Can't access older YouTube account - help?
March 30, 2017 9:24 PM   Subscribe

I used to have two YouTube accounts - a personal and a professional one. At some point a number of years ago, Google wanted to default me to using my professional one and I remember it took repeated selection efforts and whatnot to eventually get it to use my personal one instead. (I would prefer my personal browsing, subscribing, and liking habits be unlinked to my professional account, and I rarely use my professional one as evidenced by this years-later question.) Now I have no idea how - if at all - to access my old professional one.

So I have "Personal Account" under which I just generally do my day-to-day YouTubing. Then I have/had? "Professional Account" under which I - very rarely post videos. The last video I posted to that account was 4 years ago and I definitely haven't attempted to log in to that account since Google seemed determined to make me pick my default account - however long ago that was - until now. I would like to post a new video under "Professional Account" but is it lost to the ether? I think when they made me pick my default, they made my "Professional Account" email address into the "Personal Account" one so now as far as I can tell there's no separate email address linked with "Professional Account." I tried the Add account button and that just keeps sending me in a YouTube-Gmail-YouTube loop without accomplishing anything.

Assume mid-level computer skills (not super skilled, mind you). If it helps in terms of ascertaining ownership, "Professional Account" is literally my name, and I am the only person in the world that I know of with my name. Plus I'm actually in the videos.
posted by vegartanipla to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have the same or similar issue. I had a different YouTube account name than my GMail account name. I try to sign up to a gmail account with that youtube name and it says it is taken. I try to login and recover my password and it says account does not exist. I have for years been trying to get it back. I suspect you (we) are SOL.

I just tried again. I found this in the help link:

Use a pre-Google YouTube account (legacy YouTube account)
Channels that were created before May 2009, and haven't been signed in since 2011, are not part of a Google Account. These are called "legacy YouTube channels."

To access a legacy channel, you need to link it to a Google Account:

Go to and sign in to the Google Account you'd like to link with your YouTube channel. If you don't have a Google Account, you can create one.
Go to
In the box on the left, enter your YouTube username and password.
Select Link these accounts.
Select Claim channel.
After you complete these steps, use your Google Account username and password to access your YouTube channel.

I think this will work if you know the password you used for your professional channel. I do not remember mine and I get stuck in some loop. I will try more in the morning. Good luck.
posted by AugustWest at 10:17 PM on March 30, 2017

Search on YouTube for "legacy youtube account password recovery" Some of those videos might help.
posted by AugustWest at 10:30 PM on March 30, 2017

Response by poster: The "Professional Account" is, sadly, not a pre-2009 account. I think I made it circa 2011-12 and probably last accessed it in 2013. I will try these methods anyway in the off chance that mine somehow still qualifies, but if anyone has other leads those would be great, too.
posted by vegartanipla at 10:36 PM on March 30, 2017

There is definitely a whole slate of YouTube accounts that are permanently inaccessible due to the Google buyout, passing of time, and a crazy level of security around password reminder requests. I'm totally unable to get into a historic work account for these reasons. Following the steps to get back into the account required me to know things like exactly when the account was set up (dunno, was before my time), and all sorts of other things I had no way of knowing.

Sorry that's not much help, but just so you know, there are certainly cases in which this is a total brick wall. (But I'll watch this thread with interest!)
posted by penguin pie at 2:05 PM on March 31, 2017

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