How To Delete Or Recover YouTube Videos

By | December 7, 2021

If you have a YouTube channel, you may be wondering how to delete YouTube videos at some point. Maybe you uploaded something you no longer want on your channel, or need to re-upload a copy with some fixes.

Whatever your reason, we’ll show you how to delete a video from YouTube, as well as some tips on recovery.

How to Delete YouTube Videos on Desktop

As you’d expect, you can only delete YouTube videos that you’ve previously uploaded. Luckily this site makes it easy.

To get started on your desktop or laptop, visit YouTube and click your profile icon in the top right corner. If you haven’t signed in yet, do so now. If not, select YouTube Studio to enter the management panel for your YouTube channel.

Select Videos on the left side to see everything you’ve uploaded to YouTube. By default, it will be displayed by date of upload, starting with the most recent video.

Hover over the video you want to delete and click the three-dot button that appears. This will show more options. In the list of new options, click Delete forever.

If you want to delete multiple videos at once, use the checkboxes on the left to select all of them. Once you are ready, click More actions along the top bar and select Delete forever.

You should then check the box confirming that you understand this permanently deletes the video with no option for recovery. After selecting this, click Delete forever if you are sure.

That’s all you need to know to delete YouTube videos. Remember that doing so is permanent. If you want to keep a copy for yourself, YouTube provides a button Download Videos on the deletion page.

How to Delete YouTube Videos on Mobile

Prefer to delete one of your YouTube videos on your phone or tablet? It’s also simple to use a mobile device.

First, open the YouTube app on your iPhone, iPad or Android device. On tab Home, tap your profile picture at the top right. If you haven’t logged into your account with the app, sign in now.

Next, select your channel from the list of options. Once your channel page appears, jump to the Videos tab using the list above.

Find the video you want to delete and tap the three-dot menu button next to it. In the list of options that appears, select Delete and confirm your choice.

The YouTube mobile app is very limited, so you can’t do much more than this. If you want better management tools for your videos on mobile, check out the YouTube Studio app for Android or iOS. This gives you many of the same options available on the YouTube Studio desktop.

Download: YouTube Studio for Android | iOS (Free)

What Happens When You Delete a YouTube Video

Completing the above process permanently deletes your videos from YouTube with no way to recover them. In addition, most of the other data related to the video (such as comments and number of likes/dislikes) will be lost.

Viewers will not be able to find the video by searching for it. Anyone with the info whether it’s pinned on another website, saved to a playlist, or copied somewhere will see a “video deleted” message if they try to watch it.

YouTube support page note that the view time of deleted videos will still be included in your channel’s aggregate report. However, it doesn’t show as credited to the deleted video.

Can You Recover Deleted YouTube Videos

YouTube does not allow you to recover deleted videos. If you change your mind immediately after deleting the video, you can try contacting YouTube Support and asked them to return it, but it was still difficult.

We recommend keeping local copies of all the videos you upload to YouTube so you have a backup in case you change your mind later.

Since deleting YouTube videos is permanent, it’s often a good idea to change the visibility of a video instead of deleting it right away. Doing so lets you prevent people from finding it on YouTube, while still preserving it in case you ever want to bring it back.

To change the video status, follow the same steps as above to open your Channel Videos page in YouTube Studio. There, you will see the column Visibility next to each video.

You can choose from three options for this:

  • Public: Everyone can watch the video. It will show up in search and on your channel page.
  • Unlisted: Anyone with the info can watch the video. It will not appear on your channel page or in recommendations, and will only appear in searches if someone adds it to a public playlist.
  • Private: Only you and your specially invited people can watch this video.
    • Select a video in Creator Studio to open the page Video details, then click the three-dot menu button at the top right and select Share privately to send it to a friend’s email address.

Choosing one of the more restrictive options has almost the same effect as removing it because people won’t be able to find or watch it easily. But if you change your mind, you just need to set the video back to Public.

How to Find and Watch Deleted YouTube Videos

So far we’ve looked at how to delete YouTube videos on your own channel, but what if you want to find YouTube videos deleted from others? Maybe you added a video to a playlist and the owner has removed it or made it private.

Since deletion is permanent, you don’t have many good options here. However, there are steps you can try.

If you remember the name of the video, you should first try searching for it on YouTube and Google. Third-party accounts may upload copies of videos to YouTube or other video sites.

If that doesn’t work, you can try using Wayback Machine to view a copy of the saved video page. Just enter the URL of the video and you can view the page like it was in the old days. However, while this will allow you to check the title of the video and read some of the comments, it rarely allows you to watch the full video.

Finally, if the video is private, you might consider asking the channel owner to view it. They probably have good reasons for doing this, so don’t expect anything. But you might be surprised when you explain why you want to watch this particular video.

How to Report Other YouTube Videos

Of course, it is not possible to delete other people’s videos from YouTube. But if you come across a video that you think shouldn’t be on YouTube because it violates policies, you can report it.

To do this, visit the YouTube video and click on the three-dot button at the bottom right of the video. Here, select Report and select the reason, then follow the steps.

There’s no guarantee that YouTube will take immediate action on your report, but doing so is the best way to remove inappropriate content from the site.

Keep in mind that you should only report videos that flagrantly violate YouTube’s guidelines. Don’t use reporting as a way to take down videos you don’t like.

Deleting YouTube Videos is Simple

Now you know how to remove unwanted YouTube videos from your channel, plus some information about reporting videos and finding videos that others have removed. Remember to consider de-registering or making it private before deleting so you have an easy way to get it back.