How to Delete Your Upwork Account (And Whether You SHOULD)

All of our reviews and recommendations are completely impartial but some posts may include affiliate links that can earn us a commission. Click here for details.

In this article, we explain exactly how to delete your Upwork account.

But before you go ahead and take the drastic step of “pushing the button,” there are some things you should think about. If you’re serious about a professional freelance career, I urge you to give them your consideration.

The Risk of Breaching Upwork’s Terms of Service

Reddit threads and freelancing forums are littered with threads from people intending to delete an Upwork account to set up a new one.

It certainly seems like an easy solution for anybody who’s built up bad feedback, or who wants a fresh run at gaining “Rising Talent” or “Top Rated” status.

But setting up multiple Upwork accounts is against the platform’s terms of service. Several Upwork support threads address this issue, and confirm that you are NOT allowed to set up more than one account.

Extract from Upwork forum.

If you think about it, this is perfectly logical. If you were allowed to freely close an Upwork account and set up a new one, there would be nothing to stop people doing a terrible job for clients, then “setting up shop” from scratch, over and over again.

While we’re not saying you won’t get away with it, we neither condone nor recommend it. You could find that you get thrown off the platform just as you’re gaining a good reputation.

Yes, it can be frustrating dealing with difficult clients. Sometimes you may be a victim of unfair feedback. But the risk of this can be minimised by taking a discerning approach to who you work with, and by always doing a professional job. Both of these things are covered, in detail, in our Freelance Kickstarter course.

Why Delete Your Upwork Account?

Here are some of the reasons why you might decide to cancel your Upwork account:

  • You no longer wish to use the platform at all.
  • You feel that you have “messed up” your account with poor feedback or job performance.
  • Your career has moved in another direction, or you simply have too much work on to take on any Upwork assignments.

Unless you’re adamant that your decision to leave Upwork is permanent, there may well be a better and less “nuclear” option. We cover some of those below, and would suggest you familiarise yourself with them.

But if your mind is made up, here’s what you do:

How to Delete Your Upwork Account: A Step-by-Step Guide

The first thing to bear in mind if you are determined to get rid of your Upwork account permanently is that you cannot delete your account from the mobile app.

The second thing you need to consider is that you cannot delete an account where there is any type of activity pending.

You will need to:

  • Close all active contracts.
  • Withdraw all your proposals.
  • Ensure all payments have been received and withdrawn.

The actual steps required to then close the account will vary depending on what type of account you have.

Deleting an Upwork Freelancer Account

  • Click on your image and select “Settings.”
  • Go to “Contact Info” and then click on the “Close my account” link.
Step 1 to delete your Upwork account
  • Select the reason you wish to close your account and then click on “Close Account.”
Step 2 to close your Upwork account

This should be sufficient for most people to delete their freelancer account, but some users may be instructed to contact support. If this happens to you, simply provide the Upwork agent with the necessary information and they will help you complete the process.

It is important to note that some of the reasons listed for closing your Upwork account are in fact violations of the Upwork terms and conditions, such as having a duplicate account or (in most circumstances) working directly with a client you found on Upwork.

As such, be very careful about selecting these options if you think you may decide to try to reopen your account in the future!

Shutting Down a Client Account

This can only be done by the company owner.

As with closing a freelancer account, you must finalise any remaining business before you can shut down a client account. Specifically, you must:

  • Remove all other team members.
  • Close all contracts.
  • Close all open jobs.
  • Pay all outstanding billing.

If you close any hourly contracts, the weekly billing cycle will need to end before you will be allowed to close your client account.

Having completed all of the above, the steps are the same as for closing a freelancer account.

Closing your account when you are a Client or Agency Admin / Manager / Team Member

If you only have an admin or manager account then you will have to follow a slightly different route:

  • Under “Settings” select “My Teams.”
  • Under “Actions” select “Leave Team.”
  • Repeat this process for all of the teams you are a part of.
  • Once you leave all the teams, your account will be closed.

