Recovering YouTube Channel Account

I recently tried to login into my Google account that hosts my YouTube channel. I had set the channel up a few years ago, and only used it once, so I had forgotten the e-mail address associated with it. Google however, lets you login using your channel name so that is what I tried to do. The problem was that since I had set up the channel, I also added a gmail address with the same username.

To my surprise, whenever I tried to login into my YouTube channel, it logged me into the gmail account, and that account had no YouTube channel. After some forum posts, a lot of research and trying a lot of things, I finally recovered my YouTube channel. For those in the same boat, there is a way to recover your YouTube channel, but the standard advice is a bit sketchy, and doesn’t really help without an understanding of what is going on. Here is how Google handles accounts:

Google Account Rules

The way Google sets up accounts, you provide a username and an e-mail address. The wrinkle is the fact that gmail accounts are also Google accounts. What is not obvious, is that they are set up the same as any other Google account – the username is the unique part of the gmail account. To further compound the confusion is that Google will let you have both an account using your own e-mail address and a gmail account with the same username. For example, I can set up the following two accounts:

  • user: scott, e-mail: scott@myurl.com, password: pass1
  • user: scott, e-mail: scott@gmail.com, password: pass2

Now, when you try to login into Google with the username of scott, Google tries to be clever and will match the account based on the password. If you forgot the password to say the first account, and give the password to the second account (because that is what you are using these days), you get logged into the second account, and seem to be forever locked out of the first account.

The standard advice for this problem is to change the password for the second (gmail) account, and then to not use it for the first account. This advice is puzzling if you don’t know what is going on, and it doesn’t work if the accounts already have different passwords. In fact, the advice is not very useful in that if the two accounts have the same password, Google can’t figure out which one to use and will ask you to specify the full e-mail address for the account you want.

So what if you can’t remember the e-mail or the password? That was my problem. I thought I knew both, but I didn’t know either one. How then do you recover your YouTube channel account?

Recovering Your YouTube Channel Account

Follow these simple steps:

  • Go to YouTube and log out of all Google accounts.
  • Go to the login page, and click the link: Can’t access your account?
  • In the following page, enter your Channel name and click Submit
  • In the next page, you will be asked for the e-mail address attached to that account. It will also include a few letters of the address as a hint. Enter the e-mail address that you set the account up with. If you can’t remember from the hint, keep trying different possibilities until you find the one that matches – no harm is done for trying wrong ones.
  • Once you enter the correct e-mail, you will get a message with a link to the recovery page where you can specify a new password. You now have access to your account.

Hopefully, you will recover your lost YouTube channel. The only thing you absolutely must have is the e-mail address you used to setup the account, and Google will give you a hint for it. It can also use your mobile phone number if you have given it to Google, but I personally don’t like Google to have that much information about me.

One thing to be aware of however, is if you give your YouTube account the same password as your Gmail account of the same name, you will no longer be able to login to Google using just your username. You will need to provide the e-mail address of the desired account instead.

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9 Comments

  1. Linzi Co
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    you have given me hope that maybe i can solve my problem as ive ggogled solutions and NOTHING! UNBELIEVABLE !… youtube/google suuuuuuuuucks! ive been forever logged into my youtube account that i forgot the password already…. i set it up in 2010…. i do not know if i have a google acct. i dont think so unless it automatically set it up when i started a youtube page… i am still in dinosaur aol… youtube suddenly logged me out and i cant remember password… when i try to recover… it tells me to put in the email associated with the user name…. so i do enter my aol acct…. i reveive an email in my aol acct saying:

    here are the usernames associated with this account: Username A: reset password link, Username B: reset password link. So it is the correct email (aol) as my channel name is indicated.

    I proceed on clicking the reset password, it prompts you to enter email address again, and then i receive the exact same thing again!!!!

    In other words, it is not sending me password resets, but just keeps sending me what channel names are associates with my account!

    So frustrating as ive built up my channel and have quite a bit of followers and do not want to start from zero again!!!!

    please help!

  2. Posted February 6, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    This looks like it’s outdated advice. No partial email addresses are given anymore on the YT password recovery.

  3. George
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    This worked like a charm, however, I have a bigger problem. The hints YT gave of my email address, quickly refreshed my memory. Problem is, that the email I used when creating the Channel was attached to a domain name I no longer have :(

    The channel I’m trying to recover, goes with the domain I’m currently hosting on my Magazine blog like bread and butter.

  4. Posted September 13, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    THANK YOU!

    We purchased a very unique domain earlier this year.It is in the hottest section of the our industry. It had a youtube channel that we found, but had no idea how to get possession of it.

    As part of our pre-purchase research the internet wayback was used and most of the original site was recovered and then recoded as new pages. A search of the SOS business records yielded lots of usable info.

    Today, I used your very helpful info along with those reconstructed pages, and business records and recovered the youtube channel and another account that we were not aware of. We now have both under our control and reunited with the domain.

    THANK YOU, AGAIN!!

    Now we need to concentrate on getting control of the social media accounts too.

  5. Posted May 7, 2014 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    reopen 46ismael youtube account and put back all videos that was uploaded in that youtube account i miss those videos.

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