Learn how to claim a custom YouTube URL for your YouTube Channel in this detailed guide.
Also, YouTube adopting different custom URL structures (as you will see in the later parts) over the past few years can be easily confusing for YouTube creators.
Custom URLs provide an easy to remember and unique YouTube username that can be handy to navigate to your channel or spread the word about it to your audience. Your custom URL for YouTube channel makes it easy to link to your channel and easy for your subscribers to visit your channel.
It’s like having a unique username, similar to a Twitter handle or a Facebook username that makes it easy to connect with other users. Your subscribers can remember the custom YouTube URL and find your channel easily.
In this detailed guide, we will discuss i) why custom URLs are necessary, ii) look at the possible custom URLs structure for YouTube and then finally iii) guide you to claim the custom URL of your choice for your YouTube channel.
I will also make an effort to clarify the YouTube association with Google+ and how it can affect your channel presence. Feel free to skip to the section of claiming YouTube custom URL directly.
Table of Contents
- Why need a Custom YouTube URL
- Structure of Custom YouTube URL
- Requirements for Custom YouTube URL
- Steps to Claim Custom YouTube URL for YouTube Channel
- Changing Custom YouTube URL
- Requesting Custom YouTube URL Offer
- Associate Website for Custom YouTube URL of your Choice
- YouTube association with Google+ profile
- Final Thoughts on Custom YouTube URL
Why need a Custom YouTube URL
I am sure you wouldn’t be reading this article if a custom YouTube URL wasn’t necessary to you but here’re few of the reasons why you should make an extra effort to secure the custom Youtube URL of your choice.
- Easy to remember for your YouTube Channel subscribers
- Easy to share on websites/email/business cards for your prospective audience
- Branding Purposes – Having a consistent presence across several platforms
Structure of Custom YouTube URL
YouTube custom URL was previously easy to claim, and you just had to choose the username when you signed up for the platform. Your custom URL then would have been simply youtube.com/username.
YouTube allowed selecting usernames on the basis of first come, first serve back then. But as the YouTube platform was associated with other Google products, mainly the Google+, there was a need to make the usernames on both platforms consistent. Making the usernames consistent with Google+ became challenging as there were already millions and millions of existing users with their previous usernames when they signed up for YouTube.
Additionally, after YouTube channels became inactive or deleted, those usernames weren’t released for new channels making it difficult to have useful usernames for channels to reflect their brand names.
After several iterations of custom URLs and with dissociation with Google+ (discussed in the later section), YouTube has now adopted a simple structure for custom URLs.
Basically, you are now limited to either ID-based default URL or Customised URL. The previous short usernames with just the youtube.com link are now called legacy username URLs.
Your YouTube channel can now have the following possible different URLs;
Legacy YouTube username Custom URL
If you signed up for YouTube in the past, you might have been simply assigned custom URLs in following formats.
These are now legacy usernames for your YouTube channel. The URL will still remain the primary channel URL if you have one already and will redirect to your channel. Such legacy Youtube custom URLs can no longer be changed.
YouTube ID-based URL
This is the standard URL of your YouTube channel that you get by default when you sign up for the platform. The ID-based URL uses a unique channel ID that is added to the end of the URL along with channel.
Current Custom YouTube URL Format
As you become eligible for custom URL (more on that later) for YouTube channel, you can grab an easy to remember URL in the latest structure provided by YouTube. The most recent custom YouTube URL is in the format of;
If you just use youtube.com/username after claiming the custom URL in the above format, you will be redirected to your channel reflecting the ID-based URL or a legacy YouTube username, if you have one.
Requirements for Custom YouTube URL
Custom URL for YouTube are based on several factors including your channel and Google identity, your associated website, your channel branding and description among others. YouTube let you easily choose your username on First-come, first-serve basis in the past. But there are certain requirements you need to fulfil now to be eligible for a custom URL for YouTube.
The YouTube custom URL requirements include;
- Minimum of 100 subscribers of the YouTube channel
- More than 30 days old YouTube Channel
- YouTube Channel must have uploaded Photo as Channel Icon
- Has photo uploaded for YouTube channel art
Steps to Claim Custom YouTube URL for YouTube Channel
Once you fulfil the requirements, you are eligible to claim a custom URL for YouTube channel.
Follow the steps below to claim a custom YouTube URL for your channel.
Step 1: Log into your YouTube account. You will need your Google account details to log in.
Step 2: Click on your profile icon on top right and click on the YouTube settings icon (that looks like a gear).
Step 3: You will be in the overview section of your Account Settings page for YouTube Channel.
Step 4: Click on the Advanced link just below your Name and Icon.
Step 5: Under “Channel Settings” you should see a confirmation that you are eligible for a custom YouTube URL. Click on the “Claim it here” link. (You will only see this link if your channel is eligible, see the requirements above.)
