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:, password: pass1
  • user: scott, e-mail:, 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.

Recovering YouTube Channel Account by Provide Your Own is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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  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!

    • Kion Northam
      Posted February 23, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      I still can’t access anything. Point 2 of the advice says “go to the login page” but does not say what login Page, e.g. Google or YouTube. Either way, I can’t find any link that says, “can’t access your account”

      Can anybody help me please.

  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.

    • ajay patel
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 2:45 am | Permalink

      you update your tube acoount and try again login
      than problem shoul out.

  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 πŸ™

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

    • Alicia
      Posted September 9, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      this is my exact problem!!

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


    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.


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

  5. Posted August 24, 2014 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    I’m stuck on the second step: Login Page. I have a number of google accounts and they are all listed on the login page.
    I cannot find the button “Can’t access your account”.
    There is a button “Need Help” though. And when I click on it, it asks me to enter the email address – which I do not know as I am trying to recover an old YouTube channel that I don’t have access to…
    Please help how to proceed?
    This old YouTube channel was created by a past employee of our hotel who has left the company and since then we can’t get access to this old YouTube channel and G+ hotel profile!
    Thank you

    • Katie Slaughter
      Posted October 2, 2014 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      I am having the same problem. Have you gotten past this issue? If you have, please let me know how to do so. An old intern created a Youtube Channel, posted a video, then left before giving anyone the email/password. We now have no way of accessing the channel. I am also having the same login page problem, there is no “Can’t access your account?” link.. I am just sent straight to google login.

      • Branden Williams
        Posted October 10, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

        Same issue here. Any luck or tips?

      • maryam
        Posted October 17, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        same here, plz let me know if u had any luck

        • haojun
          Posted June 15, 2015 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

          same here

  6. mimo
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    my channel reached 4.5 millions of views . and idont remember the email. or the password πŸ™ . is there any hope any way i can have it back ? i thought maybe if i had a way to talk with YT people they can help me ? what do you think guys ?

  7. Lerner
    Posted February 14, 2015 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    For anyone with this problem: use this, pray you remember your old youtube account, link it to a new youtube account you make, and you’ll get your old channel back. That worked for me, at least.

    • Joe Lehman Jr.
      Posted November 29, 2015 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the link. It worked perfectly.

    • Xverzez
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      How does this help when the whole concept is that we CAN’T remember the old login info (email addresses/Passwords)? I created a Youtube acct prior to 2009, upload 1 video, but never really used it. Forgot all the login info a while back so I created a new Google/Youtube account that I use regularly. But the old account has the old video I can no longer access, and I want my username back. So – if I cannot remember any of my old emails addresses from 8+ years ago (nor the password that would have gone with them), how does this help me recover this account?

  8. Posted February 28, 2015 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    I have forgotten username(email) password, and YouTube domain name I used for my channels,playlists and of course I can’t remember my old cell phone #. So I need the get on my you tube account, it has only been 8 months, I can’t believe I’m starting to forget to many things. Can someone please help. I thank u with all my ❀.

  9. Walt Mclaren
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Has anybody lost their account that had hotmail email. I had this account for years, accidentally logged off and don’t remember my password. Now when I go to help, and use don’t know password it says there is no account found with this email address. I do have a gmail address the same as my hotmail address, and did follow the path given above, with the same results.

