Graceffa was born in Marlborough, Massachusetts, the son of Debbie O'Connor and Joe Graceffa. He has two siblings, an older sister named Nicole and a younger half brother named Jett who has autism, through his mom and his stepfather, Bob. Graceffa endured hardships with his mother when she resorted to alcoholism to cope with troubles in her life. These started when Graceffa was around 12 years old. According to his book In Real Life, he graduated from Marlborough High School in 2009. Graceffa enrolled in Fitchburg State College intending to major in film, but left after one year. Graceffa initially intended to enroll in Emerson College, a private, liberal arts university in downtown Boston, Massachusetts, but was rejected twice, so he decided to stay at Fitchburg.
At age 16, Graceffa began uploading videos to YouTube on a channel known as WinterSpringPro, with his high school classmate and friend Brittany Joyal in 2007, when Graceffa was in high school. In 2009, he started posting videos on his own channel, called, Joey Graceffa. In 2013, he joined the StyleHaul YouTube network. Graceffa posts daily vlogs on his channel. As of August 2017, he has over 8.1 million subscribers and more than 1.43 billion total views on his main YouTube channel. On a second YouTube channel focusing on his gaming, he had more than 2.2 million subscribers and over 417 million views, for a total of over 1.7 billion views. He also has more than 3.7 million Twitter followers and more than 5.5 million Instagram followers.
In 2013, Graceffa and fellow YouTube personality Meghan Camarena were contestants on The Amazing Race 22. The two made it to the tenth leg before being eliminated. Graceffa told an interviewer that "There were a lot of bad times but it was definitely good overall. It was an amazing experience, and I'd love to do it again." The two later teamed up again to compete in The Amazing Race: All-Stars.
In late 2013 and early 2014, Graceffa starred in his own web series titled Storytellers. In 2014, Graceffa starred in his own short film titled Eon. The same year Graceffa also starred in Ethereal alongside Joey Pollari. Throughout 2012 to 2014, Graceffa was in various BlackBoxTV short films. He was also a part of the Fine Brothers online series MyMusic throughout 2013 and 2014. Graceffa was nominated for two awards at the 2014 Teen Choice Awards. He won "Best Male Actor in a Dramatic Web Series" at the 2014 Streamy Awards for his portrayal of Hunter Crowley in Storytellers. Graceffa was named by Common Sense Media as one of "10 YouTube Stars Your Kids Love".