YouTube Sign-Up: How to Make an Account

Create a YouTube or Google account at the same time

The YouTube account sign-up process is fairly simple, although it's complicated by the fact that Google owns YouTube and has linked the two for registration purposes. For that reason, to sign up for a YouTube account, you must have a Google ID or sign up for a new Google account.

How to Make a YouTube Account

If you already have a Google ID through Gmail or any other Google product, you can sign in to YouTube.com with that username and password. Signing in with a Google ID on YouTube's homepage automatically registers you for a YouTube account and links your YouTube sign-in to your Google account. There's no need to create a new YouTube account if you don't mind linking your existing Google username.

If you have no Google ID or are a business and don't want to link your personal Google profile to YouTube, then you should register for a new Google user ID. You can fill out one registration form, and it will create both a YouTube account and a Google account at the same time and cross-link them.

YouTube Accounts: The Basics

Follow these steps to create a basic YouTube account.

  1. Go to the YouTube.com homepage and select Sign In at the top of the screen to go to the basic Google sign-up form.

    YouTube sign-in
  2. Select Create account. You'll have the option of creating an account for yourself or your business. Make your choice.

    YouTube create account
  3. You will be asked to provide a name and password, as well as an email address to confirm your identity.

    YouTube create account info
  4. Select Next to submit the information and proceed to the next step.

Profile Information for Google Accounts

When you create a new Google profile, you'll see a page titled Create Your Profile. It's referring to your Google profile, not your YouTube profile, though the two will be linked if you create a Google profile.

One thing to remember about Google profiles is they are only for individuals, not businesses. You can't create a Google profile for a business without running the risk of having your profile suspended, because Google scans usernames on profiles to make sure they reflect people and not companies or products. If you are creating a Google account for a business, then you create what Google calls a Brand account, which is an account aimed at business use.

If you're using Google and YouTube as an individual, go ahead and create a profile. You can upload a photo from your computer if you want an image to show when you're using Google services. If you add a picture of yourself to your Google profile and then like the material you see on the web, your thumbnail profile pic may show to other people who view the same material.

Customize Your YouTube Channel

The first step you may want to take after registering is to find some YouTube video channels that appeal to you and subscribe to them. That makes it easier to find and watch them later by showing links to those channels on your YouTube homepage.

What exactly is a YouTube channel? It's a collection of videos tied to a registered user of YouTube, either an individual or an organization.

The Channel guide lists popular channel categories when you first sign in. Select the Subscribe button for any channel you want to subscribe to. Channels shown include both broad genres like pop music and specific ones like those created by individual artists.

Browse the topical categories to find more material of interest or click on your username to go to your homepage. On the left sidebar, you'll see links to popular channels, which are ones that are getting a lot of views, and the trending channels, too.

Watch YouTube Videos

Figuring out how to watch YouTube videos is easy.

  1. Click on the name of any video you want to watch to go to that video's page with player controls.

  2. By default, the video will start playing in a small window, but you can select the full-screen button in the lower-right corner to fill your entire computer screen with the video. You can also click the middle large-screen button to enlarge the video viewing box but not make it take up your entire screen.

    YouTube full screen
  3. An advertisement may play before your chosen video, but you can usually click the X button or Skip to move past the commercial. Many of the commercials become skippable after five seconds of play time.