YouTube is making changes to Unlisted videos and you have a month to take action

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Content creators on YouTube may want to take note of a particularly important change that is happening with Unlisted videos.

The change actually relates to an update that was rolled out in 2017. That update changed how links for Unlisted videos were generated, making it harder to find the video unless the link was shared with a person.

That update happened on 1st January 2017 and older videos weren’t updated with this security measure.

But now they will be as YouTube implements the same security update on older Unlisted videos.

“We’re now making changes to older Unlisted videos that were uploaded before this update took place. We understand that this change may be challenging, so we’re giving you time to make adjustments to your videos before this change takes effect on 23rd July 2021,” explained YouTube.

So what is changing?

On 23rd July, if you take no action, Unlisted videos uploaded before 1st January 2017 will be made private automatically.

This has some rather big consequences however as if an Unlisted video is embedded into a website, once that video goes private you won’t be able to see the embedded video.

More than that, private videos can only be shared with up to 50 email address (and they have to have a Google account) so it’s like anybody you shared the video with won’t be able to access it.

Creators have four ways to tackle this change before 23rd July.


There is a bit of time before this update goes live, but we recommend addressing your Unlisted videos sooner rather than later.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.