You as a Snapchat user may decide that you have had enough of the app, or you just want to take a break for a while. In that case, you may decide to deactivate your account, and want to know the implications this will have on your profile, conversations, friends, stories, and so on.
To understand these, you need to first understand how deactivation works on Snapchat.
Deactivating Your Snapchat Account
There is no exclusive feature for deactivating your account on Snapchat. You can only Delete your Snapchat account. When you do this, Snapchat then Deactivates the account for 30 days but maintains your account data on their servers.
If you log back into your account during this period, your account gets reactivated. When this happens, your account data get restored and you lose nothing except features that expire anyway.
If you do not log back in by the end of the 30 days, your account gets completely deleted from Snapchat servers and everything about the account is lost forever.
To delete your Snapchat account:
1. Open Snapchat app on your phone and log in to the account you want to delete
2. Click on your profile icon or silhouette
3. Tap the Settings icon (gear icon) at the top right of the screen
4. Scroll down to the Account Actions section
5. Select Delete Account
6. Follow the prompt to delete your account.
If you do not see Delete Account option, please follow the same steps for Android and PC below
1. Open Snapchat app on your phone and log in to the account you want to delete.
2. After logging in, click on your profile icon or silhouette
3. Tap the Settings icon (gear icon) at the top right of the screen
4. Scroll down and select I Need Help
5. On the page that opens, select My Account and Security
6. On the next page, select Deleting or Reactivating My Account
7. On the next page, select How Do I Delete My Snapchat Account
8. A page will open showing how to delete your account. Click on Accounts Portal under the How to Delete Your Snapchat Account heading
9. On the portal, enter your username and password and click Continue
On Web Browser:
1. Simply go to the Snapchat Account Portal
2. Log into the account you want to deactivate and complete the prompts
You will see the information that your account will be temporarily deactivated for 30 days and that friends will not be able to contact you during this period.
Now that you understand this, let’s have a detailed look of what happens when you deactivate your Snapchat account.
What Happens to Messages When You Temporarily Disable Your Account?
Disabling or deactivating your Snapchat account (that is, within 30 days of deletion) will cause the following on your account:
- Your friends will not be able to contact you during this period. They will not be able to send chats to you as the feature will be blocked on their window
- Your account, account settings, Snaps, Stories, Friends, Chats will be maintained on the servers (unless they reach the 24 hours expiry period)
- Your messages will not be deleted from the Snapchat servers but your profile will disappear from the friends lists of your Snapchat friends and contacts
- If your friend had viewed a message that you sent before you deactivated your account, that message will be deleted after 24 hours. And you will disappear from their conversations
- If the message was unopened by your friend before you deactivated your account, the message will remain available to be viewed by your friend. When they have viewed the message, the message gets deleted after 24 hours
- If you deactivated your account without reading a message that was sent to you, you will be able to see the message if you log back in within 30 days
- If you send a chat or chat to someone in a one-on-one conversation, the snap or chat remains available to be viewed by the person for 31 days.
Does Deactivating Snapchat Delete Messages?
There are several different things that could happen to messages when you deactivate Snapchat. And we are going to look at them both from your point of view, and from the point of view of your friends.
There has been a lot of confusion and misconception about what deactivating Snapchat means for your messages. You need to understand that, to paraphrase Snapchat, “deleting is the Snapchat default”. And this is where your account is active or deactivated.
Because of this, we have taken our time to explore everything about what happens to messages when you deactivate your Snapchat account.
Understand the Defaults
Before going into what happens to messages when you deactivate Snapchat, you need to understand what happens to messages by default anyway:
- All Snaps are automatically deleted after they have been viewed by all the recipients you intended them for
- All one-on-one Snaps that are unopened are deleted automatically after 31 days
- All unopened Snaps sent to a group chat are deleted automatically after 7 days
- Your friends can delete a Snap in Chat by long-pressing on it and deleting it
- In one-on-one conversations, Chats are automatically deleted 24 hours after they have been viewed
- You can also set the chats to delete immediately after they have been viewed using the steps outlined at the start of this article. When you set this, previous messages are immediately deleted unless they were replied to or reacted to.
