Home » How do you take down a YouTube channel that isn’t yours?

How do you take down a YouTube channel that isn’t yours?


  1. Contact Us At: https://support.google.com/youtube/?hl=en-us&tab=pending_help#topic=256702
  2. Give us detailed info about the problem (leave the form blank). Google will see the question and videos on your account, find out what videos are violating your policies, and follow up with you.

how to delete someone’s channel off of youtube pt2

I wanted to know. So I did it in a way that couldn’t possibly be right.

Last week, I got an email from Google stating my YouTube account was going to be deleted because of “multiple violations” of the service’s Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. I appealed the decision, but after five days (which is how long you get once you’re notified), there was no change in Google’s response: My channel would still be erased from existence on March 7—one month from when the original message arrived in my inbox.

So I decided to see if I could actually delete my personal YouTube channel, despite not technically owning one. Because if there are loopholes for non-advertisers to exploit the platform and get their accounts removed, it seems worth noting. What follows are the two steps I took to create, delete and then retrieve my non-existent account.


My first order of business was to actually create a YouTube account—something I’d never done before. The process is simple enough: You just need an email address, a password, your name (sorta) and an agree/disagree button for Google’s terms of service. No big deal there.

That said, I did cheat a bit here by using the Gmail login credentials from my personal channel, which allowed me to bypass any CAPTCHAs (which you have to retype if you’re not a “real” YouTube user).


At this point, I thought that was it. I had created a non-existent account and could just sit back and wait for the Google bots to eliminate my freebie from existence. But then something very strange happened: I started receiving emails on accounts that did not exist while simultaneously receiving angry messages from users wondering why their requests to unsubscribe weren’t going through.

What was happening? After doing some digging, it became clear what was at play here: My new YouTube account’s email address—the one that people actually emailed when they wanted to get in touch—was the same as my personal account’s.

That meant any email sent to that address (which, judging from the barrage of emails I found in my inbox and spam folder, were mostly “thank you” messages for an apparently amazing video series on how to fix computers) was getting forwarded to one computer: mine. And because Gmail doesn’t separate your Youtube accounts out into different tabs for whatever reason, I could see all these messages coming through at once—even though they were being sent to a non-existent account.

Once again: What is happening? Luckily, Google has some instructions clearly showing what needs to be done if you suddenly find yourself receiving emails intended for nonexistent YouTube accounts. The steps are easy enough:

Open an appeal with Google’s copyright team. Wait for the email they send you back, which will include a form letter that says: “We have reviewed your request to terminate a YouTube account. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible for us to disconnect specific YouTube channels from your account at this time.” Forward that message to [email protected] (I did not do this part because I was in too much of a rush.) Sit back and wait for the entire YouTube channel to be removed from existence–an occurrence that should take between two days and two weeks.

Step 3 does indeed seem like the right way to go about resolving this problem—although time is ticking as my personal account has already been gone for close to two weeks.

But I didn’t want to wait that long, so I decided to see if my personal account was really gone for good (and relying on Google’s word that the channel has truly been deleted is not ideal given the issues I’ve already run into). Thankfully YouTube made it easy for me to restore a long-deleted account thanks to this handy option when you sign up:

So what does it take to get a dead YouTube channel back from the depths of purgatory? All it takes is an email address and a password, both of which I had access to.



With my personal Gmail login, I had access to both a password and an email address, which meant all I needed was that same channel’s original URL in order to restore the service under my control once more. The first step is simple: just head over to Youtube.com/welcome, where you’ll be presented with a variety of logins (and if yours doesn’t show up at first, you can click on “Forgotten account?” and then “sign-in” from there). Then enter the username—which I had to search on Google for after forgetting my channel name—and password.

Someone uploaded my videos without my permission…

When you log in, YouTube will give you a message saying that the channel was deleted under “a different Google account.” So make sure to click the little grey link reading “No thanks!” and then follow the instructions that appear telling you to enter an email address and/or phone number. (This is what it looks like.)

Now head back over to Gmail and open up another window with your personal account. Hit the dropdown arrow next to your avatar at the top right of your inbox, scroll down until you see “Important,” choose any option there besides “See all,” refresh, hit the drop-down arrow again, scroll again until you see “From your computer,” hit refresh again, and choose “See all.”

After you’ve done that—when both of the windows you opened have reloaded—you should see an email from YouTube in your personal Gmail account. On its own it doesn’t look like much: a fairly nondescript message saying “You have a new channel with us!” But open up that long list to see what’s happened after hitting the grey link earlier and entering an email address or phone number (I’d already forgotten which I did at this point).

