Does YouTube Require a Gmail Account?

By Serm Murmson

A Gmail account is not necessary for basic YouTube use.
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The relationship between Gmail and YouTube may be hard to discern. When you sign in to one service, you can use the same account to access the other. Since 2009, YouTube accounts have been powered by Google. These Google accounts are linked to Gmail accounts whether you use Gmail or not. However, you do not need to sign in to an account to access the basic features of YouTube.

The Relationship Between YouTube and Google

YouTube accounts are identical to Google accounts. When you create an account on YouTube, you also create an account on Google. Likewise, when you create an account on Google, you can also use this account information to log in to YouTube.

Gmail and Google Accounts

When you create a Gmail account, you create a Google account. Likewise, when you create an account to access a different Google service, such as Picasa, you create a Google account. The username you create for these accounts becomes a Gmail address, but you do not need to use this Gmail address. Additionally, you can link your Google account to a separate email address if you wish.

Using YouTube with an Account

It is possible to use YouTube without a Google account. Without a Google account, you can view videos on YouTube that do not have age restrictions. However, in order to view videos with age restrictions, you must be logged in to your Google account. Furthermore, you will not be able to comment on, like, or upload videos to YouTube without a Google account.

Legacy Accounts

Before 2009, YouTube and Google accounts were separate entities. Therefore, some users may have separate accounts for both services. In this case, these accounts are not necessarily linked. These accounts, called "legacy accounts", can be linked and unlinked at will. In this way, YouTube accounts do not necessarily require Google accounts.