Twitch first came to being in the mid-2000s as a subset of Justin.tv. It provided a platform for anyone who wanted to stream gaming content out to an audience. While Justin.tv’s audience was small, it wouldn’t stay that way for long. Initially, Justin.tv featured a wide range of content categories — a hodgepodge of just about anything a person could think of. However, its video game section grew as more viewers became interested in watching content creators stream video games. As the demand for video game streamers grew, more and more creators used Twitch. As a result, more viewers flocked to Twitch because of its unique, diverse community of gaming content. Twitch saw its traffic increase over time and has become a behemoth in the livestreaming industry.

Now, having come full circle, Twitch is home to many types of streamers — and not all play video games. The ‘Just Chatting’ category is the fastest-growing category on Twitch. Twitch also has a thriving arts community and many live music streamers performing music for their audiences.

To stream on Twitch, you need to have an account. After making an account, you not only can stream on Twitch, you can save your streams for a certain amount of time or save clips of your stream. While these can be great mementos for your audience to look back on, it’s understandable if there comes a time you want to delete your Twitch channel.

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What are your options?

Whether you want to start fresh with a new Twitch account or completely sever ties with Twitch and Amazon, you have two options forward. Your first option is to disable your channel. It’s the much more flexible option out of the two. The second option is to delete your channel and account completely.

Disabling your Twitch channel

Consider disabling your Twitch channel like erasing a hard drive after you’ve stored its content onto an external drive. Though you erased your desktop’s content, it’s possible to recover the content again by accessing the external drive. When you disable your Twitch channel and account, it appears gone to the public. However, its content is still in Twitch’s server. So, it’s possible to recover your account at a later time. All of your subscriptions, video clips, followers and highlights will all still be there when you reenable your account.

Disabling your account is a less consequential option. Although your account or channel will no longer appear, it’s still accessible if you decide to change your mind down the road.

On a side note, if you plan to disable your account, the polite thing to do would be to inform your subscribers that you’re disabling it. This way, they can cancel their subscriptions.

The process for disabling your account

  1. Log into your Twitch account.
  2. Click on the user profile in the top right corner
  3. Go to ‘Settings
  4. Scroll down until you come to the ‘Disable account’ section of Settings and click the link
  5. Twitch will ask you why you want to disable your account. This step is optional. So, if you would rather keep your reasons to yourself, you can leave this section blank
  6. Click the ‘Disable account’ button.

You can reactivate your Twitch account at any time. You can do this by returning to the login page and entering your credentials. Once you log in, Twitch will inform you your account is currently deactivated. To reactivate your account, hit the Reactivate button in the pop-up message you will receive after logging in.

Deleting your Twitch channel

Consider choosing to permanently delete your Twitch channel as the “nuclear option.” It’s similar to wiping a hard drive. However, this time, you also wipe the external hard drive. So, Twitch will erease all of your content, subscriptions, clips, highlights and followers. You also won’t be able to recover any of it.

Obviously, deleting a Twitch channel is drastic. If you want to save any of your content, be sure to download and save them elsewhere.

The process for deleting your account

  • Go to twitch.tv/user/delete-account
  • Enter your credentials
  • Verify the account you want to delete is yours with your user ID in the “Account to delete” box
  • There is an optional dialogue box you can fill out regarding your reasons for deleting your account. You can fill it out if you wish
  • Click the “Delete account” button.

Twitch does have a built-in 90 day grace period after you delete your Twitch account. So, if remorse sets in and you want to retrieve your account, you can do so. However, once the 90 days are up, your account and its content are gone for good.

Before you decide to delete your Twitch channel, consider your options. Only delete your channel if you come to that conclusion with a clear head and have sat on the thought for a few days. If you still want to delete your account after all that, follow the steps above.