Viewing private Twitter accounts – Is it possible?

Twitter is a social media platform that allows users to have two different types of account – these are public and private. If you choose to have a public account then you are opening up everything you tweet to the entire world, whereas if you choose to have a private account then only people who follow you are able to see what you tweet and retweets are disabled.

Users are able to switch between both types of accounts over time so what you decide to sign up with isn’t set in stone for eternity. But, just how secure are these private Twitter accounts? Is there a way to view them in some kind of roundabout way?

Well, in this article that is what we are going to be looking at, in addition to telling you how to change your privacy settings if you wish to switch your account type.

Viewing private Twitter accounts – How to do it

The only way to view a private Twitter account is to request to follow them and wait for them to accept your request. Twitter’s privacy system is generally very good, meaning there are no loopholes or third party sites that are able to infiltrate the system to grant you access to private accounts.

In order to request to follow a private Twitter account, you will need to follow these steps. The process is the same regardless of whether you are using Twitter on a web browser or via the mobile phone app:

  1. Type in the username of the account that you wish to follow on the search bar. The search bar is located on the upper right hand side of the screen on the web version and on the bottom menu bar on the app.
  2. If the account is private, you will see a screen which reads ‘these tweets are protected’.
  3. If this is the case, you will need to select the ‘follow’ button next to their username.
  4. This button will then switch to ‘pending’, meaning that you have to wait until the user has accepted until you can access parts of their profile, including tweets, Twitter impressions, followers, following and likes.

An alternative way to view private Twitter accounts

If you are dead against requesting to follow a private account on your personal Twitter account, for whatever reason, then there is one alternative available to you. Twitter allows users to create multiple accounts, providing you have an alternative phone number or email address. You could, in theory, set up a new, anonymous account and see if the account in question will accept your follow request this way.

To set up a new account on Twitter, you will need to head to Twitter on a web browser and select ‘sign up’ and then follow the on screen instructions. Alternatively, you can select your account icon on the Twitter mobile app and select ‘create a new account’ button.

How to change your privacy settings

As mentioned earlier, users are able to change their privacy settings throughout their time on Twitter. If you are typically a public Twitter users, you may want to change your privacy setting to private temporarily while you are job hunting. On the flip side, you may be a private users who wants to open up your account to the public to gain more interactions on your tweets. Whatever the reason, you can change your settings and fairly easily.

To change your privacy settings on the Twitter app, please take the following steps:

  1. Log on to your Twitter account.
  2. Select your account icon on the upper left hand side of the screen.
  3. From the drop down menu that appears, select ‘settings and privacy’.
  4. Select ‘privacy and safety’ and then ‘audience and tagging’.
  5. Here, you need to select the sliding button next to ‘protect your tweets’ until it is showing as green.
  6. Click back to your home page and you should see padlock icon next to your account name.

To change your privacy settings while using Twitter on a web browser, please take the following steps:

  1. Log in to your Twitter account.
  2. Select the three dotted icon on the bottom of the left hand side menu bar.
  3. Select ‘settings and privacy’.
  4. Select ‘privacy and safety’ and then ‘audience and tagging’.
  5. Tick the box next to ‘protect your tweets’ and then confirm your decision by selecting ‘protect’ on the pop up box that will appear.
  6. Your tweets will now only be accessible by those who follow you.


To conclude, unless you are following a private Twitter account then there is absolutely no way of you gaining access to that account’s tweets. Your options are to request to follow them on your account or to create a new account and request to follow them on that one instead. We hope that the information provided within this article will help you to take whatever steps you need to take.

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Andy is a Professional Content Editor with expertise in a whole host of areas (or so he tells us anyway). His main interests are sports, tv/film and social media. He has reviewed over 100 apps so far for Apps UK.

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