How to Delete TikTok Videos Without Losing Likes?

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Key Takeaways:

  • Instead of deleting a TikTok video entirely, make it private to hide it while retaining likes.
  • Toggle the “Private” option in video settings to make a TikTok video private.
  • Likes are preserved when you make a video private, as it is still on TikTok’s servers.
  • You can delete a video after downloading it to keep a copy if needed.
  • Using third-party apps to save TikTok videos allows you to delete them on TikTok while retaining a version.


TikTok has become one of the most popular social media platforms, with over 1 billion monthly active users. Given its massive reach, TikTok videos can quickly amass substantial views and engagement. However, there may come a time when a user wants to remove or delete a published TikTok video for various reasons.

This comprehensive guide will evaluate the options TikTok users have to delete videos without losing likes. We will analyze the platform’s native features, third-party workarounds, and best practices to hide or remove content while preserving accumulated likes. Understanding these strategies can help maximize your audience retention as a TikTok creator.

The ability to remove videos from public view on TikTok without forfeiting engagement is valuable for retaining followers. The depth of coverage in this article will ensure readers can make informed choices when they need to delete or hide their content. Let’s dive in to explore the approaches and considerations involved.

Making a TikTok Video Private: An Optimal Solution?

How Can You Make a TikTok Video Private??

Rather than deleting a video entirely, making it private is the best option on TikTok for removing content from public view while keeping your likes. This feature essentially hides the video from everyone except you.

Follow these simple steps to make a TikTok video private:

  1. Open the TikTok app on your device and go to your profile page.
  2. Locate the video you want to make private and tap on it to open it.
  3. Tap the three-dot menu icon in the bottom right corner.
  4. Select “Privacy settings” from the pop-up menu.
  5. Toggle the switch for “Private” to green so it is enabled.

Once you enable the private setting, the video will no longer show up under your profile or in any feeds to other users. It is only viewable by you when you are signed into your account. Making a video private in this manner retains all likes and analytics.

Why Does Making a Video Private Preserve Likes?

When you make a TikTok video private rather than deleting it, the video itself remains stored on TikTok’s servers – it is simply hidden from public view. As a result, the engagement data associated with that video including likes, comments, shares, and analytics remain intact.

Likes are directly tied to the video file itself, not just your public profile. So restricting the visibility does not reset or remove the accumulated likes. TikTok preserves the engagement stats for private videos in case you ever switch them back to public in the future.

What Are the Benefits of Making TikTok Videos Private?

There are several advantages to making a TikTok video private rather than deleting it entirely:

  • Retain likes and views: Making a video private preserves the engagement, ensuring no loss of likes or video views. This protects your hard work in building an audience.
  • Maintain analytics: Private videos keep analytics like shares, comments, watch time, and traffic sources. This data can provide valuable insights.
  • Option to repost: You can switch a video back to public in the future and leverage the existing engagement.
  • Hide content, not delete: Removing a video from public view gives you control over your profile without fully erasing content.
  • Reflect before deleting: Privatizing a video allows you time to evaluate whether you do want to delete it permanently.

Overall, the private feature grants flexibility in managing your profile and maximizes retention of valuable metrics if you need to remove a video.

Is Deleting a TikTok Video Permanently an Option?

What Happens When You Delete a TikTok Video?

If you delete a TikTok video entirely through the app, it is permanently erased from TikTok’s servers and cannot be recovered. This means all analytics and engagement data including likes, comments, and shares will be wiped out.

To delete a video:

  1. Go to your profile and tap on the video.
  2. Tap the three-dot menu icon in the bottom right corner.
  3. Select “Delete” from the menu.
  4. Confirm the deletion in the pop-up prompt.

Once confirmed, the video immediately disappears from your profile and TikTok platform. Any links directing to the video will show an unavailable or deleted notice.

When Might You Want to Permanently Delete a TikTok Video?

There are some circumstances where entirely deleting a TikTok video makes sense despite losing metrics:

  • The video contains sensitive, private, or embarrassing content you do not want existing in any form.
  • You uploaded copyrighted or inappropriate content that got flagged.
  • Your video drew strong negative feedback or harassment in comments.
  • You simply want to start fresh with new content that better represents your brand.

Permanent deletion provides a definitive means to entirely remove content and disconnect yourself from a video. It may be the right choice in select situations despite the irrevocable loss of data.