- Messages sent in Group Chats are automatically deleted either one day after everyone has viewed them, or one week after they have been sent even if they were not viewed by everyone
When you understand these defaults, it makes it easier to understand what may have happened to your Snaps and Chats after you deactivated your Snapchat.
For specifics on what happens to messages after you deactivate your Snapchat:
From Your Point of View:
- If you exchange messages with someone in a one-on-one conversation and the messages have been viewed by both parties, the messages will disappear 24 hours (if the default is 24 hours and not Immediately) after being viewed. And your conversations with the person will be lost forever even if you reactivate your account.
- If a friend sends you a message (snap or chat) in a one-on-one conversation and you did not open the message before you deactivated your Snapchat, the message remains there for 31 days.
If you reactivate your account before this 31-day period elapses, you will be able to see the message in your Chats
From Your Friend’s Point of View:
- When you send a message in a one-on-one conversation to your friend and the friend views it, the messages are deleted for your friend 24 hours the message was sent. And your conversations will disappear forever after that.
- When this happens, you will completely disappear from the friend’s conversations
- If the message (Snap or Chat) was unopened by your friend before you deactivated your Snapchat, the message will remain available to them within 31 days of your sending it, even though you have deactivated your Snapchat
- When they eventually view the message, the message will be deleted from their conversations. They will not see it when they go back to check. They will not see your account in their conversations either.
If Someone Deactivated Their Snapchat, Can You Still See Messages?
At this point, you may already have a good idea how messages work on Snapchat both when your account is active and when you have deactivated it.
To the question of whether you can still see messages if someone deactivated their Snapchat account, the answer is, it depends. Below is a breakdown:
- If you had viewed all the messages sent by the person before they deactivated their Snapchat account, you will not see the messages after they deactivate their account
- If you had an unopened message from the person before they deactivated their Snapchat account, the message will remain available to you until you open it or, until it expires after 31 days
- When you have opened and read this message, the message will be deleted either after 24 hours or immediately depending on the Chat setting. You will not see the message when you go back to check, nor will you see the person’s account anymore in your conversations/chats window.
- Even if the person restores or reactivates their account, the messages will not be restored.
Can You Message A Deactivated Snapchat Account?
- When a user deactivates their Snapchat account, their account gets removed from the Snapchat platform.
- If you had viewed the messages from them before they deactivated Snapchat, you will not find them anymore in your conversations after 24 hours or immediately, depending on the message expiry default.
- If you had an unopened message from them, you will be able to read the message but you will not be able to reply them anymore. If you try to do so, you will get an error.
- When you exit the chat and come back, you will not find their account anymore in your conversations
- And if you try to search for their profile in Spotlight to message them, you will not find them either
This is quite similar to being blocked except that with being blocked you could use another Snapchat account to find the user.
Can You Get Messages After Deactivating Snapchat?
As a Snapchat user, you may simply want to take a break from the app for a while and not to leave permanently. In that case, you may want to know if your friends can still leave you messages after you have deactivated your Snapchat account so you could come back to read them after reactivating the account.
However, please note that:
- If the message was sent to you and was unopened before you deactivated your account, the message will remain available for you to read for 31 days
- This means that if you reactivate your account within the window, you will still see the message
- However, if the user tries to send you a message after you have deactivated the account, they will not be able to.
- In fact, you will no longer appear in their conversations for them to be able to send you a message in the first place
- So, in summary, you cannot get new messages when you deactivate Snapchat. You can only see messages that were sent to you and were unopened before you deactivated your account.
