Difference Between YouTube’s Public, Private and Unlisted Videos

When you upload a video on YouTube, you get three video privacy options — Public, Private, and Unlisted. While most of the videos on YouTube are Public, in some cases private or unlisted videos make more sense.

So let’s see what exactly is the difference between Public, Private and Unlisted Videos.


Public Video

The name is self-explanatory. When you make a video public, everyone can see it, find it through YouTube search and share it with their friends on social media.

Private videos

Private videos also do not appear in YouTube search, video recommendation, and uploader’s video tab section. Subscribers also don’t get a notification, for private videos.

Only the uploader and the Google Accounts he specified, can see a private video. If you share your private video with your friends, and they shared it with their buddies, then only your friends will be able to see the video. 

The only way to see a private video is by requesting the uploader.

Unlisted Video

Unlisted videos sit between public and private. When you make a video unlisted, it won’t appear in —  search results, your video tab or in suggestions. Your subscriber will also not get any notification if the new video you uploaded was unlisted.

However, anyone with a video’s link can watch the unlisted video. If you share your unlisted video with your friends, and they decided to share it with their buddies, then everyone involved can see the video.

Another important thing is, YouTube treats unlisted videos like the public videos, i.e. uploader cannot use copyright video or audio, and if any user flags the video for inappropriate content, YouTube team will review it under 24 hours, just like they do for public videos.

Comparing YouTube’s Public, Private and Unlisted Videos

Public Unlisted Private
Visibility Everyone Anyone with the video link Only the Google accounts you have select
Appears in YouTube Search Yes No (unless someone adds it to a public playlist.) No
Appears in Video Tab Yes No No
Subscribers get notification Yes No No
Who can share it Everyone Everyone Users you select

What is the use of Unlisted video?

Consider this situation–

You have a YouTube channel and a blog. And sometimes you make a video only for your blog audience. You don’t want your YouTube subscribers to see it. In such case, the unlisted video makes sense, since you can easily embed them on your website.

Once you YouTube channel start growing, you may want to unlist older videos that are not adding any value or getting search traffic. Better than making them private.

Before making your video public, you want to get an opinion of other people.

About Mrinal Saha

Mrinal is a tech geek who spends half of his day reading and writing about tech. While the nights are spent on shooting or editing YouTube videos. Feel free to geek out with him on-