In a nutshell

  • YouTube allows you to private your channel at any time, which hides it from the public
  • You can alternatively opt to hide specific videos and keep your channel public
  • You can keep track of your content by making a private playlist of videos you’ve hidden

YouTube offers users flexibility when it comes to their privacy needs. As a creator, you can hide your subscriber count, comments and dislikes. This flexibility allows you to better manage your YouTube channel and build strategies beneficial for its growth. One of these strategies is making a private channel or privating.

Here’s a guide on how to make your YouTube channel private.

A private vs. public YouTube channel

Public YouTube channels are viewable by everyone on YouTube. These channels cater to the general public and are meant to be seen and viewed by all viewers on the platform.

With a public channel, you have a wider reach in your chosen niche, which welcomes everyone who’s looking for content like yours. Most of these channels show informational, educational and entertainment content viewable by all YouTube users. A public channel’s subscriptions are also public, which means everyone can view the channels you subscribe to.

A private YouTube channel, on the other hand, has a specific audience. Videos are only viewable by the users invited to the channel. This is helpful if you’re making training courses accessible only to your subscribers.

Privating a single video vs. an entire YouTube channel

You have the option to privatize or ‘private’ a video if you no longer want it on your channel. Whether you don’t want a particular video appearing as public on your channel or you just want to hide it for some time, you can do so. This is the best step if there are videos you feel are not representing your channel in a good light. However, if you want to build another channel, you can always make your old channel private yet still active.

Why might a creator private their videos?

Content creators sometimes use private channels to store videos they don’t want their subscribers to see. These might be drafts, old videos they discarded, clips they might use in the future, etc. Other content creators have collections of videos they only want to show to a specific group of people, like training courses or instructional materials for their team. 

How to make YouTube channel private step by step

Privating on desktop

  1. Open
  2. Click your profile icon on the top right
  3. Go to Settings
  4. Click Advanced settings
  5. Click Delete channel. (Note: You won’t lose your Google account; this will just hide your YouTube channel from the public.)
  6. Sign in to your Google account
  7. After signing in, you are presented with two options: You can either hide your channel or permanently delete your content. Since you just want to hide your channel, click the first option.
  8. When clickingI want to hide my channel”, you will be asked to check all the boxes before you proceed. By clicking all the boxes, your channel name, public videos, playlists, likes, subscriptions and subscribers will be hidden. The comments you made to other channels and your replies to Youtube comments will be permanently deleted.
  9. Finally, click “Hide my channel.”

How to hide a specific video

If you only want to hide a specific video, do the following steps:

  1. Open
  2. Click your profile icon on the top right
  3. Go over YouTube Studio, where you’ll be directed to your channel dashboard.
  4. Click Content, which is located under the dashboard
  5. Choose the videos you want to hide
  6. Click Save, and you’re finished. Now some of your videos are private. Everything on your channel is still viewable for the public

Private playlist vs. unlisted playlist

Don’t want the trouble of hiding your entire channel? No worries—you can still make private and unlisted playlists.

But what’s the difference between the two?

Private playlists are only available to those you sent invites to. If you have paid training courses, this might be a great option. The playlist will not come up in search results and isn’t viewable on your channel to the public. The people you invited need to have their own YouTube accounts. Keep in mind that you can only invite a maximum of 50 users.

Unlisted playlists, on the other hand, can be viewed by anyone who has the link. These playlists won’t come up in search results or even on your channel. But as long as someone has the link, they can view them — even those without YouTube accounts.

Between the two, we recommend creating a private playlist if you really want that extra layer of privacy.

How to create a private playlist

Using desktop

  1. Open
  2. Click your profile icon on the top right
  3. Go over YouTube Studio where you’ll be directed to your channel dashboard
  4. Click Playlists
  5. Add a new playlist name
  6. Turn the playlist visibility to Private
  7. Once you’ve made the playlist, you can add videos to it, whether it be YouTube videos or your own videos.

Making a public channel once you’re ready

Whenever you’re ready, you can always re-enable your hidden channel. Making it private is a commitment, but you can always turn it back to public.