How to Reset YouTube Recommendations: The Ultimate Guide for Taking Back Control of Your Suggestions

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Have you ever felt like your YouTube recommendations are stuck in a loop? Like no matter how many videos you watch, you keep getting served the same stale suggestions over and over again?

You‘re not alone. With over 2 billion monthly users, YouTube‘s powerful recommendation algorithm doesn‘t always get things right. But the good news is – you can reset your YouTube recommendations whenever they go off track.

In this comprehensive guide, you‘ll learn how to refresh your YouTube suggestions using proven techniques. I‘ll explain exactly how the YouTube algorithm works, why your recommendations go bad, and how to fix them.

By the end, you‘ll have the tools to keep your YouTube recommendations relevant, useful, and opening up new horizons. Let‘s get started!

How Does YouTube Know What Videos to Recommend You?

Before learning how to reset your YouTube recommendations, it helps to understand how they work in the first place.

YouTube‘s recommendation engine is powered by machine learning algorithms that analyze your viewing behavior to build a profile of your interests. By processing signals from your account activity, YouTube determines suggestions it thinks you‘ll engage with.

Some of the key factors that influence your recommended videos include:

  • Watch history – Videos similar to ones you‘ve previously watched will be suggested more often. This includes channels you view regularly.

  • Searches – Videos relevant to search terms you‘ve looked up in the past get recommended.

  • Likes/dislikes – Videos you positively or negatively rate help train the system. Liking is particularly important.

  • Location – Trending and popular videos in your geographic region may be recommended.

  • External sites – Videos you view on external sites get added to your YouTube history.

  • Other viewers – Videos commonly watched alongside or next to your viewed videos will be suggested.

  • Subscriptions – Recent videos from channels you‘re subscribed to are prominently recommended.

YouTube combines all these signals with advanced A.I. to estimate which videos you‘re most likely to be interested in. The more videos you watch, the better it gets at predicting your preferences.

Over time, by constantly comparing your viewing behavior with other metrics and users, YouTube is able to surface personalized recommendations it thinks you‘ll enjoy.

Pretty clever right? But sometimes, the algorithm misses the mark.

Why Do YouTube Recommendations Go Bad?

YouTube‘s recommendation A.I. is sophisticated, but not perfect. There are many reasons why your suggested videos may become irrelevant or repetitive:

  • You watched an unusual one-off video that doesn‘t match your normal interests. For example, a funny cat video sent by a friend.

  • Someone else used your YouTube account and watched videos you don‘t care about. For instance, your kids binged some Minecraft videos.

  • You went down a rabbit hole researching a new topic or interest, skewing your recommendations temporarily.

  • You‘ve evolved your interests over time, but YouTube‘s profile hasn‘t caught up yet.

  • You want to actively discover new topics and channels instead of watching the same stale videos.

  • YouTube determines certain kinds of videos trigger higher watch times or ad revenue, so it recommends them more.

  • The A.I. gets trapped in "filter bubbles" and keeps suggesting increasingly similar content.

Whenever the recommendations become misaligned from your current interests, it‘s time to reset the algorithm. Luckily, YouTube provides easy ways to do this.

How to Reset YouTube Recommendations

Resetting your YouTube recommendations is simple and only takes a few minutes. Here are 4 proven methods to refresh your suggested videos:

1. Delete Your YouTube Watch History

The most direct way to reset your recommendations is by deleting your YouTube watch history. Clearing this data erases the profile YouTube‘s algorithm has built up, forcing it to start from scratch:

  1. Sign into YouTube and click on your account profile picture.

  2. Select "Your data in YouTube" from the dropdown menu.

  3. Click on "Watch History" and choose "Delete all watch history".

  4. Confirm that you want to delete your entire history.

Once deleted, give YouTube 1-2 days to fully re-calibrate your recommendations. You‘ll notice the suggestions becoming more relevant again.

The downside is that this removes all your history. If you only want to delete a portion, jump to the next method.

2. Delete a Custom Date Range

For finer control, you can delete only a specific time period from your watch history:

  1. From your YouTube account menu, choose "Your data in YouTube".

  2. Under "Watch History", click "View watch history".

  3. Click the calendar icon next to "Date Range" at the top.

  4. Select a custom start and end date, like "Last week" or "August 10 – 15".

  5. Click "Clear selected range" to delete only that portion of history.

This lets you precisely remove certain outlier sessions, like a friend borrowing your account, without nuking your entire history.

