What does “Unlisted” mean on YouTube
What does Unlisted Videos mean on YouTube? 7

YouTube is a great platform to share your skills, moments, professional capabilities and much more with the people all around the world. While some of the videos you might make are for the public and for earning purposes, there are some which you would prefer to be restricted to some people’s knowledge only. This is where the website offers three options in the settings from where you can decide your level of privacy; Private, Public and Unlisted.

These three options help you control who can view your videos and who cannot. This article is aimed at knowing what Unlisted on YouTube means, but we will also guide you through the public and private options so that you can choose for yourself whenever you upload a video. These are the options YouTube offers:

1. Public

When you choose to make your video a public one, you give the website permission to show the video as recommendations for people. It also comes up in the search results and it can also be shared and viewed by people with or without a YouTube account. People can hence like your videos, share them continuously, comment on it (if you keep the comment section on) and get updates on new videos as soon as you upload them.

As you can see, the Public option says “Anyone can search for and view”. Therefore, this option is only for those videos which you intend for everyone to watch, keeping in mind the YouTube guidelines and restrictions. You also need to remember that while making your videos can result in you procuring a lot of fame and money, there are some disadvantages such as haters and trolls. There may even be people who refuse to accept your job applications on the basis of the inappropriateness of your past videos perhaps. Many videos get heckled, hacked and mishandled by those who aren’t your well-wishers.

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So, be careful what you upload if you want to keep your settings as Public.

settings as Public
What does Unlisted Videos mean on YouTube? 8

The benefit of making your videos public range from achieving customers for your commercial brand to gathering popularity via a huge following from all over the world. Moreover, YouTube can be used to earn money as well, depending on the number of subscribers of the channel and the amount of likes and views a certain video gets. Making your video public can help you in these ways.

2. Private

As the name itself suggests, private videos do not appear in YouTube’s video recommendations, search results, or video tab sections for uploading. It is the safest way to protect your videos from any harm, as it can be viewed by only those people whom you have personally chosen and shared the link with. The number of people you can share the link with is about 50 people. These people do not need to have their own YouTube accounts to view the videos.

Moreover, private YouTube videos tend to keep the company information confidential. Nothing is made public or available for those whom you haven’t given the permission or invite to.  Your videos of your family members and your personal data may be stored and shared with specific people without you worrying about being hacked or having your data stolen by strangers or trolled by haters. By choosing the private setting, you may upload and schedule the date and time when your video can be made public on YouTube. This not only gives you control over your own videos and helps you save your storage space.

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The lock symbol defines this setting and guarantees complete protection of your data.

protection of your data
What does Unlisted Videos mean on YouTube? 9

Private videos cannot be viewed by people who have not been given the invite to watch it. Hence, even if someone shares the link with others, they will not be able to watch it. Instead they will see this:

they will see this
What does Unlisted Videos mean on YouTube? 10

The benefits of making your video private are many. You can use it to share videos with loved ones especiallyif they live far away, making it a perfect way to share special moments privately. Moreover, you can use it as your own private video library to keep personal videos. They can be accessed just by you and no one else. 

When it comes to commercial use, the private setting can used for storing your company’s confidential data. This gives you an excellent opportunity to stay in control of your idiosyncratic business strategies that you want to share only with your employees, but not with your competitors. It is like the inside of your head; you choose who to give a piece of your mind!

3. Unlisted Videos

Now, the main part of this article is the ‘Unlisted’ part of the settings in YouTube. The unlisted feature is a medium through which you can choose to make your videos public to only the ones who have the link to your video. This means that while you are the one who can send the URL of your video to your friends and family or colleagues, if they also share the link further, those people can watch the videos as well.

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However, YouTube will not put up the video as a recommendation and it won’t pop up when someone searches for it. This gives you the power to maintain a sense of confidentiality when it comes to home videos, business webinars and content of such nature. Therefore, we now know that Unlisted videos are invisible in search results, subscriber feeds, suggestions, and user video tabs. However, with unlisted videos, anyone with the link can see and share your video.

The link symbol and the description saying “Anyone with link can view” define the unlisted feature of YouTube. It depends on who shares the link with who after you have shared the link with the respective people. However, there are some downsides to making your video unlisted: these types of videos sometimes end up shared on other sites from where they cannot be removed or kept confidential. There is even a site specially made to store and provide unlisted YouTube videos. Furthermore, another issue lies in the fact that your unlisted videos will appear publicly if they are on a playlist. These two factors might affect your privacy.

affect your privacy
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Making a unlisted videos has its own perks. If you have a large company (with over 50 employees), sharing unlisted videos is perfect because it enables you to get individual feedback. This helps better performance. You can also use this feature to share your resumes with prospective employers if you are applying for jobs at multiple places, to maintain a broad perspective about choosing your career without sabotaging it.


Whether it is a video for business or entertainment, you are the owner of it. Hence, staying careful is not only a prerogative but also a necessary step towards maintaining a safe and harassment-free platform for sharing and storing videos.

Select the options wisely and keep benefitting accordingly.