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How to Fix “Couldn’t Upload Video. The Video Was Saved to Your Drafts.” on TikTok

With over 1 billion monthly active users worldwide, TikTok has become one of the most influential social platforms for both individuals and brands looking to reach a massive audience. For content creators and businesses marketing themselves on TikTok, the ability to consistently post new videos is critical for sustaining growth and revenue.

So you can imagine the panic when out of nowhere, you‘re prevented from uploading any new videos and hit with the frustrating "Couldn‘t upload video. The video was saved to your drafts." error message.

Getting blocked from posting on TikTok can feel like a nightmare, especially if you rely on the platform for income or communicating with an engaged following. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through exactly why you can‘t upload videos, how to determine when you‘ll regain access, what you can do in the meantime, and tips for avoiding future posting bans.

Why You‘ve Been Blocked from Posting Videos on TikTok

If you’re suddenly unable to upload TikTok videos and receiving the “couldn’t upload video” error, it means your account has been temporarily banned from posting new content.

This ban is triggered when TikTok‘s systems detect that you have recently violated one or more of the platform‘s strict community guidelines.

Some of the most common TikTok guideline infractions that can result in upload blocks include:

  • Posting inappropriate content: TikTok has zero tolerance for adult nudity, sexual activities, overtly suggestive content, or anything promoting inappropriate interactions with minors. Even provocative dancing can break rules.

  • Dangerous behavior: Content that promotes dangerous or illegal acts like certain pranks, stunts, or challenges will lead to bans. For example, cosmetic surgeons have been banned for videos considered to promote unsafe procedures.

  • Hateful ideology: TikTok prohibits promoting any hate groups or ideologies like white supremacy. Accounts advocating violence or hatred get banned quickly.

  • Violence, gore, or graphic content: Even when informational or newsworthy, viscerally shocking content is strictly regulated, if not completely prohibited. Videos with too much blood or violence often trigger bans.

  • Copyright violations: Reposting clips and audio from copyrighted sources, without permission or proper attribution, commonly results in upload blocks. Much of TikTok‘s AI moderation is designed to catch unauthorized usage of licensed material.

  • Harassment and bullying: If you directly attack, threaten or visciously ridicule other users in your videos, comments or messages, you may face posting bans. TikTok aims to be an uplifting community.

  • Spamming and artificial engagement: Tactics like repeatedly uploading the same videos or using bots to artificially inflate engagement violate policies and can cause upload blocks. TikTok values authenticity.

The duration of posting bans depends on the type and severity of community guideline violation, ranging from just hours for minor first-time offenses to over a week for serious or repeated transgressions. Some of the most egregious violations can lead to permanent termination.

For "power users" who rely on TikTok for income, temporary bans can be very damaging, preventing content creation and fan outreach at critical times. Top creators like Hank Green and Zoe Laverne have complained publicly about income lost during bans they felt were unjustified, although most accept short bans as occupational hazards.

Identifying Your Ban Duration in TikTok Account Updates

Once you realize you‘ve been banned from uploading, the most urgent question is: when will I regain posting access?

The exact date and time your ability to upload videos will be restored is provided in an account update notification from TikTok.

Here are the steps to locate your ban duration:

  1. Open the TikTok app and tap your profile icon in the bottom right.

  2. Select the inbox icon on the bottom navigation bar.

  3. At the top of your inbox, tap "All Activity."

  4. Select "From TikTok" from the activity list.

  5. Choose "Account updates."

  6. Scan through your account updates until you find the notification informing you that your account has been temporarily blocked. It will state the precise day and time the restrictions will be lifted.

For example:

"Your account has been restricted from posting until 2022-03-24 at 12:00PM due to multiple Community Guidelines violations."

So in this case, you‘d regain posting access on March 24th at noon. Depending on severity, temporary ban periods typically range from 12 hours to 14 days. YouTube influencer MrBeast recently complained of a 2 week TikTok ban.

