YouTube Private vs Unlisted: Which Should You Use?| WizStudio Blog

5 min readNov 2, 2020

To make YouTube videos private, or to make them unlisted? That’s a big Privacy question we want you to learn in this post. Read along to know if YouTube private vs unlisted is best for your videos and why.

But before we list any examples when making a video private is better than unlisting it, let’s see what YouTube suggests.

Once a new video is ready for upload you can choose who you want it to watch under the Visibility tab from a Studio dashboard. All videos you upload to YouTube are public videos by default.

However, you can change your preferences by restricting viewer access to certain videos, while leaving others only for yourself.

Public vs Unlisted vs Private on YouTube

With many terms and features, we are not surprised that you are a bit confused. Let’s see what unlisted means on YouTube.

Unlisted videos are videos that can only be accessed through the shared link. They are hidden from regular users and do not surface through the search. They won’t appear under a Videos tab of your YouTube channel either.

Well, does this mean unlisted videos are private?

Private videos on YouTube are meant for private use only, and cannot be watched through a video link. That’s one of the key differences between the two that answers YouTube private vs unlisted. Though not easily accessible, it can still be shared with others. To share a private video you will need to add an email address.

Unless your video is unlisted, people cannot comment on it. If you want the viewers to be able to comment, YouTube suggests you make that video unlisted.

Public videos are searchable by the keywords used in the video title and description, YouTube tags. Many of them show up in the Suggested Videos section when the viewer is watching similar content.

Because public videos are readily available for everyone on YouTube, chances are your video would end up on someone’s playlist. That won’t be bad if you want more views and subscribers. But you may be surprised that not everyone is keeping a YouTube channel to profit from monetization. So, fewer views would also make sense sometimes.

That may be the reason why millions of creators keep some videos exclusively for themselves.

After all, the question is to choose YouTube private vs unlisted, right?

Because it is, the even bigger question is when making a video unlisted and when private.

Keep YouTube Video Private If:

Private videos on YouTube are not available for everyone to watch
  • You want to have your own private video library;
  • It is a staff training or any video intended for company insiders;
  • Those moments are dear to you and your loved ones living away;
  • It is a new trend in the HR department — video resume;
  • You want to be 100% sure no stranger watches certain videos;

Make YouTube Video Unlisted If:

The video tagged as unlisted can be watched through the shared link
  • A video needs feedback from a small group of people;
  • You want to keep video content exclusive to your website or other platforms, but need fast and free video hosting;
  • Some of the videos are too old to keep on the channel but too loved to delete completely;

YouTube unlisted vs private: put head-to-head

If you are still not sure about YouTube private vs unlisted vs public, there’s a final piece of advice for you. You know how they say, think big but start small? So, figure out what is your real goal for the content you upload to YouTube.

Undoubtedly, monetization is one of the biggest pros of public videos on YouTube. Every minute millions of YouTube creators share their expertise in coding, photography, filming, DIY, fashion, etc. to generate views, subscribers, and likes, and promote their channels. Once they reach 1000 subscribers it is time to apply to the Partnership Program to make money from ads.

If you are like 99% of other creators who view YouTube as a lucrative niche for your business, you might want to keep videos public. Learn more about how to rank YouTube videos fast to master the fame game.

Many creators also need to optimize their titles, descriptions, and tags, or put on a clickable thumbnail to attract more views but don’t know where to start. If you are one of them, I suggest you visit our YouTube services.

YouTube private vs unlisted: which is for you?

Because YouTube private videos are the safest, you may want to use them for videos that are strictly personal. There are people who keep such videos as their own diary memos going through split-ups, or a loss of the loved one. Private videos cannot be found and seen unless you want to share those with a certain person.

Unlisted videos, while are not found through search, under a Videos tab, or in Suggested videos, still can be watched by strangers. This is likely to happen if a person you have given a video link decides to share it with people he/she knows through the same link.

Then again, that can be less of a problem for video resumes or a marketing strategy you spent months to develop than say, therapy session details, or some wild weekends you had.

Screenshot of comparison table: private vs unlisted vs public

How to make a video on YouTube private or unlisted?

You can change video privacy settings for any video on your channel at any time by signing in to YouTube Studio.

2 steps to make a video on YouTube private or unlisted
  • Once you have logged in and select Videos from the Left menu.
  • Hover over a video you want to change privacy settings on.
  • Tap on the down arrow under Visibility, and choose between Private, Unlisted, and Public.
  • Hit Save to update the video’s visibility settings.

That’s it.

No YouTube Private vs Unlisted dilemma anymore. If you read this post till the end you must know not only which visibility suits your videos best, but how to switch between public, private, and unlisted videos on YouTube.

Originally published at on November 2, 2020.




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