Videos locked as private

At YouTube, we believe in addressing abuse in ways that create real, positive impact while also making the site great for creators and viewers all over the world. One of the ways we try and do this is by prohibiting the use of unrelated or misleading tags.

If your video is identified as violating our policies, it may be locked as private. When a video is locked as private, it will not be visible to the public. If a viewer has a link to the video, it will appear as unavailable.

How will I be notified of this action?

You’ll receive an email explaining that one of your videos has been locked as private. In some cases, you may be able to appeal. If so, as part of the appeals process you may be sent further messaging explaining how to proceed via email.

What happens to my video when it’s locked as private?

When a video is locked as private, it won't appear on your channel or in search results, and will be invisible to other users. None of your subscribers will see a video that is locked private. Unlike user-selected private videos, you will not be able to change the video’s state until after you have successfully submitted the video for re-review.

There is no strike applied to your account when this happens. You can fix any issues and submit an appeal to have the video reviewed again directly from your video manager. See below for steps on how to submit an appeal.

How can I fix this?

  1. Review YouTube's Community Guidelines.
  2. Double check that your content is in line with our guidelines.
  3. Appeal in YT Studio if you've fixed any issues or if you think we've made a mistake.

For videos that have been locked as private due to upload via an unverified API service, you will not be able to appeal. You’ll need to re-upload the video via a verified API service or via the YouTube app/site. The unverified API service can also apply for an API audit.

To ensure your video isn’t locked private again, don’t post content that: 

  • Has unrelated or misleading tags from the “Description” and “Tag” sections of your video. Learn more in our article about metadata best practices.
  • Has been uploaded by an unverified third party API service.

Note that this is not a complete list. 

Will my video automatically be made public if my appeal is successful?

No. If you’re able to appeal, and your video is successfully reviewed, you will be able to make it public. However, it will not be made public automatically. Videos stay private until you change the video’s privacy settings. This is in order to make sure you can control the moment your video is made public.

What impact will this have on monetization?

Videos locked as private are not eligible for monetization. Once an appeal is submitted and that video is found to no longer violate our policies, the video can resume monetization.

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