How To View Private Youtube Videos In 2017
Don’t you just hate it when you click the link for a video you’ve heard so much about, only to see this?
Nobody likes that. Fortunately or unfortunately for you, depending on if you’re the uploader or someone looking to view the private video, there are a few tricks you can use to “view” the original video. However, expect methods to get patched as I find them, since the more people know about a specific method, the more likely it is to become patched.
Before I go on, please note that this is an article intended to alert others about the tricks that someone can use to view the videos, screenshots, and thumbnails of your video; even if you marked them as private. I do not advocate the use of any of the methods mentioned in this thread.
How To View Private Youtube Videos In 2017
Over the years since I first posted this article, it’s become increasingly more difficult to view videos that have been marked as private (which, from a security perspective, is a good thing). Because of this, you’ll need to start with Method #0 below before you can move on to the others.
Method #0: How To Find The Video’s Title For The Methods In This Article (8/01/2016)
Recently, I found out that a song I bookmarked for a video project of mine had been marked as private, despite being public at one point in time. Because of this, I thought it would be a good opportunity to show you how to find a private video’s title, uploader, and description using Google (this is probably one of the few legitimate reasons to find a private YouTube video). You’ll also need to know how to do this in order to use the methods below.
Now, the YouTube video URL I was referring to is actually this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9z8w5H3fos
As of 8/01/2016, the video is marked as private, so I couldn’t even see what song it was (I had renamed the bookmark’s title). But not to worry, because Google is here to help! You see, all I had to do was copy and paste the video’s URL into Google and put quotations around it, as shown below. The quotations allow you to search for any pages where that exact URL comes up (an “exact match” search operator). In this case, 3 pages came up, and 2 of them mention the song’s title and artist. Success!
However, let’s say that doesn’t work for you. Don’t worry, you still have another option. Simply go to cachedview.com and paste the URL in the search bar. Click on “Google Web Cache” and see if the cached version of the YouTube page appears. If it does, you’ll see the cached page to the left of the image, which will give you all the information you need for the 4 methods below.
Method #1: The Freebooting Method
Situations: When you have the video’s title.
Here’s a method that won’t get patched any time soon. So, let’s say you found a YouTube video and saw that it was marked private. What you’re going to want to do is use method #0 to copy the video’s title, and I’ll explain why in a minute.
You see, right now there’s currently an issue with freebooting on Facebook, which is when an unauthorised Facebook user re-uploads a YouTube video that they do not own. This happens to videos both big and small, so even if a video was public initially, chances are that someone has reuploaded the video there.
Because of this, we can use this to our advantage to see if someone has reuploaded the video there by pasting the video title in the Facebook search bar. If this doesn’t work for you, then you can always try the partially patched method and the alternative method below.
Method #2 The My.Mail.Ru/Video Method
Situations: When you have the video’s title.
A variation of this method is to post the video’s title in “My World“, which is a Russian website that primarily serves as an e-mail service, but also allows users to upload their own videos similarly to YouTube. As you may have already guessed, there are people who rip videos from YouTube and share them there as well. There’s also a lot NSFW videos that come up in the search no matter what you type in, so if you’re easily distracted, then I recommended against going there, otherwise you’ll forget what you were looking for in the first place.
I personally use Mail.ru to find videos that were either previously public on YouTube or cannot be found on YouTube at all, although doing this is definitely a hit or miss, more often a miss than a hit.
Method #3: View Private Videos With Permissions
Situations: When you have the uploader’s channel URL.
If you have the channel URL (use method #0), then contact the channel owner and ask them to send you a special “permission” URL so that you can watch the video.
If you’re an owner of a YouTube channel with private videos, then be careful who you give permission to. YouTube allows a video uploader who marked their video as private to send up to 25 “private URLs” which will allow these users and only these users to watch these videos. However, there’s one issue with this, and it’s that any of these users can reupload your video as a public video. You see, by using a capture device or software, a user with bad intentions who was given permission to watch your video by you can easily record the video and then reupload it as a public video.
Method #4: Save Videos Via Web Cache (Partially Patched)
Situations: When you’ve previously viewed a video on your computer that was later marked as private.
Update: According to Mrinmay on Daily Tech Tuts, the videos downloaded will either be viewable without the audio, or the files will be corrupt. In other words, this may work, but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t.
This is an experimental method I briefly tested out based on the Daily Tech Tuts method for downloading YouTube videos that should theoretically work for anyone who wants to view a private YouTube video that they previously viewed on their computer. What you have to do is use a utility called Video Cache View to find the video that was downloaded to your cache. You’ll most likely discover that the video is in a format such as Mpeg-Dash, in which case you’ll need to convert the video into MP4 format using a piece of software called “GPAC“. Using the Video Cache View utility, you can play the cached version of the private video as it was previously saved on your local storage before it became private.
From what I understand, because these videos were previously viewable and saved to your disk drive, the settings of the YouTube video do not matter in this case, making this a security flaw for YouTubers who decide to make a public video private.
Method #5: How To View Private Youtube Videos 2015 (Patched)
Situations: When you have the video’s URL.
This method has been patched and no longer works. The alternative method below this one and the one above still work as of 1/8/2016
Here’s how the trick used to work:
First, you need to have the video URL. As an example, we’ll use my introductory YouTube video that I created when I was testing out some whiteboard animation software.
Now, the first thing you’ll need to do is get the video URL. If you hadn’t noticed by now, YouTube videos have a video URL that identifies the video toward the end of the URL (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9F_J2hreA8). We need to take the part of the URL that I highligted in red (this is always after the watch?v= part of the URL) and replace the red text of this URL here:
Now copy and paste any of these URLs into your browser address bar (that part of your browser that you may occasionally confuse with a search bar). Each of these URLs will display a different part of the private video. For example, the first URL will show an image from the beginning of the video as shown below.
How To View Private YouTube Videos: Conclusion & Prevention
While this guide covers how to view private YouTube videos in 2017, it’s important to be aware of these privacy flaws in order to protect yourself while on the web. I’ve tested these methods out both on my own YouTube videos and on other private videos and they all worked at one time or another. If you need a private video to test any of the above methods out of, I’ve posted a link to one of my own private videos below (It’s just a clip from “The Office”):
If you’re wondering what you can do to prevent someone from viewing your private YouTube video like this, then you have 2 option: either don’t upload the video to YouTube or do not give out the URL to anyone. In addition to this, if you absolutely must use YouTube to host your private videos, make sure that the YouTube account or channel that you use in not public.
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