How to Use YouTube’s Privacy Options to Protect Your Children

By Amy Lupold Bair

When you upload a video to YouTube, you have the option to make the video private or public. Public videos can be viewed by anyone searching for content on YouTube. Electing to make a video private does not mean that the video cannot be shared, though. When a video is private, it

  • Does not appear on your YouTube channel

  • Is not listed in search results

  • Can be shared with up to 50 invited viewers

  • Does not appear in playlists

YouTube users may share private videos only with other YouTube account holders.

To share a private video, take the following steps:

  1. Sign in to your YouTube account.

  2. Click the down arrow next to your account name (upper right).

  3. Click the Video Manager link.

  4. Select Uploads in the left sidebar.

  5. Choose the video you want to share and then click the Edit button.


  6. On the Basic Info tab, enter up to 50 YouTube usernames to whom you grant access to your video.


  7. Click Save Changes.

Another privacy option for YouTube content is the Unlisted setting. Unlisted is different from Private in the following ways:

  • Users don’t need a YouTube account to watch the video.

  • You can share the video with more than 50 people.

To change the privacy setting of your YouTube video to Unlisted, follow the preceding steps — but, on the Basic Info tab for your video, select the Unlisted privacy setting.


You can now share this video with anyone via a link. Unlisted videos

  • Do not appear on your YouTube channel

  • Are not listed in search results

  • Can be shared with anyone via a link

  • Do not appear in playlists

In addition to selecting privacy settings for individual videos, you can also change your YouTube account’s default privacy setting for uploaded videos.

  1. Go to YouTube and sign in to your account.

  2. Click the down arrow next to your account name (upper right) and then click the YouTube Settings link below the YouTube heading.

  3. Under Channel Settings in the left sidebar, choose Defaults.

  4. On the Upload Defaults page, you may choose to make future uploads Public, Unlisted, or Private.