streaming privately on twitch

Can You Stream Privately on Twitch?

Whether you’re looking to practice your streaming skills or have a private live stream to just a handful of friends or family members, you might want to consider doing a private stream. And while there’s now no longer any way to officially create a private stream, there are various workarounds and alternatives to Twitch private streaming.

Today, we’ll be sharing how to make a private stream, how sub-only streams work, as well as the best alternatives to Twitch for privately streaming video online.

Reasons Why You Might Want a Private Stream

There are many reasons why somebody might want to create a private stream – here are the most common reasons.

  • Friends & Family Only Streams – Sometimes, you simply just want to stream to your friends and family, and have a bit of privacy. Private streams allow you to do just that!
  • Getting used to streaming online without pressure – Live streaming in front of random strangers for the first time can often be hard, and even nerve-wracking for some. Starting a private stream might be the perfect way to relieve that pressure, by being able to practice being in front of a live camera for the first time.
  • Practice streaming – From testing all of your newly setup streaming equipment, trying out fresh overlays, perfecting sound levels to simply getting used to talking in front of a webcam, private Twitch streams are an awesome way to practice streaming online.
  • Private sub only streams – Of course, if you’re an already established Twitch streamer, then you might want to have a sub-only private stream as an added benefit for your loyal subscribers. See below for more info on sub-only streams.

How to Make a Private Stream on Twitch

While there is no official way of creating a private stream on Twitch, there is a workaround method that involves creating a second Twitch account. In order to create a new Twitch account, you’ll need to log out of your account and then go through the entire setup process again and use a different email address.

Once you have your new account all set up, you’ll want to go live without any tags, categories, or title set. While not technically unlisted, streaming without any sort of identifiers will make it extremely unlikely that other users on Twitch will be able to discover your account.

You can then share the link to your Twitch stream with friends and family, and they’ll be able to access your Twitch stream just like any other but with the benefit that other Twitch viewers likely won’t be able to find it.

Subscriber Only Streams on Twitch

One feature available officially on Twitch is the ability to host subscriber-only streams. Subscriber-only streams are great, as they can be an additional benefit to provide your subscribers exclusive and more personal content. In order to start a subscriber-only stream, however, you’ll first need to become a Twitch affiliate.

Once you have earned Twitch affiliate status, you’ll gain access a lot of new perks like channel points but more importantly in this case, sub only streams. In order to start a sub-only stream, you’ll have to complete these steps:

  1. Log into Twitch. Head to your Creator Dashboard.
  2. Under the Quick Actions section on the right hand side of the screen, select Edit Stream Info (the purple pencil icon).

    edit stream info in twitch creator dashboard

  3. While editing the info for your stream, there should be a section marked as Audience.

    selecting your stream audience on twitch

  4. Change it from Everyone to Subscribers only.
  5. And that’s it! Your live stream will only be viewable by your channel’s subscribers.

Better Alternatives for Hosting a Private Stream

Private streams are not possible on Twitch, at least in any official capacity, as there is no real feature for doing so. If you want to have a truly private stream, then we’d recommend using a platform other than Twitch that truly has the feature. Here are a few alternatives:


One of the best ways to stream privately to friends or family is through Discord, a platform that many should be familiar with by now. Discord is a platform for connecting socially with others, with built-in voice and video chatting functionality. Users can also share their screens with others, which includes sharing gameplay. This is a great alternative to sharing a private stream with others, particularly close friends and family as it’s very easy to do and great for having simple and casual video streams with others. If you’re a streamer, it’s also very easy to create a video streaming channel that is only available for channel subscribers.

There are also some clear downsides to this, however. If you’re simply looking to share live video with others, there are several additional hoops that you’ll have to jump through in order to use Discord; for one, everybody who wants to view your private livestream will have to create a Discord account, join your private Discord server, and download the app. For less tech savvy folks, this might be a deterrent.

Additionally, live streaming on Discord will also mean that all of the other benefits associated with streaming on platforms like YouTube and Twitch – such as being able to see your webcam on the same screen as your gameplay, an on-screen overlay and chatbox, and more will not be present. If you simply want to have a casual streaming experience, then this may not be a problem but it’s something worth considering.


Unlike Twitch, YouTube has a built-in feature that allows its users to host private live streams. Doing so is incredibly easy to do. Users simply have to go to the “Visibility” section and change it from “Public” to “Private.” This essentially will turn off all discoverability within YouTube’s site.

YouTube’s Private live streams can only be accessed via invites. After choosing “Private,” you’ll then be able to share your stream privately to others via emailed invites. Only those with your invite will be able to access and view your private stream.

Additionally, there are also “Unlisted” streams. These are similar to Private streams, however instead of only being viewable by those who received invites, anybody with a link to your live stream can view it. This means that you can share your link to others and they will be able to view it regardless of who they are, if they possess the web link.

Because of its simplicity, YouTube is a great platform for sharing private streams with others. Those with little tech knowledge, such as older family members and friends, will have easy access to viewing private or unlisted YouTube streams. We recommend using this method if you have a YouTube account, and are looking for an easy way to stream privately online. 

Vimeo Live

Vimeo is another great website for live streaming privately. Additionally, Vimeo offers even more privacy setting options than other live streaming platforms – in addition to public, private, and unlisted live streams (which function exactly the same as YouTube), there are also password-protected streams. And finally, there are streams that are classified as “hide from Vimeo,” which are streams that are hosted on another website entirely.

Password streams function exactly how you would expect – in order to be viewed, the user is greeted with a password prompt. Upon entering the correct password, the user will be granted access.

Live streams that are “hidden from Vimeo” are streams that do not appear on Vimeo’s website at all. Instead they are embedded on another website. This means that, if you have your own website, then you’ll have the ability to embed your private stream on it so only those who have your website’s link can view the stream. This is the most effective way to stream private content, but also takes the most work as it will require you to have your own website.

Overall, Vimeo Live is an awesome alternative to Twitch for streaming privately thanks to its various different options available and ease of use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there an official way to start a private stream on Twitch?

No, there is technically no official way for streamers to hold private streams on Twitch.

Does Twitch have password protected streams?

No. There used to be password protected streams on Twitch, but that feature has since been removed. Other platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo have these types of streams available, however.

Level-up your streams with Hexeum

Once you’re ready to stream publicly, it’s important that you make sure your stream is ready by setting up your streaming overlays – and we recommend utilizing professionally made overlays, including widgets, alerts, emotes, and designs that properly reflect your brand’s style.

That’s where Hexeum can help: Hexeum’s site features a huge library of custom designs that can help elevate your livestream and stand out more from other streamers. If you want overlays that perfectly showcase your channel’s style, then look no further – visit Hexeum’s store today!

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Ben Price

Ben Price is a writer, gamer, and even used to stream on Twitch. His time as a small streamer gave him invaluable insights into the mindset and challenges small streamers encounter. With a passion for video games, he enjoys gaming sessions whether it's on his PC or Switch.

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