YouTube Unsubscribing You From Channels: Why?

Here’s why YouTube unsubscribes you from channels:

Officially, YouTube does not admit to unsubscribing users from channels without the users making a request.

In practice, it seems that this happens regardless of what YouTube says.

There are a lot of possible reasons, including bot purges, content censorship, bugs, channel deletion, and more.

So if you want to learn all about why YouTube unsubscribes you from channels, then this article is for you.

Let’s get started!

YouTube Unsubscribes You From Channels: Why? (All the Info)

Does YouTube Unsubscribe You?

We need to hold this whole conversation for a moment.

The question at hand assumes that YouTube is in fact unsubscribing people from channels without any request or authorization from those people.

But, can we assume that such a thing is happening.

According to officials at YouTube, this never happens.

It’s not their policy to unsubscribe people in this way, and they have never built a tool that would accomplish such a task.

So, no. YouTube doesn’t unsubscribe you.

It’s all in your head. There’s nothing to see here.

Yeah… I don’t buy it either.

It makes sense that YouTube would take this stance.

As a customer, it’s not entirely inspiring to know that the company might alter my account without my knowledge or approval.

It’s not a fun or optimized experience. 

But, can we trust this stance from YouTube? No.

There are innumerable accounts of people losing subscriptions without any notice or warning.

I have personally experienced this problem.

Channels I subscribed to were suddenly missing from my subscription list, and I certainly didn’t remove them myself.

This is not just in your head, but it’s also not something I can overwhelmingly prove, since YouTube holds all of the keys and refuses to acknowledge the problem.

Not to worry. That’s not going to stop us.

I’ll explain the most common instances that might apply to your situation, and we’ll go from there.

Why Might YouTube Purge Subscriptions? (3 Reasons)

Ok. We’re acknowledging that this situation does come up, so the next question is, why? 

If we think it through, there are times when YouTube actually would want to unsubscribe you in legitimate ways.

There are other times where YouTube would want to unsubscribe users, but not necessarily you.

So, let’s go through the “legit” cases first.

#1 Deleted Channel

This is the easiest case to understand.

If someone deletes their YouTube channel, it makes sense for the system to automatically get rid of any subscriptions to that channel.

It doesn’t exist anymore, so YouTube will purge the subscriptions to this channel.

If you happen to be one of those subscribers, your subscription might disappear, and YouTube isn’t exactly playing you dirty here.

On that same note, sometimes YouTube deletes entire channels.

There could be any number of reasons for that, most of which are tied to YouTube’s list of rules.

Regardless, if a channel you subscribe to meets this fate, your subscription might disappear without notice.

#2 Bots

This is another scenario that makes easy sense.

YouTube, like all online platforms, struggles with bot activity.

Bots can be use in a lot of ways, and some of them create problems for YouTube.

The most obvious example is subscriber botting.

People can use bots to inflate subscriber numbers for a channel.

That artificially inflates the statistics related to the channel and can cause YouTube to recommend a channel that it normally wouldn’t.

YouTube is built on a concept of organic engagement, so the company has good reasons to go after bots.

When they do, the bot purge can leave a channel with a sudden and dramatic drop in subscribers.

Theoretically, this wouldn’t impact you, as a subscriber.

I mean, you’re not a bot, right? Right?

Unfortunately, practice doesn’t always match theory, and real users are sometimes incorrectly flagged as bots.

In this case, you might be unsubscribed.

YouTube’s rationale is at least something we can follow, even if it’s not working correctly in your case.

#3 It Wasn’t YouTube

I’m not here to gaslight you, but we have to acknowledge this possibility too.

It’s entirely possible that YouTube didn’t unsubscribe you.

Maybe you did it and then forgot.

That’s not always the case, but it probably happens sometimes.

On a different note, it’s also possible that the unsubscription was neither you nor YouTube.

If you use third-party apps in conjunction with YouTube, it’s possible that they create a conflict that messes with your account in unexpected ways.

There’s another possible culprit in all of this.

Sometimes, accounts get compromised.

