How can I delete my Stack Exchange account(s)? Also,

  • What happens to my content? Can I request it be deleted as well?
  • What if I'm suspended, rate-limited, or banned from posting questions or answers?
  • What will happen to my votes? Will other users be impacted?
  • Why wasn't my account deleted immediately after the timer expiring?
  • What will happen to my pending bounties and close, reopen, delete, or undelete votes?
  • I want my account deleted on all Stack Exchange sites. How do I do this?
  • Will my profile on chat be removed once I delete my site account?

For more information, see "How do I delete my account?" in the Help Center.

Return to FAQ index

  • 5
    The current accepted answer explains how to remove accounts from specific communities, but in case you actually want to remove your entire network-wide SE account, then see How do I delete my entire Stack Exchange account? and Why can't I delete my account on my own?. I was surprised to see that my credentials were still recognized after removing all accounts via below mentioned procedure. These linked questions helped me understand and resolve.
    – pjvleeuwen
    Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 6:51
  • A variant of accepted answer is option "Hide Community" Commented Jan 10, 2022 at 13:06
  • 1
    @Random it's Help Center, see e.g. here. If you spot a place where it's not, please start a bug report asking to fix the wording. HOWEVER, give it some time, better not flood MSE front page with minor wording bugs. Commented Sep 11, 2022 at 16:53
  • @sha: Is it Help Center, Help center, or help center? (not a feature request or bug though).
    – Justin
    Commented Sep 12, 2022 at 6:16
  • @Justin only "Help Center", it's a two words caption, and in most places it's correct. Commented Sep 12, 2022 at 6:56

1 Answer 1


If you want to delete your profile on a single site, the Help Center explains how.

  1. On your user page (on the main, not child meta, site), click "Settings".

  2. Click the "Delete Profile" link:

    Settings tab, with Delete Profile link under Personal Information

  3. Read the page that will appear carefully. If you're sure you still want to delete, mark the checkbox.

  4. Click the Delete Profile button:

    Profile deletion confirmation page

The page can be immediately accessed with sitename.com/users/delete/current

After doing this, one of these two things will happen:

  1. If you have never made any posts using your profile, and have 101 or less reputation, your account will be immediately deleted.
  2. Otherwise, the account will be scheduled for deletion. During that time, you can cancel the deletion request by visiting your profile and clicking the cancel link in the banner at the top. Otherwise, it will be deleted after (approximately - see below) 24 hours.

Following this process on a single site will only delete your account on that site, and will not affect any other site accounts that are linked to your network profile. If you want your account deleted on all sites, see I want my account deleted on all Stack Exchange sites below.

I can't follow the above instructions to delete my account. What can I do?

  • Suspended users: If you are suspended, you will get an error message when opening the Edit Profile page because you cannot edit your profile while suspended. You can still access the Delete Profile subpage though, either through the help center article, by selecting the "I need to delete my user profile" option on the contact page, or by navigating to /users/delete/current on the site you want to delete your account.
  • Area 51 profiles: As Area 51 runs off a significantly older version of the Stack Exchange software, the ability to delete your own account is not implemented there. You may request deletion of your Area 51 account by using the contact form there. Choose "Other" and write that you want to delete your Area 51 account. Then, change your Area 51 username to "delete" and your Area 51 about me to "Please delete this profile."

Why is there a 24-hour timer for deletion?

The 24-hour waiting period exists to better emphasize that deleting your account is irreversible - you cannot later request that your account be restored (see the next section). To prevent people from "rage-quitting" and regretting it later, the system provides a final opportunity to decide against deleting one's account.

What happens to the reputation and badges I've earned? Can I request my account be restored?

All reputation and badges you've earned on your account will be erased. Posts will generally not be deleted, but will be dissociated - i.e. will no longer be "owned" by an account, so you will cease to have special privileges on them. Any votes on your posts will no longer earn reputation for any account, though other users can still start and award bounties on them.

You cannot later request that your account be restored - if you later decide to rejoin the site, you will start off as a brand new user. You will not be able to regain ownership or reputation of your prior posts; you must start building your privileges as a new user. (Do note that in most cases, if you've earned the network-wide association bonus rights, and you create an account with the same credentials you earned the association bonus on, your new account will start off with the bonus. This does not apply if your account was deleted in a way that erases all personal information, such as through a GDPR request.)

What happens to my content? Can I request it be deleted as well?

Content you've posted on the site is owned by you, but licensed to Stack Exchange, and you therefore cannot request that it be deleted with your account. Your posts will be effectively dissociated from your account; your username will no longer show on them, but it will instead show your denormalized username (e.g. "user123456" where 123456 was the user ID of your account).

However, certain posts you've made that have a score of -1 or lower will be deleted by the Community user immediately once your account is deleted: this includes answers, closed questions, and open questions with no positively-scored answers. Additionally, any questions you've asked that have a score of 1 and otherwise meet the automatic deletion criteria for "abandoned" questions (1 year old, no answers, low views, etc.) will be automatically deleted once the automated deletion script runs every week. These only apply on main Q&A sites; on meta sites, no posts are automatically deleted for any reason as a result of account deletion.

