So your YouTube Channel -- your baby that you've been pouring time & energy (and lots of money) into -- has been suspended & instantly terminated...

I know...huge bummer bro...I've been there...

youtube termination suspension ban

But fear not my bro -- all is not lost!

It might take you a few weeks (or longer), but you can get your channel back. And you can build a stronger business in the process.

Here's a quick guide of how we got our YouTube channel reinstated, and how I'd recommend you approach your termination & appeal...

1) Figure Out WTF Happened

Before doing anything else, you should first try to approximate exactly what the hell happened...

YouTube is not going to give you much information outside of the termination emails you received. So you need to start digging into YouTube Guidelines & Terms, and try to figure out a few things that might have happened...

Here's the best resource I found for interpreting YouTube's Guidelines & Terms.

When our channel was terminated, we had no idea what happened. The only thing we were sure of -- is that we didn't encourage any illegal activity (what YouTube accused us of)...

Our first appeal was quickly filed in a rush to get the channel back -- and it was weak. The response on this original appeal was a permanent termination (we were never getting the channel back).

Thanks so much for your help in advance!

We just had our account terminated, and are hoping to get it back. The account was in good standing before tonight -- we've never even had a single strike on the channel.

We received the notice "We don't allow content that encourages illegal activities or incites users to violate YouTube's guidelines"

It also states "The only depictions of such activities that we may allow need to be educational or documentary in nature"

In our latest video we posted on 7/27/2020, we do precisely that...

At 5:39 we talk about how important it is to fully fund your IRA & 401k. To show how important it is -- we make the point that IRAs are protected in bankruptcy (so that makes it REALLY important to fully fund them).

But at 5:40 and from 6:06 - 6:14 we give explicit warnings that say "I am 110% saying you should not do this" and "it's...bankruptcy fraud".

We are not sure how this got picked up as illegal activity, but we'd be happy to remove the video.

After spending 30-minutes going through that YouTube Terms resource, we were able to approximate 3-4 things that probably happened...

We still aren't sure of what exactly did happen -- but apparently we guessed correctly, because this 2nd appeal was quickly accepted (and our channel instantly came back online)...

We were suspended based on 'encouraging illegal activity', which we have never done. We believe there has been an error or mistake.

- We work hard to follow YouTube's rules, and had never received any warnings or strikes in over 6-years of publishing 200+ videos
- We have NEVER encouraged users to do ANYTHING illegal. In fact, we actively teach AGAINST using any manipulative tactics or deceptive strategies.

We're trying to figure out what actually triggered the error here, and here's some things we've come up with...
- We have videos where we use the terms "Productivity Hacks", "Mindset Hacks", and other uses of the word "Hack". These videos have nothing to do with hacking or anything illegal.
- We have never promoted any cryptocurrencies or ICO's, but have talked about Bitcoin in some videos before
- We have videos that talk about counterfeit products from China and how you should NOT buy/sell them
- We have dirty competitors who report our content to try to harm us

Please help!

So whatever reason YouTube cited for your termination in their email -- spend some time going through and understanding what exactly triggers those violations...

It could make a big difference in how you structure your 'defense'.

2) File Your Appeal

Now that you have some ammo, let's go to battle. Time to file your appeal...

You'll want to use YouTube's official form to file your appeal, and you'll want to follow their directions closely...

Fill out the form as completely as possible including your Channel ID. The more information you give us, the easier it will be to process your request.

Your Channel ID is NOT the same as your Custom URL...

I have to assume that Google is smart enough to connect an appeal from your Custom URL to your Channel ID -- but let's remove all doubt and do EXACTLY what they ask...

We found our Channel ID looking through our browser history ( URLs all contain your Channel ID). But you can also find it through your Google Account Settings (or you could try Googling your Channel and looking at the cached URLs).

Once you have your Channel ID, you're ready to write your actual appeal...

Your appeal itself is limited to 1,000 characters, so you've got to edit this down and make every word count. We literally spent time pruning extra words and everything we could to cram as much info into our (2nd) appeal as possible.

