.

Benefits of Linking Your Phone Number

  • Easy password resets – If you forget your password, TikTok can text you a reset code instantly to get back into your account.

  • 2-factor authentication – You can set up 2FA to require a text code at login for extra security.

  • SMS notifications – Get followers, comments, DM and other alerts sent right to your phone as texts.

  • Account recovery – TikTok can verify your identity via your number if your account is ever hacked or banned.

  • Required for certain features – A linked number may be mandatory to access things like TikTok LIVE, creator fund payouts, etc.

Potential Downsides of Linking Your Number

  • Privacy concerns – Some users don‘t like TikTok having their personal mobile number in their systems and prefer more anonymity.

  • SIM swapping – If you lose access to your number due to SIM swapping or canceled service, you could get locked out.

  • Spam risk – There‘s a (small) chance spammers could try to use leaked numbers to target you.

  • Multiple accounts tricky – You can‘t link the same number to multiple TikTok accounts, so if you want more than one account, it gets complicated.

So in summary – a linked phone number can be very convenient for features and security, but could also come with some minor privacy and account access risks. It‘s about weighing the pros and cons for your personal use case.

When Should You Delete Your TikTok Phone Number?

Most users should keep their phone number linked when they first create their TikTok account for the security and convenience benefits.

But over time, there are some cases where you may want to remove that linked number:

  • You got a new phone number and no longer have access to your old one
  • You‘re concerned about privacy and don‘t want TikTok to store your number
  • You lost access due to SIM swapping or deactivated service
  • You want to create a second TikTok account to manage multiple profiles
  • You no longer use your TikTok account and want to delete all personal data before deactivating

As long as you have another way to access your account, via password or third-party authentication app, removing your linked number can make sense in these situations.

The next steps depend on whether or not you still have access to that number currently linked to your profile. Let‘s go over both scenarios.

How to Change Your TikTok Phone Number (If You Still Have Access)

If you still have access to the phone number linked to your TikTok account, the process of changing or removing it is quick and painless. Here are the steps:

1. Open your TikTok profile

  • Launch the TikTok app and tap on the "Me" tab on the bottom right to access your profile.

2. Tap on the Settings icon

  • From your profile screen, tap on the 3-dot menu button in the top right corner, then tap "Settings and privacy".

3. Select ‘Manage account‘

  • In the Settings menu, tap on "Manage account".

4. Choose ‘Change phone number‘

  • Under the Account section, select the "Change phone number" option.

5. Enter and verify your new number

  • Type your new phone number and tap "Next". TikTok will text a 6-digit code to verify it.

  • Input the verification code and tap "Confirm" to complete the change.

And that‘s it! Your new phone number will replace the old one on your TikTok profile. You can immediately use it to receive SMS notifications or reset your password going forward.

The whole process only takes about 2-3 minutes as long as you have access to your current linked number or are changing to a new number you control.

How to Delete Your TikTok Phone Number Without Access

If you no longer have access to the phone number linked to your TikTok – for example, if you lost your old phone, switched numbers, or your service was disconnected – the process is a bit more complicated.

Since you can‘t access the verification code to change it, you‘ll need to take the following steps to fully delete the number from your TikTok account:

1. Open your profile and go to ‘Report a problem‘

  • In the TikTok app, open your profile and tap on Settings (the gear icon).

  • Select "Report a problem".

2. Explain your situation

  • In the Report a Problem form, explain that you no longer have access to the phone number currently linked to your account.

  • Request for TikTok Support to delete the number from your profile, as you cannot change it yourself.

3. Submit the request form

  • Double check you included any details TikTok Support may need, like your username, email on file, etc.

  • Submit the request form.

4. Wait for TikTok Support to respond

  • It typically takes 1-3 days for TikTok Support to respond to requests and take action.

  • If they need any other verification details, they will reach out via email.

After reviewing, TikTok Support can permanently delete the phone number you no longer have access to from your account. Once it‘s removed, your TikTok will remain active but unlinked from any phone number.

If you need to add a new number afterwards, Support can guide you through that process once the old one is deleted. But the key first step is getting them to remove your inaccessible number, which you unfortunately can‘t do yourself without access.

Tips to Keep Your TikTok Secure Without a Phone Number

Once your old phone number is removed from your TikTok account, here are some tips to keep your account secure without having a linked number:

  • Create a complex password – Without SMS reset, a strong, unique password is important to prevent hacking. Avoid weak passwords.

  • Enable two-factor authentication – Use an authenticator app for 2FA instead of SMS codes sent to your number.

  • Add a backup email – To recover your account if you forget your password, add a backup email TikTok can contact.

  • Write down account recovery info – Keep your username, password, and backup contact info stored somewhere safe in case you ever need it.

  • Turn on login notifications – Get alerts when someone logs into your TikTok from a new device for unauthorized access monitoring.

  • Monitor your profile and followers – Periodically check your profile settings, posts, and followers list for anything suspicious.

  • Avoid clicking sketchy links – Steer clear of shady links in TikTok comments, bios, or DMs that could compromise your account.

While you may lose some convenience and recovery options without a linked phone number, following these security best practices can help keep your TikTok account and data safe.

Common Questions about Unlinking Your TikTok Number

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about removing your phone number from your TikTok account:

Can I delete my phone number from TikTok‘s website?

No, currently TikTok does not allow you to manage your linked phone number or account settings from their website. The only way to change or delete your linked number is via the TikTok mobile app.

What happens when I delete my TikTok account?

Deleting your entire TikTok account will automatically and permanently remove your linked phone number from TikTok‘s systems. However, this will also erase your account and all of its data.

Can someone else reuse my number if I delete it?

No, when your phone number is removed from your TikTok account, it does not immediately become available to link to a new account. TikTok keeps it on file and blocked from reuse to prevent misuse.

No, TikTok specifically prohibits using the same phone number for more than one account. Even after you unlink it, you cannot immediately reuse that same number to create a new TikTok profile.

Can I still log into my TikTok if I delete my phone number?

Yes, removing your linked phone number does not log you out or prevent you from accessing your account as long as you still have your password. But some account recovery options will no longer be available.

How do I add a new phone number after deleting my old one?

Once your old number is removed, you can add a new one by going to Settings > Manage Account > Change Phone Number and entering your new number to verify.

Hopefully these tips and answers cleared up any concerns about removing your number from TikTok! Let me know if you have any other questions.

In Summary…

  • TikTok requires phone numbers during signup for security and to fight spam, but linking your number has tradeoffs in terms of privacy.
  • If you still have access, you can easily change or delete your number in the TikTok app‘s settings.
  • Without access to your number, you‘ll need to request TikTok Support remove it by submitting a request.
  • Once unlinked, bolster your account security with strong passwords, 2FA, login notifications and other measures.
  • Removing your phone number doesn‘t lock you out of TikTok, but does limit some recovery options if you forget your password.

And there you have it – everything you need to know about removing your phone number from your TikTok account. I hope this guide was helpful! Let me know if you need a hand getting your number changed or deleted. I‘m always happy to help walk through the steps.


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.