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Complete Guide: What Does Unlisted Mean on YouTube

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Jun 11, 2024• Proven solutions

Whether personal or professional purposes, YouTube is a great platform for sharing videos but, there are times, when you don’t wish to share it with each and everyone across the globe. The YouTube unlisted meaning is a video which can be viewed only by the users having the link to it. At the back of your mind, you may be wondering how safe an unlisted video is. Let’s learn in detail what does unlisted mean on YouTube.

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Part 1: What Does Unlisted Video Mean on YouTube

The YouTube unlisted meaning is that your video will neither come up in the search results nor on your channel. Only the users who have the link to the video can view it. The link can be shared with anyone and everyone, even with the users who do not have a YouTube account. Many people don't know the difference between private and unlisted YouTube videos. In order to understand what does unlisted mean on YouTube in a detailed way, let’s dive deeper into it and know the difference between public videos, unlisted videos, and private videos.

1. What is Unlisted YouTube Video

Between private and public, you can find the unlisted videos. What does unlisted mean on YouTube? An unlisted video does not appear in the search results, suggestions or video tab. If you unlist a new video, your subscribers won’t receive any notification informing about it. You can share an unlisted video with the people you wish to share and the users having a link to the video can see it. It can also be viewed by the friend of friends if they share the link with their friends.

The unlisted videos are treated like public videos by YouTube. This means that you cannot use the copyright audio or video and it will be reviewed by the YouTube team if other users flag it as inappropriate content within a timeframe of 24-hours.

Unlisted YouTube Video

What Unlisted YouTube Videos Can Do

The unlisted videos can be shared with family and friends. If you are conducting a webinar and wish to share the video with only the registered users, an unlisted video can be used. You may also use the unlisted video for giving access to the people who embedded it while cleaning the YouTube page. For getting feedback from closed groups for market research or to share online resume link for job applications, the unlisted videos can be of great help.

Takeaway: Unlisted videos are a great way to share personal videos with just your family and friends, or to get feedback from people you trust on videos before you decide whether to make them public.

2. What is Private YouTube Video

The videos that do not appear in the recommendations, search options in YouTube or in your tab are the private videos. When you select the private setting for a video, the subscribers don’t get a notification. The private videos can be seen only by the uploader and the mentioned Google accounts. It is not available for friends of friends which mean if you share a private video with a friend, only that person can see it. If your friend shares it with someone, it won’t be visible to others. If anyone wishes to view a private video, the person has to request permission to view to the uploader.

Private YouTube Video

What Private Youtube Videos Can Do

By using private YouTube videos, the internal company information can be kept confidential, the family videos can be shared safely with the people you wish to, and also store your personal data without worrying about being hacked by the strangers. By choosing the private setting, you may upload and schedule the date and time when a video can be made public on YouTube. It helps in saving storage space on your phone.

Takeaway: A private YouTube video is only available to YouTube users that you invite to view it.

3. What are Public Youtube Videos

The Public setting in the YouTube video is a default setting which allows everyone to see the video you post. When you want your video to appear in the search engine results and want more and more viewers and traffic on your video, you can keep the Public default setting on.

What Public YouTube Videos Can Do

Do you wish to grow your brand awareness? Select the Public default setting as it is the best way to do it. You may use the Public setting in any of these situations below:

  • Having a video sharing business like explainer videos, product reviews, commercials, etc. with customers or prospective viewers
  • Targeting at earning money through YouTube videos
  • Looking forward to the growing personal brand by a YouTuber
  • Looking for more and more subscribers on YouTube

But, you must remember that once you post the video, it will be available for everyone throughout the world on YouTube. Even if you decide to change the settings or delete the video, later on, you will be subjected to judgment, professionally and personally. While posting a video with Public setting, you must have an answer to questions like-

  • Shall the senior or your boss see this video?
  • Can your job prospect hamper with this video?
  • Does the video contain harassing or offensive content?
  • Can your friends ridicule you after seeing the video content?

If all the questions are answered in YES… then it is better to think hard and long before uploading the video content with Public setting on YouTube. You may upload the content with unlisted or private settings.

Takeaway: If you make a video public, anyone will be able to find and watch it. When uploading a video using default settings through YouTube, it will always default to being a public video.

Below is a brief comparison table about the differences among YouTube Unlisted, Private and Public video settings.

Feature Unlisted Private Public
Can I share video URL to friends? Yes No Yes
Can I add video to YouTube channel? Yes No Yes
Can I shows up video in YouTube platform? No No Yes
Can I post video on my channel? No No Yes
Can I leave a comment? Yes No Yes
Can I see it in landing page? Yes No Yes
Do People need an account to watch it? No No Yes

Part 2: How to Make an Unlisted YouTube Video

Follow the below-mentioned steps to make an unlisted YouTube video -

  • Log in to your YouTube channel
  • In the top right corner, click the add video button
  • Find the drop-down menu and choose Upload Video
  • Select the setting by clicking on Public and a drop-down menu appears to unlisted
  • Search the instruction select files to upload your video
  • When you start uploading your video, a message box appears, Click Public on the right side corner and select unlisted from the drop-down menu
  • Once you have selected unlisted, click Done in the top right corner and your video is published

Part 3: How to Share Your Unlisted Video

If you wish to share the unlisted video, just share the published video link with anyone you wish to share. A Google account is not required to see the video. So, if the person you shared the link with is not logged in to his Google account, still the video can be viewed. The people who have the link to your video can also share and re-share the link in a number of ways. It can be shared on the social media or just forwarded amongst their friends. But, if you don’t want your friends to re-share it, change the settings to Private.

You can see a message showing “this video is unlisted” on YouTube when you want to share someone else’s unlisted video on social platforms. Think before you consider sharing an unlisted video.


Now, that you clearly know what does unlisted mean on YouTube, consider the option while uploading a video. It helps in retaining the privacy of your video.

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Richard Bennett
Richard Bennett is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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