How to Delete Your YouTube Channel

If you’re done with YouTube, here’s how to delete your account — for good.

May 21, 2019

Topic tags

Jenny Mudarri

Creative


Over the years YouTube has become a massive video platform, and due to some recent changes, a pretty confusing one at that. For first-time creators and brands who want to grow a following, it can be hard to tell what rules apply to you, what “counts” as a video view, how to measure your success, and more. And while the Google-owned platform isn’t going anywhere any time soon, when it comes to building an audience with video, it’s no longer the only option for your business.

Now that businesses can more easily attract viewers with content hosted right on their own sites by embedding Wistia Channels or working with other tools, it might make sense to let that YouTube Channel of yours sail off into the sunset. If you’re considering removing your channel from the old ’Tube, read on to learn why that might be a smart move, how to actually get rid of it for good, and what to do once you’ve moved on.

Not quite ready to hit “delete” on your YouTube channel? Consider hiding it instead. Keep in mind that when you hide or delete your channel, you permanently delete all Community posts, comments, and replies.

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Why YouTube can be frustrating

YouTube is great for some folks and well … not so great for others. If you’re not sure why a business would want to delete their account, here are some reasons to ponder:

  • Ads: While the opportunity for monetizing makes YouTube’s ad business model enticing for new creators, the fact is, unless you’re getting tens or hundreds of thousands of views on your content, chances are you won’t really benefit from ads. And unfortunately, for small channels, ads ultimately serve as a distraction that can draw people away from your content
  • Autoplaying videos: YouTube’s algorithmically driven “Recommended” feature is designed to help viewers find content they may be interested in, but it also keeps viewers on YouTube longer. Chances are, the video that plays after yours won’t come from your channel, even if the viewer purposefully navigated to your channel to watch your content. Instead, viewers are likely to click into other channels, forgetting why they went to YouTube in the first place. Bummer.
  • YouTube-centric design: From white backgrounds and red buttons to videos organized by most popular and date added, YouTube channels are not very customizable. The main ways you can control your branding on YouTube are with a banner on your channel page, a thumbnail profile image, and thumbnails on your videos. Which isn’t awful, but it could be better!
  • Regular updates to the algorithm: Remember how we mentioned that YouTube can be confusing before? While changes to the algorithm can be a useful creative constraint, they can also be unpredictable and frustrating, especially if you’re relying on your videos reaching a particular set of people on a regular basis.

As YouTube evolves, it will continue to make decisions that help the company grow more than help their users succeed. If those decisions align with your own creative ambitions and marketing goals, that’s fantastic. Otherwise, it may be time to move on. If that time for you is now, then here’s a quick guide to deleting your YouTube account.

5 steps to delete your YouTube channel in 2019

Phew, is it hot in here or is it just us? The first step here is to really make sure you’re ready to delete your channel (not just deactivate it). Wipe that sweat off your forehead and follow these steps to bid your channel farewell. You got this.

1. From your channel page, go to Settings > Advanced settings.

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Note: Don’t choose “Account settings.”

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2. From the Advanced Settings page, select “Delete channel."

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3. Login to your Google account, then choose the drop-down menu option that says, “I want to permanently delete my content.”

This choice will permanently remove your video content and video data from YouTube. You won’t be able to retrieve it, so make sure you have saved the original files.

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Pro-Tip
Always have a backup (or two) of all your video files saved on a hard drive or in another safe location. There’s no coming back from deleting your YouTube channel so quadruple-check that you’ve got back up.

4. Check the blue box that explains exactly what will be deleted.

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5. Click “Delete my content.” You will be asked to enter the email address associated with your YouTube account to confirm.

That’s it! Your channel and all your videos are now deleted from YouTube. Keep in mind that the Google account you used to create the channel (business or personal) will still be active and recognized by YouTube.

Moving on from YouTube

If you’re looking for a new home for your videos and want more control over the entire viewing experience, Wistia Channels may be a great option for you. Don’t want to send viewers elsewhere every time you share a new video with the world? Luckily, Wistia Channels live right on your company’s own website and are easily customizable to match your brand. In case you aren’t super familiar with this Advanced Plan addition, here are some of the key features that’ll help you achieve your goals with Wistia Channels:

  • No ads: This is an ad-free zone! We’re not taking any cuts here, so no ads will show up on your videos or to your Channel on your site.
  • Designed for deep engagement: When viewers are almost done watching a video, our Up Next feature helps keep them watching more by showcasing the beginning of the next video on your Channel. Distracting ads and suggested content from other brands? Not a chance!
  • Organized and customized: You can easily organize your content and tailor the layout on your Channel to suit your needs. Customize the design to match your brand by changing the color of the player, video thumbnails, header images, fonts, and more.
  • Built-in lead capture: Add calls to action, annotation links, and email capture forms directly to your videos. Tell your viewers where you want them to go next and drive more action from your content!

If this sounds enticing to you, we’d love to show you how it works. You can get in touch with our team to learn more about Channels, pricing, or our other features whenever you’re ready.

Building a better home for your videos

For most businesses, simply uploading all of your content to a YouTube Channel and hoping for the best isn’t very strategic. After all, while YouTube is designed to encourage viewers to click around and watch as many videos as possible, that doesn’t mean they’re still watching your content. So, instead of trying to compete for attention on giant social networks, why not build an audience on a site that’s all your own? Start by deleting that old YouTube Channel of yours that’s been sitting around gathering dust and take more control over your content today.

May 21, 2019

Topic tags

Jenny Mudarri

Creative

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