How To Share Private Videos On YouTube: Step-By-Step Guide

If you have a YouTube video that you want to share with someone, but you don’t want to have it visible to everyone on YouTube, or someone if they somehow get the link, then you can share it as a Private YouTube video. In this guide, we’re going to look at exactly how to share private videos on YouTube.

If you’re familiar with private videos and YouTube, here’s the quick step-by-step guide:

Open up the YouTube studio and go to the content section to find the private video you want to share. 

YouTube Channel Dashboard

In the “Visibility” column next to the video you want to share, click on “Private”. This will open an options box and you will see the option to “Share Privately”.

Share a Private Video on YouTube

Click this option and then you can enter the email addresses of the people you want to share the video with. 

You can share your private video with up to 50 people, but invitees must sign in to their Google accounts to view the Private video. 

Tick the box to “Notify via email” so the people you’ve added get a notification and then click done to confirm.

Notify recipients via email and then click done

Lastly, click save to share the private video with accounts you’ve invited.

Click save to share the private youtube video

What does a private video on YouTube mean?

A private youtube video is a very that has been uploaded to YouTube but is set to be hidden from anyone that has not been given access to view the video. A private video can be any video, the visibility settings have just been set to private. 

You can invite up to 50 people with Google accounts to view private YouTube videos. Recipients need to log in to their Google accounts on YouTube to watch the video if shared with them.

Private videos do NOT appear in subscribers’ feeds, on the home page, in search results, in suggestions, channel video tabs, or playlists. Also, people you invite to watch the video cannot send the link further, and private videos cannot be embedded on external websites or shared with a link.

Why make a YouTube Video Private?

There are benefits to setting your video to private, just like there are for public and unlisted videos. Here are some of the main advantages:

  • Private videos can be shared with colleagues and people within the company for sharing or review purposes with the risk of the video being released or sent to anyone without authorization. This is useful in privacy related fields.
  • You can share confidential information without needing to sign up for expensive hosting plans or services to transfer videos. This could be audits, reviews, etc. that you have supplied to a client.
  • You can share private videos with family members and friends without worrying about the video being visible anywhere on YouTube or being shared unknowingly.
  • Uploading videos to YouTube and making them private can help you save space on your devices. You can use YouTube as a free video storage platform while maintaining a high resolution and video quality.

How to watch a private video on YouTube

To watch a private video on YouTube, you need to be logged into YouTube using the Google email address that was used when sharing the video with you.

If the sending user checks the “Notify via email” option, you will receive an email in your Gmail account that will contain a link to view the video. Click on the video link in the email to watch the video.

An email being invited to view a private YouTube video

You can also watch the video directly with the video URL, but you need to be logged into the google account invited to view the video to view it. Otherwise, you will see a video unavailable screen.

A Private YouTube Video without access

This prevents the video from being shared and viewed by unauthorized people.

How to upload a private video to YouTube

An easy way to share a large video file, while maintaining good video quality, is to upload it to YouTube and set it as a private video. This could then be sent to colleagues for training, to family and friends, or just to clear out some space on your smartphone.

This is how to upload a private YouTube video:

  1. Log into YouTube Studio, or set up your channel.
  2. In the top right, click create -> Upload videos.
  3. Drop the video files into the upload videos box, or choose the files by clicking the select files button.
  4. You can then fill out the video details (video elements are disabled for private videos, so you can skip that).
  5. Under the visibility tab, select “Private”.
  6. If you want to share the video with anyone, you can do so under the share privately option. Just add their Google email addresses, select “Notify via email”, and then as soon as you save the video file, they will be notified.
  7. Now you can click save to publish your private YouTube video.

How to give someone access to your private YouTube video

To give someone access to your private YouTube video, all you need is their google email address and to invite them.

  1. Open the YouTube studio and go to the content section. 
  2. Scroll to the video you want to share.
  3. In the “Visibility” column, click on “Private”. 
  4. This will open an options box with the option to “Share Privately”, click on it.
  5. Enter the email addresses of the people who you want to give access to.
  6. Tick the box to “Notify via email” so the people you’ve added get a notification.
  7. Click done to share the private video.

How to share private YouTube videos via email

You can only share private YouTube videos with people who you have invited to view the video with their google account email address. You CANNOT share a private video via a URL or link in an email. Users who have already been invited will be able to watch the video via URL if they are logged into their Google account on YouTube, but other users will not be able to watch the video.

If you want to share a YouTube video via email to multiple people without needing to invite them manually, then you can set the visibility of the YouTube video to “Unlisted”. These videos are not indexed by YouTube, meaning they won’t appear on the platform, but they can be viewed by anyone that has the link, perfect for sharing via email or your newsletter.

For more information on the differences between private and unlisted YouTube videos, read this guide.

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