All you have to do now is click “Return my account” and then wait for YouTube to send another email confirming that it has returned your channel. With the password I currently had access to, I was able to sign in via a popup window, whereupon YouTube asked me if I wanted the content of my old channel to be imported into a new one.

Once your original account has been restored—and after you confirm that you want your personal information associated with an account on this Google+ page—YouTube will automatically create a brand new channel, which could take up to 24 hours. But what’s next? Well, it turns out that the first step in getting rid of an unwanted account forever is actually reporting copyright infringement over and over again.

After you click “restore my channel” and wait for a confirmation that it’s really been restored, your next stop should be this YouTube page where you’ll find a link to take action against alleged copyright infringement (you can go straight there by clicking here ). From there, either select the option reading “someone else is using my copyrighted content without permission” or follow the instructions on that page about reporting a channel that violates guidelines or terms of service.

Right now I’m not even sure what some of these videos are! But I did watch them once upon a time. They’re terrible.


I ended up filing more than 20 copyright complaints before I eventually gave up and went back to work on my “article.” It may seem crazy, but according to this post from YouTuber Ben Rice, who has his own channel dedicated to exposing people who do stuff like this, it’s actually the most efficient way of getting rid of a channel that you no longer want in your name—and he should know: he once used automated tools to report 1,000 copyright cases at once.

“The only reason why they haven’t deleted your blocked/banned account right away is that these reports are usually mass reported by corporations so they get filtered through a very long queue,” Rice wrote. “YouTube does not have the resources to look through each individual report so they leave them there until they get around to it.”

Disabling comments and flagging videos as spam are both less effective, according to an earlier article from Rice that should give you some idea of just how difficult getting rid of an unwanted YouTube account can be.

If you’d like a few more details on what’s going on behind the scenes, here’s another post from Rice explaining exactly why this kind of thing is allowed. The short version is: It’s complicated, but basically it boils down to content ID matching being disabled in certain cases (and if your channel isn’t protected by copyright owners already, there’s no reason for them to ever enable it). Thus, if someone else uploaded the same video as you and included almost all of your audio, YouTube would still allow that person’s version of your video to remain online even if yours was taken down.

Full disclosure: I’m not sure why this guy is standing so close to a nuclear power plant, but I do like his shirt! (Image via )


I know that filing dozens of copyright infringement reports against videos you’ve barely seen can be time-consuming and tedious, but here’s another important thing to remember about how YouTube deals with undesirable channels: They “almost never remove these channels right away.”

“YouTube will not rest… until you are 100 percent satisfied with their decisions,” Rice wrote. “Also, if another person ever uploads one of your videos on a channel that is banned or disabled, YouTube will automatically reactivate the channel and soft-ban them for a month or so.”

Still, while it’s technically possible to keep filing copyright complaints again and again forever—or at least until you eventually get tired—I decided to stop at 20 after watching countless hours of random videos about small animals uploading themselves in various ways. I didn’t want to be responsible for allowing those clips to rack up rampant views just because I was too lazy to properly finish the job.

How do you take down a YouTube channel that isn’t yours?

1. port.google.com/youtube/?hl=en-us&tab=pending_help#topic=256702
2. Give us detailed info about the problem (leave the form blank). Google will see the question and videos on your account, find out what videos are violating your policies, and follow up with you.

How do I take over someone’s YouTube channel?

Log in to your YouTube account as the owner of the Brand Account. In the upper right corner, select Settings > Account. Under “Account,” choose Add or remove manager(s). Enter your password and re-authenticate. From there, click Manage permissions > Invite new users

How do I remove unwanted channels?

Go to ‘Menu > Settings > Edit Channels’. Enter 0000 when asked for the Password. Highlight ‘Edit Channel List’ and press OK. Scroll through the channel list using up or down on your keyboard until you highlight a channel that you want to delete, then press OK and select ‘Tick channels only’ from the drop-down menu beneath it.

How many reports does it take to delete a YouTube video?

Just one copyright takedown request or breach of the YouTube Community Guidelines can disable monetization and/or delete the channel. Three such breaches within a 90 day period are grounds for deletion. Repeated infringement may cause the channel to be deleted by YouTube.

Who is the real owner of YouTube?

YouTube is an online video sharing and social media platform that was founded in 2005. The company shares videos on the internet.

Can you find out who owns a YouTube channel?

Click on the “Permissions” tab to see all current channels that have been given access. From there, you will find a list of names and emails associated with this channel. Make note of the owner’s information.

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