If your account is hacked, or if someone else has access to it, then another person might unsubscribe you from something without your knowledge.

When Would YouTube Avoid Admitting to Unsubscribing You? (3 Scenarios)

We covered the “legit” reasons.

Now we can get into the darker topics (that’s a bit of an exaggeration).

The truth is that YouTube can’t justify every instance of unsubscribing, and that’s probably why they pretend like it doesn’t happen.

As I said earlier, I’ve experienced this firsthand.

So with that in mind, let’s look at some possibilities (I can’t guarantee that these are the real motivations at YouTube).

#1 Bugs

In this case, the whole thing is an accident.

I mentioned third-party software behaving in weird ways.

It’s entirely possible that the fault is with YouTube code.

After all, computers have bugs, and a whole bunch of computers are involved with YouTube.

So, maybe your unsubscription was a complete accident.

YouTube still doesn’t want to admit it because the company doesn’t like admitting certain types of problems.

You can decide for yourself whether or not that is reasonable, but this is a pretty simple idea.

Your whole problem was an accident.

#2 Censorship

This is something you might have been expecting.

Before I get all the way into this, let me make a quick disclaimer.

I don’t care about your politics, and I’m not here as a champion of some political movement or ideology.

When I say censorship, I’m not referring to political censorship.

Instead, what I mean is that YouTube is trying to thread a needle.

People strongly disagree on what kinds of content are and are not appropriate, and YouTube has to draw some lines somewhere i.e. community guidelines.

Regardless of your agreement or disagreement regarding where those lines are drawn, they are in fact drawn, and that can lead to an issue with subscriptions.

Regardless of why, YouTube does try to subtly reduce traffic to specific creators or types of content.

One way they can do this is by secretly lowering subscription counts.

This is the grayest of everything I’m discussing today.

YouTube has been accused of this, but I have no hard evidence to offer.

Maybe it happens. Maybe it doesn’t.

If it does, then you might have been unsubscribed just to lower engagement statistics for a channel to make that channel less popular and visible in the YouTube algorithm.

#3 Funzies

This might feel a little weird, but it’s a serious suggestion.

Someone at YouTube might just be messing with subscriptions for fun (or other personal reasons).

That might seem ridiculous on its head, but YouTube is a big organization with a lot of employees.

Any organization that gets large enough is bound to hire rogue employees.

These are individuals who act outside of company directives and often against the company’s interests.

In this case, a random person at YouTube unsubscribed you for their own personal reasons.

It’s weird to think about, but when you consider how weird people can be, it’s not as far-fetched as it sounds.

I highly doubt that this is the leading cause of subscription removal at YouTube, but if a leaked email came out tomorrow that showed that this does actually happen, I wouldn’t be entirely shocked.

What Can You Do About It? (3 Solutions)

There’s really only one question left to ask.

What can you do about all of this?

It partly depends on how and why you were unsubscribed, but there are a few options, so I’ll list them separately.

#1 Resubscribe

This is the most obvious.

If a subscription is missing, look up the channel and hit the subscribe button again.

In my experience, YouTube doesn’t consistently unsubscribe you from the same channel over and over again.

So, this remedy tends to work pretty well.

Narutally, if the channel doesn’t exist anymore, then there’s nothing you can do about it.

That’s the limit of your power as an individual user.

#2 Contact YouTube

We covered that there are legitimate reasons for YouTube to unsubscribe you.

So, if you’re running into a problem, contact them.

They do have support resources, and they might actually find a problem that they can fix.

As long as the reason is legitimate and the channel still exists, they’ll probably help you resubscribe.

This is most important if you think you might have been flagged as a bot.

You want to contact YouTube so they can rectify that.

If they continue to think you’re a bot (and you promised me that you aren’t), then you’ll keep having problems.

#3 Make a Scene

This is the last resort, but if YouTube won’t help and persists on unsubscribing you, then make the problem public.

Explore your options.

Blow them up on other social media.

Consult with a lawyer to see if you have a reasonable suit.

Make a scene and see how YouTube responds.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

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