Fix Twitter name changes in TweetDeck: the Nuclear Option

Posted by: on Aug 12, 2009 | 5 Comments

Recently a number of my Twitter buds decided to change their twitter name. Why you ask? Well, that’s another blog post. Focus people focus. Anyway, after the name change I discovered that TweetDeck continued to show the old name for my group members and for autocomplete.

I tried to un-follow/re-follow the person who changed names, I removed and then re-added them to a group but in every case, TweetDeck continued to show me the old twitter name. The only option that worked for me was to completely uninstall TweetDeck and wipe out all the directories and reinstall. I’m calling this the nuclear option since it will wipe out all the groups and group members for the local installation on your computer.

Fortunately TweetDeck now has the ability to sync your groups (and the group members) to the TweetDeck servers. This feature was designed to allow you to have TweetDeck installed on multiple devices and only have to maintain your groups in one place and then sync everywhere. We can take advantage of this feature to wipe out TweetDeck, re-install and then sync the groups and group members back.

After the re-install and re-sync, the groups on my computer now contain the correct (renamed) twitter accounts.

Here are the steps for the nuclear option. These steps are only for Vista and XP.

  1. Make sure you have created a TweetDeck account and have run a sync (Setting buttons, Sync tab)
  2. If possible, install TweetDeck on another computer or iPhone, enter your TweetDeck account information when prompted, wait for the sync to complete and verify that all your columns and group members synced correctly
  3. Uninstall TweetDeck on the original computer (add/remove programs in XP control panel or Programs and Features in Vista control panel)
  4. Delete the directory containing the TweetDeck program if it still exists (typically C:\Program Files\TweetDeck)
  5. Delete the directory containing the TweetDeck user filesVista: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\TweetDeckFast.xxxxXP: C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\TweetDeckFast.xxxx

    where xxxx will be a unique string such as “F9107117265DB7542C1A806C8DB837742CE14C21.1

  6. Delete the Adobe Air directory for TweetDeckVista: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\AIR\ELS\TweetDeckFast.xxxxXP: C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Adobe\AIR\ELS\TweetDeckFast.xxxx

    where xxxx will be a unique string such as “F9107117265DB7542C1A806C8DB837742CE14C21.1

  7. Download and re-install TweetDeck
  8. Run TweetDeck, enter your TweetDeck account information and wait for sync to occur (may take a couple of minutes so don’t panic)
  9. You should now see the new Twitter usernames in your groups and autocomplete should show you the new names.


  1. Deirdre HR Maven
    August 15, 2009

    Wow this is awesome step-by-step.

    Another option is to just not allow people to change names. That seems far simpler to me. 😉

  2. Pranav
    May 16, 2011

    Isnt there any other way without deleting or uninstalling the programme ???

    • Michael Krupa
      May 17, 2011

      I was not able to find another way to do this without uninstalling everything and then re-installing. Sorry.

  3. Scott
    May 27, 2011

    The much easier way:

    1) Click on the Add More Accounts button (upper left corner)
    2) Change the username in the box above the Verify Information button
    3) Click the Verify Information button


    • Michael Krupa
      May 29, 2011

      Scott – Thanks for the tip. That’s much easier.