Commenting on YouTube is an activity that helps bring creators and viewers together. While prone to censorship when both sides use trigger words, the system is otherwise beneficial. It can be the bastion of information for things that weren’t mentioned in the video or wouldn’t fit/get seen in the description. Hence, a pinned comment is often a promotional space. Sadly, both viewers and creators can delete comments, accidentally or intentionally, only to regret the decision later. By then, it may be too late and YouTube won’t go out of its way to help. That’s why we’re so motivated to show you how to recover YouTube comments. Let’s begin.
Before you start
YouTube doesn’t provide a direct way to restore any YouTube comment, i.e., there’s no Undo button. Unless you’re a creator with a massive following, you likely won’t get a response after contacting their Customer Support. Even if you do, the data will be far gone by that point. Therefore, time is of the essence. All methods, excluding steps in method 1, are luck-based and more of a desperate attempt than straightforward.
1. Recover through YouTube Comments History
YouTube has a handy feature called Comment History. In many cases your comment gets buried among others, hidden by the algorithm (especially if it’s a reply to a “main” comment), or gets obscured or erased by you or the video uploader. In all those circumstances, you may be able to see it by doing the following, based on the medium:
Fire up your browser on desktop or mobile, and do this:
- Head over to YouTube Comment History.
Tip. You can also visit YouTube’s home page, then click History in the left sidebar before going to Comments under “Manage All History”.
- You’ll now see a list of videos you left your comments on in chronological order.
- If you click on the video title, it’ll open in a new tab and your comment will be highlighted.
A trick you should try (Erased comments only)
The problem with the method above is that YouTube tries to sync your data as soon as you go online, instantly wiping erased comments. Common sense suggests you can still view it on a device that hasn’t accessed the Internet after the comment was deleted but synced data after it was posted. Unfortunately, if you remain offline, YouTube will neither load your account nor take you to your Comment History. The potential solution is to only enable mobile data or Wi-Fi long enough for YouTube to sign you in, then rapidly press Airplane Mode to cut off communication. Because you have a limited number of tries, we propose:
- Downloading an app that makes Airplane Mode a floating widget you can tap.
- Downloading a network limiter, i.e., packet limiting app that would bring your Internet speed to a trickle, allowing you to copy/screenshot a comment before it updates.
One fortunate fact is that you can’t delete comments on the YouTube mobile app, so a comment is either hidden or disappears in the crowd of others. Follow these steps to find it:
- Open the YouTube Android or iOS app.
- Tap your profile icon in the upper right corner.
- Go to Settings then History & privacy.
- Tap on Manage all activity, then open the three-line (hamburger) menu.
- Tap on Other Google activity.
- Scroll to the “Comments on YouTube” portion before selecting View Comments.
- Now you can browse the list of comments your account left on videos.
2. Ask other commenters
We know this sounds obvious, but during stressful times, we tend to forget that the simplest solution may be most effective. Ergo, we recommend leaving another comment on the YouTube video asking other people or the uploader, if that isn’t you, whether they remember it or have perhaps taken a screenshot. Additionally, you can ask YouTube creators to check their Comments tab, precisely the “Likely spam” or “Held for review” sections. Chances are, your comment went through, but YouTube spam controls tagged it. The answer won’t be instant if you even get one. However, it gives you a chance to attempt the methods below in the meantime.
3. Recover YouTube comments via Archive.org Wayback Machine
This is something we discussed in method 2 of learning to recover YouTube downloaded videos. It’s a web tool that creates snapshots of web pages as they looked at a certain date or time. The more frequently visited the page is, the more snapshots the tool takes, and thus makes available for viewing. The steps are identical as in that demonstration. Enter a video ID into the search bar, and select the time and date, and scroll through the comments to find yours.
4. Inspect browser cache (Last resort)
If you act quickly, as we propose, you may access a cached version of the YouTube page before crawlers analyze and update it. Here are two potential ways to recover YouTube comments from browser cache:
1. Caching browser extension
Are you a writer, an editor, a web developer, or just a person who hates seeing their hard work vanish after a tab crashes or browser goes awry? If so, you’re likely using a browser extension that periodically caches pages you’re working on, particularly text. To give you an idea, look up Textarea Cache extensions for Chrome and Firefox. We’re not affiliated — it’s merely a reminder and a suggestion to prevent future data loss.
2. Cache analyzer
If you don’t have yours, you can rely on a regular browser cache. The problem is — it’s hard to read. But despite the fact it was designed for machines, there are ways to interpret gibberish. One example is NirSoft’s ChromeCacheView for Google Chrome browsers. Again, we have no affiliation — it’s solely for demonstration. There are equivalents for other browsers, too. After you install the software, it should automatically load your browser cache, allowing you to see a list of files along with extensive information. If it doesn’t, find them manually on:
- Windows: Visit “C:\Users\replace-with-Windows-username\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Cache” in Explorer.
- Mac: Open Finder. Press Command + Shift + G. Enter “/Users/replace-with-Mac-username/Library/Caches” without quotations and press Enter.
Note. The aforementioned software doesn’t work on Mac, so you might have to copy the cache folder from Mac to Windows or pick a different one.