Step 6: You will be presented with a “Get a custom URL” box with options of custom URLs available to you. This is usually an username name decided by YouTube and an option that allows you to add a suffix of your choosing to that username.
Step 8: You cannot change the custom URL later, so please make sure it’s final before you confirm the choice.
That’s all. Your YouTube channel should now have a custom URL that you can use on your website or easily spread the word about your channel.
Changing Custom YouTube URL
YouTube no longer allows you to change a custom URL after you have chosen recently in the new format of youtube.com/c/username
Although previously allowed, YouTube has also stopped letting users adjust the capitalization, accents, or diacritics (settings that were mostly linked to Google+ to make usernames consistent on both platforms).
– Previous details of changing custom YouTube URL removed. It was previously possible to change the capitalisation or accents of the custom YouTube URL.
Requesting Custom YouTube URL Offer
You can reach out to YouTube creators support if you have specific cases such as a conflict when youtube.com/username and youtube.com/c/username point to different channels.
You can also reach out to YouTube support as a creator for more information on custom URLs, but you won’t be able to request particular custom YouTube URLs for your channel. Make sure you check out the YouTube help forum for any queries that might have already been answered.
Currently, there’s no way to request custom YouTube URL offer. Once you are eligible, you should get a notification in your email or on your YouTube notifications page.
You can always check your YouTube features page on your channel dashboard to see if you are eligible for a custom YouTube URL including other features such as YouTube monetization. Find the right card under features to see if you are eligible (see the screenshot below).
Associate Website for Custom YouTube URL of your Choice
If you have a website with custom URL keyword in your domain name, you might be able to skip some YouTube requirements and get the custom YouTube URL of your choice.
Once you associate your website in your YouTube channel dashboard, YouTube might email you with an offer to claim suggested custom URL of your choice. Here’s what the email looks like offering you to claim your custom URL.
Please note that this email is for custom Google+ URL, but once you get this notification, you will also have the same custom URL available for your YouTube channel.
Steps to associate your Website with YouTube for Custom URL
Follow the instructions below to get your website associated with your YouTube channel.
The custom URL offered is mostly based on the domain name that you own and provided that others haven’t claimed the custom URL already. To associate your website with your YouTube channel, you should have your website added and verified in Google search console.
– Go to Google Search Console and sign-in with your Google account. Click on Add a Property and enter the URL of your website.
You will be presented with several options that you will need to complete to verify the domain name. After you proceed, you will see a success message verifying the ownership of your domain with Google Search Console.
Once you have your website successfully verified in Google Search Console, you can then associate with your YouTube account. Follow the steps below.
When logged in, Navigate to Advanced Channel Settings of your YouTube Channel by clicking your account > Creator Studio > Channel > Advanced.
2. Under the “Associated website” section on the Advanced settings page, enter your website URL in the box and click Add.
3. If you have successfully completed the verification in Google Search Console with above steps, you will instantly see a success message with a green dot. Click Save to make your change.
In other cases, you will be guided to verify your website in the Google Search Console. If you see Pending, You can either click Verify if you own the website (after adding in search console) or Request approval to have a web admin approve it.
Once you have associated your website, wait for few days and you might get an email from Google+ or a YouTube notification for your custom URL even if you don’t meet all the requirements (mainly the minimum subscriber option).
YouTube association with Google+ profile
Google+ is a social network that adds a social layer to your Google presence, and Google previously made it necessary to have a Google+ profile to use its video network – YouTube among other platforms.
Such developments also changed the YouTube custom URL settings, and that’s what we will look into next.
YouTube Custom URL – Google+ Profile Influence
To make user experience consistent and have unified identity for the creator, Google previously allowed choosing the same Google+ URL as your YouTube custom URL or YouTube vanity URLs.
With changes in Google+ requirement for Youtube, the custom URL option has now changed, and you can no longer get a custom Google+ URL as your custom YouTube URL or YouTube username.
These changes also mean that you don’t need the same Google+ URL to claim a new YouTube custom URL and vice versa.
In fact, you can totally delete your Google+ profile association if you have connected them in the past without affecting your YouTube channel. Make sure you don’t delete your entire Google profile, though.
Final Thoughts on Custom YouTube URL
Custom YouTube URL is an essential feature of your channel, and I hope I have convinced you to take extra efforts to claim the URL of your choice.
The YouTube team also believe that custom URL is an essential feature for both creators and subscribers on the platform. The recent changes such as disconnecting from Google+ and allowing users to claim brand new custom URLs with minimum requirements are all part of improving the feature.
Have you claimed a custom URL for your YouTube channel yet? Let me know if you have any confusions related to the new changes in claiming your custom URL in the comments below.
And if you found this tutorial helpful, consider subscribing to my YouTube Channel here.