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Update to YouTube Unlisted Links

  • By The YouTube Team
  • Jun.23.2021
If you have a video that is impacted by this change, we’ll notify you directly.

Unlisted is a setting for videos that can be viewed and shared by anyone with the link to that particular video, but don't show up in search results or other tabs. In 2017, we rolled out a security update to the system that generates new YouTube Unlisted links. This update included security enhancements that make the links for your Unlisted videos even harder for someone to discover (if you haven't shared the link with them). We’re now making changes to older Unlisted videos that were uploaded before that update took place. 


As part of these changes, Unlisted videos uploaded before 2017 will be made Private starting on July 23, 2021. We are also giving creators the option to opt out of this security update and keep their videos in their current state if they prefer. If you have a video that is impacted by this change, we’ll notify you directly. You will need to take one of the following steps before July 23, 2021:


  • Do nothing. We’ll set any Unlisted videos uploaded before 2017 to “Private” starting July 23. As a reminder, Private videos can only be seen by you and the people you choose. Once these videos are made Private starting July 23, any link previously used to embed or share them as Unlisted will no longer work.


  • Opt out of this change. Fill out this form by July 23, 2021 to keep your Unlisted videos uploaded before 2017 in their current Unlisted state. If you treat your Unlisted videos like Public videos (e.g. they’re embedded on third party sites or shared on social media), we recommend you opt out of this change. If you choose to opt out, your existing links will continue working as they do today, but they won’t get the benefit of the security update. 


  • Make your Unlisted video public. You can make your Unlisted videos uploaded before 2017 “Public”, and they will be visible to anyone using YouTube.


  • Reupload as a new Unlisted video. You can also reupload these older videos as Unlisted under the new system to benefit from the security update. However, data associated with the original upload, like views or comments, won’t transfer. Any embedded videos using the old link would also need to be updated to the new video URL. 


We understand that this change may be challenging, so we’re giving you time to make adjustments to your videos before it takes effect on July 23, 2021. These videos are not new and therefore receive less traffic, which we hope will minimize disruption.


As a reminder, the Unlisted feature isn’t going anywhere. The option to upload new videos as Unlisted is still available. This update will affect only videos uploaded before January 1, 2017. We encourage YouTube creators to review their older Unlisted videos and choose the privacy setting that’s right for them.


Google is rolling out a security update to YouTube and Drive. More details on Drive update here.