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How to Host a Private Live Stream on YouTube: 4 Steps

If you’re looking to host a live stream, YouTube is a great platform for it.

However, are you able to host a private or an unlisted live stream on YouTube?

The answer is yes—YouTube allows streamers to change the privacy settings of their live stream.

Streamers can do so before they go live on YouTube by changing their live stream’s “Visibility” setting.

However, the “Visibility” setting is hard to find.

Once you’re able to find the setting, you’ll be able to change the privacy setting of your live stream.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to host a private live stream on YouTube.

How to private live stream on YouTube

To host a private live stream on YouTube, you first need to click on the “Go live”.

Once you’re on your live streaming dashboard, click on the “Edit” button and change the “Visibility” setting from “Public” to “Private”.

After you’ve changed the “Visibility” setting to “Private”, you need to invite others by email.

You can do so by clicking on “Share privately” and adding other people’s emails.

Lastly, save your settings by clicking on the “Save button”.

When your video is live, your invitees will be notified via email to join it.

Below is a step-by-step guide (with screenshots) on how you can host a private live stream on YouTube:

  1. Open YouTube & click on “Go live”
  2. Select “Right now”, then select “Built-in webcam”
  3. Click on the “Edit” button, then click on “Visibility”
  4. Select “Private” & invite others by email

1. Open YouTube & click on “Go live”

YouTube go live

Open YouTube > click on your profile picture > click on “Go live”.

Firstly, open YouTube on a desktop.

Then, click on your profile picture on the top navigation bar.

This will open up a menu with two options including “Upload video” and “Go live”.

The “Upload video” option allows you to upload a video to your YouTube channel.

On the other hand, the “Go live” option allows you to go live on YouTube.

Click on “Go live” to go to the YouTube Live Control Room.

Keep in mind that you’re only able to live stream on YouTube on a desktop.

If you’re looking to live stream on YouTube on a mobile device, you need to have at least 1k subscribers.

On the other hand, there is no requirement for you to live stream on the desktop version of YouTube.

2. Select “Right now”, then select “Built-in webcam”

YouTube live stream right now

Select your preferred time to live stream (“Right now” recommended).

After you’ve clicked on “Go live”, you’ll land on the YouTube Live Control Room.

On the YouTube Live Control Room, you’ll be given two options including “Right now” and “Later date”.

The “Right now” option allows you to live stream now, but you can review your settings before going live.

If you want to schedule your stream for a later time, you can select the “Later date” option.

For now, select the “Right now” option by clicking “Start”.

YouTube webcam live stream

Select the type of stream (“Built-in software” recommended).

After you’ve selected the “Right now” option, you’ll have to choose between a couple of stream types.

The first stream type is “Built-in webcam” while the second stream type is “Streaming software”.

If you want to stream using your webcam and microphone, select the “Built-in webcam” option.

This option is also recommended for first-time creators as it is simpler.

However, if you want to live stream using a streaming software like OBS, select the “Streaming software” option.

To make things simpler, select the “Built-in” webcam option.

Move on to the next steps to learn how to change your live stream to a private one.

3. Click on the “Edit” button, then click on “Visibility”

Unlisted YouTube live stream

On your live streaming dashboard, click on the “Edit” button.

Once you’ve chosen when you want to go live and your preferred type of stream, you’ll land on your live streaming dashboard.

On your live streaming dashboard, you’ll see your video’s information (title, category, privacy, etc.).

You’ll also see your stream settings, analytics, and stream health.

On your video’s information, you’ll see an “Edit” button on the top right of it.

Click on the “Edit” button to edit your video’s information.

As your channel’s information contains your video’s privacy settings, you need to edit it.

YouTube live stream visibility setting

Click on the “Visibility” option.

After you’ve clicked on the “Edit” button, you’ll land on the “Details” tab where you can edit your video’s information.

On the “Details” tab, you’ll see your video’s title, description, visibility, and more.

Scroll down until you see the “Visibility” option.

Click on the “Visibility” option to open the visibility options.

The “Visibility” option allows you to change who can watch your live stream.

By default, the option is set to “Public”, which means that everyone will be able to watch your live stream on YouTube.

Proceed to the last step to learn how to private your live stream so that only selected people can watch it.

4. Select “Private” & invite others by email

How to private live stream on YouTube

Select the “Private” option, then click on “Share Privately”.

There are three visibility options that you can choose from including “Private”, “Unlisted”, and “Public”.

The “Private” option allows you to invite a selected number of people via email to join your live stream.

If you select “Unlisted”, only people with the link to your live stream will be able to watch it.

Lastly, the “Public” option allows anyone on YouTube to watch your live stream.

Select the “Private” option to private your live stream.

Then, you’re required to invite others to your live stream.

To invite others to your live stream, click on “Share privately”.

Share live stream privately on YouTube

Invite others to your live stream by entering their email addresses on the “Invitees” field > select “Notify via email” > click on “Done”.

After clicking on “Share privately”, you need to invite others to view your private video.

You can do so by entering their email addresses on the “Invitees” field.

Simply enter the email addresses of the people that you want to invite to your live stream and hit “Enter” on your keyboard.

If you’ve successfully entered an email, there’ll be an “x” icon next to it.

If you’ve mistyped an email, click on the “x” icon next to it to remove it.

After you’ve finished adding all the email addresses, click on the “Notify via email” checkbox.

This will allow YouTube to send an email to your invitees when you are live.

Lastly, click on “Done” to update your settings.

You’ve successfully learned how to host a private live stream on YouTube!

Conclusion

Due to the rising popularity of working from home and home-based learning, online meetings are more prevalent.

Going live on YouTube is a unique way to conduct an online meeting with your colleagues, classmates, etc.

But with dedicated video communication tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, people are starting to make the switch to them.

Although YouTube live is normally used for gaming, you can also use it to conduct video/web conferencing.

Further Reading

How To Find Your YouTube Stream Key (2021)

How to Hide Your Subscribers on YouTube

Do You Have to Pay to Subscribe to a YouTube Channel?

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About the author

Lim How Wei

Lim How Wei is the founder of followchain.org, with over 7+ years of experience in Social Media. He has researched, tested, and written hundreds of articles ranging from social media platforms to messaging apps.