In my involvement in the YouTube community I?m surprised how many questions about Private YouTube videos arise. I thought this was a straightforward feature but on closer inspection I can see how people become confused.
In this article I?ll answer common questions and explain Private Videos and the options that surround them.
Firstly here?s how to make a video private on YouTube.
Navigate to Creator Studio>Video Manager> Find the video you wish to make private (or Public or Unlisted) > Edit > Info and Settings?> and then on the Basic Settings tab you can select the status of the video from the dropdown on the right:
Now back to your questions.
5 questions about Private YouTube videos answered
- ?How can I bypass YouTube private video?
Simple answer. You Can?t.
The channel manager has set the video to Private for a reason and doesn?t want you to see it. YouTube has made it impossible to bypass the Private Video function and rightly so.
See answer 2 to see what you need to be able to view a private video.
- How can I share a YouTube video privately?
Once you’ve set your video to Private there?s a box where you can add the email addresses of people you wish to see the video.
Enter the addresses separated by a comma and hit Share > Save Changes. They will then be emailed a link through which they can view the video (see answer 3 for more details on this process).
As this system is powered by Google+ you can add Circles to the permission list before saving it and everyone in that circle will receive the viewing link.
- I’ve?given someone permission to access a private video but they can’t view it – what’s wrong?
The Private video function is far from perfect and there are a few things you need to know to avoid trouble.
Even if someone has been given permission the only way they can watch the video is through the link in the email they?ve been sent so sending them just the link won’t work.
To give someone the best chance of actually receiving the email, follow these steps:
- Try and make sure the recipient is using a Gmail based address. This shouldn?t be necessary but in reality it helps.
- If the viewer is using the Tabbed Gmail layout tell them to check their Social tab for the notification.
- The notification will be sent from email@example.com so get them to add this address to their contacts to avoid it going into spam.
- What is the difference between an Unlisted and Private video?
I’ve already outlined the steps needed to watch a Private video, an Unlisted Video is less tightly controlled.
An Unlisted video simply means that anyone with the link can watch the video but it?s not discoverable by other means such as Search, Suggested Videos and will not appear in Subscriber?s feeds.
Unlisted videos can however be embedded.
Only make a video Unlisted if you’re happy with anyone seeing it because the link can be shared easily as with a Public video. If there?s sensitive material in the video always play safe and make it Private.
- Can content ID work on a private video?
Yes it can and it will.
I see many beginners posting this question because they’ve received a copyright strike against a Private video and don?t know how or why this can happen.
Manual takedowns/disputes by copyright holders make up only a tiny fraction of copyright claims and the majority are undertaken by YouTube?s automated system Content ID.
Automated being the key word here.
The system scans all uploads, Public, Private and Unlisted to compare against reference files so just because a video is not viewable by humans doesn’t make it immune to Content ID.
As always I suggest staying squeaky clean and only uploading content you have 100% exclusive rights to, have express permission to use or are certain that you’re complying to appropriate fair use laws.
If any further questions come up regarding Private videos i’ll add them to this list.
I hope that this page acts as a complete resource on Private YouTube videos and is somewhere you can visit or send people to if you see them posing these common questions.
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