Handles overview

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

Subscribe to the YouTube Creators channel for the latest news, updates, and tips.

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

If your handle is found to violate our Community Guidelines, YouTube will revoke the handle and generate a new one for your channel.

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 handle

Note: You can change your handle twice within a 14-day period. If you do so, 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. Afterward, the handle will become available for other users to select as their handle.

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  2. From the left Menu, select Customization and then Basic info.
  3. Under Handle, you can view or change your handle URL.
  4. ​If you change your handle, click PUBLISH to confirm it.
If your preferred handle isn’t available, you can try adding periods, numbers, or underscores.

If your preferred handle isn’t available, it’s usually because:

  • Another channel already selected that handle.


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