3. Reset YouTube on Mobile

If you primarily watch YouTube on iPhone or Android, you can also reset your history right in the app:


  1. Open YouTube and tap your profile picture.

  2. Go to Settings > History & Privacy.

  3. Select "Delete Watch History".


  1. Tap your profile picture > Settings.

  2. Go to History & Privacy > Delete Watch History.

That‘s all it takes to reset the mobile app‘s recommendations.

4. Actively Teach YouTube Your New Interests

Finally, you can reset recommendations just by watching more videos matching your current interests. The more relevant content you view, the faster YouTube will get the hint.

Combine this with the other methods above to fully reset suggestions in 1-3 days.

Bonus: Fine-Tune Suggestions with YouTube‘s Feedback Options

YouTube gives you direct feedback options to improve each recommendation:

  • Select "Not Interested" on a video to remove it.

  • Choose "Don‘t Recommend Channel" to block that channel.

  • Like videos you enjoy and Dislike ones you don‘t.

Leverage these options to train YouTube about your tastes.

Now let‘s dive into some common YouTube recommendation issues and how to troubleshoot them.

YouTube Recommendation Troubleshooting Guide

Here are solutions for some frequent problems people encounter trying to reset their YouTube recommendations:

Problem: Your recommendations stay the same after clearing history.

Fix: Give YouTube 1-3 days to fully reset suggestions. Watching more videos speeds this up.

Problem: Certain irrelevant videos keep getting recommended.

Fix: Use "Not Interested" and "Don‘t Recommend Channel" options to block them.

Problem: Some videos you want to remove are still in your history.

Fix: Make sure to clear both Watch History and Search History.

Problem: You lost videos/channels you liked by clearing history.

Fix: Simply re-watch 1-2 videos from desired channels to bring them back.

Problem: Your watch history keeps getting re-populated with unwanted videos.

Fix: Check that no one else is accessing your account and watching videos without you knowing.

Problem: Your interests keep changing faster than YouTube can keep up.

Fix: Review and clear your history regularly so the algorithm stays on its toes.

Following this troubleshooting guide should resolve any lingering issues you encounter. Now let‘s cover some common questions about resetting YouTube recommendations.

FAQs and Expert Tips

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

How long does it take YouTube to reset recommendations after clearing history?

It typically takes 1-3 days for YouTube‘s algorithm to fully refresh suggestions after clearing your watch history. Actively watching preferred videos speeds this up.

Do I lose my subscriptions or playlists if I reset YouTube?

No, clearing your watch/search history only affects your recommendations. Your subscriptions, playlists, and other account details stay unchanged.

What‘s the quickest way to reset YouTube on iPhone?

On iPhone, open the YouTube app > Profile > Settings > History & Privacy > Delete Watch History. This instantly resets suggestions.

Can I stop recommendations without deleting my history?

You can pause recommendations entirely in YouTube‘s settings. But clearing your history is more effective for improving poor suggestions.

How often should I reset my YouTube recommendations?

Ideally every 2-3 months to keep your profile updated. Or whenever you notice recommendations growing stale or irrelevant.

Should I create multiple YouTube accounts for different interests?

Yes, using different accounts (called "brand accounts") for separate interests can help YouTube give better suggestions tailored to each one.

Can I export my YouTube data before resetting recommendations?

Absolutely. Download your YouTube data to save your history before resetting. Then you can look back later if needed.

How many videos should I watch before YouTube recommendations improve?

Watch at least 10-15 videos matching your new interests before expecting to see updated recommendations.

Consistently clearing your history and training the algorithm with relevant videos will keep your YouTube recommendations dialed in.

Now let‘s recap the key steps:

Recap: How to Take Back Control of Your YouTube Recommendations

  1. Clear your entire watch history – Removing your viewing data forces YouTube to recalibrate suggestions.

  2. Delete custom date ranges – Erase specific sessions, like when others used your account.

  3. Reset YouTube on mobile – Clear history right from the YouTube app on your phone.

  4. Use YouTube‘s feedback tools – Select "Not Interested" and "Don‘t Recommend Channel" to remove unwanted videos.

  5. Actively watch your new interests – The more relevant content you view, the faster YouTube learns your preferences.

  6. Review and delete history regularly – Keep your profile updated by resetting every few months.

  7. Create multiple accounts – Use different YouTube accounts for separate interests to improve recommendations.

With these steps, you can stay in control of your YouTube recommendations. Keep them dialed into your evolving interests.

The endless stream of recommended videos is one of YouTube‘s greatest assets – when it works properly. By resetting your history and retraining the algorithm, you‘ll keep discovering amazing new content tailored just for you.

So take back command of your YouTube recommendations today! Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions.


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.