How to Hide Uploads & Favorites on YouTube

Users upload 100 hours of video to YouTube every minute.
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YouTube defaults to displaying your activity publicly. Both the videos you upload and the videos you add to your favorites will appear on your channel page and may show up on the home page of your followers. If you'd rather keep your favorites hidden, or change some or all of your videos to private videos, you can change your settings using the Video Manager screen.

1 Hiding Your Favorites

YouTube treats your favorites list as a regular playlist -- by default, anyone can see your favorites alongside other playlists on your channel page. To stop sharing your favorites, click the arrow next to your user image, move the mouse over the "Favorites" playlist picture and click the paper icon that appears in the corner. This will open the Video Manager directly to the favorites playlist. Click "Edit playlist" and check the "Make this list private" box. You can't hide individual items within your favorites, but you could move them to a separate, private playlist instead.

2 Video Privacy Choices

When hiding your own uploads, you have two choices: "unlisted" and "private." Unlisted videos will not appear in YouTube or Google searches, nor on your channel page. If you give a user a link to an unlisted video, however, he can watch it. Unlisted videos do not block unauthorized user access, so if someone else posts your link publicly or puts it in a playlist, the video could become widely seen. Private videos, on the other hand, will only play for you and users you have specifically granted access.

3 Uploading a Hidden Video

When you click "Upload" on YouTube, a privacy setting menu appears alongside the "Select files to upload" button. Before picking your video file, open the "Privacy" drop-down menu and pick either "Unlisted" or "Private." If you want to upload many hidden videos, you can change the default setting in the Video Manager. Open "Channel Settings," click "Defaults" and pick a default privacy level.

4 Changing Upload Privacy

To change the privacy setting on any or all of your existing videos, open the Uploads page in your Video Manager. Check the videos you want to change or check the top box to select all videos on the page. Open the "Actions" menu and pick either "Unlisted" or "Private." If you use the select-all check box when you have more videos than fit on one page, you can click "Select all your videos" to modify every video on your account. If you use this method, the steps vary slightly. Click "Add actions," "Privacy," select the privacy level from the menu that appears and finally press "Submit."

Aaron Parson has been writing about electronics, software and games since 2006, contributing to several technology websites and working with NewsHour Productions. Parson holds a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.