YouTube Private vs. Unlisted | What’s the Difference?

YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world right now, and a home for billions of videos posted by its users.

It’s a platform that counts over 2 billion active users, with over 50 million users creating and sharing content for others. 

For more statistics, make sure you check out this post

If you wish to become one of the users sharing content for other people (and trying to make money), you will benefit from this post.

In today’s article, we will be covering the difference between YouTube’s private and YouTube unlisted settings. 

Many people confuse these two, so I thought I should shed some light on the difference between the two. 

Unlisted VS Private

When you upload content to YouTube, you can choose to make the video public, private, or unlisted. 

Many people only want to use YouTube as a platform to host content for themselves or a smaller group of people, and want the videos to stay mostly hidden from the public eye. 

There’s more than one way to do that, so let’s cover all three YouTube privacy settings. 


This is a default YouTube setting when you are uploading your video for the first time. Using this setting, anybody on YouTube and the Internet will be able to see your video and see your channel. 

If you are looking for something like that, don’t change this setting. Having a video public has many advantages, from growing the subscriber count, to eventually monetizing the channel and making money directly from your video content. 

If you are looking to create great YouTube content, you don’t need a lot of investment or unique footage. You can start by using stock videos from websites like Pixabay. We have done a great post on Pixabay safety, so make sure you check it out. 

However, if you are not a person who wants to make themselves a public figure and hate dealing with trolls and spammers, definitely avoid this setting. 


A private setting in YouTube Studio means that video will be available to see only to those people who you have personally invited. That video won’t be available through Youtube search or Google Search. It won’t even be possible to see by going directly to your channel. 

A good thing about making private videos is that you are the only person that chooses who can see the video and who can’t. Anyone you have invited can’t invite others, and other people can’t see the video even if they have the link. 


The unlisted setting on YouTube is practically a middle ground between private and public. Making a video unlisted means the video won’t be available in search results or on your channel.

However, anyone that has the link will be able to see the video in full. By sharing the video link, you are enabling the person to see it, even if they are not an active YouTube user. 

They can also share that same link with the others, so making the video unlisted is not full protection from all those curious eyes. 

Why Make a Video Unlisted?

There are a handful of reasons as to why you should choose to make a video unlisted.

Many people do this to get initial feedback before making the video available to the public.

If you are starting something new, you might want to get only a couple of people’s attention and ask for their specific feedback.

Other people might spot errors in your content that you otherwise wouldn’t notice and that allows you to improve your content until full rollout to the public. 

Many people choose to do company-related training through YouTube and make that video training content unlisted.

This, however, leaves them with colossal exposure, since unlisted videos can be easily shared. 

Why Make a Video Private?

As I’ve mentioned, YouTube private settings can be a great way to provide company training to your fellow employees.

It can also be used to store and share private videos with your family members. 

You can create a private video library. When you don’t share it with anyone else, they are only available to you, and that safety can’t be broken down. 

A smart hack a lot of people use is they use YouTube’s unlimited storage.

If you don’t have enough space on your phone memory, you can start uploading and making videos private and use YouTube as a storage space. 

How to Change Your Privacy Settings?

Setting up privacy settings for YouTube videos is extremely simple.

Every time you upload a YouTube video, you will get an option to choose between Public, Private, or Unlisted. 

And we have come to the end of this short YouTube post covering the basics of YouTube video privacy settings.

I hope you have understood the differences between private and unlisted and the benefits of these settings.