How To Change Twitter Back To The Old Format


If you’ve been paying close attention over the past six months or so, you’ve probably noticed that Twitter has been experimenting with some changes to the website — and if you’ve been among a growing number of select users, you’ve already had a chance to see what some of those changes might be first hand. Reactions have been mixed, though — but there’s good news, too: If you’ve been wondering how to change Twitter back to the old format, it’s actually easily done.

For now, at least.

Twitter announced back in January (via tweet, of course) that a new version of the website was on the way soon. We , didn’t know entirely what would be in it, and we didn’t know exactly when it would roll out more widely; Twitter’s announcement said only that it would include “the emoji button, quick keyboard shortcuts, upgraded trends, advanced search, and more." Additionally, only select users were granted an opt-in button to get a sneak peek of what the new version would look like. Those who were able to opt in were invited to share their thoughts on the new format with Twitter — as were the next crop of invitees, who received the opt-in button around May 3, as well as the next, who were granted access around June 28.

Notably, in May's tweet about the update, Twitter also stated that it was now testing two different designs — and by June, the company had began referring to the whole thing more generally as “the design experiment.” This explains why the version of Twitter’s website depicted in the January tweet’s attached video looks somewhat different from what many — like me, for example — see now when they choose to opt in to the sneak peek.

You can see what January's video showed us in the tweet embedded a little ways up here; and as of July 10, here’s what at least one experimental version of Twitter — the one to which I currently have access myself — looks like:

Does it feel like A Lot to you? You’re not the only one; that was my immediate reaction, too. While it’s clear that the screen for this version of Twitter’s desktop website has finally been designed for computer monitors, which run horizontally, rather than phone screens, which run vertically, it’s a bit busy. The biggest change is that huge menu on the left-hand side, and I'm... not sure how I feel about it.

But happily, if you’re not thrilled about the look of New Twitter — or if you’re simply not ready to make the switch yet (getting used to change takes time — remember how we all felt about Facebook when the News Feed was first introduced in 2006?) — there’s still an easy way to switch back to the old format.

First, on the Twitter home screen, look for the “More” menu. It’s on the left-hand side of the screen, all the way at the bottom; the icon for it is the three-dot ellipses. It’s located right above the blue “Tweet” button. Clicking the “More” button will bring up the following menu, also on the left-hand side of your screen:

Now, look for the “Switch to legacy Twitter” option. It’s about three items up from the bottom, between the “Help Center” and “Dark mode” options. Once you’ve found it, click it. And voila! That’s all you need to do to send the new format back from whence it came and reclaim the old one.

It’s worth noting, though, that once these changes roll out more broadly, the option to keep legacy Twitter might not stick around forever; typically, when a website or app upgrades itself, you’ll eventually be required to switch over to the new version for good after support for the old version ceases. Remember when Gmail got that huge overhaul in 2018? For a while, we were able to keep using the old version of the email application — but in October of that year, the ability to toggle between old Gmail and new Gmail was removed, pushing all of us onto the new version of the platform permanently.

But we’ve all gotten used to it in the intervening months, which means that when the new version of debuts, we’ll eventually get used to it, too. And hey, it’s also worth remembering that the changes are only coming to Twitter’s website — not the app. If you do all your tweeting and heart-ing and following and unfollowing and whatnot from the Twitter app, then you’re already golden.

Happy tweeting, friends!