Youtube Introduces Subscriber Limit, Too Many Subscriptions Messages Appear

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 7, 2010
Updated • Jul 18, 2014
Music and Video, Youtube

It is sometimes hard to keep up with all the change that is going on. YouTube recently introduced a subscriber limit for their users, in order to fight sub4sub spam. As you may know, it is possible to subscribe to users or channels on YouTube to receive information about new videos that they have uploaded to the video hosting site.

Some users have apparently used the subscription system to increase their subscriber count by subscribing to users who in turn subscribed to them as well. This way, both could rake another subscriber to artificially increase their subscriber count.

This is often done to attract advertisers to channels as subscriber count is one of the important metrics that advertisers look at when they make decisions whether to approach a channel owner or company or not.

YouTube recognized this as a problem and has introduced a subscriber limit back in September that limits subscriptions to 2000 channels.

The limit grows with the subscriber count of the user according to YouTube support member Liz. It is however not clear how this system distinguishes regular subscriptions from sub4sub subscriptions. It is most likely that mutual subscriptions count less or not at all towards raising the subscriber limit on YouTube.

youtube subscriber limit

Now, 2000 subscriptions sounds like a lot, and it is likely that the majority of YouTube users will never come close to the limit.

There are however users that are currently getting error messages like "You have too many subscription compared to your number of subscribers" which indicates that the ratio of subscriptions to subscribers is not seen as natural by YouTube. Users seeing those messages are not able to subscribe to more channels or users at this point. The only options they have at this moment in time is to try and increase their subscriber count, or to remove old subscriptions that are no longer of interested as Liz points out.

Youtube users with a very large number of subscriptions will run into another problem when they try to follow the advice, as it is only possible to delete one subscription at a time.

Have you experienced the subscription limit on YouTube? If so, what is your take on the new limit?

Update: Some users report that the limit has been reduced to 1000 subscriptions. The subscriber limit growth with your channel's subscriptions on the other hand which seems to be the only way to increase the limit at the time of writing.


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  1. Anonymous said on August 23, 2021 at 8:57 pm

    absolute bullshit idea, remove it

  2. Resjior Reniot said on June 9, 2021 at 3:37 am

    This is stupid, I doubt that I have 2000 subscriptions. YT is always unsubscribing me from channels I’m subbed to if I don’t watch certain content on a regular basis. I have a lot of different interests from DIY and How To Videos to Technical Cyber Security and Computer Modding, Costumes and Props To Hirsch- Farnsworth Fusors ect. YouTube want to run adds on all non monetized channels

  3. Ethan said on February 13, 2021 at 6:15 am

    Let me get this straight, if I am subscribed to 1,000 YouTube channels, and I subscribe to someone else, YouTube will automatically unsubscribe me from a random channel. Seems like something they would do.

  4. Spencer Morgan said on July 24, 2020 at 3:48 am

    I understand why YouTube would want to prevent sub4sub spam. But at the same time, it is very frustrating and I like being able to subscribe to any and all channels that peak my interests.

  5. Amit Sareen said on July 2, 2020 at 10:22 am

    I have cut short subscriptions by 50% but still i just cant subscribe. Can someone guide me what to do? How do I subscribe to my favourite channels? Please help ASAP.

  6. Amit Sareen said on July 2, 2020 at 10:19 am

    i have cut short my subscriptions by 50% but still I cant subscribe. Thats driving me crazy

  7. thomas coburn said on January 28, 2020 at 1:34 am

    its absolutly abserd and they should abolish it imediately

  8. Daniel said on August 15, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    I ABSOLUTELY HATE THIS STUPID LIMIT. I am one of those people who just like subbing to most channels. without wanted a subscriber back. What they should do is make it unlimited again, but if someone is freaquently getting subscribers from people they subbed to or vice versa, then they should get a ban, not people like me who just like subbing to people. Subscriptions are meant to be FREE, not Limited. Worst mistake in Youtube history, after Youtube rewind! Not happy use, please HELP TO STOP THIS ISSUE!!

  9. thatdude said on September 12, 2017 at 10:39 am

    Very upset, I have family, friends, brothers and sisters whom all enjoy keeping up with well over one thousand of us and it seems YouTube is jealous we organically enjoy seeing what all of our beloved subscriptions create. This is absurd and lame. Most certainly covering up so something bigger. Deceptive and just wrong.

  10. spbone said on February 1, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    That’s a good limit. It isn’t like anybody can actually keep track of more than 50 subscriptions.

    1. Anonymous said on June 28, 2016 at 4:14 am

      I keep up with much more than that, that’s actually not a lot

  11. changeofheart said on July 18, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    now the limit stands at 1000 sub’s… i have this issue too, i can’t subscribe to more channels and so i’m trying to un-subscribe from channels that aren’t -very- interesting :L

  12. Alexander said on November 2, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    I just wanted to subscribe to as many record labels as I could so I could get my music blog going. I never intened to release any of my own music on this channel. It was just supposed to be a supreme surfing channel, but I guess that is impossible now. I added about 100 subscriptions and it just cut me off… I think I should be able to add as many subs as I want.

  13. theXPrience said on July 3, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Well, I have subscribed only to 31 channels (in 2 years)… and received about 300 suscribers. People, stop doing sub 4 sub! Good Job Youtube ^ ^

  14. mrt said on February 28, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    I hate this. I only subscribe people because I liked them. I like a lot of peoples channels and now I can’t even subscribe to them because of this :( is there anyway you can tell YouTube that? How many people do you have to unsub in order to get that back?

  15. DaChange said on November 15, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Im on 1000 subscriptions I can sub to people still but the count stays on 1000 but if i check the latest channel i subbed too its still subbed so my guess is everytime i sub my first subscription gets deleted but im not sure

  16. Birdkid14 said on May 18, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    wow thats annoying i want to sub to many channels and i cant cause of a limit ! :(

  17. Kyoko said on January 12, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    Yeah, it’s really annoying.. I mean I enjoy many channels but when I try to subscribe to them nothing happens. (Like it doesn’t let me subscribe) And to channels subscribed in the past, they some unsubscribe me from them . I like the unlimited Subscription of the old YouTube.

  18. Max said on November 9, 2011 at 12:58 am

    It’s really stupid, I didn’t even get a message, it just won’t let me subscribe to anybody.

  19. Jane said on October 7, 2010 at 11:32 am

    ‘Too’ many.

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