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Rants of Exporting YouTube Subscriptions

  • Adam Douglas

Having the ability to export your YouTube subscriptions can be quite useful and understandably a very important feature to have. A simple export is good for a variety of valid reasons such as backup, importing into an application or importing into another Google account. Unfortunately Google has decided to remove the ability to export YouTube subscriptions via the Subscriptions > Manage page. The export process has changed for some time now which I think is good and bad. This is my pursuit in finding a solution that would work for most people and my frustration a long the way.


The process started within my YouTube subscriptions page and immediately came up with no obvious solution to export. I spent some time reading online what I could find and honestly came up empty for the majority of the results. In my mind this should be a simple intuitive process starting from going to your YouTube subscriptions and clicking on an area to export the data. Unfortunately this is not the case at least any more strangely. Instead, one is to use Google Takeout, which is fine to me, but not the way it was implemented. Why can’t I have an export function at least linked from the manage subscriptions page as that would be logical. It then would redirect me to Google Takeout to export just the YouTube subscriptions with the option to do more if desired. The current process is focused on someone wanting to export all or multiple parts of data from various Google services as a whole. It is as if this process I’m trying to achieve has not been thought of. We’ve lost the thought of making a backup or wanting to use your list you created in a different manner. What is even more frustrating is that the solutions I’ve found works best on a desktop computer in my opinion.

Why I get frustrated is because we should be creating applications and/or websites that are intuitive and logical. I doubt an average user would even know what Google Takeout is due to it be being so buried. In all honestly if the application is created properly most wouldn’t even need to read material like I’m writing up to instruct how to achieve the simple task of exporting YouTube subscriptions.

Finding Resolution

As I’m sure by no surprise that the first solution is using Google Takeout and the second is a more manual process utilizing a one line JavaScript statement within the Web Developer Tools console. Take a read of my knowledge base on how to Export YouTube Subscriptions.

From the perspective of a developer I would imagine there is a way to obtain a list of YouTube subscriptions using YouTube Data API. However, this area I’ve not ventured into yet.

If you are aware of another way to accomplish an export, please feel free to contact me.

This is post 19 of 100, and is round 2 of the 100 Days To Offload challenge.

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