Log into your Twitter account if you want to keep your handle

(Image credit: Future)

If you've got a rarely used Twitter handle that you're keen on keeping, you might want to log into the service in the next few days – Twitter has announced it's going to start removing inactive accounts and making usernames available again in the near future.

You might have already had an email from Twitter about this, if you've got a Twitter account gathering dust, with December 11 the deadline for signing into an account you've left idle.

You don't have to actually tweet anything – just signing in is enough to let Twitter know that you are still interested in using the account you've got.

As for when unused and reclaimed handles might be made available again, that's unclear – it sounds as though it'll be over an extended period of time however, so you don't need to rush to claim the best account names on December 12.

"Prolonged inactivity"

"As part of our commitment to serve the public conversation, we’re working to clean up inactive accounts to present more accurate, credible information people can trust across Twitter," a spokesperson told The Verge.

"We have begun proactive outreach to many accounts who have not logged into Twitter in over six months to inform them that their accounts may be permanently removed due to prolonged inactivity."

Twitter says its team of engineers are thinking about ways of memorializing accounts whose owners have died – and obviously can't log in again – but as yet there's no indication of how this might work.

In the meantime, if your Twitter account hasn't been used in a while, make sure you log in in the next week or two to keep on using it – otherwise you might find someone else has your handle by 2020.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.