How to Watch Private YouTube Videos: 4 Methods

YouTube is one of the most popular sites in the world. The platform has been an excellent way for individuals to showcase their skills and entertain the masses. However, not every video is meant for the general public. So, YouTube has added a feature to protect its creators by allowing them to mark some content as private videos.

A private YouTube video viewers is one that the creator does not want the general public to view. They may keep it for themselves or share it with a select few via invitation. In this article, you will learn how to watch private YouTube videos.

Watch Private YouTube Videos

Reasons Why You Can’t Watch Private Videos on YouTube?

Here are some reasons why you can’t watch when a video is private.

  • Some YouTube content creators can set their videos as private, so you can only view the content the uploader provides you access to by sharing the link.
  • Private videos do not appear on YouTube, Google search results, creator’s list and other external search engines. Thus, it will not appear as a suggested video list that you can watch.
  • Unlike public videos, subscribers don’t receive notifications for such content. Hence, you do not get access if you aren’t on their email list for sharing private videos.

Private videos give creators more control over their content. For example, they can restrict access to family and close friends. Creators can also use the private video feature to manage a public release to coincide with a campaign.

How Do You Watch a Private YouTube Video?

Here are various methods of viewing Private YouTube Videos:

Method 1: Watch YouTube Videos as Thumbnail Images Before Viewing

As a trick to watch private YouTube videos without signing into the creator’s channel, you can preview their thumbnail images before watching them, even if they are age restricted.

Moreover, the use of thumbnails allows viewers to inspect if the video is worth watching or not.

Here are steps to Watch YouTube Videos as Thumbnail Images:

Step 1) Visit the specific video.

The screenshot below showcases how a public video appears.

Watch YouTube Videos as Thumbnail Images

The video is then later made private so you can no longer access it. Here is a screenshot of how it may appear to the public.

Watch YouTube Videos as Thumbnail Images

Here is a screenshot of how the creator of the video makes it private:

Watch YouTube Videos as Thumbnail Images

It can only be viewed with the selected email addresses as shown below:

Watch YouTube Videos as Thumbnail Images

Step 2) You can then decide for yourself if the thumbnail is enticing enough or if it is what you are looking for.

Note: Some videos may have explicit sexual content, such as nudity unsuitable for younger viewers or anyone with an issue. You can use this method to inspect the private YouTube video before consuming it with the rest of the family.

Method 2: Watch the Full Video Without Signing-in

It can be pretty frustrating knowing that you cannot watch a public video made private by the uploader. However, some try to find hacking methods to access private videos without the permission link from the owner.

Here are steps to Watch the Full YouTube Video Without Signing- In:

Step 1) Go to the creator’s YouTube channel and click on the private video.

Step 2) Delete the word “Watch” from its URL.

For example, if the link is “” try this instead, “”

Step 3) First, press the Enter key on your monitor/keyboard to unlock the particular video without signing into the creator’s channel.

Note: This trick may not be ideal as it violates the policy of age-restricted videos. The technique may also not work for everyone, though it is worth trying.

Method 3: View Private YouTube Videos with Permissions

If the above-given methods don’t work, you could consider requesting permission from the content creator. You can email them at the address on their YouTube account and provide your username, the creator can then use it to authenticate you.

The video uploader may accept your request and send you the video link, or they can refuse to share it. This method allows you to watch YouTube Private Videos with permission without extra hassel. However, do not get frustrated if they fail to send you the link.

Method 4: View Video Cache

If that option doesn’t work for you, consider the video cache view as an alternative.

However, while trying this option, you must remember that video cache is a URL rewriter plugin that temporarily stores video segments. It optimizes your bandwidth and is mainly used on websites like YouTube.

Here is the step by step process on how to watch private YouTube videos

Step 1) Visit your video cache file to view your previously watched videos or if you have it in your saved playlist.

Step 2) If you find the video cache view, convert it using an MP4 program and watch it without any limitations.

Note: This feature is primarily suitable for already-watched videos made private by the uploader.


An unlisted video is a content that the creator makes viewable for some people without requiring a private link, the creator can select this option when they decide to upload videos. These types of videos don’t usually appear in the recommended video section or YouTube’s search results. However, unlike private YouTube Videos, unlisted YouTube videos can be shared, accessed, and watched by anyone with the video’s link.

So, when you come across unlisted videos, you should consider sending a message to the video owner to see whether they can send you the link or you can contact a friend that has already watched the video.

Yes, even private YouTube videos can get a copyright strike because they must still adhere to copyright laws. Any video uploaded on YouTube’s platform has to undergo the content ID systems for a routine scan.

However, one should remember that YouTube app is a distribution channel or platform allowing individuals to showcase their content to the masses. Thus, if your private videos have a significant amount of copyrighted content, they violate the copyright laws of YouTube and are liable for the consequences.

Protecting yourself and your content is more important than ever. Even if you only use YouTube casually, it’s worth taking precautions.

Step 1) Mark your videos private through the Video Manager’s privacy settings.

Secure and Configure Privacy Settings on YouTube

Step 2) Set your videos unlisted to avoid using a private link. Select ‘unlisted’ under the privacy settings in Video Manager.

Step 3) Adjust your privacy settings.

  • Start by clicking on your avatar and enter YouTube Settings, then go to Privacy.
  • Check your Subscriptions and Likes to ensure you know them, you can mark them privately.
  • Go through Search and Contacts to restrict who can contact you.

Step 4) Edit your account profile. To avoid spammers, keep your profile details minimal, with no email addresses or phone numbers listed.

Step 5) Check your private YouTube channel’s activity and monitor comments from viewers.

For instance, you need to consider turning off your activity using the following steps:

Step 1) Go to your channel icon, click on settings, and choose Privacy on the left menu.

Step 2) Tick all three boxes that keep your liked, saved playlists and subscriptions private.

Step 6) Report any abusive behavior to the site’s administrator.

Wrap Up

Now that you understand why you cannot watch private YouTube videos.

You can try to access the content using above mentioned methods summarized below:

  • Try watching private videos uploaded as thumbnail images instead.
  • You can also watch the full video private without signing into your account.
  • Request permission to view the private videos by emailing the YouTube video owner with your information.
  • You can also try the video cache method by converting such videos into MP4s.

Incase these methods fail to meet your demand, you can also turn to YouTube video downloader sites to download the video and watch it without any restrictions.