Recover a hacked YouTube channel

As a creator, you invest a lot of time into your content and channels. We know it can be a stressful and difficult situation when your channel is hacked. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to recover your channel.

Before taking action, it’s important to double check for signs that your channel may have been hacked.

Every YouTube channel is associated with at least one Google Account. When a YouTube channel is hacked, it means that at least one of the Google Accounts associated with the channel is also compromised.

If you notice any of the following, your Google Account may have been hacked, hijacked, or compromised:

  • Changes you didn’t make: Your profile picture, descriptions, email settings, AdSense association, or sent messages are different.
  • Uploaded videos that aren't yours: Someone has posted videos as your Google Account. You may get email notifications about these videos for penalties or strikes against bad content.

Google Accounts may be hacked, hijacked, or compromised for various reasons. These reasons include harmful content (malware) and deceptive emails disguised as a type of service that you’re familiar with (phishing). To keep your account safe, never share your email address and password information with others. Never download files or software from a source you don’t trust.

To recover a hacked YouTube channel, it’s necessary to first recover the hacked Google Account associated with the YouTube channel.

There are 3 steps to recover your YouTube channel:

1. Recover and secure the hacked Google Account associated with the YouTube channel
2. Revert unwanted changes on the YouTube channel immediately to avoid policy repercussions like Community Guidelines or copyright strikes
3. Reduce the risk of unauthorized access to your Google Account by using security best practices with all associated channel users

Recover your Google Account

You can still sign in to your Google Account

It’s important to update your password and secure your Google Account. Then, move on to the next step.

You can't sign in to your Google Account

For help with getting back into your Google Account:

  1. Follow the steps to recover your Google Account or Gmail.
  2. Reset your password when prompted. Choose a strong password that you haven't already used with this account. Learn how to create a strong password.

Ask your channel managers/owners to follow the same steps to secure their Google Account.

Revert your channel to its pre-hacked state

For help with getting your channel back to pre-hacked state:

  1. Clean up channel name or handle
  2. Replace channel banner or logo
  3. Update video privacy settings
  4. Remove any unknown channel users or Brand Account users
  5. Resolve copyright strikes

Reduce the risk of unauthorized access

Once you have completed the above steps, it’s important to keep your Google Account associated with the channel secured:

  1. Turn on Enhanced Safety Browsing
  2. Turn on 2-Step Verification to add another layer of security to your account
  3. Set up or update a recovery phone number or email address
  4. Review the Google Account Security Check-up
  5. Set up a Passkey to get protection against threats like phishing
  6. Opt-in to the Advanced Protection Program

If your channel was terminated after your Google Account was hacked

Once you recover your Google Account, you can find an email with more details about how to appeal channel termination in your inbox. Once you've recovered your hacked Google Account, you can appeal with this form. Your appeal may not be accepted if the account recovery is incomplete.

Get in touch with the Creator Support team

If your channel is eligible (for example, if you’re in the YouTube Partner Program), once you recover your Google Account, you can get in touch with the YouTube Creator Support team for help.

Learn how to get in touch with the Creator Support team.

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