As you may know, Twitch streams are only stored for a short amount of time on your channel before they are deleted; however, once they are removed from a Twitch channel are they gone for good? We’ll discuss whether or not you can watch deleted Twitch streams below.
Can You Watch Deleted Streams On Twitch?
You can’t watch deleted streams on Twitch. Once a stream is deleted, or once it expires, it is gone for good. For this reason it is best to download any content that you want to save indefinitely.
In the Tweet below, Twitch responds to a user who asks Twitch if they can recover a deleted VOD and Twitch replies telling them they are not able to.
On the bright side, Twitch will save your past broadcasts for a certain amount of time, but you have to have this feature enabled. I go over how to enable this feature in my Youtube video below.
So what myself and most streamers will typically do is enable the “Save Past Broadcasts” feature and then while these videos are saved on Twitch I pull content from them to share on other platforms.
For example, sharing a 3 hour stream on a Youtube channel is usually not a winning strategy; however, taking that 3 hour stream and creating highlights and clips that can easily be shared is more likely to help grow your stream.
And if I have a really good stream, and want some more time to pull content from it, you can download it so that way you have it for as long as you want.
If you do choose to download some of your past streams then I recommend getting an external hard drive to save your streams to. This way you don’t take up all the storage on your PC.
The hard drive that I use when saving my past streams is the Seagate Portable External Hard Drive (which you can see here on Amazon). This hard drive is fast, reliable, and has capacity options starting from 500GB all the way up to 18TB.
Now, if you are a casual streamer, a hard drive that stores between 1TB and 2TB should be plenty. But if you stream frequently, and like to hold onto your content, then you may want to go with a bigger sized hard drive.
How Long Does Twitch Save Past Broadcasts For?
Twitch saves past broadcasts for 14 days if you are a regular streamer or Twitch Affiliate, and 60 days if you are a Twitch Partner or Amazon Prime Member. After that, your past streams are deleted from the channel.
A streamer may also choose to delete a stream themselves before Twitch deletes it. This is typically done if the stream contained something that went against Twitch’s TOS such as copyright music or the use of banned words.
How To Prevent Twitch Streams From Being Deleted
To prevent a stream from being deleted, a streamer can turn the stream into a highlight on their channel. Twitch highlights are not deleted by Twitch and remain on a channel indefinitely. Another option to prevent streams from being deleted is downloading the stream and saving it to your own device.
If you want to know how to make highlights on Twitch, check out my video below.
Downloading streams is also an option if you don’t want to lose the content. The only issue when you download the content is that you have to store it on your PC or on an external hard drive.
Personally, I think it is better to save some of your best streams as highlights so that way they remain on your channel indefinitely and you don’t have to store them anywhere else. But it’s up to you.
Why Do Streamers Delete Their VODs And Clips?
Streamers will typically delete their VODs and clips for three main reasons: to avoid DMCA strikes, they broke Twitch’s Terms of Service on stream, or the streamer no longer wants a certain VOD or clip on their Twitch channel.
Let’s talk about each of these reasons in more depth down below.
To Avoid DMCA Strikes
Starting in 2021, Twitch began to go after streamers who broke DMCA more aggressively. Although playing copyrighted music and videos on Twitch has always been illegal, it wasn’t until 2021 that Twitch began to take the issue more seriously.
Before revamping their system for copyright claims, Twitch would still allow streamers to save their VODs with copyright material (such as music) on Twitch and would just mute the parts of the stream where the music was playing.
However, this method was not full proof and tons of copyrighted music was still being streamed and saved as VODs on Twitch. Over time those in the music industry became aware of this and began to file several DMCA claims against Twitch and their streamers.
With the mounting pressure Twitch decided to implement a 3 strike rule where streamers who broke DMCA 3 times would be banned.
For this reason, and out of an abundance of caution, Twitch streamers began to delete their VODs like crazy. Some streamers decided they would risk it and didn’t delete their VODs and ended up being suspended.
Now that streamers know Twitch means business when it comes to DMCA claims, if something appears on their stream that breaks DMCA, they will often delete the VOD to avoid getting into trouble.
Doing this is not a guarantee that a streamer will not get a DMCA claim for the content, but not having a VOD saved on the channel makes a DMCA claim harder to prove.
If you accidently play something that is copyrighted on your stream it is best to delete the VOD. Even though it is less likely you will get caught as a small streamer, it is still just not worth the risk.
If you want to know more about copyrighted music on Twitch you can check out my article here.
They Broke Twitch’s Terms Of Service On Stream
Another reason a streamer may delete a certain VOD is if they broke Twitch’s Terms of Service while live on stream.
I have seen streamers who say certain banned words on Twitch go back and delete a VOD to avoid being caught, but this is done out of an abundance of caution and nothing more.
Even if you delete a VOD from off of your channel, Twitch still has access to that VOD on their servers until they delete it. So if you do something that blatantly breaks Twitch TOS they could still go back and review it.
With that being said, if you made a mistake on stream it is a good idea to delete the VOD so that way nobody goes back and reports you for your infraction.
For a long list of things you can and can’t do on Twitch check out my article here.
The Streamer No Longer Wants A Certain VOD Or Clip On Their Twitch Channel
Given that Twitch is all about live streaming, sometimes things will happen live on stream that are embarrassing or make the streamer look bad.
It could be a wardrobe malfunction, something the streamer said, or something that happened in the background of the stream. Sometimes these random occurrences are funny and make for good entertainment.
However, other times these clips and VODs are taken out of context and can make the streamer look bad or feel uncomfortable.
If this is the case, the streamer may decide to delete the VODs related to that stream to prevent people from making future clips of the incident. Now let’s talk about why Twitch chooses to delete VODs on their platform.
Why Does Twitch Delete VODs?
Twitch will typically delete VODs for three main reasons: the VOD breaks Twitch’s Terms of Service, the streamer was banned from Twitch, or the past broadcast expired.
Let’s discuss these in more detail below.
The VOD Breaks Twitch’s Terms Of Service
If a streamer does something on stream that violates Twitch’s Terms of Service, it is likely that Twitch will delete the VOD and then suspend the streamer.
You can check out Twitch’s Community Guidelines here to get a better idea of what is and is not allowed on Twitch.
The Streamer Was Banned From Twitch
If a streamer is banned from Twitch, their channel and all their VODs are deleted from Twitch as well. You can still see the VODs of a suspended streamer, but not a banned streamer.
The Past Broadcast Expired
Like I mentioned earlier, Twitch only holds onto past broadcasts for a certain amount of time. Once that time is up the past broadcasts are deleted.
Twitch does this to clear room on their servers. If they saved and stored all the old streams of streamers on their servers indefinitely that would take up a ton of storage. Rather than saving so much content, it is easier for them to just delete it after a certain amount of time.
For even more streaming tips and how-to content check out my Youtube channel here. And if you want to check out my streams then stop by my Twitch channel here.
Eric streams 3 days a week on Twitch and uploads weekly to Youtube under the moniker, StreamersPlaybook. He loves gaming, PCs, and anything else related to tech. He’s the founder of the website StreamersPlaybook and loves helping people answer their streaming, gaming, and PC questions.