There are many reasons why someone would want to delete a video from their YouTube channel. Whatever your reason is, you can, thankfully, delete that video whenever you want.

In this article, we will walk through the steps you need to take to delete a YouTube video. But first, let’s discuss whether or not you should delete the video in question.

To delete or not to delete?

We recommend, whenever possible, you should aim to keep a video up. Depending on how long a video has been available, removing it may have a larger impact on traffic, depending on its popularity and metrics. However, there may be times when deletion is warranted.

For example, the Gamers Nexus channel posted about pulling a recently published weekly video because new information came to light as a result and following the video going live. The decision to remove the video was due to the new information adding value and increasing accuracy. Just in case you are curious, the story involves a Newegg customer receiving an empty RTX 4090 box that had weights instead of a GPU.

In The Gamers Nexus’ case, deletion was warranted to prevent them from misinforming their audience. However, YouTube has added correction cards, making it easier to update existing videos without having to delete them.

As a rule of thumb, recently uploaded videos with few or no views are safe to delete. Videos that have been on YouTube channels for a while with a notable amount of views should only be deleted with careful consideration.

The downsides

Deleting a video should be used as a last resort — when there are uncorrectable issues. Once triggered, the removal is irreversible. 

Existing data associated with the video is still part of aggregate reports. However, individual statistics are lost. Existing advertising payouts are not affected.

A major downside of deletion is that it can negatively impact your channel’s traffic, especially if you delete a video that’s racked up views and likes. So think twice about deleting that old video that is slightly off-brand but still pulls in tons of views.

Accuracy and quality control

The best fix is no fix; you should check and recheck your videos for accuracy. In particular, areas that focus on specifications and test results. Saying the wrong word or value is a common mistake and is now easy to fix in post-production with an onscreen prompt or a correction card. In other cases, consistently mispronouncing a brand name can be fatal for a sponsored video and may require a replacement.

The race for views frequently requires content creators to move fast and publish videos soon after new equipment is available. 

Hardware and software reviews are categories where updates and corrections are common, especially during release cycles. Manufacturers often update the specifications, capabilities and issue patches during the release period. This is due to feedback and the products being out in the wild and in users’ hands.

Are videos replaceable?

In a word, no. Each YouTube video receives a unique URL, and replacements count as new videos.

Barring some kind of colossal mistake, inaccuracy or take-down request, you should aim to keep a video up.

How to delete a YouTube video

A good way of going about a deletion is to announce the change by creating a post to inform your audience. Rug-pulling a channel’s subscribers is a bad approach.

Once uploaded, add a link to the video using the corrections feature.

Here are the steps for deleting a YouTube video:

Computer

  1. Navigate to YouTube Studio
  2. Select “Content” from the menu on the left
  3. Hover over the video and select the “options” button
  4. Select “Delete Forever” and follow the confirmation prompts

Mobile: Android and iOS

  1. Open the YouTube app
  2. Navigate to the library
  3. Select Delete from the More menu
  4. Confirm

Alternatives to deleting a video

So far, we have covered the downsides of deleting a video and established that videos aren’t replaceable. This section covers the alternatives to deletion.

Edit the video

YouTube Studio is a great interim option for editing a video offline without having to delete or upload it. We can instead trim and cut the offending segments.

  1. Open YouTube Studio
  2. Select your video
  3. Open the Editor using the left-hand menu
  4. Select New Cut to create new regions to trim and cut

This is the preferred approach if you can edit the video in a way that doesn’t ruin the flow or the point of the video. The benefit here is that you keep the video’s viewing history, likes, and recommendations intact when you choose to edit it in YouTube Studio.

Remember to update the title and description to reflect the new edit.

Corrections and cards

YouTube rolled out a corrections feature in June 2022 that enables users to append updates to their descriptions and presents a correction card.

The format for adding a correction is “Correction:” or “Corrections:” timestamp, and then adding text describing the correction. Note that the word correction must be in quotes and include the colon.

The correction feature is not available for channels with active strikes or inappropriate content.

The official correction help article is available here.

  1. Open the video in YouTube Studio
  2. Edit the description
  3. Add the Correction: timestamp and note

This triggers a correction card to appear in the upper left corner of the video.

Uploading a corrected video

Correction video follow-ups are good options and can act as a positive by continuing to expand on a topic and creating new content. A good approach is to announce the change by creating a post to inform your audience. Rug-pulling a channel’s subscribers is never good.

Providing the original video is still up, add a link to the new corrected video, and use correction cards at the relevant timestamps.

Don’t forget to change the title of the original video to reflect this change.

That’s all folks

And there you have it. Instructions on deleting a YouTube video as gracefully as a situation permits or options to correct and keep an existing video up.