While you can give your channel nearly any name you want on YouTube, those names haven’t been unique, meaning anyone else can have the same name for their channel. This has led to several impersonating and bot channels seeking to get clicks by copying more successful channels. That’s where handles come in. Unlike channel names, handles are unique and make it easy to verify you’re engaging with or watching the right person.
A handle will appear in a “@yourhandle” format. For example, on our YouTube channel, the handle will be “@androidauthority.” YouTube hopes these handles will help creators establish and maintain their distinct presence on YouTube. Every channel will have a handle, regardless of how many subscribers they have or videos they have published.
Your handle will appear across several surfaces on YouTube, including your channel homepage, search results, the Shorts feed, within comments and community posts, and more. Handles can also use them on other platforms to help link to and promote your channel since your handle will become a part of your channel URL.
Can every channel get a YouTube Handle?
Yes, every channel, whether you are a creator or viewer, will get a unique handle. YouTube opens access to everyone and removes the 100-subscriber threshold previously applied to custom URLs.
Your handle will also automatically become the new YouTube URL for your channel, which in theory, will make it easier for people to discover you. For example, youtube.com/@youtubecreators.
How and when can I claim my YouTube Handle?
YouTube is gradually rolling out handles to all channels over the coming weeks. You will receive a notification in YouTube Studio and via email when it’s your time to choose yours.
For most channels, if you already have a personalized YouTube URL, it will automatically become your handle. Whether you have a customized URL or not, you can change your handle or select one once you’re notified. Note that your preferred handle may not be available in some instances, so that you can choose another option.
Can I change my existing YouTube Handle?
Yes, you can choose a new handle, so long as another channel isn’t already using it.
Go to youtube.com/handle on a computer or a mobile device with the YouTube app. Select Choose handle or Change handle. 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. 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.
Yes, your YouTube video links will still work, but your personalized channel URL will be automatically converted to include your new handle. YouTube, therefore, recommends that creators update their social media profiles and external websites to use this new URL.
How long can my YouTube handle be?
Handles can be between 3 and 30 characters in length.
What if I don’t select a YouTube handle?
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.