YouTube has today announced another killer tool for video creators that should ease all kinds of headaches. Users now have the ability to edit their videos, right from within YouTube, even though it's already been published. The new system allows the videos to maintain the same exact video IDs they had before editing began.

Edit Existing YouTube Videos Without Losing Your Video ID & URL

Here's a scenario that I'm sure is familiar to many of you: You've created a great video, uploaded it to YouTube, and published it... only to find a mistake you want to fix or an alteration you want to make. Prior to today, the only way you could do that was pull the original video down, edit it offline, and then re-upload.

The problems with that solution are obvious:

  • It takes more time than video creators would like to pull a video, re-edit it, re-upload, and re-publish... it's kind of a pain in the neck, actually.
  • The video ID changes, meaning any previous links or embeds are now out of date, still linking to the old version's video ID.

With the new editing system inside YouTube, both of those problems disappear. You can edit a video even if it's already live, and the video ID remains the same. In addition, you can do the editing right from within YouTube.

Here's a video they released showing off the new capabilities:

Using The New YouTube Video Editing System on Existing Videos

This is pretty huge news, I think, though it definitely has its limitations. Here's how it works:

  • Click Edit Video on the video's page or on your My Videos page
  • Edit the video - You can stabilize hand-held footage, rotate a video, boost the contrast, and change the colors. There's even an "I'm feelin' lucky" option for one-touch color correction. YouTube has also added some filter-type effects (developed with Picnik).
  • Click Save.
  • Wait for the video to finish processing, and you're done.
ALSO ►  Your Quick & Handy Guide to 360 Degree Video on YouTube

Edit Existing YouTube Videos, Even After Theyre Published Live & Shared  edit youtube1 606x135

Note that you can still revert back to the original in the event you don't like the new edit. However, popular video clips with over 1,000 views can only be saved as new videos once edited (for more explanation on that, see their help page).

The new editing capabilities are being rolled out to all users today, though I'm not seeing them in my account currently. It doesn't appear as though you can make cuts or swap scenes around using this editing system--that kind of thing is something you'll still want to use your regular editing software for. But for correcting minor issues and improving the look of your video, this is an outright gift to video creators.

  • Chocolatini

    My video has distorted audio and it has over 20,000 views. If I upload a new video, it will lose all the possible links, not to mention the view count, etc.
    Is there any way to simply upload new audio to the video?

    Me thinks probably not.

    It's funny, but Ive been so addicted to Google's Youtube, that I pass over sites like vimeo and others. And I don't like Google anymore -- NSA, privacy invasion, datamining information, etc. So maybe this is a good rationalization to try other services?

    You can only do small edits to your youtube videos! What good is that?!!

  • [email protected]

    It's not good enough..what if you want to upload a better quality version or edit out some frames?

    • Jill Colt

      This was info I was trying to find. Looks like YT doesn't allow this.

  • Julianna Lees

    Can you help me with a different problem? In 2010 & 2011 I published a slide show on YouTube of my fave pix of the year - with music - on "Julianna Lees channel". They have disappeared! How can I get my pictures back, please?

  • Carrington Brigham

    Can you remove a scene though?

  • steven chessin

    AUDIO AUDIO AUDIO --- Youtube only allows audio to be replaced with their music - that opens the door to ad content - i want to be able to do an overdub narration

  • VideoLeadsOnline

    OK, I read up on the limitations re. 1K views. Looks like you can no longer edit the video after it reaches 1k views and keep the same YouTube URL. (you can save changes {save-as} as a new URL video)

    What is not clear is the ability to "return to original" video, i.e. you trimmed off the stuff at the start of the vid, then you changed your mind... you can bring it back via the editor (return to original functions) but maybe not any longer once your video has 1k or more views.

  • VideoLeadsOnline

    "Almost live edits"... Great addition to YouTube! I especially like the ability to TRIM the video a bit. All this while retaining the video's original URL made by YouTube.

    I'll have to read up on the limitations to videos that have > 1,000 views.

    You guys at ReelSEO are really up on this stuff! I only saw the addition to my YouTube account today, and you had already written it up yesterday! Good Job - Woof Woof Woof!

  • Larry Thomas

    Beware the dull amateur with the sharp tool.

    And, hope that given enough rope he doesn't hang your brand.


    • Neil Ferree

      Great link Larry. Interesting comment, kinda funny too BUT why in the world would you wanna use Flash on your site? I betcha that's why your Alexa is north of 20 million and something you might look into OR did you allow a "dull amateur with a sharp tool" add that Flash ;-)

    • Larry Thomas

      Site undergoing redesign as we speak. And yes, a dull amateur put it up as a launch pad ... And Flash, especially with the Apple and mobile conflicts was a bad decision.