youtube url regex

YouTube URL Regex

As an avid user of YouTube, I have had to work with YouTube URLs quite a bit. Whether it's for embedding videos or sharing links with friends, it's important to understand the structure of a YouTube URL and how to properly validate it. In this post, I will be discussing how to use regular expressions (regex) to validate YouTube URLs.

What is a Regex?

Regex is a pattern matching language used for searching and manipulating text. It allows you to specify a pattern of characters to match against a string. In the case of validating YouTube URLs, we can use regex to ensure that the URL is in the correct format.

The YouTube URL Format

A typical YouTube URL looks like this:

The syntax of a YouTube URL can be broken down into several parts:

  • https:// - The protocol used to access the website.
  • - The domain name of the website.
  • /watch?v= - The path to the video resource.
  • dQw4w9WgXcQ - The unique identifier for the video.

Validating a YouTube URL with Regex

To validate a YouTube URL using regex, we need to ensure that it matches the correct format. Here is an example regex pattern that matches a typical YouTube URL:


Let's break down this pattern:

  • /^ - The beginning of the string.
  • (?:https?:\/\/)? - An optional group that matches the protocol (http or https) and the double slashes that precede the domain name.
  • (?:www\.)? - An optional group that matches the www subdomain.
  • youtube\.com\/watch\?v= - The path to the video resource.
  • ([a-zA-Z0-9_-]{11}) - The unique identifier for the video, which is exactly 11 characters long and can contain letters, numbers, underscores, and hyphens.
  • $/ - The end of the string.

We can use this pattern in JavaScript to validate a YouTube URL:

const url = '';
const regex = /^(?:https?:\/\/)?(?:www\.)?youtube\.com\/watch\?v=([a-zA-Z0-9_-]{11})$/;
const isValidUrl = regex.test(url);
console.log(isValidUrl); // true

Alternative Regex Patterns

There are several other regex patterns that can be used to validate YouTube URLs, depending on your specific needs. Here are a few examples:

  • Matches any YouTube URL:
  • Matches only YouTube video IDs:


Regex can be a powerful tool for validating YouTube URLs and ensuring that they are in the correct format. By using the patterns discussed in this post, you can ensure that your YouTube URLs are valid and avoid any errors when embedding videos or sharing links.

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