Handles overview

You’ll begin to see handles on YouTube! We’re gradually rolling out handles across comments, Shorts, mentions, and more throughout the coming weeks.

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 at youtube.com/handle.

Handles are a way for you to find and connect with creators on YouTube. Handles are unique and short channel identifiers distinct from channel names, and they start with the “@” symbol. For example, @youtubecreators.


All channels will have an associated handle that can be used to find and interact with other users– both creators and viewers. Your handle will also automatically become the new YouTube URL for your channel that will make it easy for people to discover you. For example, youtube.com/@youtubecreators. You can use this URL to direct people to your channel when they’re not on YouTube. Each channel can only have one handle.

You’ll see handles in places like comments, mentions, and in Shorts. Your handle will show in more places over time. You can also use your handle outside of YouTube to promote your channel.

Any legacy personalized URLs that you have will continue to work.

Handles on YouTube

Get the latest news, updates, and tips on the YouTube Creators channel.

Handle naming guidelines

Note: YouTube reserves the right to change, reclaim, or remove a handle at any time.

Your handle must follow these guidelines:

  • Is between 3-30 characters
  • Is made up of alphanumeric characters (A–Z, a–z, 0–9)
    • Your handle can also include: underscores (_), hyphens (-), periods (.)
  • Is not URL-like or phone number-like
  • Is not already being used
  • Follows YouTube's Community Guidelines

Best practices for choosing a handle

Select a handle that best represents your public identity on YouTube. Note that handles aren’t case-sensitive.

We don’t allow:

  • Violent, offensive, sexualized, or spammy handles
  • The sale and transfer of handles
Note: In certain instances, like when you create a channel through methods like posting a comment on mobile, YouTube may auto assign you a handle based on your chosen channel name. There may be cases where your handle is randomly assigned if the chosen channel name cannot be converted to the handle. You can always view and edit the handle in Studio or by going to youtube.com/handle.

Hide your handle

If you want to hide your handle, you can delete or hide your channel

 View or change a handle

You’ll be notified in YouTube Studio and by email when you can choose your handle.

Note: If you change your handle, we hold your previous handle for 14 days in case you’d like to switch back. During this 14-day period, your former handle URL and your updated URL will both work. After 14 days, the handle will become available for other users to select as their handle.

  1. Go to youtube.com/handle on a computer or on a mobile device with the YouTube app.
    • If you don’t have the YouTube app installed, you’ll be prompted to download it.
  2. Select Choose handle or Change handle.
    • You may already have a reserved handle based on your custom URL.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.


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