Help:Closing an Account

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Here are the three options for closing your WikiTree account.

These irreversibly end your participation on WikiTree. See Suspending Your Participation if you may want to become active again in the future. See Duplicate Accounts, Moving Accounts to New Names, or e-mail us at if you need help correcting a problem with an account.


Option One: Close Account and Anonymize Profile

This is recommended if:

  1. you have made any contributions to publicly-shared profiles, or
  2. any of your close family members have profiles on WikiTree.

Although deleting your profile may seem like a better way to preserve your personal privacy, family members may recreate a profile for you if they see that you are missing and all explanations have been deleted. An anonymous placeholder profile is the best way to communicate to family members that you do not want your personal information on WikiTree.

Changes to your profile

"Anonymization" does the following:

  • Your first name will be changed to "Anonymous". Your last name will not be changed.
  • All other personal data fields will be deleted, e.g. dates and locations.
  • Relationships will be preserved. This way, for example, if your parents have profiles on WikiTree, family members will see that they have an anonymous child who does not want their name on WikiTree.
  • All text in the biography section will be removed and replaced with a simple message for those on the Trusted List saying that your account was closed and should not be reopened.
  • Images, badges, and DNA test information, if any, will be deleted.
  • Your e-mail address and password will be deleted.
  • A WikiTree Team account will be set as the manager of your profile if your Trusted List is empty.

Other profiles you are managing

Public and Open profiles of non-living people that you have created or edited will not be affected by your account closure except that the contribution histories will not include your full name. They will say something like "Unlisted Smith added a birth date for George Washington."

These publicly-shared profiles will be "orphaned" if you were the only Profile Manager. Someday another member may adopt them.

Private and Unlisted profiles of living people will also not be deleted if you have been sharing them with other family members. Another family member on the Trusted List will become the Profile Manager.

If you created profiles of living people and have not shared them with other members they will be deleted when your account is closed.

If you want a higher level of control over all this you could transfer management of profiles to another WikiTree member before closing your account or limit your participation on WikiTree to private profiles of close family members instead of closing your account.

Option Two: Close Account but Preserve Profile

This is only recommended if a close family member is active on WikiTree and you trust them to manage your profile. This option is most commonly used when a WikiTree member passes away.

In this option your e-mail address and password will be permanently deleted but all other information will be preserved. Your profile's Privacy Level will be set as Unlisted for as long as you are living.

If you have not selected another Profile Manager using Special:ManagerChanges or the Privacy tab on your profile before closing your account, the most active member on the Trusted List will be automatically selected. If your Trusted List is empty a WikiTree Team account will become the manager.

If you are managing any other profiles they will be handled in the same way as in Option One.

Option Three: Close Account and Delete Profile

This is only recommended for:

  1. children 16 and under, and
  2. new members who joined without a family connection and have not made contributions to any shared profiles of non-living people.

If you are managing any profiles other than your own they will be handled in the same way as in Option One.

Option One, anonymization, is the right choice if you have made any meaningful contributions to profiles on our collaborative tree. The wiki change histories that track contributions are corrupted when a contributor's profile is deleted. Anonymization is also better for your privacy in the long-term.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I need to close someone else's account?

If it's for a member who has passed away or for a minor child, contact us at for help. Please let us know if you'd be willing to take over management for family profiles the person created.

What if I want to continue using WikiTree, but my profile has the wrong name?

See Moving Accounts to New Names.

What if I want to continue using WikiTree, but delete some profiles?

See the Deletion FAQ.

What if I want to take a break from WikiTree, but might return in the future?

See Suspending Your Participation.

Why can't I start a new account after closing my account?

Closing an account is permanent. To honor your desire to end all participation, we will instruct family members not to invite you to participate and not to add information about you. See the section on anonymization above.

You can contact us at if you have changed your mind. However, this is discouraged. Members who are not serious about their participation in our mission make it more difficult for WikiTree to stay free for everyone.

If you might want to participate in the future we encourage you to suspend your participation instead of permanently closing your account.

Why weren't private profiles immediately deleted when I closed my account?

If closing your account involves deleting any profiles, the deletions will be processed in a queue. They are usually completed within a half hour.

However, if a large number of profiles would be deleted all at once a WikiTree team member will review them to confirm there are no mistakes. This could take up to 24 hours.

If it's been more than one business day, contact us at

This page was last modified 19:29, 8 October 2021. This page has been accessed 68,021 times.