Losing your Snapchat account can be distressing. You lose all your conversations, and you may even lose contact with some people. So, what do you do if your Snapchat account has been deleted?
Recovering a deleted Snapchat account works differently depending on why it was deleted. If you violated Snapchat’s Terms of Service, there’s normally no way to get your account back. If your account was hacked and then deleted, you can contact customer service. And if you accidentally deleted your own account, you can recover it within 30 days.
Why Does Snapchat Delete Accounts?
There are many reasons Snapchat deletes accounts. Typically, a deleted account has violated Snapchat’s Terms of Service. If you’ve been doing any of the following things, it might explain why you’ve been deleted:
- Copyright infringement – Copyright infringement can be tricky. For example, posting copyrighted Bitmojis from other services can be considered infringement. It goes without saying that posting copyrighted music or videos is also banned.
- Operating more than two accounts – Snapchat allows users to own up to two accounts simultaneously. If you’ve been using three or more accounts, Snapchat may delete the extra ones. However, you can easily get around this by using a different device for each account.
That’s probably a good idea anyway if you’re using one for business and one for personal use.
- Linking your account to unauthorized third-party apps – Snapchat authorizes a number of third-party tools that are available within the app. For example, you can’t use a third-party QR code generator and make it look like a Snapchat-generated code.
- Accessing your account with a third-party app – Snapchat only allows users to access their account via the Snapchat app. There’s no way to tell the difference between bots, hackers, and third-party apps, so Snapchat bans all of them.
- Your account was inactive – If you don’t log into Snapchat for a long time, they’ll eventually delete your account. It’s a good idea to log in at least once a month just to keep your account active.
- You tried to modify the app – It’s okay to edit your photos before you upload them to Snapchat. But modifying the app and trying to build your own filters into it is forbidden. This is to keep the service consistent for all users.
- You used a Snapchat bot – Snapchat strictly bans the use of bots on its platform. Many people try to do this anyway for silly reasons, such as to boost their Snapchat score.
- Your account looks fake – Needless to say, you’re not allowed to impersonate a celebrity. If your name happens to be Mark Wahlberg or Julia Garner, you may need to contact customer service.
- You haven’t linked an email address or phone number – Snapchat requires their users to verify either an email address or a phone number. If you don’t verify your account, they’ll eventually lock your account. This isn’t the same as a deletion, but it can look like one.
Other Reasons for Deletion
In addition, Snapchat’s Community Guidelines ban a number of other behaviors. Now, we wouldn’t want to suggest you actually did any of these things, but algorithms sometimes make mistakes.
For example, a friend of ours once received an out-of-the-blue 14-day ban from Facebook. It said he’d been “promoting self-harm,” and he’s not the kind of guy who’d do something like that. So he investigated the ban, and it turns out the algorithm was upset about this meme. As it turns out, the algorithm doesn’t understand sarcasm. Our friend appealed, and the human being who reviewed the meme reversed the ban.
That said, your account may have been flagged for one of the following reasons:
- Uploading or distributing malicious content – Sometimes this can happen by accident. For example, someone else posts a malicious link, you click it, and your account gets hacked.
- Harassment or bullying – This can include sending adult content. Snapchat doesn’t have an outright ban on X-rated content, but if it’s unsolicited, it can be considered harassment.
- Incitement of violence or hate speech – This includes posts that glorify violence or terrorism.
- Posting false information – This is pretty broad, but it includes anything that would be considered libelous. Libelous material could also be considered bullying under some circumstances.
- Promoting illegal activities – You can’t use snapchat to sell illegal drugs or create an illegal gambling pool. The same applies to counterfeit goods, alcohol, tobacco, and firearms.
You may also see an error when you’re logging in. In this case, contact customer service. Your account probably isn’t deleted – there’s just a glitch.
Deleted vs. Locked Accounts
There’s a difference between an account that has been locked and one that has been deleted. A locked account is inaccessible for the time being, but all your Snaps are safe, as are your relationships. A deleted account is just gone. Your Snaps disappear, and your address book is wiped out.
If your account has been locked, you’ll be able to log in, but the app will then notify that you’re locked out. There are two possible solutions to this problem. The first is to wait 24 hours and log back in. In most cases, your account will be unlocked and you’ll be able to resume Snapping as normal.
In some cases, Snapchat may choose to lock an account for longer than 24 hours, or even indefinitely. In that situation, you’ll need to contact customer support. They’ll review the reason your account was locked.
What happens next will depend on why Snapchat locked you out. If you were locked for minor violations, they’ll probably unlock your account. On the other hand, if you’ve repeatedly broken the service’s rules, they may decide to lock your account for good. For all intents and purposes, it may as well be deleted.
How Can I Get My Account Back?
When Snapchat deletes an account, they usually do it for a specific reason. In most cases, accounts that violate the terms of service will receive a warning or be locked first. Only after multiple violations will an account be deleted. Of course, there are exceptions. Cases of inciting violence, harassment, and spreading malware can lead to an immediate deletion. It’s all done on a case-by-case basis.
This can be good or bad news. The bad news is that you really did commit multiple or serious violations, you’re probably out of luck. You’ll need to create a new account with a new email address or phone number. The good news is that your account may have been deleted in error. Maybe your account got hacked and the hacker sent out a bunch of malware links. Maybe you’re accused of bot activity, but you’re really just switching countries around on your VPN. In these cases, Snapchat customer service may be able to help you.
- Open the Snapchat app and tap the profile icon on the top left corner. If you don’t see it, navigate to the camera screen first.
- Tap the gear icon at the tip right, then scroll down to the “Support” section. Tap the link that says “I Need Help.”
- There will be several options. Choose “My Account is Hacked” or whatever is appropriate for the situation.
This will bring up a form where you can explain what happened. If you’re not sure why your account was deleted, you can also ask why. When you’re done, tap “Send,” and wait for Snapchat to get back to you. Note that this will only work if you’ve registered an email to your account. If you’ve only linked your phone number, you’ll be out of luck.
When Snapchat gets back to you, they’ll either reactivate your account, leave it deleted, or give you an explanation. If you get an explanation for the deletion, you can try submitting a new ticket to respond. Good luck!
What if I Accidentally Deleted My Own Account?
If you deleted your own account, we have good news for you. Snapchat holds onto your data for 30 days, which gives you a chance to change your mind. During this time, other people cannot contact you, nor can they even find you in the app. It will be as if your account has already been totally deleted.
To restore your account, all you have to do is log in at any time within this 30-day window. You’ll need to use your username and password. Once your account is initially deactivated, email login is immediately disabled.
If it’s been more than 30 days, we have bad news – your account is gone forever. When the 30-day window has passed, Snapchat deletes everything. Stories, images, videos, contacts, and settings are all erased. You’ll need to create a new account and start over.
Whether or not a deleted Snapchat account can be deleted depends on why it was deleted. If you deleted it yourself, it’s easy to recover – as long as you don’t wait more than 30 days. If Snapchat deleted it in error, you’ll need to contact customer service.