Example Account Update Showing Posting Ban Duration

With the exact date known, all you can really do is patiently wait it out until restrictions are lifted at the stated time. Until then, attempting to upload will just lead to the frustrating “couldn’t upload video” error.

What You Can Do During Your TikTok Posting Ban

We know it‘s not ideal, but try making productive use of your time while waiting to regain posting privileges:

  • Review Community Guidelines: Read thoroughly to identify what behaviors led to your ban and avoid repeating violations. Know TikTok‘s rules inside and out.

  • Clean up your account: Delete any old content that may be questionable or inappropriate. A tidy account is less likely to draw further violations.

  • Engage with your followers: You may not be able to post new videos, but you can still actively interact via comments, messages, liking videos, and going live. Maintain community rapport.

  • Plan your comeback: Brainstorm fresh video ideas and draft scripts. Curate trending audios to use. Prepare content so you can hit the ground running once banned.

  • Analyze your metrics: Study analytics on your best-performing existing videos to identify styles and topics your audience most responds to. Let these insights guide your next uploads.

  • Diversify your channels: Consider expanding to other platforms like Instagram or YouTube so you‘re not solely reliant on TikTok. A multi-channel strategy provides stability if banned.

  • Appeal bans: If you genuinely believe your ban was a mistake, formally appeal it through TikTok’s support process. Provide context and clearly explain why you didn’t violate guidelines. About 23% of properly filed appeals are successful.

The appeal process can potentially lift certain bans early, but should only be utilized if you’re 100% confident the ban was applied incorrectly. Bogus appeals waste support resources.

Avoiding Future Posting Bans

Once your current temporary ban runs its course, you‘ll likely want to avoid further blocks in the future. Here are some best practices:

  • Frequently review the guidelines: Before filming any new video, thoroughly read the latest community guidelines to ensure your content won’t break TikTok’s rules. Stay up to date, as policies frequently change.

  • Cautiously repurpose content: When reposting videos from other apps like YouTube or Instagram, carefully remove or omit anything potentially inappropriate for TikTok’s younger audience.

  • Credit licensed material: When featuring copyrighted music clips, movie quotes, or any unoriginal content, provide proper attribution through watermarks, captions, and hashtags. Obtain permission whenever possible.

  • Moderate comments: Actively delete or report offensive, bullying, or harassing comments. Don’t allow your community to become toxic, for your own protection.

  • Avoid risky challenges and pranks: Don’t get swept up in potentially dangerous viral challenges or pranks, which often lead to bans. Consider liability and ethics.

  • Limit keyword stuffing: While relevant hashtags are encouraged, don’t overdo it. Excess tags unrelated to the video content are considered manipulative.

  • Report policy violators: If you see other accounts posting clearly inappropriate content, use TikTok‘s report features so they face bans instead of you.

Maintaining TikTok posting privileges means tightrope walking between creating content that captures attention while also playing safely within their restrictive guidelines. It requires constant vigilance and risk evaluation. But the rewards of reaching TikTok‘s massive audience will outweigh the inconveniences.

Key Takeaways

Becoming suddenly unable to upload videos due to the “couldn’t upload video” error understandably causes distress and confusion. But you can get back to posting promptly by:

  • Checking your TikTok account updates to identify the ban duration based on guideline violations.

  • Avoiding attempts to post until the stated end time, as you’ll just get the same error.

  • Putting the downtime to good use planning future content and analyzing your metrics.

  • Learning from your experience and studying the community guidelines to prevent further bans.

  • Appealing bans if sincerely mistaken, or reporting violators to keep your account in good standing.

With 1 billion sets of eyeballs on TikTok, the platform‘s unmatched reach will continue incentivizing participation despite risks like temporary bans. Just adhere closely to TikTok‘s policies, keep your content light, and you should avoid any major blocks that keep you from sharing videos with the massive TikTok community.