  10. Eve
    Posted April 30, 2015 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    My original youtube channel is evelang1
    My new youtube channel is evelang1 again.
    In the facility provided, I had linked the two, now my original channel has disappeared overnight, from nothing I have done.
    A couple of years ago google said I had to link my original channel to google+ if I wanted to comment on videos, so I did, but then my profile pic and all my comments disappeared from youtube along with all my subscriptions and all my playlists of favourites and liked videos from my channel , it was like my channel was starting again with no content, so I disconnected my channel from google+ and my channel went back to normal with all my subscriptions available to me and all my playlists showing again, but then I could no longer comment, so I just accepted that and eventually created another channel (evelang1 again) which google provides the option to do. and as this new channel IS linked to google+, I can comment from it, (and upload videos if I want to) but I still used my original ‘old’ channel to like videos, add to my favourites playlist and subscribe to other channels. The new channel I regard as my ‘commenting’ channel and my old channel I was still using to subscribe and/or ‘like’ or add ‘favourite’ videos to my playlist.
    Overnight I find that now my old channel is gone, the link where I had linked it to my new channel has disappeared, if I click on the address I posted of it on my new channel, it states “this channel does not exist”.
    When I am signed in it states that my old channel is just a page, but when I click on it, nothing useful happens, none of my subscriptions show up, all my playlist is gone and my comments are still missing from youtube.
    There was an option to disconnect from google+ and revert my channel back to exactly how it was before, but when I clicked on it, it told me I am not authorized to perform this action.
    I do not understand why this has happened. I just want my ‘old’ original channel back the way it was, with all my subscriptions showing and my playlist back, and all my old comments still visible on youtube. How can I get my original channel back by unlinking it from google+ but without losing my ‘new’ channel?
    Basically I just want my original channel back, which is not linked to google+ but IS linked to my current channel which IS linked to google+.
    My old channel I have been using to subscribe and ‘like’ videos, my new channel I use to comment. As I stated in the ‘about’ description, evelang1 again is the commenting channel for evelang1. I just want things to revert back to that. How?

  11. Eve
    Posted May 6, 2015 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Pkease can someone explain how I can unlink my channel from google+ page and get it back again? because since google just turned my channel into a page in google+, it is like my channel doesn’t exist anymore. I just want it back. Someone, please?

  12. BrightXeno
    Posted July 4, 2015 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    I Want to ask something, I Have a youtube channel called “BrightXeno the Gizoid” I Had access to it until my brother erased the chrome browser history and cookies, I have been kicked out of my own channel because of that and even if i use the same Email or accout, For some reason, Google does not remember that it was MY Channel. Any help?

  13. Jeff
    Posted July 19, 2015 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    I’m going nuts with this. I have a YouTube channel that I set up to display my son’s drumming. At the time, I was completely unfamiliar with the fact that this was hooked up to a gmail account, because I never use gmail to receive emails.

    Because of that, I’ve changed passwords a few times, and now I can’t remember what password is the right one. I also didn’t know that youtube channels were case sensitive, so after I lost control of the channel, meaning I can subscribe to it, but I can’t upload to it, I started adding youtube channels with different cased letters because I didn’t think it mattered.

    Now I can go on my phone and see there are subscribers, but not on my laptop. How can I restore my ability to manage this page like before? Thank you.

  14. Lucy
    Posted August 6, 2015 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    VERY FRUSTRATING……. No solution I’ve found online actually works. I have a very old account / channel, but I can’t access it. It says it doesn’t recognize the gmail account (an old one that I never actually used). There seems to be no other way to recover the channel.
    ANY IDEAS???????? SOLUTIONS??????? ANYBODY?????? THX!

  15. jes
    Posted September 16, 2015 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    but i lost my phone i don’t have access on the # anymore

  16. Posted November 2, 2015 at 2:22 am | Permalink

    One of the good information for AOL password recovery . There is better alternative available at and best. My favourate !.

  17. Posted March 24, 2016 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, this really helped. (it only took me about 90-minutes to figure it out πŸ™‚ )

  18. Posted June 14, 2016 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    i cant log to my account???

  19. mayur deshpande
    Posted February 2, 2017 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    this does not help at all

  20. Posted February 9, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

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  21. Demae
    Posted February 24, 2017 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    My YouTube account says that it wasn’t able to login but I don’t remember my password because it was saved. Idk what to do. I want to watch my vids!


  22. Chris Burgess
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    Isn’t it amazing that YouTube haven’t fixed this problem? I have sent them half a dozen messages to no avail! Google has an easy answer for their similar issues. It’s all automated! Its unbelievable that YouTube is this incompetent!

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