Can People View My YouTube History?

by Adrian Grahams

YouTube tracks your viewing history and displays recently viewed videos so that you can easily find them again. Although other YouTube users can't see viewing history from your YouTube Channel page, someone who shares your computer might be able to sneak a peek at what you've viewed if you forgot to sign out of your YouTube account at the end of the session.

Check Your Viewing History

YouTube remembers the video clips you've viewed recently and displays them in the Watch History section of your account, which you can access by clicking "Watch History" in the sidebar while you're logged in to your account. YouTube displays the video clips in reverse chronological order, with the preview thumbnail and title of the most recent videos at the top of the list. Clicking the video in the Watch History screen plays the video clip again.

YouTube Channel Privacy

YouTube lets you share some of your online activity with the people who view your videos or subscribe to your channel's feed. From the privacy section of the Account Settings screen, you can choose which activities to share publicly, including your likes and channel subscriptions. However, your viewing history is private and there's no option to make it public. This means other YouTube users won't be able to see any record of your viewing history from your YouTube channel page.

Shared Computers

The family members or work colleagues who share your computer might be able to see your viewing history, but only if you forget to log out of your account when you're done viewing YouTube video clips or if they know your YouTube account password. Avoid this by changing your YouTube password regularly; select the "Change Password" option in the Overview section of your YouTube Account Settings screen. Also remember to log out of YouTube at the end of each session and disable the "Stay Signed In" check box when you log in to your account.

Additional Protection

To further protect your privacy, delete the viewing history from YouTube by clicking the "Manage" link in the Watch History screen, followed by the "Clear all Watch History" button. If you're really concerned about snooping, also clear your browsing history and delete all cookies from your Web browser. The procedure varies slightly by browser, but typically you can wipe this data using the browser's "Settings," "Options" or "Tools" menu.

About the Author

Adrian Grahams began writing professionally in 1989 after training as a newspaper reporter. His work has been published online and in various newspapers, including "The Cornish Times" and "The Sunday Independent." Grahams specializes in technology and communications. He holds a Bachelor of Science, postgraduate diplomas in journalism and website design and is studying for an MBA.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images News/Getty Images