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Google to start deleting inactive YouTube accounts this December.

Google has plans to begin deleting unused Google accounts if they have not been logged into for 2 years or more. This means a lot of Youtube accounts that are not administered regularly will be lost, including content within Google Workspace (Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar), YouTube, and Google Photos. This is a wake-up call for anyone with an old Youtube account you are not using to download all videos now and do not delay. This will erase so much content from Youtube, old music and movies, plus interesting old videos. is this just to save money? Surely Youtube makes enough from ads that they do not need any more help. Why do they need to delete old Gmail accounts as well? This is not until December 2023, but this is a good time to start backing up old Youtube videos now if you still have access. Because it would be a shame if an old unused Youtube account was deleted and it had a trove of awesome videos on it.

This is just like the imgur image purge where they are deleting old images that do not belong to an account. This will result in a lot of broken image links on old forum posts, and now there will be a lot of broken video links on forums as well. Using yt-dlp you may download an entire Youtube channel to save all of the videos if you wish, this is very easy indeed. Downloading in the best possible quality allows for saving irreplaceable videos before they are erased for all time. This is made very easy with modern scripts and software. So there is at least a good way to save old content before it is lost for all time. Use the example below to save all Youtube videos from a Youtube channel the easy way, just supply the channel URL and the script will do everything. There are countless Youtube channels that are still popular but have not been logged into for a long time, this will be very bad when the content is lost.

At least the command below will save all videos from a Youtube channel and allow archiving of old content.

┗━━━━━━━━━━┓ john@localhost ~/Videos
           ┗━━━━━━━━━━━━━╾ ╍▷ yt-dlp -ciw -o "%(title)s.%(ext)s" -v
[debug] Command-line config: ['-ciw', '-o', '%(title)s.%(ext)s', '-v', '']
[debug] Encodings: locale UTF-8, fs utf-8, pref UTF-8, out utf-8, error utf-8, screen utf-8
[debug] yt-dlp version stable@2023.03.04 [392389b7d] (zip)
[debug] Python 3.9.14 (CPython x86_64 64bit) - Linux-5.14.0-162.23.1.el9_1.x86_64-x86_64-with-glibc2.34 (OpenSSL 3.0.1 14 Dec 2021, glibc 2.34)
[debug] exe versions: ffmpeg 5.1.3 (setts), ffprobe 5.1.3
[debug] Optional libraries: mutagen-1.46.0, no_Cryptodome-None, sqlite3-2.6.0
[debug] Proxy map: {}
[debug] Loaded 1786 extractors
[youtube:tab] Extracting URL:
[youtube:tab] @AussieGamer1994: Downloading webpage
[debug] [youtube:tab] Selected tab: 'videos' (videos), Requested tab: ''
[youtube:tab] Downloading all uploads of the channel. To download only the videos in a specific tab, pass the tab's URL
[youtube:tab] @AussieGamer1994/streams: Downloading webpage
[debug] [youtube:tab] Selected tab: 'streams' (live), Requested tab: 'streams'
[youtube:tab] Downloading as multiple playlists, separated by tabs. To download as a single playlist instead, pass
[download] Downloading playlist: AussieGamer1994
[youtube:tab] Playlist AussieGamer1994: Downloading 2 items of 2
[download] Downloading item 1 of 2
[download] Downloading playlist: AussieGamer1994 - Videos
[youtube:tab] UCFYYkCRZGkz7YJvwDGPw7pg page 1: Downloading API JSON
[youtube:tab] UCFYYkCRZGkz7YJvwDGPw7pg page 2: Downloading API JSON
[youtube:tab] Playlist AussieGamer1994 - Videos: Downloading 78 items of 78
[download] Downloading item 1 of 78
[youtube] Extracting URL:
[youtube] OEfBf-Yb3z0: Downloading webpage
[youtube] OEfBf-Yb3z0: Downloading android player API JSON
[youtube] OEfBf-Yb3z0: Downloading MPD manifest

Add this to a search term on Youtube to return all videos uploaded before this date.


This will return all Youtube videos uploaded before 01/01/2006.

This purge does require absolutely no activity within two years. I do not think it has to be Google and YouTube at the same time though. If you made your YouTube account in 2007 and only uploaded two videos or something like that in 2007, but you still used your account for commenting on videos or creating playlists and stuff, your Google account is safe. In the same vein, if your Google account (email, photos, etc.) was linked to your YouTube account and you haven’t used your YT account in more than two years, but you still actively check your gmail and use Google photos, you would also be fine.

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