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Does YouTube Delete Old Videos?

If you’ve been creating and uploading content to YouTube for a while now, you may wonder if the video streaming platform will ever delete your old videos. Since its beginning in 2005, YouTube has been the host of billions of videos. Over 500 hours of content are uploaded each minute, so it would be easy to assume that at some point, they would have to delete older videos.

YouTube Deletion of Old Videos

The reality is YouTube does not and will not delete your old videos.

That is unless your account is spam or contains content that goes against their guidelines (e.g. contains adult content). In 2018, YouTube deleted 1.7 million channels that contained such content. That added up to over 50 million videos.

But again, none of the videos YouTube deletes are deleted simply because they are older. There is always another reason behind it being taken down.

Video Take Downs

While YouTube won’t take down your old videos due to their age, you may have your videos removed for a number of other reasons. Incidents such as copyright strikes and violations of the terms and conditions can get your video in question taken down, and your account potentially suspended.

You also may get suspended if you post any content encouraging others to break YouTube’s rules.


The first thing that will happen to you if YouTube removes one of your videos is that you will receive an email informing you of the incident. The email will tell you which video was removed and for what reason, but not who reported it or if it was even due to a report.

This will cause a strike against your account. YouTube’s strike system is a way of keeping track of these incidents and informing creators of how close they may be to getting banned from the platform. Three strikes, you’re out.

If you have any unresolved strikes against your account, you may be denied monetization.

Self Deletion of Old Videos

As long as that video doesn’t negatively impact you now, there’s no reason to remove it. It can be fun sometimes to revisit your earlier content and see how far you’ve come as a creator. Some old videos may even still be driving traffic to your channel.

Is it the case that an old video harms your brand or displays you in a negative light? Then it may be time to remove it. We all do dumb things when we’re young, and sometimes those things can come back to haunt us.

Account Deletion

YouTube can remove accounts for inactivity. They describe this as not logging in for six months, not having any videos uploaded, and not being active within the community by watching and commenting on other channel’s videos.


YouTube will not delete your videos because of when they were uploaded. However, you may end up with a video deleted if it violates guidelines YouTube has in place. As long as you’re in good standing, active, and posting safe content that abides by the rules, you don’t have to worry.

Taking down your own old videos is entirely up to you. Some channels keep them all. Some go back and take them down after a few years to keep their brand cohesive. There really is no right or wrong way to run your channel!

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  • Marley is a graduate of the University of Memphis where she earned her Bachelors Degree in Journalism. She is passionate about all forms of digital media, content creation, and writing. She also loves Memphis BBQ and dogs!

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