YouTube Removing Videos? 3 Main Reasons (Explained)

With any online platform, before you set up your profile and begin uploading content, you typically have to agree to certain terms of service.

YouTube is no different, and the platform has specific community standards that they expect to be upheld for content to stay posted.

Why does YouTube remove videos?

YouTube removes videos that violate its Terms of Service and/or fail to uphold their community standards. All of YouTube’s community standards are outlined clearly in the About section of their website, under “Policies and Safety.”

You can always refer back here if you’re uncertain about the content you want to post and whether YouTube will remove it.

Here, we’ll go over the most common reasons for videos removed from YouTube, so you can make sure that your content complies with YouTube’s terms and conditions.

Three Most Common Reasons Videos Get Removed on YouTube

Part of your responsibility as a user of this platform complies with YouTube’s standards.

YouTube strives to keep its platform safe and appropriate for all users.

Though they have censors to remove videos that don’t comply, you can help foster a safe environment by knowing what is and is not appropriate and making sure you uphold these standards in your content.

1. Copyright Infringement

This is probably the most common issue that gets videos removed from YouTube.

If your video uses music, movie clips, or other media content that you don’t own without the explicit permission that you’re able to cite, your video will be taken down.

Copyright allows a creator of content to own that content and be able to control where, how, and by whom it’s used. By removing a video that violates that copyright, YouTube upholds the rights of the original creator and owner of that content.

To prevent having your video removed for copyright infringement, make sure that you own the content in your video, or if it isn’t, get exclusive permission to use that content. You can make sure that any media you use is in the public domain, or get legally verifiable permission from the original artist (which may not always be an option) and cite that permission in your video captions.

For certain types of media, you can place a disclaimer telling your viewers that you do not own certain content and giving credit to the original creator.

Depending on the copyright and the laws around it, this may not guarantee that your video won’t be removed.

2. Inappropriate content

YouTube is not meant to be a place for pornography, sexually explicit content, or nudity.

Inappropriate content can also include content that’s graphic or violent. If a video contains these types of content, it will most likely be removed by YouTube.

It’s also important to note that any illegal activity, such as the exploitation of children, will be reported to authorities in addition to having the video removed.

In these cases, the stakes are much higher for the owner of the content than simply having their content removed.

3. Terms of Service violations

The first two items are, of course, covered in YouTube’s Terms of Service, but they’re common enough to stand alone.

However, other types of content violate YouTube’s terms, such as:

  1. Dangerous Content
    • Anything that encourages impressionable viewers to partake in dangerous or harmful activity runs the risk of being removed from YouTube.
  2. Hateful Content
    • Content that says anything derogatory or hateful about a person or people of any color, creed, race, or orientation will not be allowed to remain on YouTube.
  3. Harassment, Threats, and Cyberbullying
    • Any aggression, negativity, or threats against others is cause to get a video taken down.
  4. Spam or Misleading Information
    • This can include scams, repetitive content, thumbnails that mislead the viewer just to increase views, and many other forms of spam.
  5. Impersonation
    • Most of us have at one time, or another had our Facebook profile hacked, right? Well, the same thing can happen on YouTube, but YouTube will typically remove the fake profile as soon as they’re aware of it.
  6. Privacy
    • If someone posts a video that uses your name or footage of you, and you don’t want it posted, you can report it, and YouTube will take privacy-violating content down.

Remember that by agreeing to YouTube’s Terms of Service when you sign up, you’re giving YouTube the right to remove any of your content that isn’t in compliance with those terms.

Check out our article that talks about Should YouTube Be Banned In Schools?

What Can You Do if YouTube Removes Your Video?

Having your video taken down can be frustrating, especially if you do try to make sure your content complies with YouTube’s Terms of Service.

However, there are a few steps you can take if your content is removed.

Firstly, review the Terms of Service and try to figure out why YouTube removed your video. If you feel that the removal was a mistake, you can file an appeal. 

An appeal is a formal request that YouTube reevaluates the content that was removed, and double-check to see if the removal was a mistake.

If your appeal is denied, you can edit your video to make sure it’s in compliance with regulations, and re-upload the edited version to YouTube.

Unfortunately, the comments and views from the video that was removed will not remain attached to the new version.

Does YouTube Automatically Remove Videos After a While?

YouTube does not remove videos for having been posted a long time ago, regardless of whether or not they’re being viewed.

As long as your videos aren’t in violation of the Terms of Service, your videos should remain posted in the long run.

Can You Watch a Deleted YouTube Video Somewhere?

There are a couple of ways to access a deleted YouTube video, but they may not always work. If you want to give it a shot, here are two methods:

  1. If you have the title of the video, you can go to and enter the video title into a search.
  2. If you have an original link to the video, you can go to, type the link into the search, and click “Browse History.”

As we said, it may not always work, but often, you can access deleted videos through one of these ways.

How Does the “Strike System” Work on YouTube?

YouTube has a three-strikes system for community violations.

Here’s how it works:

For your first violation, you’ll receive a warning instead of a strike, so you aren’t taken by surprise. Your next violation will get you a strike.

After your first strike, your YouTube activity will be suspended for one week. Strikes stay on your record for 90 days, so if you don’t have any additional strikes in that time, your strike will disappear.

However, if you get your second strike before those 90 days are up, you’ll be suspended from YouTube activity for 2 weeks this time.

Three strikes within a 90-day period will get your profile removed from YouTube completely.

A few more notes about strikes: If you believe your strike was a mistake, you can appeal it, just like you can appeal having your content removed. However, it is possible for your appeal to be denied.

In addition, removing the content that earned you a strike will not affect the strike’s remaining in place for the full 90 days.

Why Does YouTube Remove Music Videos?

Music videos are held to the same Terms of Service as any other type of video content on YouTube; however, probably the easiest and most common issue with music videos would be copyright violations.

If you upload a video with music to it, YouTube’s screening filters are first going to run a check music copyrights.

So, if you don’t own the musical content, or it isn’t in the public domain, your music video has pretty good chances of being removed, especially if you don’t add a disclaimer crediting the owner of the content.

Make Sure You Know the Terms of Service.

YouTube makes its community standards really easy to access on their website even after you’ve initially signed up.

If you’re concerned about potentially getting your videos removed, make sure to familiarize yourself with these standards and go through a mental checklist every time, you assemble your content.

Another thing to note is that some of YouTubes censors are automated, so it’s possible for innocuous content to get stuck in that filter by mistake. So if your video is removed despite your efforts to maintain community standards, fear not!

Just file an appeal, and if a mistake was made, it would be sorted out and removed from your record, and your video should be back up and running in no time.

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