Youtube account locked? Here are yourOptions


Youtube account locked? Here are your Options

Did you know that 1.9 billion YouTube users watch 1 billionhours of YouTube videos each day?

YouTube is one of the most powerful mediums of the 21st century– Don’t believe me? Let’s look at the following scenarios:

  • You want to watch the latest BTS music video, what do you do?You log on to YouTube
  • You want to buy a new phone, but you want to make sure that itis the right choice, what do you do? You watch a YouTube review toget the information you need!
  • You want to cook spaghetti Bolognese this Sunday, so what themost convenient way of looking for a recipe? Yes, you got it.YouTube!
  • You are hosting a party and need snack ideas? YouTube is
  • You want to watch arts and crafts hacks? YouTube.
  • You want to watch cartoons? YouTube
  • Nursery rhymes for your baby? YouTube.
  • Sports clips? YouTube
  • Movie reviews, suggestions, highlights, and everything inbetween? YouTube.
  • You want to watch an interview of your famous celebrities?YouTube.

Shall I go on?

YouTube has so much content that I can literally go on forever.YouTube is now available in over 91 countries, where people uploadcontent in more than 85 languages.

I watch YouTube videos in at least four languages – It is mygo-to move for a new recipe, my daily dose of Hassan Minhaj andBritish comedy shows (they definitely do it better), my incessantneed to watch product reviews before I purchase anything (ANYTHINGfrom cellphones to body sprays, its serious you guys), my addictionto those America’s Got Talent bits which leave me sobbing overpeople playing the piano (how do they do this! Magic is definitelyreal people), my need to watch at least one Japanese video in a day(Mushi Mushi) and of course Music. So much music.

How did we even do things before YouTube?

I have to watch an ASMR video on YouTube to even fall asleep.What can I say? There is something so relaxing about peopleartistically dumping thousands of dollars of makeup in gooeyslime.

Needless to say, my YouTube dependency is even more severe thanmy caffeine addiction.

One beautiful morning, I made myself some breakfast and settledin to watch Liziqi make a woolen cape from freshly sheared lambwool (I buy mine from Amazon, like normal people) when I receivedthis notification:

Are you kidding me? I did not violate any community guidelines!Let alone repeatedly.

Why Would YouTube do this to me? Well, here is why:

Reasons YouTube will Lock, Terminate or Suspend yourAccount

  1. Repeated violation of YouTube Community Guidelines and/or Termsof Service
  2. Repeated violation of YouTube Policies
  3. A single case of severe violation of community guidelines,policies, and terms of use. This may include the use of abusivelanguage, harassment, hate speech, and spam.
  4. Channels that are involved in harassment, hate speech,spreading propaganda, or impersonation are also suspendedimmediately.

Understanding How YouTube Terminates/Suspends Accounts

YouTube has a standard process for dealing with policyviolations and account suspensions. Commonly, YouTube will notsuspend your account without any notice. If your account has beensuspended out of the blue, then you must have engaged in a veryegregious violation.

Here is how YouTube works:


If you have violated a YouTube policy or guideline for the firsttime, whether consciously or unconsciously, YouTube will send you awarning. This warning is a written notification that you willreceive on your Gmail account.

YouTube will notify you of the policy which you have violatedand will ask you to remove the content which is in violation of thepolicy. At the time, YouTube may remove the content itself.

YouTube Help Center claims that since anyone can mistake, thefirst mistake warrants a warning and not a strike. If you adhere tothe warning, then you can keep using your account without anyproblem. However, if you continue defying YouTube rules, YouTubewill impose restrictions on your account.

Tip: If you feel that the warning was without just cause,then you can submit an appeal against the warning.

First Strike

If you violate YouTube rules for a second time, then you willget your first strike. Just like a warning, YouTube will notify youabout the strike via email. If you have received a first strike,you won’t be able to do the following for one week:

  • Upload videos, live streams, or stories
  • Create custom thumbnails or Community posts
  • Created, edit, or add collaborators to playlists
  • Add or remove playlists from the watch page using the “Save”button

YouTube will automatically restore the restricted functions oneweek after the violation. However, the strike will remain on yourchannel for 90 days.

If you think that you did not commit any violation that meritedthe first strike, then you should appeal here.

Second Strike

If you have still not learned your lesson or you just can’t takea hint and commit another violation within the 90-day period, thenyou will receive a second strike.

YouTube will impose the same restriction is imposed for thefirst strike but for a 2-week period. Moreover, the second strikewill remain on your page for 90 days from the day it wasissued.

If you still believe that you were given the strike mistakenly,then you can appeal here.