Can You Recover a Deleted TikTok Video?

Unfortunately, once you permanently delete a TikTok video in the app, there is no native feature to recover or restore it. The content is eliminated from TikTok’s servers. Even TikTok support cannot retrieve a video after deletion.

Your only chance of recovering a deleted TikTok video is if you had previously downloaded it to your device or backed it up via a third party. With the native TikTok tools, though, permanent deletion is truly permanent.

Third-Party Options to Save and Delete TikTok Videos

How Can You Download TikTok Videos to Your Device?

While TikTok itself does not let you directly download videos from within the app, there are some workarounds using third-party tools and apps. Here are a few options:

  • Browser extensions – Tools like VideoDownloader for TikTok allow saving videos right from your browser.
  • iOS screen recording – On iPhone, you can use built-in screen recording to capture and save videos.
  • Third-party apps – Apps like Snaptik, TikSave, and KeepVid let you download TikTok videos within the app interfaces.

Downloaded videos can be stored in your photos app or gallery for uploading elsewhere. This provides you with a version of the video outside of TikTok.

Can You Re-Upload a TikTok Video After Deleting?

If you download and save a TikTok video using a third-party method before deleting it from TikTok, you have the option of re-uploading the video later as new content. You would have to rebuild the engagement and metrics, but would have a copied version after deletion.

Some things to keep in mind with this approach:

  • The video may be compressed compared to the original.
  • You lose all analytics and likes from the initial upload.
  • Copyright issues can arise from duplicating and re-posting identical content.

While re-uploading a deleted video is possible, it circumvents TikTok’s intended permanence of deletion and starts you back at zero.

What Are the Risks of Using Third-Party TikTok Tools?

While third-party apps provide useful ways to download and re-post TikTok videos, there are some notable risks:

  • Security issues – such as malware, data privacy concerns, access to accounts/contacts.
  • Legal uncertainty – TikTok’s terms prohibit unauthorized copying.
  • Copyright problems – re-uploading identical videos could face takedowns.
  • Analytics discrepancy – engagement metrics get muddled across deleted, saved, and re-uploaded versions.

The reliability, safety, and legality of third-party TikTok tools are not always guaranteed. Users should research options carefully before pursuing these workarounds.

Best Practices for Removing TikTok Videos

Should You Temporarily Hide or Permanently Delete Old Videos?

For old videos that no longer fit your brand or style but still have engagement, temporarily hiding them via the private setting is generally better than permanent deletion. This allows you to protect the metrics while removing the content from public view.

Permanent deletion is better suited for videos causing major problems like harassment or legal issues. For general outdated content, temporary privatization gives you more flexibility.

How Can You Smoothly Refresh Your TikTok Profile?

To seamlessly refresh your TikTok profile by removing outdated videos without losing traction, follow these best practices:

  • Make old videos private rather than deleting right away.
  • Gradually transition by posting a series of new videos that reflect your current brand.
  • Add captions/comments explaining the shift in content to loyal followers.
  • After a few weeks, delete old videos after downloading copies if desired.
  • Respond helpfully to any confused comments about removed videos.

A gradual, transparent refresh focused on introducing new content can make the removal of old videos a smooth transition rather than jolting change.

What Should You Do If You Change Your Mind After Deleting a Video?

If you permanently delete a TikTok video then soon regret it or change your mind, there are a couple options:

  • If you downloaded the video prior to deleting, re-upload it and explain the situation to rebuild engagement.
  • Create a replacement video on the same topic to essentially fill the content gap.

While undeleting a video isn’t possible on TikTok, taking positive steps to fill the void left by a deletion you later regret can help ameliorate the situation.

The Bottom Line

While deleting videos may seem straightforward on the surface, understanding the repercussions on metrics and methods to retain data allows TikTok creators to make informed choices. Evaluating when to permanently delete versus temporarily privatize content enables maximizing the benefits while minimizing drawbacks.

Using native tools, settings, downloads, and re-uploads strategically gives TikTok users control over their profile. With the right approach, you can remove videos without losing hard-earned engagement. Just be sure to research third-party apps thoroughly and balance benefits versus risks.

By following best practices around gradual profile updating, transparency with viewers, and mindfulness about deletion, you can refresh your content without losing followers. While undeleting is not an option, the ability to selectively hide and delete videos does provide options to craft your ideal TikTok presence.

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