How to Recover Deleted YouTube Videos

Have you ever gone back to watch a favorite YouTube video only to see that dreaded “Video Unavailable” message where it used to be? As frustrating as it is, there are ways to get deleted videos back so you can watch them again.

In this step-by-step guide, I’ll show you the best methods for recovering deleted YouTube videos and restoring the treasures you thought were gone forever.

Whether videos disappear because the owner deletes them or YouTube removes them for policy violations, it is often possible to dig them back up through creative internet searching, video backups, and data recovery tricks.

Let’s get started resurrecting those deleted gems!

Why Do YouTube Videos Get Deleted?

Before jumping into the video graveyard excavation, it helps to understand what causes YouTube videos to get deleted in the first place.

According to YouTube’s Community Guidelines, videos may be removed for:

  • Copyright violations, like using content without permission
  • Graphic/violent content
  • Harmful/dangerous content
  • Nudity or sexual content
  • Harassment and cyberbullying
  • Scams or spam

Creators also choose to delete their own videos for any reason, like wanting to remove outdated or embarrassing old videos.

So with the mysteries of vanishing YouTube videos explained, let’s crack open our digital toolkit to get that content back!

Retrieving Deleted Videos When You Have the Link

Finding deleted videos is much simpler when you still have the original URL.

You may have access to that link for a short window if you’ve watched, liked, or listed the video recently. Let’s check those active places first.

Getting the Link from Your YouTube Watch History

If you viewed the now-deleted video somewhat recently (about a month), the URL may still be lurking in your YouTube watch history:

Step 1: Click your profile picture → HistoryWatch history

Step 2: Scroll through your recent watch history and click the deleted video if found

Step 3: Copy the URL from the address bar before it vanishes again

According to cybersecurity experts, your YouTube watch history gets periodically cleared out every few weeks. So revisit old videos before they drop off!

Finding the Video Link in Your Liked Videos

If you liked the deleted video, that URL is recoverable from your liked videos list:

Step 1: Click your profile picture → Liked videos

Step 2: Scroll through the list to spot the missing video

Step 3: Click it to open the URL and copy it quickly!

YouTube SectionWhen URL Is AvailableHow Long URL Stays
Watch HistoryIf watched recentlyAbout 1 month
Liked VideosIf video was likedNo expiration
PlaylistsIf added to playlistsNo expiration

Liked videos seem to stick around indefinitely, unlike watch history. So comb through your likes if you vaguely remember enjoying the now-deleted clip!

Digging in Your Playlists for the Link

Finally, if you added the video to any playlists before it vanished, check there:

Step 1: Click your profile picture → LibraryPlaylists

Step 2: Open the playlist that possibly contained the deleted video

Step 3: Right-click the video title → Copy Link Address

Playlists also tend to keep the outdated links around unless manually removed. Up to you whether to delete or keep those placeholder artifacts!

Hacks to Play Deleted YouTube Videos If You Have the Link

Alright, let’s say you recovered that critical video URL through one of those methods. What next?

Even with the dead link, don‘t despair. We can still break back into the forbidden video vault!

Raid the Wayback Machine Digital Archive

The Wayback Machine serves as the internet’s digital archive, periodically capturing and storing websites and videos.

Let‘s check if it grabbed your deleted gem:

Step 1: Go to

Step 2: Paste your video‘s URL into the search bar

Step 3: Check if the calendar says your video was archived in the past

Step 4: Click a past date and see if the cached copy plays!

This method relies on the Wayback Machine archiving that exact video sometime before it vanished. For obscure videos, it’s miss or hit…but for viral videos, historical captures do surface!

Employ the YouTube URL Embedded Technique

This smart tactic directly embeds the forbidden video content across sites it got shared:

Step 1: Grab the original YouTube URL

Step 2: Replace watch?v= with /embed/ plus the unique ID code:


Step 3: Load the new URL and see if the video appears embedded on other sites!

Embedded videos endure independently even once removed from YouTube. This method expansively hunts for those lasting legacy echoes across the web.

Leverage Google Search Operators

What if snippets or copies of your deleted video resurfaced elsewhere? Google-fu to the rescue:

Step 1: Pluck out the YouTube video ID code:

Step 2: Type this into Google: [ID]

Step 3: Try other sites – Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, etc.

This scans for any replicas re-uploaded under the same video ID. If you spot it mirrored on another platform, score!

Recovering Deleted Videos Without the Link

What about if you have absolutely no record of the video URL anywhere? Recovery gets very tricky…but a few oddball options could shine light into the empty void:

Summon the Wayback Machine Video Title Search

Though less targeted without the exact URL, plug whatever details you do remember into the Wayback Machine including keywords or the video title itself. It may magically match to an archived copy.

Call Upon the Reddit Search Squad

The r/TipOfMyTongue subreddit attracts super sleuths who can track down almost anything with sparse clues. Describe details surrounding the type of missing video for Redditors to work their magic.

Check Alternative Video Platforms

YouTube uploaders often cross-post content to similar sites – Vimeo, Veoh, Dailymotion, Vevo, MetaCafe, etc. Search directly or check likely uploader channel names who‘d repost the deleted YouTube video elsewhere.

Quest Across Social Media

Before deletion, viewers may have downloaded and re-shared the coveted video on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Reddit earlier on. Retrace likely sources based on the video topic and communities sharing that niche content.

Without specifics like the URL, video recovery conjures finding needles in the online haystack. But these creative ways can prompt luck to strike!

Retrieving Videos Deleted From Your Own YouTube Channel

If YouTube removed videos from your own channel, creators have special insider options to request reinstatement.

You‘ll need to:

  • Have over 1,000 subscribers
  • Pass account standing reviews

If you meet criteria:

Petition YouTube Partner Support

Qualified creators can contact YouTube representatives for issues like unfair video removal. Reach out through the YouTube Studio dashboard or this direct link with video details.

Verify Cloud Backups

Backing up your channel serves as the best insurance if disruptions ever hit. Services like VidIQ or TubeBuddy record and redundantly store uploads. Double check associated cloud logs for missing pieces.

With privilege comes responsibility…but also resources from YouTube itself to reclaim unfairly disappeared creator content!

Salvage Deleted Videos Using Data Recovery Software

Finally, if you had downloaded the now-deleted YouTube video to your device previously, specialized software may still snatch its faint bits from the virtual grave.

Powerful utility apps can resurrect deleted files on Windows and Mac if fragments linger unseen on your hard drive.

RecuvaWindowsFree version
EaseUSMac + WindowsFree version
Disk DrillMac + WindowsFree version

Here are the basic steps to recover removed videos with one of those tools:

  1. Download and install Recuva, EaseUS, Disk Drill or your data recovery app of choice above
  2. Run a deep scan on your hard drive/folders where YouTube vids may have been saved historically
  3. Review results listing resurrectable deleted files/fragments on your device
  4. Hopefully spot the deleted YouTube video and click Restore!

This method only resurrects videos physically downloaded onto a local device before their YouTube demise. But it can claw back content deleted both by users themselves and by YouTube‘s virtual hammer if traces cling to storage.

So don’t fully rule out locally deleted videos from rising once again!


While YouTube floats videos in and out of existence regularly, there are absolutely ways to fight back against deletion and regain lost media treasures!

Arm yourself with video recovery browser tools. Master handy Google search tricks. Become one with the Wayback Machine. And never fail to make your own redundant backups and copies!

With these techniques combined, you can slay the wretched “Video Unavailable” message and reclaim deleted YouTube videos like an unstoppable anti-deletion warrior!

Now go forth – seek and ye shall find!

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