If one day you find that your Twitter account has been locked, there is no need to panic. Even if you have lost your phone or the phone number you linked to your Twitter is no longer in service, you can still get your account back.
Continue this short read to find out why this happens and how you can bypass the Twitter phone number verification to gain access to your account again.
Why Has Twitter Locked My Account?
Twitter has its own set of rules and regulations that it strictly imposes. If you are found to violate any of their guidelines, then you will probably receive sanctions on your account.
There are three levels of punishments that can be meted out based on the severity of your actions or activity on your account.
1. Locked Account
A locked account means your account will be logged out of all devices connected to it. This is a mild sanction on an account and is very common. It only lasts until the locked account owner verifies his/her identity to unlock it.
Twitter will inform you why your account was locked and if there are other requirements you need to fulfill before you may use your account. You will only need to verify your identity to log in to your account again. Then you may access your account like normal without any restrictions.
Twitter usually does this when there is unusual or suspicious behavior on your account. The most common situation is when there are multiple failed attempts to log in to your account. Another is when the activity on your account is higher than usual or seems automated.
When these situations occur, Twitter will suspect that someone is trying to hack into your account or has already hacked and is using your account without your permission. This is more of a security measure to keep your account private and safe for you.
2. Limited Account
Having a limited account means you can still access your account but with minor restrictions. The easiest way to describe it is like having an account under a read-only mode.
You can still see Tweets on the home timeline and send direct messages to people. Other users can also see your timeline, like your Tweets, Retweet your posts, and send you direct messages.
However, you cannot Tweet new posts, Retweet any post, or even like a Tweet. These limitations make it feel like you’re in a read-only mode.
Twitter usually inflicts this form of punishment on accounts that are suspected of sending out spam. The restriction usually lasts about 12 hours up to a week.
To lift the restrictions on your account, Twitter may request you to perform certain actions before starting the countdown of your account’s limited state. You may have to verify your identity, link a phone number to your account as proof of identity, and/or delete Tweets that violate the site rules.
3. Suspended Account
This is the harshest form of punishment that anyone can receive on the site. A suspended account can no longer gain access to the platform. And the user may not be able to create a new account. This is especially difficult for business accounts.
This is most likely due to actions that directly violate Twitter’s ToS. The duration of the suspension could be forever.
However, suspended accounts may still be appealed via the support team.
Ways to Unlock Twitter Account Without Phone Number
Twitter uses the phone verification method as a simple way of proving a user’s identity. So, when creating an account or even multiple accounts on the platform, you will need to register a phone number to link it to your Twitter account/s.
But what should you do if you get locked out of your account? How can you verify your identity without your Twitter phone number?
No worries. There are many ways to gain access to your account. Follow these steps on either your mobile device or a computer.
Set up two-factor authentication
In preparation for that time when you get locked out and you don’t have your phone, you can do this early on. Set up the two-factor authentication to have an alternative way to verify your account.
1. Tap your profile photo and choose “Settings and privacy” from the menu.
2. Choose “Security and account access” and then “Security.”
3. Tap “Two-factor authentication” and select which methods you would like to use. It can either be a security code, authentication app, or a physical security key.
Use your email to verify your Twitter account
A common alternative way to gain access to almost any account is through an email address. Use this to regain access to Twitter.
1. On the Twitter log-in page, choose the “Reset password” button.
2. Enter your email address where Twitter will send the instructions to reset your password.
3. Use the temporary key in the email to access your account.
4. Create a new password for your account.
Use Google Voice
1. Sign up for a Google Voice number using your Google account.
2. Use this virtual phone number to get the verification code from Twitter.
3. The code will be sent to your Gmail account. Use it to get into Twitter.
Get help from Twitter support
If you still cannot access your account even after trying the steps above, it is time to contact the Twitter support team. They will assist you in verifying your identity to make sure that your account can only be accessed by the real owner, which is you.
Twitter commonly locks accounts for the user’s safety. So, if you ever get locked out of your account, take it as a warning and quickly change your Twitter password.You may also check out this article to help secure your account further: How to Protect Your Twitter Account.