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old version tweetdeckThe quest for dominance and control over all apps using the Twitter API (which begs the question, why release an API?) has continued apace of late with the purchase of Tweetdeck finally resulting in a new version of the popular desktop app. Like other Twitter apps, Tweetdeck saves the user from having to deal with the clunky user interface of the browser-based service.

Capable of supporting multiple accounts, Tweetdeck was arguably the best Twitter app for Windows, but the new version has failed to live up to the legacy, largely due to problems signing in. As a result there are many users looking for alternatives – but fortunately it doesn’t take much effort to revert to the “classic” Tweetdeck and carry on using the software as before.

What Are The Differences?

Released in January 2012, the new version of TweetDeck features a re-designed user interface, a new blue logo and has discarded the use of the Adobe AIR cross-platform runtime environment. The result of this is a new application that can be quickly downloaded and installed for Windows and Mac OS X, as well as a version that can be installed as an app for the Chrome browser.

While there are many similarities in the way the two versions are used, there is however a small issue; many users have discovered that they cannot sign into the new Tweetdeck (although new users of the app – available here – should have no problems setting up an account and signing in).

old version tweetdeck

As Tweetdeck traditionally offered the ability to create an account which would then store Twitter logins – saving the user the chore of having to add their Twitter account to the software each time it is installed – issues signing in are obviously of some importance. Fortunately, old versions of the software are still available on the web, but due to the use of Adobe AIR these can prove tricky to install if you don’t follow the correct steps.


Removing Tweetdeck

A few people have tried reverting to the old Tweetdeck, but this brings with it some problems, mainly due to the way in which it is installed. Adobe AIR is a cross-platform environment for running software, which means that the software installed with it doesn’t require access to the Windows registry.

One result of this is that reinstalling an old app might fail. In order to avoid this, you will to need carry out the following steps:

switch to old tweetdeck

  • Remove the new Tweetdeck via Programs in Windows (Start > Control Panel > Uninstall a program)
  • Reinstall Adobe Air (you can download this here)
  • Install the old version of Tweetdeck (see below)

If you use a separate partition for installing applications in Windows (that is, Windows on one partition, Program Files on another), while you might expect an environment like Adobe AIR to allow you to run software installed during a previous Windows installation, this isn’t possible. Indeed, Tweetdeck will not install in this scenario without first deleting the Tweetdeck installation folder.

Tracking Down An Old Version

As we’ve seen, Twitter has been quite aggressive in its attempts to remove the “classic” version of Tweetdeck. One result of this is that the older versions – such as 0.38.2 – aren’t listed in some of the usual locations where you might find software from days gone by.

switch to old tweetdeck

Fortunately there are a couple of places where you can find the last old-style release, 0.38.2, such as this link. After you have downloaded and installed the software, remember that it won’t work unless you have removed the previous versions, as described above.

What you should find, however, is that this version of the software will accept your login first time and restore your saved columns. It shouldn’t be long before you’re able to apply filters and manage multiple accounts with considerable ease.


Obviously performing this task is something that is down to personal preference. The two versions are both easy to use and functional and if you’re happy with the new Tweetdeck then you should carry on with it. Similarly if you’re not a fan of Adobe AIR then the new version of Tweetdeck is going to appeal.

Meanwhile, the new version offers new features such as the ability to schedule tweets. As such if this is something that appeals then you might like to give the standalone, Adobe AIR-free Tweetdeck a chance before reverting.

Let us know which version you prefer and why.  Did you manage to revert to the classic version and succeed?

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