So you’re thinking about deleting your Reddit account. Maybe you feel you spend too much time browsing Reddit when you should be working. Or maybe you posted some things you regret and want to wipe the slate clean.
Whatever the reason, deleting your Reddit account is a big step. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know before taking that step, how to actually delete your account, and what happens after.
Why Delete Your Reddit Account?
Here are some of the top reasons people delete their Reddit accounts:
- You spend too much time on Reddit – Reddit can be distracting and time-consuming. If you feel it’s becoming too big a timesuck, deleting your account can help break the habit.
- You posted private or embarrassing information – Posted something you regret revealing to the Reddit universe? Deleting your account removes content tied to your username.
- You want a fresh start – If your early Reddit days don’t represent who you are now, deleting your account allows you to begin again.
- You’re worried about privacy – Removing your account makes it harder for people to connect your Reddit history to you.
Before deciding to delete, make sure to weigh the pros and cons carefully. Once your account is gone, it’s gone.
What Happens When You Delete a Reddit Account?
Here’s what happens after you permanently delete a Reddit account:
- Your username becomes available for anyone else to claim.
- Your post and comment history will no longer be tied to your username. However, it may still exist in Reddit archives.
- Any subreddits you created and modded will need new moderators to run them.
- Saved posts or comments associated with your account will be erased. So if there’s anything you want to save, do it now.
- You lose all your Reddit coins and premium membership privileges.
- Your account’s data is removed from Reddit’s databases after 30 days. Some anonymized, aggregated data may still remain.
So in summary, deleting your account severs the connection between your username and online history. But some traces of your activity may stubbornly persist in Reddit’s systems and caches.
The only way to entirely vanish is to never post at all. But deleting does remove most personal connections.
How to Delete Your Reddit Account
Ready to pull the plug on your Reddit life? Here are simple step-by-step directions for account deletion:
- Click on your username in the upper right and select “User Settings”.
- On desktop, choose “Deactivate Account” on the bottom left menu.
- On mobile, this option is found under Account in the settings menu.
- Select a reason for leaving Reddit. You can also opt to give feedback.
- Enter your current account password to confirm your identity.
- Finally, click “Deactivate Account” on the confirmation screen.
Once you click to delete your account, there is no going back. So be 100% sure before proceeding!
- Tap your profile icon to access your user settings.
- Tap “Account” in the Settings menu.
- Scroll down and tap “Deactivate your account” option.
- Select why you are leaving and confirm your password.
- Tap “Deactivate Account” to complete deleting your account.
And that’s all there is to it! Just a few simple clicks and your Reddit presence becomes past.
What to Do Before Deleting Your Account
While deleting your account is straightforward, there are a few things you should do first:
- Consider alternatives – Could options like disabling notifications or hiding old posts avoid needing to fully delete?
- Download your data – Request an archive of your Reddit data for memories or records.
- Clean up info – Remove or edit any posts with personal info you don’t want lingering without your username attached.
- Save favorites – Copy or screenshot posts or comments you want to hold onto after the account vanishes.
- Make new connections – If you want to stay in touch with friends made on Reddit, open other communication channels.
Taking these steps allows you to hold onto anything important before wiping the slate.
Can You Recover a Deleted Reddit Account?
Once an account has been permanently deleted from Reddit’s databases after 30 days, there is unfortunately no way to recover or restore it.
However, right after deleting your account, you may have a brief grace period where you can cancel deletion:
- For a few minutes after deleting, you may still be able to sign back into your account as usual.
- For up to 3 days after starting deletion, go to log in to try and cancel it before it fully processes.
But after that initial period, recovering a deleted Reddit account is likely impossible. So consider the decision final unless you act quickly.
If you end up creating a new account later instead, you can try requesting the old username or resetting the password. But the account and history itself will be gone.
What’s the Best Way to Leave Reddit?
Rather than fully deleting your Reddit account right away, consider these alternatives that allow you to step away without nuking your online legacy:
- Temporarily disable your account by deactivating it through your user settings. You can easily reactive it later.
- Use Reddit’s self-serve advertising pause to hide ads without deleting.
- Unsubscribe from distracting subreddits to make your feed less overwhelming.
- Change notification settings to reduce tempting alerts.
- Switch to Reddit’s anonymous lurking mode by turning off personalized recommendations and ads.
- Create a new account for a fresh start while preserving your original one.
- Delete only problematic content, not your entire account history.
Any of these provide options between staying fully active or deleting entirely. Figure out what level involvement suits you best right now.
You can always permanently deactivate later. But for most people, temporarily stepping back is the best first move.
FAQs About Deleting Your Reddit Account
Still, have questions about removing your Reddit presence for good? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
Does deactivating an account delete it?
No, deactivating and deleting are different. Deactivation temporarily disables the account, which can be easily reactivated anytime.
Deleting permanently severs all connections to the account after 30 days. Recovering a deleted account is extremely unlikely.
Can someone else take my old username?
Yes, once your account is deleted from Reddit’s system after 30 days, your former unique username becomes available for anyone to claim.
Reddit suggests changing the usernames of deactivated accounts if you want to hold onto your exact name in case you return.
With deletion, someone else can register an entirely new account with your past username.
Do my posts and comments get deleted if I delete my account?
In most cases, your past posts, comments, and upvotes remain on Reddit even after deleting your account. They simply won’t show your old username anymore, generally displaying as [deleted] instead.
Moderators can choose to remove your content if they wish after seeing the username change. But otherwise, your contributions mostly stay though anonymized.
Deleting separates the content from your identity. But complete removal is difficult given backups and caches of sites like Reddit. A few traces will likely persist.
Can I take back account deletion during the grace period?
When you first choose to delete your Reddit account, you get a brief grace period to reverse course.
For a few minutes after starting deletion, you may still be able to simply log back in normally.
For up to 3 days after initiating the deletion process, try logging in again or entering your password to cancel it before it completes.
So you potentially have a couple days to change your mind if you catch the deletion in progress early enough. But take back rights expire quickly, so don’t count on much time.
Does deactivated/deleted account content remain searchable by Google?
While deleting your Reddit account does remove your username from posts and comments, it does not guarantee their removal from Google indexes and caches.
If your posts were previously publicly discoverable and indexed by Google, they may continue to appear in search engine results even after separation from your account.
Similarly, sites that scrape or archive Reddit content may retain searchable copies tied to your posts or comments as well.
So while account deletion might remove links to your identity on Reddit itself, complete content erasure across the internet is never guaranteed. Expect some stubborn remnants to linger.
Ready to Delete Your Account?
We’ve just explored everything around account deletion, from understanding impacts to the actual steps carry out removal:
- Now you know exactly what happens when you delete a Reddit account
- You have instructions how permanently delete your username
- We discussed options beyond full deletion to consider first
- And answered some common questions people have about the process
If you are still ready to deactivate your account after reading this guide, you know how to fully delete your Reddit presence for good.
Just be certain before severing the link to your personal history, as coming back is nearly impossible!
I hope this comprehensive walkthrough gave you the clarity needed to decide your best path forward – whether that means partial pullback, a fresh start with a new account, or complete Reddit removal through deletion.
Let me know if any other questions come up about deleting your Reddit account. I’m happy to provide any other details that would help make an informed decision.