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YouTube Handles: What are they and how to claim yours

Everything you need to know to get a handle on YouTube Handles.
By
October 14, 2022

Google is rolling out a new feature for YouTube channels: account handles. Similar to other social apps such as Twitter or TikTok, a unique “@name” handle will soon appear on your user profile on YouTube. Here’s everything you need to know about how and when you can claim yours.

Read more: How to set up a YouTube channel: A step-by-step guide

QUICK ANSWER

YouTube Handles are unique identifiers for channels that appear in the form “@yourhandle." Every channel can choose a unique handle as the feature is rolled out over the coming weeks.


KEY SECTIONS

What are YouTube Handles, and how do they work?

While you can give your channel nearly any name you want on YouTube, those names haven’t been unique, meaning anyone else can have the same name for their channel. This has led to several impersonating and bot channels seeking to get clicks by copying more successful channels. That’s where handles come in. Unlike channel names, handles are unique and make it easy to verify you’re engaging with or watching the right person.

A handle will appear in a “@yourhandle” format. For example, on our YouTube channel, the handle will be “@androidauthority.” YouTube hopes these handles will help creators establish and maintain their distinct presence on YouTube. Every channel will have a handle, regardless of how many subscribers they have or videos they have published.

Your handle will appear across several surfaces on YouTube, including your channel homepage, search results, the Shorts feed, within comments and community posts, and more. Handles can also use them on other platforms to help link to and promote your channel since your handle will become a part of your channel URL.

Can every channel get a YouTube Handle?

Yes, every channel, whether you are a creator or viewer, will get a unique handle. YouTube opens access to everyone and removes the 100-subscriber threshold previously applied to custom URLs.

Your handle will also automatically become the new YouTube URL for your channel, which in theory, will make it easier for people to discover you. For example, youtube.com/@youtubecreators.

How and when can I claim my YouTube Handle?

YouTube is gradually rolling out handles to all channels over the coming weeks. You will receive a notification in YouTube Studio and via email when it’s your time to choose yours.

youtube handle edit page
Adam Birney / Android Authority

For most channels, if you already have a personalized YouTube URL, it will automatically become your handle. Whether you have a customized URL or not, you can change your handle or select one once you’re notified. Note that your preferred handle may not be available in some instances, so that you can choose another option.

Can I change my existing YouTube Handle?

Yes, you can choose a new handle, so long as another channel isn’t already using it.

Go to youtube.com/handle on a computer or a mobile device with the YouTube app. Select Change handle at the center of the page.

youtube handle splash screen
Adam Birney / Android Authority

Type in the handle field to check the availability of your preferred handle. You can also choose one of the suggested handles or the pre-filled handle based on your channel name. Once you’ve found an available handle, click Confirm selection.

If your preferred handle isn’t available, it’s usually because another channel already selected that handle.


Read more: The future according to Google

FAQs

Yes, your YouTube video links will still work, but your personalized channel URL will be automatically converted to include your new handle. YouTube, therefore, recommends that creators update their social media profiles and external websites to use this new URL.

Handles can be between 3 and 30 characters in length.

If you don’t select a handle by November 14, 2022, YouTube will automatically assign you one. You can change this handle at any point.