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How To Find Your YouTube Stream Key (2021)

Streaming YouTube with OBS (Open Broadcasting Software) requires your YouTube stream key.

If you don’t provide OBS with your YouTube stream key, you won’t be able to go live with it.

This is similar if you want to stream using another broadcasting software.

YouTube has changed its user interface several times over the years.

As a result, you may have trouble finding your stream key as its location changes often.

If you’re having trouble finding your YouTube stream key, look no further.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to find your stream key on YouTube in 4 easy steps.

How to find your YouTube stream key

To find your YouTube stream key, you need to click on the “Go live” button on the desktop version of YouTube.

After you’ve clicked on “Go live”, select “Right now”, and you’ll be able to find your stream key.

To copy your stream key, click on the “Copy” button next to it.

After which, your stream key will be copied to your clipboard, and you can paste it in OBS, or another broadcasting software.

However, if this is your first time going live on YouTube, you won’t be able to access your stream key yet.

If you’re going live on YouTube for the first time, you have to wait for 24 hours to activate your account.

After 24 hours, you’ll be able to go live and find your stream key.

Unfortunately, there is no way to bypass the 24 hour waiting period.

Below is a step-by-step guide on how you can find your stream key on the desktop version of YouTube.

  1. Click on “Go live”
  2. Wait for 24 hours to activate your account
  3. Select “Right now”, then select “Streaming software”
  4. Copy your stream key

1. Click on “Go live”

YouTube go live

Open YouTube on a desktop > click on your profile picture > click on “Go live”.

The first step is to click on the “Go live” button on YouTube.

To begin with, open YouTube on a desktop.

You can go to youtube.com or search for “YouTube” on Google.

Keep in mind that you won’t be able to use the YouTube mobile app for this.

There is a minimum eligibility requirement for you to go live on mobile as well, so it’s likely that you haven’t met it yet.

Once you’re on the desktop version of YouTube, sign in to the account that you want to go live on.

On the top navigation bar, you’ll see your profile picture.

Click on your profile picture on the top navigation bar to open a navigation menu.

The navigation menu has two options including “Upload video” and “Go live”.

Click on “Go live” to go live on YouTube.

Proceed to the next step to learn how to activate your YouTube account to go live.

2. Wait for 24 hours to activate your account

YouTube 24 hours to activate your account for live streaming

If this is your first time going live on YouTube, you need to wait for 24 hours for your account to be activated for live streaming.

If you didn’t receive the “Ready in 24 hours” warning (screenshot above), you can skip this step.

After you’ve clicked on the “Go live” button, you may get a warning that says “Ready in 24 hours”.

Here is the full warning, “It takes 24 hours to activate your account for live streaming. Once activated, you can go live instantly”.

If you’ve received this warning, it means that it’s your first time going live on YouTube.

If this is your first time going live on YouTube, you need to wait for 24 hours for your account to be activated.

Unfortunately, there is no way to bypass the 24-hour waiting period.

Hence, you need to be patient and wait until the next day to find your YouTube stream key.

Once the warning is lifted, proceed to the next steps to learn how to find your stream key.

3. Select “Right now”, then select “Streaming software”

Select the “Right now” option.

After you’ve waited for 24 hours, go back on YouTube and click on the “Go live” button again.

This time, after clicking on the button, you’ll land on the welcome page where you can select when you’re looking to go live.

On the welcome page, you’ll see two options including “Right now” and “Later date”.

The “Right now” option allows you to go live on YouTube immediately after you’ve reviewed some settings.

On the other hand, the “Later date” option allows you to schedule your live stream for a future date.

Since you’re looking for your stream key, select the “Right now” option by clicking the “Start” button next to it.

Select the “Streaming software” option.

After you’ve clicked on the “Start” button, you’ll land on the stream options page.

On the stream options page, you’ll see two types of streams including “Built-in webcam” and “Streaming” software.

The “Built-in webcam” option allows you to use your computer’s webcam to go live on YouTube.

On the other hand, the “Streaming software” option allows you to go live using a broadcasting software.

Since you’re looking to find your stream key, you’re most likely looking to stream using a broadcasting software like OBS.

Hence, click on the “Go” button under “Streaming software” to select it.

4. Copy your stream key

Click on the “Copy” button next to your stream key to copy it.

After you’ve selected the “Streaming software” option, you’ll land on your streaming dashboard.

Your streaming dashboard is located on YouTube Studio.

On your streaming dashboard, you’ll see a ton of settings including your video’s information, stream settings, additional settings, and more.

Under your video, you’ll see the “Stream Settings” tab.

Under the “Stream Settings” tab, you’ll see your stream key, stream URL, and backup server URL.

Your YouTube stream key is located under the “Stream key” heading.

Click on “Copy” to copy your stream key.

Make sure to not share the key with anyone as they will be able to live stream with it.

After you’ve copied your stream key, you can paste it on the broadcasting software that you’re using.

If you’re using OBS, paste your stream key on the “Streams” setting.

Then set the service and server settings to YouTube.

You’ve successfully learned how to find your YouTube stream key!

Conclusion

Live streaming on YouTube is a great alternative to Twitch.

However, going live on YouTube using your webcam only is usually insufficient.

If you want to have additional streaming features like overlays, graphics, and more, you need to select the “Streaming software” option.

However, if you’re using a streaming software like OBS, you need to provide your stream key to go live.

Fortunately, finding your stream key on YouTube is easy by following this guide.

Further Reading

How to Change Your YouTube Channel Banner

Do You Have to Pay to Subscribe to a YouTube Channel?

How to See Your YouTube Comment History

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About the author

Lim How Wei

Lim How Wei is the founder of followchain.org, with over 7+ years of experience in Social Media. He has researched, tested, and written hundreds of articles ranging from social media platforms to messaging apps.