How to Delete a YouTube Channel

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How to Delete a YouTube Channel

Key Points

  • You may wish to delete your YouTube channel if you no longer wish to keep the content or if you are switching to another channel or platform.
  • Deleting your account is not reversible, and you will lose all of your videos, comments, and playlists.
  • You can only delete your account on a computer, not a mobile device.

YouTube is among the most popular online platforms in the world, boasting over 2.8 billion active users globally.

As a result, it appeals to many creators as a place to exercise their creativity and share helpful, insightful, or controversial content. Maybe this was you for a while! Alas, it can become an addicting — or even toxic — place. Whatever the reason, if YouTube doesn’t appeal to you anymore or you just want a break, you can remove your account.

You have two options: you can either hide or delete your account. Both of these are easy to do and follow similar steps. 

Read on to learn how to permanently delete your YouTube channel and get answers to other questions you may have on the topic.

The History of YouTube

YouTube is a Google-owned video-streaming platform that’s home to billions of amateur digital video producers. The platform was started in an office garage by three former employees of the American fintech company, Paypal — Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim.

The idea of YouTube was born from a need for the three friends to be able to upload, view, and share video content without restrictions.

It was registered on February 14, 2005, opened on a limited “beta” basis in May 2005, and finally, officially launched on December 15, 2005. By the time of its launch, YouTube was getting up to two million views a day.

It was a success from the get-go — it hit 100 million views with 65,000 videos uploaded. In the first year alone, YouTube could hardly manage its growth and new needs. So, the founders started looking for a buyer to help them contain the growth in traffic and growing operational costs. 

So far they’d been relying on venture capital from Sequoia Capital and Artist Capital. Sequoia Capital initially invested $3.5 million in November 2005 and then, together with Artis Capital Management, they invested another $8 million in 2006.

In November 2016, Google paid $1.65 billion for YouTube after their own video streaming platform, Google Video, failed to generate much traffic.

The merger helped YouTube to manage the copyright infringement rights they were facing at the time and negotiate deals with major entertainment companies, such as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. (MGM) to start streaming their shows on the platform for free.

This is how YouTube was able to commercialize the platform, as they could now have advertisements running alongside the shows and videos being streamed on the platform. It also made it possible for creators to make some money from the videos. 

Here are some significant milestones in its early days that shaped YouTube to become the leading platform it is now:

  • April 2005: Founder Jawed Karim uploads the first video on the site, “Me at the Zoo.”
  • September 2005: A Nike ad becomes the first video to hit 1 million views.
  • May 2007: The Partners program is launched to help users to create money from their videos.
  • June 2007: Users are allowed to use other languages on the platform for the first time.
  • July 2007: YouTube hosts America’s first presidential debate in partnership with CNN.
  • November 2009: YouTube allows 1080p videos to be uploaded on the platform.
  • July 2010: YouTube makes it possible to upload 4K videos to its platform.

What to Expect When You Delete Your YouTube Channel Permanently

Deleting your YouTube channel permanently will take you a few minutes, and it’s a final decision without a rewind button. It results in the loss of your content and other data, including:

  • Videos 
  • Playlist information
  • Community posts
  • Comments and replies
  • Messages
  • History

Below is what really happens (what you can and can no longer do) when you permanently delete your YouTube channel:

  • Your channel name and channel URL are no longer searchable in YouTube Analytics.
  • Your channel name and channel URL are no longer visible to real-time users.
  • Your channel’s data, such as watch time, is still part of aggregate reports but is not attributed to the deleted channel.
  • Some or all of your videos may remain online for some time before they disappear once and for all.
  • You can still log in and use YouTube with your account.
  • You won’t be able to recover any of your channel’s content.

Additionally, recovering a YouTube channel is a long and treacherous process. So, you need to be sure you are willing to bear the loss before you delete the channel. Alternatively, keep a digital copy or download any videos and playlist information on your account in case you have a change of heart later.

How to Delete a YouTube Channel Permanently

Expert tip: You can only delete your YouTube channel on a computer and not the mobile app for either Android or iOS devices. 

Here are the steps to follow to permanently delete your YouTube channel:

  1. Open the YouTube homepage on your computer. If you have not signed into YouTube, do so by entering your email address and password when prompted.
  2. Click the Menu icon on the left sidebar.
  3. Scroll down to Settings and then select Advanced Settings.
youtube advanced settings
Select YouTube advanced settings.
  1. Scroll through Advanced Settings to where you see Delete Channel and click on it. Follow the prompt to sign in to confirm channel deletion.
youtube advanced settings
Select Delete Channel from Advanced Settings.
  1. Click the tab that reads I want to permanently delete my content.
Delete Content YouTube
Click on I want to permanently delete my content if you are ready to delete your account.
  1. Check off the boxes to confirm that you understand that your next action will delete content associated with your channel.
Screenshot Delete content youtube

Boom! Your YouTube channel is gone for good!

Please Note: Google warns that it may take some time, maybe a few days, for your channel to be permanently deleted. This means you’ll continue to view thumbnails of your videos on the site in the meantime.

The delay may be attributed to the fact that your account is only slated for deletion at your request and it may take some time to erase large files, like YouTube videos. As a result, channels with a lot of content might take longer to delete than others.

