How to Make a YouTube Video Private or Unlisted [Comparision]

Video editing tools

Without any doubt, YouTube is one of the biggest and most popular video hosting platforms available for savvy social media users. If you're a YouTuber or planning to become one, the visibility of your videos plays an important role in regulating the content of your channel. While most of the videos are for public consumption, some do require various privacy controls to limit or reduce their visibility. And, that's what we're going to look into today. You can limit a YouTube video's visibility in two different ways. One is to make it private and the other one is to make it unlisted. What's the difference?

Video editing tools

That's what we're going to learn today. Once you get it, you can easily decide which privacy setting to apply to a specific video. It'll also help you create targeted content for specific privacy categories.

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If you're a general YouTube user who does not create content of their own, the following information will help you better understand the inner workings of this popular social media platform. Let's get started!

Difference Between Private and Unlisted Videos on YouTube

A private video means stricter control over visibility for people other than the owner. The unlisted one has comparatively fewer restrictions.

Let's dive into the actual differences.

  • URL shareability - You cannot share the URL of a private video. I mean, you can, but it just won't work. The person with whom you've shared the URL won't be able to access it. You have to explicitly send the email invites to people with whom you want to share your private video.

    It's not the case with the unlisted one. If someone has access to the URL of an unlisted video, he can access it without any issues.

  • Posting on a channel - You cannot post a private YouTube video on your channel.

    The same goes for an unlisted video as well. You cannot post an unlisted video on your YouTube channel.

  • Commenting - One cannot leave a comment on a private video.

    Commenting is possible on an unlisted video.

  • Addition to channel section - It is not possible to add a private video to a channel's section.

    But, on the other hand, an unlisted video can be added to a channel section.

  • Visibility in search results - A private doesn't appear in search results, the related videos section, as well as in the recommendations section. It's completely invisible to all searches and automated video-suggesting sections.

    It's the same with an unlisted video. You cannot search for it on YouTube. It neither appears in the related videos section nor in the recommendations section.

  • Appearance in subscriber feed - And last but not least comes to the video appearance in the channel's subscriber feed. A private video doesn't appear in this feed.

    Once again, it's the same with an unlisted video. This one too doesn't appear in the subscriber's feed.

Now that we're familiar with the differences and similarities of both video types, let's see how to make each one of them on YouTube.

Creating a Private YouTube Video

You can create a private or unlisted video in two different ways. One, during the upload of the new video. And second, by changing the visibility settings of the already uploaded video.

While uploading a new video, by default, the visibility is set to private.

Default visibility of a newly-uploaded YouTube video

When going through the video upload wizard, whenever the Visibility tab arrives, you get the chance to customize the same.

New YouTube video visibility settings tab

Apart from making the video private, you can also (see the image above) invite people to view your private video. It is done through the SHARE PRIVATELY option.

For already uploaded videos (old videos), you can use the Visibility option on the right side of the video editing page. It's similar to the one used in the wizard while uploading the new video.

Creating an Unlisted YouTube Video

The creation of an unlisted YouTube video is almost the same as creating a private one. The only difference is the visibility and access control associated with each type.

Unlisted visibility setting for newly-uploaded YouTube video

Once again, while in the new video upload wizard, you can select the Unlisted option when you reach the Visibility tab.

And, for older videos, all you need is to choose the same option from the Visibility menu present on the right side of the video editing page.

The bottom line to choosing between making a video private or unlisted is this. If the content is sensitive or personal, go for the private setting. Else, the unlisted option is the way to go.