YouTube Privacy Settings

Protect your identity and maintain your privacy

YouTube privacy settings help you protect your identity and maintain a positive profile while sharing your videos online. There are many ways to keep or give up your privacy on the platform. By adjusting your profile settings, carefully considering your video content, and controlling online interactions, you can protect yourself while browsing or uploading videos.

Keep Your Videos Private

You can choose to share your YouTube videos with the world, or you can keep your videos private and limit viewers to a select 25. 

When you upload numerous private videos, consider a video-sharing site other than YouTube.

That said, YouTube is an exceptional video platform, supporting 4K videos, 360 videos, and more. Be sure to investigate other platforms before making a switch. While there are other players, few have the capabilities or bottomless resources a Google-owned site like YouTube can deliver.

Set Your Videos to 'Unlisted'

If you want to share your videos with more than 25 people or with people who don't have a YouTube account, set your videos to "unlisted." Anyone with a direct web address can watch an unlisted video, but the videos are impossible to find without the address. They don't show up in search results, on your YouTube channel, or anywhere else on the site.

Use this setting if you need to share a video without the public seeing it. If you have a client or friend, they may want you to share something without going viral.

If you had unlisted videos that were posted before 2017, Google might've changed them into private videos after July 23, 2021. They did this to take advantage of new security enhancements. If you didn't opt out of this change and your unlisted videos are now private videos, you can choose to make the videos public or re-upload them as new unlisted videos. If you re-upload them, you lose any associated data, including views and comments.

Watch the Content of Your Videos

It's easy to unwittingly share many personal details in a video, such as where you live, what the inside of your house is like, and who your family is. Avoid this if you're concerned about your privacy on YouTube.

The best bet is to plan a theme for your content and limit what you show in your videos. Create a simple set and don't discuss personal matters. Speak about your subject matter, but don't show off anything that might tempt somebody to try to take advantage of you.

Edit Your Account Profile

Your YouTube account profile lets you share information about your name, location, lifestyle, and personal history. If you're concerned about your YouTube privacy, don't share too much information.

Keep things fun, light, and vague. Under interests, don't put, "Collecting Rolexes and leaving my door unlocked!"

Control Comments, Ratings, and Responses

YouTube lets you share your videos with a wide audience, and sometimes that audience includes nasty people who spew insults on the web.

Adjust the video settings so you can preview and approve comments, video responses, and ratings.  This prevents inappropriate comments from being published and deters the posters from trying again.

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio.

    YouTube Studio
  2. In the left menu, select Comments.

    Comments in YouTube Studio
  3. Choose the tab you want to review:

    • Published are comments that everyone can see. 
    • Held for review are comments that are automatically held by YouTube as likely spam.
    Channel comments in YouTube Studio
  4. Choose to Approve, Remove, or Report comments that are held for review.

Manage Where Your Videos Are Seen

YouTube videos spread beyond the website and your computer. If you're concerned about your videos being embedded on strangers' websites or broadcast over mobile and TV networks, adjust the Embedding and Syndication options on the Settings Overview page.

Activity Sharing

Your YouTube account gives you the option to make your activity on the site visible to others. If you're concerned about privacy, it's best not to let others know what you're doing on a constantly updated basis.

  1. Sign in to your channel on YouTube.

  2. In the upper-right corner, select your profile picture and choose Settings.

    Settings in YouTube menu
  3. On the left, select Privacy.

    Privacy in YouTube settings
  4. Use the toggle switches to turn the settings on or off. YouTube saves any changes automatically.

    Manage what you share on YouTube

Report Any Bad Behavior

YouTube is a community, and if someone harasses you, violates your privacy, or is inappropriate, report the behavior. There's a special Help & Safety tool for doing just that.

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