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Back up your YouTube account data

If your YouTube content - videos, playlists, comments, posts, music uploads - is important to you, make a backup today!

You can easily download individual YouTube videos (with some exceptions) or use Google Takeout to create an archived copy of all your YouTube account data. 

Do you really need to make a backup?

Yes! There are many reasons for making a backup of your YouTube account data. 

For example: 

  • Content could be inadvertently deleted
  • You could lose access to your Google account
  • Your YouTube account could be suspended
  • You want a copy of your live stream archives
  • You want to edit or repurpose your videos
I know many of you already have a backup of your videos. But there are many folks who do not. 

If your YouTube channel was deleted, would you lose anything precious to you? If so, make a backup. 

And note that the backup of your content should not be stored in the same Google account (for example, in Google Drive or Google Photos) for the same reason: if you have lost access to your YouTube account because you cannot sign in to your Google account, you will lose access to your backups as well. 

For any content that's really precious, make multiple backup copies and store at least one offline. 

Download individual videos from YouTube Studio

You can download individual videos from your YouTube account in YouTube Studio. 

Note: 
  • Videos are downloaded as MP4 files
  • Resolution is either 720p or 360p, depending on the video size
  • Videos can only be downloaded 5 times per 24 hours
  • Videos with a copyright or Community Guidelines strike cannot be downloaded
  • Videos using an audio track added in the YouTube video editor cannot be downloaded


How to download: 

1. Sign in to YouTube Studio on desktop (studio.youtube.com)

2. On the left menu click Content

3. Next to the video you want to download click the 3 dot menu icon, then select Download

Download all your YouTube account data with Google Takeout


YouTube channel content can be downloaded using Google Takeout, as long as the administrator of the Google Workspace for Education organization has enabled Takeout as a service.

This can include: 
  • Videos you uploaded either in original format or as a high quality transcoded MP4 file with H264 video and AAC audio
  • Video metadata like titles and descriptions
  • Watch and Search history
  • Subscriptions
  • Playlists you created
  • Comments you created (but not other people's comments on your videos)
  • Live chats you created
  • Community posts you created, with images you included
  • Stories you created
  • Channel memberships
  • YouTube Kids
  • YouTube Music library songs
  • YouTube Music uploads
How to create an archive in Google Takeout: 

1. Sign in to takeout.google.com with the same email you use to sign in to YouTube

If your YouTube channel is on a Brand Account, switch to that account by clicking your profile photo at top right, then selecting your YouTube identity from the list. 


2. Click Deselect all,  then scroll down and select YouTube


3. Click the  All YouTube data included button to change which data is included in the archive

Tip: Click the Multiple formats button to see more information about included content types.

Once you have selected what you want to include in the archive: 

4. Click Next step


5. Choose a Delivery method

Options are: 
  • Get a download link
  • Add to Google Drive (on the same account)
  • Add to Dropbox
  • Add to OneDrive
  • Add to Box
6. Set the Frequency

Tip: you can set Takeout to create a new backup archive every 2 months for a year.

7. Select file type (.zip is the default) and maximum file size (2GB is the default)

These defaults are usually the best option. .zip files can be opened on most devices. 

8. Click Create Export

Google will send an email when the archive is ready. It could take minutes, hours or even days. 

You can manage and download your archives at takeout.google.com/takeout/downloads

Click the Download button to the right of the archive you want to download. It may be split into multiple archive files, so be sure to download them all. 

Open your archive after download to make sure you can find and open the files. 

And then store your archives on an external drive, your computer, or another cloud storage service (or all three)!

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