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 because Google owns YouTube and links 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 have a Google ID through Gmail or another Google product, you can sign in to with that username and password. Signing in with a Google ID on the YouTube homepage automatically registers you for a YouTube account and links your YouTube sign-in to your Google account. You don't need to create a new YouTube account if you don't mind linking your existing Google username.

If you don't have a Google ID or are a business and don't want to link your personal Google profile to YouTube, register for a new Google user ID. You can fill out one registration form, and it creates a YouTube account and a Google account at the same time and cross-links them.

YouTube Accounts: The Basics

Follow these steps to create a basic YouTube account.

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

    The Sign In button on YouTube
  2. Select Create account. You can create an account for yourself or your business.

    The "Create Account" button
  3. Provide a name, password, and 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 see a page titled Create Your Profile. This page refers to your Google profile, not your YouTube profile, though the two are linked when you create a Google profile.

Google profiles 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. Google scans usernames on profiles to make sure the names reflect people and not companies or products. When you create a Google account for a business, you create what Google calls a Brand account, which is an account aimed at business use.

If you use Google and YouTube as an individual, go ahead and create a profile. Upload a photo from your computer if you want an image to show when you use 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 YouTube video channels that appeal to you and subscribe to those channels. Subscribing makes it easier to find and watch channels later by showing links to those channels on your YouTube homepage.

A YouTube channel is 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 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 your username to go to your homepage. The left sidebar contains 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. Select the name of any video you want to watch to go to that video's page with player controls.

  2. By default, the video plays in a small window. Select the full-screen button in the lower-right corner to fill the entire computer screen with the video. Or, click the middle large-screen button to enlarge the video viewing box but not make it take up the entire screen.

    The Full Screen button on YouTube
  3. An advertisement may play before your chosen video. Still, you can usually click the X button or Skip to move past the commercial. Many commercials become skippable after five seconds.

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