How to Set or Change Your YouTube Handle/Username

How to Locate or Modify Your YouTube Handle

YouTube now has social handles. How do you find or change your handle? Here's a simple guide, along with how your handle affects your channel's URL.

Have you heard? YouTube added social handles to increase interaction between creators and their audience. Now, like other apps, you can use handles to “tag” creators in comments, search for channels by their handles, and more.

The major update is that your YouTube handle is linked to your channel's URL. This change alters the URL format to look like this:

Channel links have been around even before handles were introduced. If you're a creator, you might have a couple of questions:

What is my YouTube handle?

Is it possible to change my YouTube handle?

What will happen to the previous URL(s) linked to my channel?

This article will address these questions and provide an explanation of how YouTube handles functions.

What Does a YouTube Handle Mean?

YouTube handles start with the “@” symbol and serves as unique identifiers for channels. For instance, the handle for our channel on YouTube is @vidiq.

These handles make it easier to find and connect with other creators. You'll notice handles in comments, YouTube Shorts, and when you're mentioned by others.

It's important to note that YouTube handles are different from channel names. Changing your handle doesn't affect your channel name, as they are separate labels.

Additionally, your channel URL now includes your handle. For example, our handle @vidiq translates to the URL Entering this URL in a web browser will direct you to our YouTube channel's homepage.

Handles are being introduced gradually. Most creators were asked to choose a handle by November 14, 2022, through an email. If a creator didn't select one, YouTube would assign one automatically.

How to Locate Your YouTube Handle?

If you're unsure of your current YouTube handle (as YouTube might have assigned one automatically), here's how to check it:

  1. Log in to YouTube and access the YouTube Studio.
  2. Click on Customization in the left-hand menu.
  3. Click on Basic Info.
  4. Look in the Handle section to see your handle.

How to Update Your YouTube Username?

  1. Visit and click on Change Handle.
  2. Enter the handle you want or pick from the suggestions provided. Then click Confirm.

How to Choose the Perfect YouTube Handle?

What are the guidelines for making YouTube usernames? YouTube provides several rules on their help page:

  • Keep it between 3 to 30 characters.
  • Include letters (A–Z, a–z) and numbers (0–9).
  • You can use underscores (_), dashes (-), and dots (.).
  • Avoid looking like a URL or phone number.
  • Ensure it is unique.
  • Follow YouTube's Community Guidelines.

How to Locate or Modify Your YouTube Handle

What's Going on with Legacy URLs on YouTube?

Your existing channel URLs will remain on YouTube. They will simply redirect visitors to your handle URL, which leads to your channel homepage.

Depending on when you created your channel, your account might be linked to any of the following URLs:

  • Channel ID URL: This is a link that includes your channel ID, made up of both letters and numbers. For example:
  • Custom URL: Previously, you could customize this URL once your channel reached 100 subscribers. For example:

All these links will continue to function as expected.

Is Setting a Custom URL for Your Channel Still an Option?

You can no longer create or modify a custom YouTube URL because handles are now used. YouTube will reroute users to your handle URL if they click on any of your channel's previous URLs, including custom URLs.

Why Naming Your YouTube Channel Is Crucial?

YouTube handles might be the latest feature, but the importance of a good channel name shouldn't be overlooked.

While handles are useful for interactions, your channel name is completely different. Use your channel name to better describe your niche and draw the appropriate audience.