How To Change Your YouTube Channel Name and Handle

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  • Alex Lefkowitz
    (Author)

    Alex Lefkowitz is the founder and CEO of Tasty Edits. He holds a BA in Entrepreneurship and is an experienced video editor, having edited hundreds of videos for dozens of creators before starting his own video editing company. Since launching Tasty Edits, he has directly managed thousands of video and thumbnail orders. Now, he draws on his experience working with professional creators to write about video editing, the creator economy, and video marketing. You can also read his work on Hackernoon and Medium. Plus, he's contributed several expert opinions in interviews and articles as a guest on platforms like Jotform.

    View all posts

At some point or another, many YouTubers think about changing their channel name

Maybe you’re switching niches and want your channel name to reflect that. Maybe you’re updating the name because you now have permanent collaborators. Or maybe it’s just time for a serious rebrand. 

No matter why you want to do it, here’s how to change your YouTube name. We’ll also talk about everything you have to consider when you do that.

Contents

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YouTube Channel Name vs Handle vs URL: What’s the Difference?

Before you change your YouTube name, it’s important to understand the difference between your channel name, URL, and handle

Your channel name is the title of your channel on YouTube. This can be any name you want, as long as it doesn’t violate YouTube’s community guidelines. It doesn’t have to be unique – you can have the same channel name as somebody else.

Your channel URL is what people actually type into their browsers to access your channel directly. By default, your YouTube channel’s URL is 24 random characters long. Until recently, channels were able to apply for a (much more memorable) custom URL once they’d reached 1000 subscribers.

autogenerated channel url
The default kind of YouTube URL: A random string of letters.

However, in October 2022, the platform rolled out a new feature: YouTube handles. These are unique identifiers for your YouTube channel, and also work as URLs. You can now access your channel under youtube.com/@yourhandle. This mirrors how things work on Instagram, X / Twitter and other platforms.

handle channel url
The new handle-based YouTube channel URLs.

As a result, YouTube no longer issues custom URLs. Also, existing custom URLs can no longer be changed. People can still access your channel through the old URL, but they’ll be redirected automatically.

custom channel url
Custom URLs will continue to work, but can't be changed anymore.

So when you’re thinking about changing your YouTube name in 2022, you’re actually talking about modifying one of two things: your YouTube channel name or your YouTube handle. Fortunately, they’re both easy to edit – and in the same place no less. 

If your channel is verified, a word of caution: If you change your channel name, you will lose the verification badge, and you’ll have to reapply for it. Changing your handle doesn’t affect the checkmark.

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How to Change Your YouTube Channel Name and Handle on Desktop

YouTube makes it pretty easy to modify what your channel is called. The new handles are also simple to set up. Here’s how to do it on the YouTube website (scroll down for how to do it on mobile).

Open YouTube Studio: To change your YouTube channel name on desktop, go to YouTube Studio.

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Go to basic info: Next, scroll down in the left-hand menu. The second option from the bottom is Customization, just above Audio Library. In the main window, click on the Basic info tab. This sets up the basics of your YouTube account.

 
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Pick a new name: Here you can change both your channel name and your handle.

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Publish the change: When you’re done, make sure to click “Publish” in the top right corner. 

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How to Change Your YouTube Channel Name and Handle on Mobile

On mobile, you have two options to change your YouTube channel name – one for each of the two main YouTube apps.

Option 1: YouTube Studio App

The first option is to use the YouTube Studio mobile app. Here, click on your profile icon in the top right corner of your screen. In the drop-down menu that appears, select “Edit channel profile”. 

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This will take you to a new window with an overview of your channel’s banner, profile picture, name, and description. To change your channel name, tap the pencil icon next to it. 

 
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This will open a new view in which you can change your channel name. Don’t forget to save when you’re done. 

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Option 2: YouTube App

The second option to make a name change on mobile is via the regular YouTube app. Here, you can modify both your channel name and YouTube handle. 

In the YouTube app, click on your profile icon in the top right corner.

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Then select “Your channel”. 

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In the overview page that appears, click on the pencil icon beside the “Manage videos” button and the analytics icon. 

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This will take you to a new screen where you can easily modify both your channel name and handle by clicking the edit icon next to them. 

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Things to Know About Changing Your YouTube Name

When you change your YouTube channel name or handle, there are a few things to keep in mind

You should choose a YouTube name that best reflects your content, both as a channel name and a handle. This helps set your viewers’ expectations. It ought to be memorable and catchy. Consistency is important, so your content and channel should fit a set of brand guidelines or branding kits to ensure your viewers can get familiar your brand.

If haven’t done so already, it might therefore be a good idea to pick the same handle you’re using on other platforms. This makes it more memorable.

There’s one restriction on this: YouTube handles must be unique. If someone else is already using the handle you’d like, you have to modify it using numbers, underscores or other variations. 

Handles can be between 3 and 30 characters long, and can be made up of numbers and letters as well as underscores, hyphens, or periods. 

Channel names are less restricted. Like handles, they need to adhere to YouTube’s community guidelines, though. Neither can be violent, offensive, sexualized, or spammy. 

Keep in mind that a changed channel name is visible only to your YouTube audience. A changed handle means your “address” on YouTube changes as well. This is important to take into account if you link back to your channel on other sites using your handle. 

If you want to change back to your old YouTube handle, you can do so within 14 days.

The Bottom Line

Changing your YouTube name – both your channel name and your handle – is fairly easy. You can do so both on desktop using YouTube Studio and on mobile using the YouTube app and the YouTube Studio app. 

Before you pick your new channel name, though, reflect carefully on what suits your YouTube identity best – and make sure it meets all the platform’s requirements.

Yes. You can pick a new YouTube handle, which will also give you a new URL, which will look like this: youtube.com/@your_new_handle. However, you can no longer change the custom URL you might have had before handles rolled out.

Yes, there can be several channels with the exact same name. However, your YouTube @handle has to be unique. 

No. If people use the old URL to get to your channel, they’ll be redirected automatically. It works the same if you change your handle.

Your new channel name might take a few days to show up everywhere. Usually, it’ll replace the old name quickly, but don’t worry if it takes a little time.

No. YouTube handles must be unique.

You can still use the same channel name as somebody else. If they’re in a similar niche, though, you should probably choose something more distinct. YouTube handles must be unique, however.

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Author

  • Alex Lefkowitz

    Alex Lefkowitz is the founder and CEO of Tasty Edits. He holds a BA in Entrepreneurship and is an experienced video editor, having edited hundreds of videos for dozens of creators before starting his own video editing company. Since launching Tasty Edits, he has directly managed thousands of video and thumbnail orders. Now, he draws on his experience working with professional creators to write about video editing, the creator economy, and video marketing. You can also read his work on Hackernoon and Medium. Plus, he's contributed several expert opinions in interviews and articles as a guest on platforms like Jotform.

    View all posts