A master guide to recovering your TikTok account

Chesnot/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Originally Published: 

TikTok is the fastest-growing social media app around. That means that having your TikTok account locked or lost could have you missing out on all the latest trends. There are a number of reasons why your account may be locked. We explained a few of them — along with the steps you can take to recover it and get back to scrolling.

Why can't I access my TikTok account?

There are a number of reasons why you might be locked out of your TikTok account. The most common reason for an account being inaccessible is simply that you’ve forgotten your password or login information.

However, TikTok also locks accounts that have engaged in an activity that is against the platform's terms and services. TikTok will hand out suspensions or even permanent bans for abusive behavior. That includes trying to game your views and likes by using bots, logging in from many different IP addresses, using a handle or username that violates the platform's rules, posting offensive content, or spamming.

The best way to make sure you don't end up locked out of your TikTok account is by simply familiarizing yourself with the platform's community guidelines and following the rules to avoid suspensions, bans, and other penalties that can get you locked out of your account.

How do I get back into my TikTok account?

The process of regaining access to a locked TikTok account can vary, depending on the reason that caused you to lose access. But regardless of why you have been locked out of your account, TikTok recommends following these steps first before trying anything else or escalating the issue to TikTok support staff for additional help.

  • Restart your device: The "unplug it and plug it back in" method, but for your phone. Restart your phone to see if you can regain access.
  • Check internet connection: If TikTok cannot detect an internet connection, you may not be able to log in. Either connect to a reliable Wi-Fi connection or, if one is not available, make sure that your mobile network has a solid signal.
  • Clear app cache: Sometimes you need to clear your app cache in order to login. To do this, open your app, select the "Me" menu in the lower right-hand corner, tap the three dots in the upper right to open your settings and privacy options, then tap the "Clear cache" option located under the Cache and Cellular Data heading.
NurPhoto/NurPhoto/Getty Images

If you are still unable to login to your account, it is possible that you have the wrong credentials — a.k.a., you forgot your username or password. Luckily, you can reset your password for TikTok so you can regain access to your account.

When you open the app, tap the "Sign up" option, then tap "Log in" at the bottom of the page. Select "Use phone/email/username" and choose the "Email/Username" option. From there, tap "Forgot password?" You will be sent a link to the email address or phone number that is associated with your account that will let you reset your password.

What if I deleted my account?

If you deleted your TikTok account, you may be worried that it’s lost forever. Luckily, you can still recover your TikTok account within 30 days of deleting it.

Open the TikTok app, tap the profile icon on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, and tap "Sign up." On the bottom of the screen, you will see a banner that says "Already have an account?" with a "Log in" option. Tap "Log in." Select "Use phone/email/username" and log in with your account information. After logging in, TikTok will inform you that your account was deactivated. Tap "Reactivate" to recover the account.

You will be able to use your account again, and it will be considered an active account unless you decide to deactivate it again. You will once again have 30 days before your account is deleted.

What if my account was hacked?

TikTok accounts — especially popular ones with large followings and lots of engagement, or ones with noteworthy or hard-to-get usernames — can be targets for hackers. If you notice any suspicious behavior on your account, you may be the victim of a hack. Some warning signs to look out for: an attempt to change your password, or the phone number associated with your account; a change to your username or nickname; content from your account being randomly deleted; or messages being sent from your account without your permission.

If any of this happens, it can result in your account being locked. To regain access to your account, start by resetting your password, as detailed above.

After resetting your password, link your account to your phone number. Log in to TikTok and select the Me menu, then tap the three dots in the upper right-hand corner to open the settings and privacy menu. Tap "Manage account," then select "Phone number." Enter your phone number to link your account to your phone number.

Finally, you will want to make sure that no other devices have access to your account. Once again, log in to TikTok and open the Me menu, then open your settings and privacy menu. Tap "Security" and select "Your devices." This will show you a list of devices that you have logged in on. If any are unfamiliar or suspicious, remove them.