As a YouTube creator, there may come a point where you want to hide your YouTube channel or permanently delete it. There is a way to do both.

In this article, we will look at the differences between hiding your YouTube channel and deleting it. We will also walk you through the steps you need to take to delete your channel. Additionally, if you choose to hide your channel instead, we will discuss how to make it public again.

Hiding your YouTube channel versus deleting your YouTube channel

Videos

Hiding your YouTube channel allows you to hide your content and account from the public while still maintaining your content. Ultimately, hiding your channel gives you the options in the long run. Deleting your YouTube channel leaves you with no way to recover your account or content.

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Subscribers

When you delete your YouTube channel, not only do you lose your content, you also lose your subscribers. There’s no way to retrieve them if you decide to come back. If you hide your channel, you keep all your subscribers if you choose to make the channel public again. 

Engagement

As you can probably guess, when you delete your channel, you also lose your views, comments and community engagement. When you hide your channel, you retain all of this.

How to delete your YouTube channel

If you decide the best option for you is to delete your YouTube channel, let’s go over the steps you need to take to delete it.

  1. First, download all of your YouTube videos if you want to save your channel’s content. Be sure you have enough storage to keep them all and back them up in the Cloud or an external drive.
  2. Once you finish downloading your videos, open your YouTube channel’s Settings by clicking on your profile image, located in the top right corner, and navigate down to ‘Settings.’
  3. Next, select ‘Advanced settings.’
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and select ‘Delete channel.’
  5. For there, you will have two options: temporarily hide your channel or permanently delete your channel.
  6. If you want to hide your channel, click the first option. If you want to delete your channel, you will choose the latter option.
  7. After selecting to delete your channel, select ‘delete my content.’ This will permanently delete all your content on your YouTube channel. It may take some time to do. The thumbnails from your videos may remain visible on the platform for a little while until the deletion is complete.

How to unhide your channel?

If you chose to hide your channel, here’s what you need to do to unhide it.

  1. First, log into to your channel and go to YouTube Studio.
  2. Find and click ‘Settings.’
  3. Go to ‘Advanced Settings.’
  4. Scroll down and select ‘Channel Privacy.’
  5. There will be an option to make your channel public. This will unhide your YouTube channel and its content. After making your channel public, there will be a blue taskbar. Once YouTube finishes publicizing your account, your channel and its videos will be public again.
  6. Click ‘Save.’ when the YouTube stays the task is complete.

Can you still view content after you delete it?

There are still ways to view content after it’s been deleted. One of the methods to recover a deleted YouTube video is to use an app called Wayback Machine. The Wayback Machine allows you to recover the video if you have the URL site. 

If it’s your own video and you can’t find the URL because you deleted the content, check your email linked to your YouTube channel and fetch the URL there. Go to the Wayback Machine application and paste the URL link in the search bar. Wait a couple of minutes until it is retrieved. Make sure to select a date before it was deleted and a date after it was uploaded to locate it.

There’s also a chance that if your channel is big enough, someone might have reuploaded your content. Go into YouTube and search for your video. You may be able to find the deleted video. However, this option will likely not apply to most.

Ultimately, there are very few options for you if you didn’t make a copy of your video before deleting your channel. If there’s a chance, you want to revisit your videos down the line, either save your videos or opt for hiding your channel instead of deleting it.

Choose what is best for you

Deciding whether to hide or delete your channel is an entirely personal decision. Whatever your reasonings are for taking down your videos, only you can decide which one is best for you. If there is a chance, you would want to revisit your channel in the future, hiding your channel might be the best option. If you’re going to erase everything and start fresh, deleting could be your best bet. Regardless of what you choose, be sure to walk through all your options because there’s no going back if you do delete your channel.