From my research, the best approach in writing your appeal is to either:

1) Deny everything and argue that this was a complete error that just needs to be reviewed by a human


2) Accept the blame and pledge to reform your behavior and become a better YouTuber

Which route you go with is going to depend on what you were actually terminated for, and if that termination was for a valid reason...

For us -- we had never received a single warning or had a single strike, and we're extremely careful to only teach white-hat strategies. So we know there was an algorithmic error that needed to be corrected.

But don't just copy our appeal. You've got to address whatever YouTube thinks happened in order to get someone to take a real look at your appeal.

3) Email Creator Support

If your channel was large enough to have access to YouTube's creator support, NOW is the time to use it!

I've only reached out to Creator Support twice in the 6-years I've been running YouTube channels, and each time I've received a quick response from an actual human being...

Although Creator Support won't be able to override the decisions of Google's review/moderation team -- they can at least make sure your appeal is successfully filed and on the right track.

It's important to remember that the person responding to your emails has absolutely nothing to do with your channel being terminated. I can only imagine the hate these poor guys get every day, being the punching bag for these algorithms gone wild...

So try to be nice to your support agents. It could be the difference in them 'cutting you some slack' vs them 'giving you the finger'...

4) Post on YouTube's Support Forums

In my research to get our channel back, I found a LOT of people who posted on YouTube's Support Forums -- and they eventually DID get their channels back...

Your goal here is really just to get a person to take a real legitimate look at your channel. If you've been doing things that are actually against TOS here -- there's no saving you...

But if your goal is to get that real human review -- there's lots of YouTube employees on the forums who have the power to expedite & escalate your appeal (if they see the need).

Here's the post we made on the forums. It didn't make a difference in our case, but you can scroll around and find many cases where it did...

5) Tweet @TeamYouTube

Another channel to get someone's attention at YouTube is their twitter, specifically the @TeamYouTube account...

I doubt YouTube's Twitter Team has much power to change anything about your appeal. But it doesn't take much time to start a tweet-storm, so why not give it a shot...

We had everybody from our audience tweet out 2-3 pre-made tweets we made for them -- and I actually think that was a bad approach, because it made it look much more like bots & fake accounts...

For you -- I'd recommend making one solid tweet, then asking your audience & everybody you know to Retweet that...

You can check out the tweet we put together for our Retweet campaign here (although we actually got the channel back before running the campaign, so there's no retweets on ours).

startupbros youtube tweet

6) Post On Your Website

YouTube doesn't want to kick off creators with audiences and platforms. They're not dumb -- they want YOUR traffic...

So if you have your own website or audience, you've got to leverage them and SHOW YouTube that you HAVE a REAL audience!

Most of what's getting terminated off YouTube is meaningless copy-cat content -- borderline (or literal) spam. So the more you can make YouTube realize you're NOT them, the quicker your channel comes back online!

Although we are not 100% sure, we actually think THIS was the step that got our channel reinstated...

We posted 2 articles on our website about our channel being terminated -- the original one the day we were suspended, and another one 14-days after we had not heard back...

20-minutes after publishing the 2nd article (which was a pretty scathing critique of YouTube), we got an unsolicited-ish email from someone named Lei at Creator Support...

youtube lei is awesome

We have no idea how Lei came into the picture, or why he decided to read into our case. But once he got involved -- we had our channel back within 24-hours...

It's safe to assume that Google has some pretty sophisticated 'listening software' keeping track of who is saying what. So our bet is that our 2nd post popped up on someone's dashboard immediately after publishing, and that some put Lei on the job to nip it in the bud.

So leverage every channel you've got to make noise -- because once the right person decides to get involved, your channel can come back fast.

7) What Else Could We Do?

Our next step was to start contacting journalists and podcasters to either get the channel back, or leverage the situation to rebuild our lost audience...

There's a ton of anecdotal evidence that YouTube plays favorites with the appeals process -- particularly when the news and 'authoritative websites' start running the story.

Another idea we had was to start sending Express FedEx envelopes to different people inside of YouTube explaining the situation & groveling to get our channel back. This can work well because almost nobody is going to throw away a FedEx Express envelope -- so at least you know a real human being will see it.

Most Importantly -- DIVERSIFY

The most important lesson we learned -- was to never depend on a platform like YouTube...

We're changing up our entire video distribution strategy because of this. And I'll have another post next week about that!

Fans of This Also Enjoyed...


Avatar for Will Mitchell
Will Mitchell

Will Mitchell is a serial entrepreneur and Founder of StartupBros. You can learn more about him at the Startupbros about page. If you have any questions or comments for him, just send an email or leave a comment!

  • Avatar for Ruhen Ruhen says:

    Ninja kids

  • Avatar for Breadmp4 Breadmp4 says:

    Is there any modern way to do this?
    My channel got terminated for a reason that made sense and when i brought the appeal to twitter @TeamYoutube completely ignored it. Youtube no longer has a trusted flagger system and terminated accounts can’t post on youtube forms. As well as many youtube communities that help with this being shut down. What can I do to get my channel back in 2023?

  • Avatar for Natalia Natalia says:

    I’m amazed there aren’t any other comments here – your article was so thorough and seems incredibly helpful. I created a channel last week and posted a single video on it. A couple of days later, I received a notification of account suspension. I sent my appeal, admittedly, without doing research, and was swiftly informed that my entire channel was terminated. They said it was to do with their “scams, spams, deceptive practices”, which baffled me because my video is a simple Minecraft relaxing longplay without commentary. Really just meant for background noise while studying/relaxing/going to sleep. So, am I just screwed across the board here? I tried to appeal again, but that won’t even go through at this point because my account is gone. Vanished into the void. I truly don’t believe I did anything wrong, but man, all I want is for a real human being to review this and discuss it with me. If I did anything at all that actually IS wrong, I’d change it in an instant. I’ve reviewed and edited my video’s description, reviewed and revised tags, but past that….I just don’t know what to do.

  • the action isn’t allowed

    I have made a big mistake, I will never make such a mistake again, please open my channel, I had (….) subscriber on my channel please recover


    channel back I will never do such mistake I have been suspended from my channel due to

    I have missed about…), Sir I have worked very hard

    for this channel sir youtube channel is everything for

    me this is how

    my house runs sir i will never make such mistake sir please open my channel

  • Avatar for Sunny Sunny says:

    I’m a resident doctor In NYC. I had a junk removal company, but had a lot of losses due to people stealing my catalytic converters 3 times in 1 year on 4 trucks costing $36k, and employees stealing $100k. Now I’m trying to sell the vehicles. I don’t have much money to even eat breakfast Or lunch, even though I’m a resident Doctor, but they don’t pay us much. I’ve been trying to use my money to help pay payroll for employees etc. I was posting on YouTube comments for people to reach out to buy my trucks, but than google banned my account from YouTube. I was not aware that was illegal. I’ve spent the past 10 years studying in Med school and completing residency. So I am not up to date with all the social media rules, I thought YouTube comments can be used like Facebook market place. I sent in three appeals in the past 3 days. I explained pretty much everything as I stated above. I don’t even have followers, I’m just upset because all of my channels I followed and recommended videos are now gone. I’d like to get that channel back if possible.

  • At least you guys had “some” content uploaded to your Youtube page.
    My story?
    I decided to start with a news website one month ago. I payed what had to be paid (hosting, website builder etc) and created a very good looking webpage. Then i started creating a Youtube channel, a Twitter channel , a Facebook channel,… etc to help grow the page. I setup a Youtube channel of the website with a banner and NOTHING BUT n-o-t-h-i-n-g ELSE (no content uploaded, no posts, no comments, NOTHING AT ALL, just an empty page waiting to be fed with content). This happened on February 2 this year. On February 4th of the same year (2 days later) i opened youtube to see if the banner was good looking. I reapeat: no uploaded content, no posts, no comments, just an empty channel live for 48 hours with no activity to or from the channel and no content other than the channel banner. 48 hours after it’s creation the channel was terminated by Youtube because (their message):
    “We’ve reviewed your content and found serious or repeated violations of the Community Guidelines. For this reason, we have removed your channel from YouTube.
    We know this news is probably very upsetting, but it’s our job to make sure YouTube is a safe place for everyone. If we believe a channel is seriously violating our policies, we remove it to protect other users on the platform. However, if you think our decision is wrong, you can request a review of it. You can find more information about this policy and how to request a review below.
    What our policy states
    Content that glorifies or incites violence against another person or group of people is not allowed on YouTube. We also do not allow content that encourages hatred against another person or group of people. We review educational, documentary, artistic and scientific content on a case-by-case basis. There are limited exceptions for content with a sufficient and appropriate wider context and where the purpose of the post is clear.”

    I did a review request. They answered back 3minutes later…..
    “We have reviewed your review request for the following:
    Channel: *&^*&#@$^*@&
    We have carefully reviewed your channel and confirmed that it is in violation of our hate speech policy. We know this news is rather disappointing, but it’s our duty to make sure YouTube is a safe place for everyone.
    How does this affect your channel?
    Your YouTube channel will not be reinstated.”

    My request was answered exactly four minutes after it was sent. This means it was never read by a human.

    Αnd not only the channel was terminated but also now I can’t create any channel from the specific google account.
    What I am describing above is the most ridiculous story I have ever experienced in my life. It’s OBVIOUS that this is a ridiculous mistake by YouTube’s algorithm and I really wonder if this is a serious company that works in person or has simply offloaded it all to artificial intelligence. Personally I can give two explanations:
    1. Either my channel was hacked and a video with tragic content was uploaded (I have no indication that this has happened)
    2. Whether YouTube’s (unpublicized) policy, in order to “seem” a safe platform to the public, includes the tactic of terminating new channels (which have no power and influence on the public), so as to display statistics of account terminations with ” unauthorized content”, with the aim of proving that it is “taking action against such accounts”. So instead of going through the process of SEARCHING for such accounts, it simply randomly selects new accounts with no value, labels them “dangerous” and kicks them out of its platform. Nowadays you cannot claim that such (dangerous) channels do not exist. But when you have millions of channels running on your platform, you can’t control them either. Therefore, you could neither say that they do not exist nor that you cannot control them all. So what are you doing? You create an algorithm that, in addition to really dangerous channels that it randomly detects, you train it to also detect new channels of hours or days, which have no content and you throw them out to serve your purpose APPARENTLY and not really. These channels have neither screenshots nor recorded history to prove any claims they make afterwards. So it’s a win-win situation with no problems for YouTube.
    I can’t think of anything else. Actually Youtube terminated my channel because it just had to be terminated for statistical reasons. It is not possible that a channel without any kind of content can violate the policy of banning hate speech etc.
    In my case, even science has no explanation.
    p.s. The event affected me so negatively that I decided to deactivate both the pages I set up on social media and the very website they were about. I will not try to do any of what you mention (although your article is absolutely useful) as my attempt will be equivalent to trying to prove that the planet Mars is inhabited by clones of Elon Musk.

  • Avatar for Gulfraz Ali Gulfraz Ali says:

    All ways, different ideas through YouTube video n you vlog have been applied but all in veins

  • I’ve tried to do what you said… But when I woke up the next morning, I got the same fucking email from YouTube!

    “We have reviewed your channel carefully, and have confirmed that it violates out sex and nudity policy. We know this is probably disappointing news, but it’s our job to make sure that YouTube is a safe place for all.”

    A safe place from what?! You only gave me a warning in the past! & nothing else!

    Also… HOW?! How did my entire, 3-year-old channel violate your sex & nudity policy?! Since 2019, I had uploaded plenty of videos that DID NOT REMOTELY HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH SEX, NOR NUDITY!

    It’s been almost 2 months now! & I’m desperate! There was like, all sorts of videos on my channel I had worked so fucking hard on!

    & I know there are some bastards on YouTube, who’d give any excuse to try & harm my channel. Well, I’m not putting up with that shit!

  • I understand how you feel… My YouTube account also got terminated.

    The day I received that dreadful email, I was absolutely PISSED! YouTube’s fucking excuse is that they “reviewed” my content & “found” repeated or severe violations on nudity or sexual content!

    The whole thing is just disgraceful! I had that account since June 2019, & I had put a lot of effort into my content! Before I was terminated, I was currently known as Gromit AVGCP AYTCA.

    YouTube clearly had no idea what they were talking about… On my channel, I used to do Roblox videos (e.g. videos of me playing Roblox obbys, doing stories on Doctor Who: TARDIS Flight Classic & Robloxian Highschool, & surviving the sinking of the Titanic). I also used to do shitposts, & other stuff. But never stuff, like; pornography, & public masturbation.

    I was also a critic on my channel, as I used to criticize movies & TV shows that I hated, & users who were a bunch of immature bastards, who act like children & moan about adult sitcoms not being child-friendly (which they have a reason why, because they are… well… ADULT SHOWS!). Not just that, but I was also someone who liked to explore the outdoors, as I used to do videos of me visiting many different places.

    I swear I can prove that I was innocent, because YouTube never gave me any strikes before they terminated my channel. The only time YouTube gave me a warning, was when they removed a video I titled “Look at my foot”.

    Yes, I admit it! I once filmed my foot, just so people could see how very pink it is, along with a pair of marks on my foot. I guess I had no idea what I was doing that time… Because 2 years later, it got removed due to a violation of YouTube’s Child Safety Policy (despite the fact that I never intended for most of my content to be for children). Afterwards, they let me off with a warning, & they did say they would give me a strike if this sort of thing happened again. But the good thing is, they never did.

    But what did they do on Saturday the 24th of September? Terminate my account for no fucking reason! They had clearly forgotten about the warning they sent me, saying they WOULD give me a strike, but didn’t!

    I have appealed, just to get my channel & my content back. But YouTube just will not understand what I am saying! Everytime they reach a decision on my appeal, they always claim that they reviewed my channel carefully, & have confirmed that it violates their sex & nudity policy! & as a result… They won’t be putting my channel back up on YouTube!

    I am rather desperate for my channel to come back! But right now, you may aswell just know me as Patrick Star AVGCP on Google.

  • Avatar for Fred Peters Fred Peters says:


    I have read your YouTube ordeal and I wanted to share that I’m experiencing the complete opposite of your situation. I have found a channel that is doing illegal activities, and I have reported the channel and many of its videos, about 35+ times so far in a month and a half time, and they are just not doing ANYTHING about it. I have Twitted the @TeamYouTube several times, lost count already, no responses at all. But I see tons of posting a similar message and sometimes get responses seconds or minutes later… Its absolutely incredible, the channel is clearly in violation of federal law and even of their own guidelines, ANYONE with very little research can see the violation… This channel (run by a single individual by the way) has illegally collected approximately $770k from its viewers within a couple of months and getting ready to collect some more… I really don’t know what else to do to get their attention before someone gets hurt by this guy… Anyway, thanks for sharing your story, and if you have ANY advice or happen to be able to forward this story to Lei, I would be forever grateful…! THANK YOU!

  • I am your first comment .. please help me get my channel back .. 🙁

  • Avatar for Samuel Beauchemin Samuel Beauchemin says:

    Hi bros, my channel got terminated yesterday because a troll commented vulgar messages during my livestream. I’ve sent multiple appeals and they all got denied within 30 mins, with the same automated message. They don’t understand and read my appeal that clearly explains that the nudity didn’t come in the stream because of me. I banned that viewer and deleted his comments and I still got terminated. Please I need someone to help me push my appeal so that a real person sees it. Here’s my channel link, I had a channel where I made hockey videos:

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