Third Strike

By now, you understand how this works. If you commit anotherviolation within 90 days, then you will receive a third strike fromYouTube. The third strike means that your account will beterminated; it will be removed from YouTube.

You will lose your channel, content, and subscribers.

You will be notified of account termination via email or whenyou try to login to your YouTube account.

Direct Account Termination

Sometimes the violation you commit is so egregious that YouTubewill be suspended, lock, or terminate your account without issuingwarnings or strikes first. These violations are commonly related toimpersonations, harassment, and hate speech

My YouTube is Locked/Suspended/Terminated, Can I recoverIt?

If your account has been terminated, whether by your mistake orYouTube’s, you need to stop moping and start taking action torecover your account.

Like me, many YouTube channels have created content which theywould like to recover. Users put a lot of time and effort intocreating videos and driving traffic to their YouTube channel. Someindividuals and companies may link their YouTube account to othersocial media and websites to increase traffic or other marketingobjectives.

I am an amateur baker; I had posted a lot of videos about bakingwhich I desperately did not want to lose. I wasted a lot of timesulking about wasted effort and terminated accounts. For half aday, I was in a severe depression about the whole thing. But after3 p.m. I decided to stop brooding and figure out how to recover myaccount.

It took me a while to recover my account, but I have condensedthe process in 3 simple steps. Here is how I did it:

If you believe that your account has been terminated by mistakethen you YouTube allows the option of an appeal. The appeal formhas five fields:

  1. Full name of Applicant (as per government-issued ID)
  2. Email Address which was used to create the YouTube account
  3. Email address YouTube can use to contact you (alternativeemail)
  4. The URL of your YouTube channel which has beensuspended/terminated
  5. Briefly explain why you think your account was suspended bymistake.

Pro Tips:

Make sure that you have filled all five spaces correctly; do notgive incorrect information. In the explanation section, be briefbut give reasonable arguments. Support your arguments withquotations from the YouTube policies, guidelines, and terms ofservice. Make a strong case for yourself which is supported byevidence and then appeal to YouTube’s good nature.

Here is what the appeal form looks like:

Be patient. YouTube will contact you with 5-7 days of submittingan appeal. Do not be tempted to submit an appeal before hearingfrom YouTube.

Submitting multiple appeals in a short-time will not improveyour chances. In fact, YouTube does not allow second appeals.

When you submit the appeal, you will receive the followingnotification:

If you do not receive a decision after more than 7 days, thenyou can reach out to YouTube via email. You can also contact themon Twitter, they are astonishingly prompt on Twitter.

The appeal can have two outcomes:

  • YouTube approves your appeal, and your account isreinstated
    YouTube will review your application, and if itfinds your argument to be valid, it will restore your account.
    If this happens, you will receive an email similar to thisone:

  • YouTube rejects your appeal
    If YouTube rejects yourappeal, then your account will remain suspended. You may receivethe following message:

What can you do to avoid termination?

You can read and adhere to YouTube Policies andGuidelines to make sure that YouTube does not suspend youraccount. Make sure that the content you are creating is inline withYouTube’s policies and guidelines.

Frequently Asked Question

I did not violate any rules, why is my YouTube accountsuspended?

If you believe that you did not commit any violation, then thereare two possible explanations for this:

You unconsciously violated some rules, policy or guidelines.

Let’s be real, how many of us actually read the terms ofservice, guidelines, or policy handbooks of any company? I amguilty of checking the terms and conditions box and proceeding tosubmit without even a glance at the policy.

So, it is possible that you may engage in some form of violationwithout realizing that you are disregarding YouTube policies.

This is actually what happened to me as well. I found out thatYouTube suspended my account because it flagged a playlist I hadcreated as ‘inappropriate’ and against YouTube standards. I did notget the exact reason my playlist was inappropriate, but apparently,it contained violent and graphic content which is not allowed onYouTube.

Now to be fair, YouTube did contact me before suspending myaccount. They sent me an email stating that the playlist is inviolation of our policy and you should take it down. However, Iforgot to do that, and that’s why they suspended my account.

YouTube made a mistake

It is possible for YouTube to make a mistake. Recently YouTubesuspended a user’s account for impersonation because her name was‘Meghan Trainor’ same as a famous pop star. YouTube admitted thatit had made a mistake and reactivated the user account. Similarly,it mistakenly suspended the YouTube account of David Collier, ananti-Semitism researcher, because it mistook the uploaded contentas hate speech. David Collier appealed to YouTube and they restoredhis account after review.

If my account is terminated, can I recover mycontent?

No, if your account is terminated, then you will not be able torecover your content. My suggestion is to always keep a back ofyour content.

James Walls

Social Media Specialist & Influencer.

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