YouTube improves publishing and sharing controls in recent update

Martin Brinkmann
May 6, 2013
Updated • May 6, 2013
Music and Video, Youtube

If you have ever uploaded a video to YouTube you may have noticed that videos are automatically set to public by default. While it is possible to modify the default visibility of the video under upload defaults in the channel settings, most users probably have not done so and may have been surprised that their videos were publicly available, at least for a while. This can happen if the video upload has already finished but you have not changed the visibility of the video to private or unlisted yet.

Even if you had the intention to make the video public, you may have noticed that the video was already uploaded and available while you were still filling out the video information on the upload page. This too may have led to all kinds of issues that are better to be avoided.

YouTube today announced that it has modified the process. While public remains the default setting for all videos that you upload, all videos that you do upload are set to private automatically until you tell Google explicitly to publish the video. This resolves several issues that some content creators experienced in the past.

It may on the other hand mean that some YouTube users may wonder why their videos do not get published anymore automatically on the site after the upload.

Note that the change is going to be rolled out starting next week. Let me show you how to change the visibility of all videos on YouTube.

  • Open YouTube's account defaults page
  • Change the privacy visibility from public to unlisted or private.
  • You can make other modifications here as well, for instance to the default license type or category that you want the video to be filled under.

youtube privacy defaults

YouTube users can now also receive notification emails when their videos are processed and available on the video hosting site. Instead of having to refresh the page until the video is displayed on it, it is now possible to receive emails that notify users when their videos have been completely uploaded and processed. The feature will be rolled out this week and you should see a notification on your video dashboard or the video upload page the next time you open it (if the feature is already available to you).


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  1. A&L said on May 7, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Had to read this a couple of time and still confused by the wording.
    “While public remains the default setting for all videos that you upload, all videos that you do upload are set to private automatically”

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on May 7, 2013 at 10:20 am

      It is confusing. YouTube won’t flip the switch automatically for you, but the default setting is still public. Before you publish it, it is not really available on the site. So, either set it to public, private or unlisted, but before you hit that publish button, it won’t be available.

  2. Anirudh said on May 7, 2013 at 2:29 am

    This is obviously the result of monopoly, here in India, recent news reports says that Youtube is gonna make all tv channels’s channels paid. Moreover those advertisements in Youtube became pathetic while browsing through some useful videos.

  3. ilev said on May 6, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    YouTube to charge money for viewing channeks

    YouTube plans to launch paid subscriptions as early as this spring, according to a report in AdAge, and is asking media companies with large YouTube followings to submit ideas for paid channels that would cost a couple of dollars a month….

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on May 6, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      I do not mind that at all even though I’m not that excited about it. Why? Because all the good contents will be country-locked again. I would not mind paying for great contents that I cannot access in my country in the original language, but since this won’t happen ever, it seems, I’ll stay away from any payment systems on YouTube.

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