Will deleting my account clear any restrictions placed on my account?

No, it won't. Deleting your account while you are suspended by a moderator or rate-limited or banned by the automated quality filter will not remove any restrictions placed on your account. They will simply be re-applied to any new accounts you create.

What will happen to my votes? Will other users be impacted?

Unless you've cast a lot of votes, your votes on questions and answers will be invalidated and other users will have their reputation recalculated as if your votes were never cast. Additionally, other users will lose reputation from approved suggested edits where you were the final approver. (Bounties you awarded will be kept.)

If you did cast a lot of votes, your votes may be kept (or more accurately, moved to the Community user) to prevent high-impact, widespread changes to other users' reputation. See the next section for more info.

Why wasn't my account deleted immediately after the timer expiring?

Accounts are not deleted immediately after the timer expires, but by a scheduled task that runs once an hour. Thus, you may see a notice that says "this account is scheduled for deletion [x] minutes ago", e.g. "5 minutes ago". This is intentional and by design; your account will be deleted within an hour of the timer expiring provided you haven't cast a lot of votes.

If your account has cast a lot of votes, it will not be deleted approximately after the 24-hour timer expires, as above. Deletion will be held up while a Stack Exchange employee checks your account to determine if your votes should be preserved (in most cases, they are, but in some cases, such as your account having a history of voting fraud, they aren't). During this hold-up, you may see a deletion notice that says that your account is scheduled to be deleted for some date in the past; this is confusing, but not a sign of a bug.

The queue of accounts awaiting deletion is processed every Wednesday and Friday, excluding holidays. This means that if your account falls into this queue, it could take up to three business days for your deletion request to be processed. If you requested deletion during the annual winter holiday season (the second half of December plus the first week of January), your deletion will not be processed until well into January, due to the long holiday period and the backlog of accounts awaiting deletion.

If your account has not been deleted and it's been more than three business days (weekdays, excluding U.S. holidays) since the timer has expired, or if you requested deletion during the winter holiday period and the request hasn't been processed into the month of February, it's possible that your request may have slipped through the cracks somehow; send a contact request using the contact form to let the staff know.

What will happen to my pending bounties and close, reopen, delete, or undelete votes?

If you had any pending bounties or votes while your account is deleted, those will be moved to (owned by) the Community user. In the case of bounties, you can no longer manually award them and they will be awarded automatically at the end as they normally would.

I want my account deleted on all Stack Exchange sites. How do I do this?

There are two ways to do so:

  • You can go to every single site on which you have a profile and request deletion on all those individually. (If you have an Area 51 profile, use the above procedure to request that just that profile be removed, and use the normal button to request deletion of your other accounts.) This will retain your association bonus rights on the network if you've earned it, should you later decide to rejoin the network under the same credentials.

    Your network profile on stackexchange.com will be automatically deleted within 24 hours (whenever it attempts to sync again), unless you have ever manually logged in directly on stackexchange.com - in that case, you have a physical profile there and it will need to be deleted by staff. Contact us once all your account deletions have been fully processed, and we'll get it deleted.

  • If you want to ensure that all your personal data is removed, you can submit a data request to erase your account. This will cleanly remove all your site profiles as well as your network profile and credentials. Note that if you use this option and you've earned the association bonus, your association bonus rights will be removed, as the credential information required to retain it is removed. Your network profile on stackexchange.com will also be removed as part of the process.

You may find some older posts that say that you must contact us to request deletion of all your site accounts, but we no longer accept such requests except under the specific form noted above.

Will my profile on chat be removed once I delete my site account?

Provided you haven't posted at least 1,000 messages, chat profiles are automatically deleted when the last qualifying site account is removed. This means that:

  • On the sites with their own separate chat servers (Stack Overflow and Meta Stack Exchange), deleting your account on one of these sites will also delete your corresponding chat profile on the respective site-specific server (chat.stackoverflow.com or chat.meta.stackexchange.com).
  • All other sites on the network have their chat rooms hosted on the general Stack Exchange chat server (chat.stackexchange.com), where if you've chatted in the past, you'll have one profile that is shared with all sites. Your profile on that server will be automatically deleted once all of your site accounts are deleted (including accounts on Stack Overflow and Meta.SE).

Note that your chat profile on a given server will not be deleted automatically if you've posted 1,000 or more messages in the past with your profile on that server, or if your (last) site account was deleted prior to August 2016. If you'd like your chat account deleted and it wasn't removed when you otherwise qualified under the above criteria, contact SE to request it.

Much like deleting your profile on a main site, when your chat profile is deleted, all of your messages will be dissociated from your name and will show your denormalized "user[x]" name where "[x]" is the ID of your chat profile (the same as your corresponding main site profile ID for Stack Overflow Chat and Meta Stack Exchange Chat and a unique ID for Stack Exchange Chat).

