How to Permanently Delete a YouTube Channel


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YouTube has been a home for amateur digital video producers for more than a decade. Many people use their accounts to post original video content. Many millions more use it as a resource for music, entertainment, and learning. The ability to save videos in playlists allows people to curate content personally. You can choose from hundreds of thousands of hours of videos on YouTube.

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You might be feeling like you spend too much time on YouTube. In that case, you might choose to make a clean break by deleting your YouTube account entirely. Many people opt to reconsider how many accounts they have online, and the first place to start is by finding out what websites you have accounts with. You also might want to do this as part of an effort to delete your online presence.

When working to resolve the digital legacy of a deceased friend or family member, you may opt to delete their YouTube channel, too. This can be a smart option for ending commenting and responses to any old videos they’ve posted. 

How to Permanently Delete Your YouTube Channel

Text on how to delete a YouTube channel with an image of a laptop

Before you delete your YouTube channel, consider downloading any videos or playlist information from your account.

You may regret deleting this material later, so having a digital copy is smart. The biggest commitment of the deletion is that you won’t have access to your old videos or comments. So when you start this process, make sure you’re ready.

Tip: Ensure that your digital assets are taken care of according to your wishes by making a will. You can easily create one from home with an online will maker like Trust & Will.

» MORE: Honoring your loved one doesn't have to be expensive. Sign up for free savings.

Click on the top right corner icon and select “Settings”

In a web browser on your YouTube page, your profile picture will appear in the top right-hand corner. If you haven’t set a photo for your profile, it might be a single initial.

Click it for a drop-down menu. One option is “Settings.” Start here.

Click “View Advanced Settings” and select “Delete Channel”

The option to delete your channel is fairly deep in the settings menu. Under your channel’s name, you’ll see a link for “View Advanced Settings.”

The last option under this menu is “Delete Channel.” Select it to proceed.

Choose “Permanently Delete” rather than “Hide”

The following screen will give you the option to “Hide” your account rather than delete it. Hiding is a version of deleting your account that focuses on deleting your external presence, like comments and replies.

Your videos and playlists will simply become private. If this solves your issue, you can choose “Hide,” but this does not remove all data from your account. 

To remove everything, select the second option, “Permanently Delete.” Follow up by inputting your email for confirmation. YouTube will take a few more steps to ensure that your data is not deleted without you making sure this is the right decision.

» MORE: Are you preparing for the loss of a loved one? Get support now.

Some time may pass before your videos are removed

YouTube warns that your account and some of your videos may stay online for a while after requesting deletion. The account is only slated for deletion at the moment that you select it.

Other users may have requested deletion, and erasing large files takes time. Give your request a few days to completely disappear. After a few days, you can search for your old content and you should no longer see any signs.

How to Delete a YouTube Channel for Someone Who Died

Text on how to delete a YouTube channel for someone who died with an image of a laptop

If your loved one posted videos on a YouTube channel and you’d like to have it taken down after their passing, you can petition Google to remove the channel. They have a clear process for deleting someone's account.

Whether you're following a post-loss checklist or simply managing their digital profiles, it's a good idea to consider your loved one's YouTube channel. Even if they didn't have videos, it protects their privacy now and in the future. Luckily, YouTube has clear steps for this process. 

Tip: You can continue a loved one's digital legacy with a virtual memorial on a platform like GatheringUs. They even have specialists who can guide and support you through the planning process.

Submit the request that matches your needs

Google, which owns YouTube, has a selection of forms for communicating with their help center regarding the accounts of people who have died. If you are ready to delete the account, you can submit this web form.

There are different forms if you believe that the YouTube account has earned money that needs to be disbursed, or if you have a pressing need for data connected to the account, such as videos.

» MORE: It's time to take your pre-planning seriously. Become a free member.

Await further information from Google/YouTube

The support staff at YouTube will reach out after you’ve filled out the form. They will offer a confirmation that the account has been deleted.

They may also request further information. You may or may not be given access to data or money connected to the account. Respond promptly to inquiries from Google or YouTube to ensure that you close out the accounts promptly.

Deleting a YouTube Channel: Frequently Asked Questions

A YouTube channel can contain a lot of important information, so start your process with plenty of knowledge about the specifics. Here are some of the questions that YouTubers commonly ask when deleting a channel.

How do you delete a video from your YouTube channel?

To delete a video, open YouTube and select "My Channel" in the upper right corner. Select "YouTube Studio (Beta)" and then click "Videos" on the left-hand side of your screen. You'll see a list of all the videos on your channel.

Next to each video, there will be a few options including a three-stacked-dots icon. Select these dots next to the video you want to delete. The option to "delete" will appear. Click it and remove that video.

How do you delete a YouTube channel on mobile?

Right now, YouTube channels cannot be deleted on mobile devices. You’ll need to use a desktop or laptop with a browser rather than the YouTube application on your phone or tablet.

You can, however, use any YouTube interface to delete individual videos.

Can you temporarily deactivate a YouTube channel?

Your best option for temporary deactivation of your YouTube channel is the "hide" option. This avoids deleting your videos, playlists, and other content, but removes your comments and replies.

It also retains your account, just in a "private" mode, where others cannot see your work.

Life Without Your YouTube Channel

If you find that you aren’t using YouTube that much, you may not need a channel. On the other hand, if you are too busy to monitor comments on your videos or no longer care, deleting the channel might be a positive step.

If you want to prepare so that your digital legacy is secure and doesn’t leave a lot of work for your loved ones, a password manager might be a good way to keep everything organized. 

If you're looking to delete more accounts for a deceased loved one, read our guides on deleting Airbnb accountdeleting Skype accounts, and deleting Uber accounts.


  1. “Delete or Hide YouTube Channel.” YouTube Help. Google.
  2. “Submit a request regarding a deceased user’s account.” Google Account Help. Google.
  3. “Replace or delete your video.” YouTube Help. Google.

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