If you are only a team member then you will need to ask the team admin or manager to remove you.

Closing an Agency Account

If you went as far as creating your own agency on Upwork, you will need to take a few steps prior to trying to close your account.

Only the agency owner can close the account and they must first:

  • Remove all members.
  • Close all contracts.
  • Withdraw all proposals.
  • Ensure all payments have been received and withdrawn.

Only then can you go to the “Agency Profile” in “Settings” and select “Close my Agency.”

It is important to note that closing your agency will not delete your own Upwork freelancer account.

The Importance of Thinking Twice

If you have been on the Upwork platform for a long time and have built up a good reputation, then you really should think twice before throwing away all of that effort.

As we discuss next, there are alternatives to closing your account completely.

Even if you feel that you have messed up your account by annoying a client and (rightly or wrongly) receiving a bad review, deleting your account remains a drastic step. The Upwork forums contain plenty of examples of where people have bounced back from these situations, gaining back things like “Top Rated” status, and a 100% Job Success score.

Alternatives to Closing Your Upwork Account

There are a several alternatives to consider before shutting down your account:

Set Your Availability

If you’re fortunate enough to be overwhelmed with work, you can simply show yourself as unavailable. You’ll find the options under “Settings” > “My Profile” > “Availability.”

Upwork availability setting

Even if, for example, you’ve taken on a huge contract and can never imagine yourself going back on Upwork, there’s no need to burn the bridge by cancelling your account. Things can change VERY fast in the world of freelancing, as we discuss in our “Feast and Famine” podcast episode.

Remain a Member on The Free Basic Plan

If you’re not getting much use out of Upwork, or don’t have the capacity to take on any work, there’s no harm in remaining on the free Basic Plan. If you’ve been paying $14.99 per month for “Freelancer Plus,” you can do away with that expense, but still keep your account active.

This gives you the freedom to retain your profile and work history without having to pay for it. You will lose some benefits but you still get 10 Upwork connects per month, and those roll over until you hit a maximum of 200.

It IS worth noting here that we have, in the past, heard of Upwork closing long-term dormant accounts. It certainly does no harm to occasionally do some work via the platform to keep your profile active.

REMEMBER: Success on these platforms comes from consistently putting forward great pitches and making yourself visible.

Why not give our essential Upwork tips a try to see if that makes a difference in your results before deciding to throw in the towel?

Set Your Profile to Private

If you simply do not plan to use your Upwork account for some time, then you might want to consider setting your profile to private instead of deleting it. This will allow you to use your account again in the future.

The visibility settings on Upwork were designed so that you can decide where and when clients can view your profile. The intention was to provide a solution when you want to go on a vacation or a short leave of absence, but you can also use it if you just want to take a break from the platform.

All you need to do is the following:

  • Click on your image and select “Settings”
  • In “Settings” click on “Profile Settings.”
  • At the top of the page there is a drop-down menu under the title “Visibility” – select “Private.”

It can take up to 1 week for the change in settings to take full effect but you will have essentially hidden your account from view so that only those with your direct profile link can find it.

If, at some point in the future, you decide to become active on the platform again then your account will be ready and waiting.

If you are wondering what the different Visibility options mean here is what Upwork says regarding them:

Upwork account visibility options

Change Your Account Type

If you accidentally signed up to Upwork as a client instead of a freelancer, then that is not the big problem it may initially appear. It’s possible to be both under the same account, and actually very common – plenty of working freelancers hire freelancers themselves.

Here’s what you need to do to establish a dual client / freelancer account:

  • Log in to Upwork.
  • Click on your image and select “Settings.”
  • Under “Settings” go to “My Info.”
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the “Create New Account” link
  • Select the “New Freelancer Account” option.
  • After you have set up your freelancer profile. you will be able to change between your freelancer and client profiles using the account menu.

So You Closed Your Upwork Account, What Now?

What you do next will depend entirely on your reasons for closing your account in the first place.

Here are some ideas, and some useful resources for you:

Leave a comment