How Do I Keep My YouTube Videos Private?

Easily make your YouTube videos unlisted or private

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Some people only want to share their YouTube videos with certain people or might even want them completely private for nobody but them to see. No matter your reasoning or how much privacy you want, YouTube makes it easy to change the privacy setting on a video you already uploaded, as well as prevent a video from going public even before you upload it.

See our guide on YouTube's privacy settings to learn more about other privacy options that pertain to comments, ratings, and more.

Change YouTube Video Privacy Settings During Upload

If you haven't uploaded your video yet, but you're in the process or about to start the process, follow these first steps to make sure that it isn't shown to the public.

You can always change the setting later, as we'll see in the next section.

  1. Sign in to your YouTube account and navigate to your YouTube Studio.

  2. Select Upload Video and choose the file you want to upload to your YouTube account.

    Upload Video button on YouTube Studio.
  3. Enter details such as the title and description and select Next.

  4. On the Visibility screen, select one of the following options to make the video private:

    • Unlisted: Keep your video public but do not allow people to search for it. This lets you easily share the URL with anyone you want but prevents people from finding it through search results.
    • Private: Does not let the public see the video. Only you can see it, and only when you're logged in under the same account that uploaded the video. This option makes YouTube work more like a video backup service rather than a sharing service.
    Visibility screen of YouTube upload.
  5. Select Save.

Change YouTube Video Privacy on Existing Videos

Your other option is to make your existing videos private. That is, to pull your video out of the public eye and make it obey one of the options mentioned above.

  1. Sign in to your YouTube account and navigate to your YouTube Studio.

  2. Select Videos in the left pane under Your Channel.

    To see your live uploads, select the Live tab.

  3. Hover over the video you'd like to update and select the arrow under Visibility.

    To apply the same privacy setting to all of your videos, choose the Select All checkbox in the upper-left corner of the video list. Alternatively, select the checkboxes next to the videos to which you want to apply the same privacy setting.

  4. From the drop-down menu, choose one of the following options to make the video private:

    • Unlisted: Keep your video public but do not allow people to search for it. This lets you easily share the URL with anyone you want but prevents people from finding it through search results.
    • Private: Does not let the public see the video. Only you can see it, and only when you're logged in under the same account that uploaded the video. This option makes YouTube work more like a video backup service rather than a sharing service.
    Visibility settings in YouTube Studio
  5. Select Save.

If you haven't uploaded your video yet, but you're in the process or about to start the process, follow these first steps to make sure that it isn't shown to the public.

Private, Unlisted, and Public videos all have different features. Compare these characteristics to determine which setting is best for your needs.

Feature Private Unlisted Public
Can share URL to view No Yes Yes
Can add to a channel section No Yes Yes
Can appear in Search, Related Videos, or Suggestions No No Yes
Is posted on channel No No Yes
Appears in subscriber feed No No Yes
Can be commented on No Yes Yes