Recovering your account after you permanently delete it may prove to be more difficult than you anticipated. So, if you are not sure you want to kiss YouTube goodbye for good, hiding your channel may be a good option.

To see this method in action check out the video below which will walk you through the process.

How to Remove Linked YouTube Channels

You can also remove a linked channel if you own more than one YouTube channel and the assets associated with them. This step should actually come before deleting the main channel, especially if you don’t want to delete the main channel.

Eliminating the link between a YouTube channel and your YouTube Studio Content Manager relinquishes your rights to:

  • Claim videos for that channel
  • Control the monetization of videos on that channel
  • View the historical revenue and performance analytics for that channel

Expert tip: Unlinking a channel from your content manager does not delete it or any of its content from YouTube. Instead, it changes your claims. For example, your partner-uploaded claims are released and claims on user-generated content don’t change.

Here’s how to remove a linked channel from your Content Manager:

  1. Sign in to your YouTube Studio Content Manager.
  2. Select Channels from the top-left menu.
  3. Check the box of the channel you’d like to remove.
  4. Select Unlink and then Confirm.

How to Hide Your YouTube Channel

If you don’t intend to permanently delete your YouTube channel and lose all the data associated with it, you’ll be glad to know you can hide it to maintain a low profile and reactivate it later.

Hiding your channel will permanently delete your community posts, comments, and replies — all features of your external presence. However, your channel name, videos, subscriptions, subscribers, and likes are not deleted, but they do become private.

The process of hiding your YouTube channel is quite similar to that of deleting and only differs towards the end. Here it is:

  1. Open the YouTube homepage on your computer. If you have not signed into YouTube, do so by entering your email address and password when prompted.
  2. Click the Menu icon on the left sidebar.
  3. Scroll down to Settings and then select Advanced Settings.
  4. Scroll through the Advanced Settings to where you have Delete Channel and click on it. Follow the prompts to sign in and confirm you want to hide your channel.
  5. Click on I want to hide my channel.
Hide content YouTube
Click on I want to hide my channel.
  1. Check off the boxes to confirm the details you want to be hidden on your channel.
Hide YouTube content
Check off the boxes to confirm the details you want to be hidden on your channel.
  1. Click the Hide my channel button.
Hide my content YouTube
Select Hide my content.

You may see the message “Your YouTube channel has content but has been disabled” on your content page, which confirms that your channel has been hidden.

When your channel is hidden, other people can’t view your videos and other content, but you can still watch, like, and subscribe discreetly.

How to Recover a Hidden YouTube Channel

When you’re ready to get back on YouTube, you can choose to re-enable your account in just two easy steps:

  1. Sign in to YouTube.
  2. Select Create a channel and fill out your details in the form provided. 

Your YouTube channel is restored and made public again. Go to the Videos page and make your videos and playlists viewable again.

Expert tip: Don’t click “To use a business or other name, click here.” This will create a new channel instead of restoring your hidden channel.


As you can see, deleting a YouTube channel permanently is an easy and painless process. 

However, you must be sure you want to do it because it’s irreversible, and you end up losing all your videos, playlists, and comments that meant something to you at the time. Try downloading or keeping a backup copy of everything before you proceed with the deletion. 

If you realize you don’t want to delete your channel for good, try hiding it instead. This way, you can recover your YouTube channel and all the information when you’re ready to get back to content creation.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use the email of your deleted channel to create a new YouTube channel?

Yes. YouTube allows users to create new YouTube channels using the same email ID after they’ve deleted a YouTube channel. YouTube allows creators to create up to 50 channels using the same Gmail account.

If I have multiple YouTube channels, can I delete one without deleting the others?

Yes, you can delete one YouTube channel and leave the others up and running. The way to do it is to make sure you are logged into the channel you want to delete.

Since deletion is a multistep process that involves sharing your login information, it’s hard to make a mistake and delete the wrong channel. Unfortunately, if you delete the wrong channel, there is no way to recover it.

How do you delete multiple YouTube channels?

You can delete all your YouTube channels at once by deleting your Google account. However, this means you also lose all your data and information on the other Google services, including files, photos, calendars, and photos.

Is deleting your YouTube channel the same as deleting your YouTube account?

No, these are mutually exclusive actions. Deleting your YouTube channel will not affect your YouTube account.

However, deleting your YouTube account is the same as deleting your Google account, which involves wiping out all your information across Google’s services, like YouTube, Gmail, and Google.

How do you delete a YouTube channel on mobile?

It’s not possible to delete a channel on mobile. It was previously possible from within the YouTube App, but Google changed the settings. Now, you can only delete your YouTube channel from a computer or your mobile browser in “desktop mode.”

Can you recover a deleted YouTube channel?

A deleted YouTube channel can never be recovered. However, a hidden channel can always be made public again in a few easy steps.

Can YouTube delete your channel without your permission?

Yes, YouTube can reclaim overly inactive accounts without notice. YouTube considers your account inactive if you’ve not logged into the site for at least six months, you’ve never uploaded video content, or you’ve not been actively engaging in watching or commenting on videos or channels.

They can also reclaim your account if you post content that encourages other users to violate YouTube’s Terms of Service or repost content that has been previously flagged and removed for violating YouTube’s Terms of Service. Another reason is if you’re not old enough to use YouTube (you must be at least 13 years old).

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