Yami Gautam was born in a Himachali family in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh and was brought up in Chandigarh. Her father Mukesh Gautam is a Punjabi film director. Her mother is Anjali Gautam. Yami has a sister Surilie Gautam, who made her big screen debut with the Punjabi film Power Cut. She did her regular schooling and later entered college to pursue a graduate degree in law honours. She had aspired to join Indian Administrative Services (IAS) as a young girl, but at the age of 20, Yami decided to start her acting career. Though she was pursuing studies in Law Honors (first-year PU Student of law), she left full-time studies for acting. Recently, she has been doing her part-time graduation from Mumbai. Yami is fond of reading, interior decoration and listening to music.
She received IIFA – Star Debut of the Year Award and Zee Cine – Best Female Debut Award for Vicky Donor. She has acted in Total Siyappa and Action Jackson in 2014 and, Badlapur in 2015 against Varun Dhawan. All these movies performed well at the box office. She has also acted in Telugu Movie Courier Boy Kalyan and Tamil movie Tamilselvanum Thaniyar Anjalum.