Can I Re-upload a Video to YouTube That Replaces One That Already Exists?

By Aaron Parson

Need to upload a new copy of a video to YouTube, but don't want to delete existing comments? Use annotations or enhancements to help.

YouTube doesn't provide a method for uploading a fixed or edited video in place of an existing upload, so you can't move existing comments, likes and favorites to a new upload. Thankfully, you have a few other options. Upload a replacement and link to it in your old video or use YouTube's enhancement tools to make minor changes.

Upload a Replacement

A new upload can't actually replace an existing video, so use annotations to redirect viewers from your old video to the new copy.

Step 1

Upload the new copy of your video the same way you uploaded the original: Click Upload on YouTube and drag your new video file into the YouTube window. Give your new video any name and description you want; it doesn't have to match the original exactly. Wait until the upload finishes and copy the address of the new video.

Tip

To help viewers distinguish the new upload from the old, use the same title but add "(fixed)" or another similar tag to the end.

Warning

  • You can't upload an exact duplicate of an existing video. To upload the same video again without making any changes, delete the original first. Even a single frame added or removed from the video gets around this limitation, but changing the file name does not.
  • You don't have to delete and re-upload a video to change its name or description. Open your Video Manager and click Edit by the video to change its info.

Step 2

Start editing annotations.

Open your old video and click Annotations.

Tip

The Annotations button shows up only while you're logged in to the same account you used to upload the video.

Step 3

Add a note.

Pause the video at its beginning on the Annotations screen. Click Add Annotation and choose Note.

Step 4

Write a note and add the link.

Write a note directing viewers to click to see the new video. Use the size and color settings to help your message stand out. Check Link and paste the full address of your new video in the box.

Step 5

Change annotation duration.

Drag the right edge of the annotation on the timeline to the right to extend its duration. Leave the annotation up for at least several seconds so that viewers have time to read and click it. If you want, leave it up for the entire duration of the video. Click Apply Changes to finish.

Tip

Many viewers, including those on mobile devices, won't see annotations. Add a link to your new video in the old video's description to help. Another mobile-friendly option is to add a card, which pops up suggesting another video.

Fix a Video Using Enhancements

YouTube's enhancement tools can fix minor problems in a video without requiring a new upload. This method doesn't change the video's address, but also doesn't offer the versatility of a full video editor.

Tip

To enhance a video, it must have fewer than 100,000 views, be less than two hours long and not have a Content ID match.

Step 1

Open the enhancements.

Open your video on YouTube while logged in, and click Enhancements.

Step 2

Video enhancements.

Apply enhancements such as color adjustments, slow motion, time lapse or image stabilization. Use the arrows to rotate the video or click Trim to cut out part of the video. When you're finished, press Save.

Tip

  • Press Auto-Fix to attempt to solve color and lighting problems automatically.
  • Open the Filters tab to add a filter or the Special Effects tab to blur out faces in the video.
  • Other than the Trim feature, enhancements apply to the entire duration of your video.

Warning

Enhancements take some time to apply after you save them. If a viewer opens your video in the first few minutes after you enhance it, she might still see the unedited version.

References & Resources