By default, most YouTube channel URLs consist of a string of seemingly nonsensical letters and numbers. Which is, of course, bad for branding. You can however customize your YouTube channel URL to better suit your brand – and make it easier (and prettier) to share.
Once a YouTube channel meets a set of moderate eligibility requirements, YouTube allows the admin to create a custom URL. If you’ve had your channel for a while, it’s likely that it qualifies for a custom URL, which you can get in a few easy steps.
If you’ve created a custom URL and want to change it, it’s also simple to delete the old one and claim a new one.
The URLs of YouTube channels are never permanently fixed. However, this wasn’t always the case. For many years, YouTube did not allow channels to make changes to their custom URLs.
Channel URLs can now be changed up to three times per year. And it’s the same procedure every time.
Here we are going to explain how to change a YouTube channel URL for the first time and also how to change a YouTube channel URL when the old custom URL no longer fits your brand or meets your YouTube marketing needs.
When Will I be Eligible for a Custom YouTube Channel URL?
As we mentioned, there are a minimum set of requirements your channel must meet before YouTube will allow you to swap that string of letters and numbers assigned to it for a custom URL. At the time of writing those requirements your channel must:
- Have at least 100 subscribers.
- Be at least 30 days old.
- Have a profile picture that you’ve uploaded.
- Have a unique – and copyright legal – banner image.
By any measure, these are minor requirements, but they do prevent new channels from creating custom URLs right away.
You won’t be able to create a URL for a channel that was created an hour ago if you came here hoping to find out how to do so.
Wait at least 30 days, then proceed to the next steps after accumulating 100 or more subscribers.
However, there is one caveat to creating custom URLs: they aren’t completely up to you. Instead you will need to choose your channel URL customization from the options presented to you when you make the change.
When you’re choosing a URL, YouTube will suggest a few custom URLs based on the following criteria:
- YouTube username
- Display name
- Currently available vanity URLs
- Name of the linked website
How To Set a YouTube Channel URL
You’ll be working in the YouTube Studio section, which, in case you have not been there for a while – or ever – you will find has changed, as YouTube recently replaced the ‘classic’ Studio experience for a new one, as this video explains:
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Once signed in, you’ll need to navigate to customization in the left-hand menu, and when you click on the basic info tab, you’ll see just where you’ll be creating your new YouTube channel URL:
You’ll then want to click on that ‘set a custom URL for channel link. If that blue link is NOT there that means that your channel has yet to meet the basic requirements we mentioned at the start of this piece. If that’s the case, you’ll need to figure iout why. In most cases it’s because you are attempting to do so too soon.
Once you click on the link you’ll be presented with a set of channel URL options, similar to those you see in our example below:
Once you have made your choice, click confirm, and you’re done. You can now share your new custom YouTube channel URL right away.
How to Change a YouTube Custom URL
Each year, YouTube channels can change their custom URL up to three times.
Begin by logging into YouTube Studio to change the previously selected URL of your YouTube channel for a new one. Follow the same path as before, selecting Customization from the left navigation menu, then Basic info.
Select DELETE from the drop-down menu next to your current custom URL. Confirm the deletion, at which point your channel will return to being assigned a random URL until you choose a new one.
It’s possible that you won’t be able to create a new custom URL right after removing an old one. The previous URL may take a few days to deactivate, according to YouTube.
After your URL has been removed, you can claim a new one by repeating the steps you took the first time.
Although you can change the name of your YouTube channel up to three times a year, it’s rarely a good idea. A YouTube URL can be a very effective part of a branding effort, and by changing it again once you set it up the first time you risk creating a lot of confusion – and a lot of work for yourself changing it everywhere. Try taking the time to get it right in the first place, and you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle!