It appears as though YouTube no longer offers the ability to unlink your Google+ account. If I find a way to do this, I will update this post to reflect that.
I have received a lot of questions about how to unlink your Google Plus account from YouTube. *Update – If you are creating a brand new YouTube account, there is no way to unlink it from Google+. As you set up the YouTube page, it will prompt you to set up a Google+ profile or page. You have to set one up or you won’t be able to have a YouTube Channel. I think they started doing this around June of 2013
However, if you setup a YouTube channel before they started doing this, you should still be able to unlink it from Google Plus. Especially if you were prompted to link it after you set up the channel originally. Fortunately, YouTube has made this process a little easier since it first started automatically linking your Google Plus account to your YouTube account.
Why would you want to unlink it? Mostly so you can name it something other than your name or Google Plus channel. For example, when I set up my YouTube channel, since it was automatically linked from Google Plus, the name of my YouTube channel was Stephen Wagner. That’s great, but what if I was setting it up for my business and wanted to name it Katie Wagner Social Media. YouTube doesn’t let you do that unless you unlink your Google Plus account.
Here is how you do it:
The first way, is if you have never logged into YouTube before, a screen will show up and this box will appear.
Click on the link at the bottom that says ‘create a username’. A new box will show up, as shown below. A couple of pieces of advice, and this goes for later as well. Your username cannot be changed, and will also be your URL. Whatever you put in here will not only be a way for you to login to YouTube, but will also be what shows up in the address bar – meaning YouTube.com/username. So, if you are creating this for your business, you want to brand this like any other social media channel or website you have. For example, our company’s YouTube channel is youtube.com/kwsocialmedia. Since this is something you will probably be putting in a lot of places, be sure to think about your branding. Once you put this in there, you can’t change it.
Once you have set the username, skip down to where I show you how to change the name of the channel.
Here is the second way to change it (if the above screen doesn’t show up for you when you login to YouTube).
First, notice that my profile picture and name are showing the same as on my Google Plus account. YouTube automatically put this in there when they linked my accounts.
Click on the ‘Channel Settings’ button, then on the ‘Info and Settings’ tab. This will take you to the screen below. This is normally where you would change the title to your page. However, what is there in it’s place is my Google Plus profile. Now, there is an ‘edit’ button there. However, that is just going to take you to your Google Plus account where you could edit your profile, and the name would change in both places. But that isn’t what we want. We want them to be unlinked so you can change either without affecting the other one.
Instead, cancel out of that and click in the upper right hand corner on your picture. The dropdown menu seen below will appear.
Click on the ‘YouTube Settings’ Link in the bottom left-hand corner of the dropdown menu. It will take you to a new screen and an ‘account information’ box will be in the middle, as shown below.
*Update – in some accounts I have been working on recently, a link is now showing up that says “Disconnect Google+ from YouTube” right above the word “Advanced” on this screen. If you see that, click on that link instead of “Advanced”.
Click on the ‘advanced’ link to the right of your picture. A screen will show up as shown below.
Once here, you want to click on the ‘create username’ link. It will take you to a new screen, which will allow you to create a username. Like I said earlier, this will not only create the login username for your YouTube channel, but it will also create the custom URL for your channel, so be sure to pick one that matches your brand. Once you set your username, you have officially unlinked your Google Plus account from YouTube!
Ok, now that you have set your username, you can now title your channel whatever you want. Your URL can’t be changed, but the title of the channel can. Let me show you what I mean.
First, go back to your Channel. I decided to set my username as TheStephenWagner for this example. As you can see below, the channel name changed from ‘Stephen Wagner’ to ‘TheStephenWagner’.
Since I want it to be named ‘Katie Wagner Social Media’, I need to change the title. Click on the ‘Channel Settings’ button, then on the ‘Info and Settings’ tab. The screen below should show up.
Here, where you see the title ‘TheStephenWagner’, you can now changed that to whatever you want. I changed it to ‘Katie Wagner Social Media’ as shown below. Be sure to click ‘save’.
Now, when I go back to the channel, it shows up as ‘Katie Wagner Social Media’, instead of ‘TheStephenWagner’, or ‘Stephen Wagner’ from my Google Plus account!
I know this is a lot of steps, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you have questions or run into problems. I have set up a lot of YouTube channels and it took me a few times to get it right. Should you have any questions or are seeing something different on your account (YouTube is changing this frequently), please don’t hesitate to reach out to me by commenting below.
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