How to Live Stream on YouTube

Go Live on YouTube in only a few steps

YouTube has a built-in live streaming feature that lets you create live videos from the desktop or the YouTube app on your smartphone. It's easy to go live on YouTube and share real-time video with your channel's subscribers. Here's what you need to know to get started broadcasting yourself on YouTube.

Requirements Live Streaming on YouTube

Before you can live stream, you need to perform a one-time setup that verifies your account. This ensures you're not a bot, and that you qualify to live stream. To qualify for live streaming, you need to not have any restrictions on your account. Here is what will disqualify you from live streaming:

  • You have one or more YouTube community guidelines strikes against your account.
  • You've previously had a live stream that was blocked globally.
  • You've had a previous live stream with a copyright takedown notice.
  • Your live stream includes a copyrighted live broadcast.

Also, while anyone without any account restrictions can live stream from a browser on their computer, you need to have a minimum of 1000 channel subscribers in order to live stream from your phone or another mobile device.

How to Verify Your Account on YouTube for Livestreamig

If you're ready to start livestreaming to your followers, here is how to verify your account:

  1. In a web browser, open YouTube and make sure you are logged into the account you plan to live stream from.

  2. Click the video icon at the top of the YouTube page, to the right of the search bar and click Go live.

    The YouTube web site with the Live Stream menu open.
  3. On the Account verification page, follow the instructions to select your country and request a verification code, which you can receive via text message or voice. Enter your phone number and then click Submit.

    The YouTube Live Stream account verification page.
  4. After you get the code, complete the verification and submit it again. 

  5. If you entered the code correctly, you'll be verified. Now, if you return to the video menu and try to go live, you'll see a message telling you that your account will take 24 hours to activate. It really does take a full 24 hours, so don't plan to live stream any sooner if this is your first time. 

How to Go Live for the First Time

Once you're verified, then you can create your first livestream on YouTube. It's a quick (and mostly painless) process.

  1. In a web browser, open YouTube and click the video icon, then click Go live.

  2. You will probably need to give the browser permission to use your webcam.

  3. Configure your first live stream. Give the video a name, and choose the level privacy you want. You can make the video public, only for people who have a link to the video, or private for you only

    Starting a YouTube Live Stream
  4. You need to indicate if the video is made specifically for children.

  5. Click Next.

  6. YouTube will deliver a short countdown and take a snapshot for the video thumbnail. Be ready!

  7. When you're ready to go live, click Go Live. You'll now be broadcasting live.

    The YouTube Live Stream preview window.
  8. When you're done broadcasting, click End Stream.

    A Live Stream in progress on YouTube.
  9. Finally, you have a choice to edit the video in YouTube Studio—this lets you trim the start and end and make other simple improvements to the video—or click Dismiss to archive the live stream in the Studio. 

How to Manage Your Live Streams

After you create one or more live streams, you can always find them archived in YouTube Studio. They never expire automatically, so they will be there unless you choose to delete them. 

  1. In a web browser, open YouTube. Click your account avatar at the top right of the page, and then click YouTube Studio.

    Opening YouTube Studio on the YouTube web page.
  2. On the Studio page in the navigation on the left, click Videos.

  3. Atop the list of videos, click Live to switch to your live streams.

  4. Now that you can see your live streams, you can click videos to edit them. If you want to delete a live stream, click the selection box to the left of the video and then click More actions from the menu across the top of the video list. Then click Delete forever.

    Using YouTube Studio to delete a Live Stream video.