2 years ago I created a YouTube channel, because I wanted to start making videos as a hobby. I uploaded a grand total of one video and promptly forgot about it. Now I want to try and get back into it, but I can't remember what email I used.

It's not in YouTube's "Accounts" list anymore, nor is it in my Gmail account list. The problem is that I don't think I set my main Gmail as a recovery account. When I run the Account Recovery process, it ends up giving me an unrelated list of accounts. The phone number is inactive, so I can't send any recovery messages to it either.

Scrolling back to January 2017, I can see the automated email from YouTube telling me that I was about to upload the video, but no sign of any sort of email telling me that I'd set my main email as a recovery. This makes me think that I DID set my main email as a recovery though. Why else would I get that email? Unless Google Accounts just do that somehow.

There's no trace of the email anywhere in my "All Mail" filter. I've used YouTube, Google, and my channel's name all as search terms but nothing pops up.

So in short, I have no way of tracking down the email. I've tried sitting down and brute forcing the email until something works, but nothing ever happens. Is there anything I can do at all?


1 Answer 1


In your particular case, since you did receive email about your video in your main Gmail address, it sounds like your YouTube channel is set up as a brand channel, and your main Gmail address is set up as the owner or manager of that YouTube channel.

In YouTube, if a channel is set up as a brand channel, it is not tied to one unique Google account, but instead has one or more owners and managers.

If this is the case, you need to log in to Google with your main Gmail account and then go to https://www.youtube.com/channel_switcher to select the account you are managing.

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