What Happens When You Deactivate Snapchat
Below is a comprehensive list of the things that will happen when you deactivate Snapchat:
- Your account becomes temporarily disabled and you will not be able to access any features or information on your Snapchat account unless you log in again within 31 days
- You friends will not be able to send you new messages or contact you in any way on Snapchat
- Your account settings, friends, Snaps, Chats, Story, and other account information will be stored on Snapchat servers for 31 days. When you reactivate your account, all the information will be restored to your account except for those with an expiry window
- This means that you will get your account information and settings, as well as your Friends back.
- If you do not reactivate your account within 31 days, all the information will be permanently deleted
What Do Others See When You Deactivate Snapchat?
- Contrary to popular belief, when you deactivate your Snapchat account, your friends do not see your profile as greyed out in their friends list. They simply do not see you at all on their friends list.
- As for conversations, if messages are set to expire after 24 hours, they will still be able to see messages you sent within 24 hours even after you have deactivated your account.
- That is, if you send a message to someone at 00:00 on Monday and then deactivate your account, the person will still be able to view the message until 23:59 that same Monday
- But even though they are still able to see your message within the 24-hour expiry window, they will not be able to send you a message. When they do, they will get a Failed to Send error message
- During this period, they will see a suggestion to add you as a friend but they will not be able to because your account no longer exists
- When you reactivate your Snapchat account, you will be added back to their friends list and they will be added back to yours automatically
- When the message expires after 24 hours, you will disappear completely from their conversations
- If the Chat setting was set to delete messages immediately after viewing, the message will be deleted immediately they have viewed it anyway, and you disappear from their conversations, too
What Happens to Friend Requests When You Deactivate Snapchat
- You may already know that friend requests on Snapchat expire after 48 hours if left unanswered. Now, if you send a friend request and then deactivate your Snapchat account, that request gets automatically deleted from Snapchat and the person will no longer see it.
- On the other hand, if you had received a friend request before deactivating Snapchat, the request will remain active for 48 hours. That means that if you reactivate your account within 48 hours of receiving the friend request, you will still be able to view the request and respond to it.
Can You Add Or Remove A Deactivated Snapchat Account?
No, you cannot add or remove a deactivated Snapchat account. This is because:
- When the account gets deactivated, it is already removed automatically from your friends list. So, you do not even get a chance to remove it
- When the account sends you a friend request and then gets deactivated, you will no longer see the friend request. The friend request will only reappear after the account has been reactivated, and must happen within 48 hours of being sent
- If you send someone a friend request and then deactivate your account, your request gets removed from their screen. You request gets restored to their screen if you reactivate your account within 48 hours of sending the request
Can Anyone See A Disabled Account on Snapchat?
- When an account is disabled or deactivated on Snapchat, it is removed from public view on Snapchat.
- You will only be able to see the user if their last message to you has not expired (24 hours after it was sent)
- Once this time elapses, you will no longer be able to see the account in your conversations or anywhere at all
- You will not be able to find them using the Search feature
- No one else will be able to find them using the Search feature either.
If I Deactivate My Snapchat, Will I Lose Friends?
- If you deactivate your Snapchat, you will be removed from the friends lists of your friends
- However, when you reactivate your account, you will get restored to their friends list
- And, they will also get restored to your friends list
So, the answer is no, you do not lose your friends when you deactivate your Snapchat. However, you will lose the messages you exchanged with them and these messages will not get restored when you reactivate your account
How to Reactivate An Account That Was Temporarily Disabled
We hope that by the time you get to this section of the article, you have a full understanding of all the implications of deactivating your Snapchat account. If you decide that you want to deactivate your account anyway, please follow the steps provided at the start of this article to deactivate your Snapchat account.
If, on the other hand, you already have your account deactivated and want to reactivate it, please follow the steps below:
1. Open the Snapchat app on your iOS device or Android phone
2. Enter your username and password and click Login
3. You will be asked whether you want to reactivate your deactivated account
4. Select Yes to reactivate your account
Please note that you will not be able to reactivate your Snapchat account using the web browser login. When you try to sign in on the browser, you will get an error message saying User Not Found.