How to View private or unlisted YouTube videos

It’s possible to watch private youtube videos using an invitation sent by the person who manages the channel on the platform. The same goes for videos hosted as “unlisted”, where access to the video only happens through a link shared by the channel owner.

Public, Private and Unlisted: What’s the Difference?

When uploading a video to YouTube, the user has the option of classifying it into three categories. In the “Public” option, anyone can watch the video; “Private” means that no one will be able to watch the video except invited people; and “Unlisted” is for videos released through a shareable link.

For private or unlisted videos, the content in question is not shown in any search results on Google, YouTube or the channel where it was posted. Private videos cannot be watched even if the user has the content link. And unlisted videos are available to anyone who has the link.

The following is a comparative table of what you can and can’t do in each category in YouTube video uploads:

YouTube ResourcePublicPrivatenot listed
URL sharingYeaNoYea
Publishing on the channelYeaNoNo
Display in search resultsYeaNoNo
Display in subscribers’ feedYeaNoNo

It is worth mentioning that, in July 2021, Google announced that older unlisted videos, published until January 1, 2017, were changed to private. This means that these videos are now visible only to the respective channel owners.

How to watch private videos on YouTube

As stated earlier, viewing private videos on YouTube is only possible if the channel owner invites you to watch the content. That is, even if you have the link, access is not granted if you are not on the list of invited people.

Once the YouTube channel admin makes this inclusion, you will receive an email with the private video link. If necessary, log in with your YouTube account details to start watching.

  1. Ask the channel owner to include you in the list of invited people;
  2. In your email, open the invitation message and click on the image with the three dots;
  3. Make sure you are logged in with the same account used in the invitation.

Ready. Now just watch the private video on YouTube.

How to watch unlisted YouTube videos

For unlisted YouTube videos, things are a little simpler, as there’s a trick to bypassing the block even if you don’t have the video link. The Unlisted Videos website (“unlistedvideos.com”) allows you to search for videos that are classified as unlisted on YouTube.

  1. Go to “unlistedvideos.com” (without quotes) on your PC or mobile browser;
  2. Enter a title or keyword in the search field;
  3. Click on the magnifying glass icon to show the results;
  4. Alternatively, click “Random Video” at the top of the screen to display a random unlisted video.

The display does not follow a timeline, so videos do not appear from newest to oldest.

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