Miscellaneous information

  • Your old username will continue to be visible in comments that reply to you, as well as in the Stack Exchange Data Explorer until it gets updated at the end of the week and in monthly data dumps published when your account was active.

  • Other users will lose the +2 rep awarded to them if you were the final user to approve one of their suggested edits. This is an anti-abuse feature. This applies regardless of whether your votes were preserved.

  • If you've posted questions or answers that were later migrated to another site, and you delete and later recreate your account on the target site, those posts will be reattributed to your current account. (This is an exception to the normal rule that you can't reclaim ownership of your prior posts. This does not apply if your account was removed in a way that removes all personal information, such as through a data erasure request.)

  • Any (current or past) moderator election nominations you have made are removed when you delete your account.

  • Profiles can only be deleted or requested to be deleted on main sites and not per-site metas. Per-site meta profiles are strongly attached to main site profiles and are automatically deleted when the corresponding main site profile is deleted, and cannot be deleted independently of the main site profile. (This bullet does not apply on Meta Stack Exchange and Stack Apps.)

  • If the site features a custom question from the site as its "example" question in its tour page, and the author of the question deletes their account, the question will cease to be eligible for the tour and the system will revert the "example" back to the generic "unicorns" question. The same will occur if one or more of the shown answers' author's account(s) get deleted: if there are no other answers to the question that are "eligible", the system will revert the tour to the default question. For more information, see the eligibility criteria for questions to be selectable for the tour page.

See also

  • @animuson Have things changed between the time this comment was posted and now? As far as I'm aware, the GDPR legal request form existed back at that time. Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 1:26
  • 1
    @Sonic That sounds like they didn't have access to the account. We do sometimes schedule deletion of old accounts that haven't been accessed in a long time, but that's not a thing we care to advertise. If the user can login, we won't do anything for them.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 2:15
  • 2
    @SonictheMasked The GDPR request is a separate issue. Unfortunately, the FAQ is already convoluted, see: “You may find some older posts that say that you must contact us to request deletion of all your site accounts, but we no longer accept such requests except under exceptional circumstances” this shouldn't even be mentioned in the FAQ, which is an official document, just leave it out altogether. Instead, “As of 2020 this is the most efficient procedure” at the top would be suffice. Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 5:45
  • 1
    The contact form on Area 51 takes you to the page on Area 51 Discussions. Over there, one gets an error message when selecting "I need to delete my profile", and the popup asks the user to raise the request on the main site. The way out is (I believe) to use the "Other" option. That is how I had my Area 51 account deleted.
    – user313042
    Commented Sep 26, 2020 at 8:10
  • 1
    the 24 hour timer should be shorter, like 12 hours
    – Topcode
    Commented Nov 21, 2020 at 19:41
  • 1
    @Topcode It is fine, imagine if your account got hacked and someone tried to delete your account. Also, it gives you a lot of time to make sure you want all your progress and hard work to be erased.
    – Some Guy
    Commented Apr 16, 2021 at 4:07
  • What is Area 51? Is it referring to the military Base in the Nevada desert or is it some special feature of stackexchange?
    – Some Guy
    Commented Apr 16, 2021 at 4:07
  • @SomeGuy site for proposing se sites
    – Topcode
    Commented Apr 16, 2021 at 12:05
  • 1
    The opposite of "join community" should be "leave community" not "delete profile" Deleting a profile is just too scary. It's not clear if it affects other communities.
    – Wyck
    Commented Jul 14, 2021 at 14:39
  • @Wyck: I think the guidance on the "Delete profile" page itself makes it pretty clear that it only applies to your profile on the specific site you're on: "Confirming deletion will only delete your profile on [site name] - it will not affect any of your other profiles on the Stack Exchange network. If you want to delete multiple profiles, you'll need to visit each site separately and request deletion of those individual profiles." And given that deleting your profile on a site is irreversible, it arguably should be a little "scary".
    – V2Blast
    Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 20:29
  • @CesarM is the auto deletion via submitting a data request something new? Or just something that was missed all this time? Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 18:52
  • @Wyck that can be an interesting feature request, you can go ahead and post it. :) Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 18:53
  • 2
    @ShadowWizardHatesOmicron We've offered GDPR rights globally since 2021 that I know of, but potentially earlier, regardless of whether folks are in the EU or not. So that has always been an option, just not one we had standardized in our support processes as the easiest. We're standardizing to do that from now on, it's cleaner and the most thorough delete that we have, so it's the truest to the "delete everything you have on me" requests.
    – Cesar M StaffMod
    Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 19:39
  • 1
    When I do this on meta it is redirecting me to the SO main site. How can I delete my profile on meta / leave the meta community, without deleting my profile on SO.
    – Daniel W.
    Commented Feb 24, 2022 at 11:14
  • @DanielW. good question. Couldn't find out about that with my searches and reading this FAQ. Asked about that to clarify
    – DarkCygnus
    Commented Jul 19, 2023 at 23:33

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