How to Watch Private YouTube Videos With and Without Permission

YouTube is the biggest video-sharing platform with billions of videos uploaded on it, as well as the second-biggest search engine. But did you know that 720,000 hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube every day? And more than a billion hours of videos are watched by users every day!

However, there are many more videos on YouTube that are not public, which means we can’t see them. These are private videos, uploaded only for the eyes of the owner (or someone who has special access to them). In this article, we will explain what the YouTube privacy feature is, how to watch private YouTube videos, and how it differs from an unlisted video.

We will also answer some of your frequently asked questions regarding private YouTube videos and elaborate on how to watch private YouTube videos both with and without permission.

What is a Private YouTube Video?

A private YouTube video is uploaded when the creator does not want everyone to see it. This could either means that the video is meant for the creator only or only for a selected audience. This privacy setting can easily be achieved by changing its privacy setting before or after uploading.

how to watch private videos on YouTube

This is helpful when you want to save a video online, perhaps because you do not want to lose it or you plan on making it public in the future, but do not want the whole world to see it just yet. This way, in case you ever want to share it with someone you know, you can easily do so without making the content public.

Knowing how to change the privacy settings of a YouTube video can especially be important for YouTube creators. They can upload their videos at a different time but only make them available to view for everyone during the YouTube traffic timings for better engagement.

Why Can’t I Watch a Private YouTube Video?

Private videos do not appear in the YouTube search box or Google search results, or in the list of a channel’s videos. This is because the channel owner has changed the privacy settings so only they would be able to view that particular video.

The content creator can also make a public video private even after it has been uploaded. This is why when you add these types of videos to your Watch Later list, they are viewable at the time but unviewable when you get back to them. These can not even be viewed by subscribers, but someone who has special access to them may be able to view them.

How To Watch Private YouTube Videos With Permission

It’s easy to watch a video that’s been made private if you get permission from the video owner. In all honestly, there is just one way to do it. That is to contact the owner and politely ask for access to the private video link.

But then comes the question of “How do I contact the YouTube video owner?” Simply go to their channel and go to their About page. There, you will see be able to see their email address for business inquiries and social media platforms, if they have shared them. Chances are, they probably have.

If they haven’t shared any way to contact them, then the only choice you have is to comment on one of their public videos or community posts. If they agree to send you the private video link, you can send them your email address.

How Will I Know When I’m Given Access?

The next step to accessing a private YouTube video with permission is knowing when you have received access. For this, you have to go to your email’s inbox and you will find an email from the content creator with a special video link. Once you open the email, you will see three white dots in place of the video’s thumbnail. Clicking on it will redirect you to YouTube, where you can watch the video.

how to watch private videos on YouTube
Image Credits: Free Video Workshop

I Have The Private Video URL, Why Can’t I See The Video?

Whilst successfully trying to figure out “How to watch private YouTube videos?” you may find yourself dealing with the issue of not being able to see the video despite having access to the URL. If you’re trying to view the video with your special video link but still can’t view it, there is a reason behind it.

Make sure you only watch the video using the Google account registered under the same email address you provided the content creator with. If you use any other account, you will not be able to watch it. This also means that you will not be able to watch it on incognito mode.

Similarly, age-restricted videos also require you to sign in to your account so your age can be verified before allowing you to watch the video. You can try your hand at some other options to perform which should fix this problem here and here.

Watch the Private Video By Signing In

If you have noticed that you can not view the video with the URL, all you have to do is go to YouTube and sign in with your Google account first. Simply click on the Sign In button on the top right corner of the page, enter your email address (the same one you gave to the video owner) and password, and you’re good to go!

This is to ensure that the special URL is not misused or shared with others because that would enable anyone with ill intentions to re-upload it as a public video and take all the credit and associated royalty. The owner has only given access to your Google account, so you must be signed in to watch the video.

How To Watch A Private YouTube Video Without Permission

Let’s say the content creator refused to share the private link. How can you watch the video now?

Several sites propose the solution: alter the video URL. According to this, all you have to do is open the private video and remove “watch?”, and then you would be able to view the video without permission. Does this method actually work, though?

The answer is: definitely not. When you remove that portion of the URL, you are shown a screen saying the page isn’t available.

how to watch private videos on YouTube

However, even if such a solution existed, it is better not to take that path. The content owner has most likely changed the privacy setting to make the video private for a reason; they just do not want anyone else to view it. So, it is best not to try and find ways to watch the video without the permission of the video uploader.

How Does A Private Video Differ From An Unlisted Video?

Private and unlisted videos are quite similar, so it makes sense to be confused between the two of them.

Neither a private nor an unlisted video appears in search results. They can not be added to playlists or watched by everyone. Both videos can only be accessed by others using a special link.

The difference lies in the limits of accessibility. If you make a video private, you must send its URL to the email address of whoever you want to give access to, and the video can be watched by that account only.

However, an unlisted video can be watched on any account and browser, as long as the user has its URL. There is no mention of specific email address owners. This means that the link can be shared over the Internet on any social platform and everyone can view the video without permission as long as they get their hands on that link.

So, now you know how to watch private YouTube videos that you really enjoyed watching but the privacy settings were changed later on by its owner. You also know the correct privacy setting to choose from before uploading your own video! Remember, knowing how to watch private videos on YouTube and how to switch between private and public settings is very important for creators.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Can a YouTube video that is set to private get a copyright strike?

Yes, if you’re using copyrighted content in your video it will get a strike even if the video it is copied from is private. This is because videos are scanned automatically for such content. YouTube is not your private storage, and if you wish to preserve such content that could get a copyright claim on YouTube, consider using services like Google Drive instead.

Q. How to access private playlists on YouTube?

Accessing private playlists is similar to private videos. You must ask the owner of the playlist to send you the URL, and that is the only way to access the playlist. You can not use that URL to watch the playlist on incognito mode.

Q. How can I download private videos shared on YouTube if I have permission to access those?

It is not possible to download a private video directly on YouTube even if you have access. However, if the owner allows you to download their video, then you can use external tools to download it to your device.

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