There are millions of videos hosted over YouTube that the public can watch.
But a good number of videos uploaded to YouTube can’t be watched by everyone. The reason being the videos are private.
What is a Private YouTube Video?
A private Youtube video is a video which the owner or the uploader doesn’t want the whole world to watch.
The uploader may want to watch it for himself or just share it with certain individuals. The latter is more often the case.
You can’t see a private YouTube video when you search for it over YouTube or Google even if you have its title. Even if it is listed, in the case of search results not being updated, you’ll not be able to view it.
Then there’s the case of a certain video that was first public and then made private. The next time you want to watch it, you can’t have access to it.
Within seconds, a public video can be made private by the owner by changing the visibility status of the video on his or her YouTube dashboard.
Even if you’re a subscriber to the channel, you’ll not be notified when a private YouTube is uploaded.
Private YouTube Videos vs Unlisted YouTube Videos
Private YouTube videos have one thing in common with unlisted YouTube videos. They don’t appear in the search results.
When a video owner chooses unlisted as the video’s visibility status, he doesn’t want anyone to stumble upon it by chance or through a search. He just wants certain people to be able to view it without any special permission.
With an unlisted YouTube video, you’ll just need the link to view it. You can get the link from the video owner or anyone else who has it.
Things are not as straightforward when it comes to viewing a private YouTube video.
How Do You Watch a Private YouTube Video?
Let’s see how you can watch a public video that has been made private.
The screenshot below shows you an example of a public YouTube video.
The video later is made private. It becomes unavailable to the public.
When this happens, the first step to take is to contact the owner of the channel and ask him to give you access to the private video.
This would require you to provide the owner with your email.
The email must be the one with which you’ll be logging into your YouTube account.
If you’re unable to contact the owner, how do you watch a private YouTube video without permission or signing in?
There seems to be a fix to unlock a private video on YouTube.
Youtube Private Video Access?
Some websites have suggested the following fix to watch a private video.
All you have to do is remove the “watch?” from the youtube URL.
So, if the private YouTube video’s URL is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXUkMzFa_xk , you have to remove the “watch?” and make it https://www.youtube.com/v=pXUkMzFa_xk
This seems to be a simple enough fix to unlock a private video on YouTube. But sadly, it doesn’t work. as you can see from the screenshot below.
This is understandable. YouTube isn’t going to allow you to turn a private video into a public one just by removing a word in the video’s URL.
So, there’s no way to watch a private YouTube video without permission or signing in.
Unless the owner of the video gives access to you, you’ll not be able to watch a private video without permission or signing in.
How to Know When You’re Given Access to a Private YouTube Video
The owner of the video will share it privately with you through your email address.
You will receive a YouTube notification in your email the owner has shared a video with you. There will be no mention that it’s a private video.
On opening the email, you’ll see a thumbnail of the video with three dots. Click on it. You’ll be given the Youtube private video access by being taken to the YouTube page where the video is published.
Remember, on YouTube, you must be logged in to the email account through which you received the notification.
So you can’t watch a private YouTube video without permission or signing in.