How To Salvage A Dormant YouTube Account

How To Salvage A Dormant YouTube Account

19th November 2012

Taking over a digital marketing campaign is never without certain niggles – but my absolute all time favourite is trying to collate all of the logins and access to social media and other accounts set up in the past. Even the most coordinated strategy can fall foul of the excitement of signing up to the newest shiny tool on the market using some obscure email, especially a personal one. Which often isn’t that much of a problem until that person leaves the company or can’t remember what email was used or a hundred other reasons that make the whole thing more difficult than it should be. In the past year I’ve been asked to revive or access three YouTube accounts that were attracted views and comments but which the company could not login to. The chance to monetize the video content or respond to both positive and negative comments was being lost along with the chance to use the channel for more effective brand building. There are various ways to tackle the situation, so let’s start with the most optimistic option :-).

Claiming Ownership of a YouTube Account

If you or the company (or the  ex-agency) know which email address was used to sign up to YouTube but have no idea what the password is, you can easily request that information and reset the password. This should then give you access to other Google features linked to that address like GMail & Google+ – result! Then either keep the new password in a very safe place indeed or update the email address on the account to match the current Google login.

No email or password details

As you would expect, it starts to get a little more complicated at this point – you are going to have to convince YouTube that you have a genuine right to access the account so be prepared to give as much information as possible. There’s absolutely no guarantee they will listen or offer any kind of solution (unless, I hear, you are a full partner) but it’s a step you need to go through.

Worst Case Scenario

You may as well get ready for Plan B as recovering login info for a YouTube account when you haven’t got access to any of the original details is going to be a nightmare. However, there’s no point waiting any longer to leverage video marketing so I suggest doing the following if the above doesn’t work (I’m assuming your client has full copyright on the videos locked down in the other account of course).

* Set up a new YouTube account using the Google email address associated with the main Analytics, Adwords, Google+ Account

* Download the videos on the locked account (if the originals aren’t available) using Keepvid or similar.

* Upload the videos to the new account and OPTIMISE them. Now is the time to get your titles, descriptions and tags right and to utilise closed captions, annotations and overlays.

* Enable comments now that you can respond to them.

* Create unique video landing pages on your client’s site and pull in the video embeds. Optimise the text around the video and enable social sharing.

* Set up playlists to aggregate related content across YouTube in one place.

* You are going to lose all the old metrics like views, comments etc so you will need to build that engagement from scratch. Link your new YouTube account to your other social media accounts using something like and start distributing!

Best Practice

Login details are like gold – keep them safe and even if you delegate the setting up of accounts on the web, make sure every user name and password is kept in a safe place for future reference.


Written By
Carla Marshall is Director of SEO at
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