I’m posting an explanation and a solution to the “Not Authorized” issue on Tweetdeck. I had the unfortunate experience myself last week, and didn’t realize what had happened. I’ve also seen other users on Twitter experiencing the same problem, so hopefully this post will cover it, and provide a better method for explaining the cause and how to fix it, then multiple tweets. Plus, it has pictures!
Let’s get started. So, you’re using TweetDeck. First, I need to say, “right on!”. TweetDeck makes Twitter a lot easier to deal with, and is a much more enjoyable platform then the web page is for regular tweeting. This is part of Twitter’s strength! It allows for the development of so many useful third-party applications. Unfortunately, these third-party apps can’t do everything for you. One of the things they can not do, is change your password. At this time, I know of no application that has this ability. This includes TweetDeck. But, that’s ok, you can leave your TweetDeck running and do it from Twitter.com, right? Well, right, but you might be in for a surprise once you do.
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you already have gotten that surprise. Changing your password on the web site, does not update your password on third-party applications. Basically, what happens is, TweetDeck doesn’t know your password has been changed, so it keeps contacting Twitter using the old one. Twitter rejects the attempts. This is where the “Not authorized” message comes in. Unfortunately, maybe people don’t understand what has happened, and continue trying to use TweetDeck. Eventually, Twitter sees multiple contact attempts using a failed password, and locks your account. This only adds to the confusion.
Here is the solution:
First, try and remember to log out of TweetDeck and close the program before you change your password on Twitter.com. This will avoid you having your account temporarily locked, while TweetDeck keeps trying to get updates with a password, which is no longer recognized.
If you’ve changed your password on the web, and did not log out, and close TweetDeck, there’s a good chance your account has been locked, which means, at this point, if you log out on the web site, you will not get back in. Instead you will see a message informing you of the temporary lock, and advising you to try again later. It also means the web site will not allow you to change your password again until your account is unlocked. All you can do now, is log out of TweetDeck, close the program, and wait things out.
Closing TweetDeck and restarting it will not offer a prompt for you to input your password again, but will attempt to keep using your old password, that you already entered into it. The only way to receive the login screen for TweetDeck again, under normal circumstances, is to log out (not just close), and then restart the program. The log out button looks a bit like this /!\, and is found on the top right of TweetDeck, underneath the [x]. Here’s some pictures to help locate it.
If you were fortunate, and your account is not locked, simply logging out and restarting TweetDeck, will bring up a login screen. Enter your changed password here, replacing the former one, and you will once again have TweetDeck running normally. If, and this is usually the case, TweetDeck is refusing to recognize your current password, it is an indicator your account is, in fact, locked. All you can do is wait it out. Twitter does not give a time estimate, and in my case, it was several hours until I attempted access, but I do not think you’ll need to wait that long. I’d give it at least an hour. If anyone has a timetable, please post it in the comments.
I hope this will help those who ran into this problem, as I did. Feel free to post comments suggesting any additions or revisions, as well as questions you might have. I’ll be using this article the next time one of my tweeps runs into this problem, because explaining it over Twitter is cumbersome. I hope you’ll do the same!
Update: This also applies after changing your user name. See the comments for further help.
Update: Recent comments indicate that there is a new problem creating the unauthorized message. If anyone has a solution that will be of use for when one has not recently changed a password or user name, please post it in the comments or email me, and I will link you with full credit. Thanks.