Sharing Privately

Private Sharing allows you to upload media, add Viewers and Collaborators, and give them specific access and permissions to your content.

Caroline F avatar
Written by Caroline F
Updated over a week ago


Private Sharing is different for Channels and folders. To learn about permissions for Channels, head to the Channel Permissions section of this page. For more information on Channels, head to the Channels page.

Private Sharing requires your invited Viewers to log into Wistia. If this is not what you’re looking for, check out our require password feature. All your Viewers need to do is enter in your secret word to the video’s password gate — no login necessary!

What is Private Sharing?

Private Sharing in Wistia allows you to add Viewers and Collaborators to your individual folders and give them specific accesses and controls around to your content there. Wistia medias in your account aren’t crawled by search engines, so until you share them (via direct URLs, or embedded on your website) they will remain private.

If you’d like to share your content with a few people (but not the whole world), you can share a direct link.

Private sharing may be right for you if you want to:

  • Review and approve content before it goes live

  • Share instructional videos with your team

  • Create internal content that contains sensitive information

You will only need to use Private Sharing if you want to further restrict access to your content, invite users to add or update content in your folders, or share and monitor internal content.


Keep in mind that the number of viewers/collaborators you can add depends on the number of Users included with your plan. Check out the Usage page in your Account Settings, or our plans page for more details.

How It Works

Wistia Private Sharing is structured around allowing access to Wistia folders. To access Private Sharing choose Permissions from the left menu, or click the padlock next to the folder’s title.

Add viewer to folder

From within the Privacy & Sharing modal, you can Set privacy settings, add Viewers, and add Collaborators. These options allow you to further secure your medias within Wistia, and invite other users via email addresses to interact with your content.

First up, let’s explore the difference between Locked and Unlocked folders.

Locked vs. Unlocked

Wistia folders can be set to two states: Locked and Unlocked. By default all new Wistia folders start in the Unlocked state. This doesn’t mean your videos are indexed in search engines, just that any direct links shared to the video can be accessed without a login.

To set a folder to the Locked state, you’ll want to click Permissions from the left menu (or click the padlock next to the folder’s title).

Then flip the folder to the Locked state and Save your settings.

locking a folder

A Locked folder within Wistia can only be accessed with a specific invite from:

  • The Account Owner

  • An account Manager

  • A Collaborator with Admin permissions to the folder

  • A Collaborator with the Share permission

Add Viewers

From within the Privacy & Sharing modal, you’re able to add users as Viewers or Collaborators.

Adding Viewers is a simple way to keep your folder Locked, but still allow a select group of people access to view your content.

From the folderpage, select Permissions from the left menu. You can also click on the padlock icon next to the title of the folder.

Enter the email addresses of Viewers you’d like to add to your folder. You can even write your own message by clicking Personalize email notification.

Add viewer to folder

Make sure to click the Save button to add your Viewers, and you’re all set!

Add Collaborators

If you’d like to give your users more control around your folder, you’ll want to invite them as Collaborators. The steps will look similar to adding a Viewer, but this time you’ll select which permissions you want those Collaborators to have. The moment you select a permission, the user’s status will turn to Collaborator!

The permissions available are:

  • Admin - This Collaborator has access to all other permissions listed below, as well as Move & Copy, full access to Set Privacy & Sharing, and the ability to Delete the folder. Basically, they can do anything you can do within that folder.

  • Upload - This Collaborator has the opportunity to upload new content to the folder. They’ll also be able to Customize any content they upload.

  • Download - This Collaborator will be able to download any content from the folder. They’ll also be able to Export all media from the folder.

  • Share - This Collaborator will be able to share the folder by embedding and/or inviting additional users to the folder. A Collaborator with the Share permission will only be able to extend their own permissions to new Collaborators they add. So if a Collaborator has both the Share and Upload permissions, they’ll be able to add users with only those two permissions (or none of them).

  • Stats - This Collaborator will have access to any stats collected from content within the folder. This user will only be able to access stats for public views in the folder. (Stats of Viewers invited to folders are housed in Private User Sessions, and are only available to the Account Owner and Managers.)

To add a Collaborator to your folder, select Permissions from the left menu (or click the padlock next to the folder title).

Enter the email address of the Collaborator you’d like to add, and set their permissions. You can add multiple Collaborators with the same permissions by entering a comma between the email addresses.

Add collaborators to folder

Make sure to click the Save button to save your settings!


After adding your Viewer or Collaborator, they will receive an email at the address you have designated. This email will include an invitation to view the folder you are sharing, along with a link for their access.

Managing Users

Deleting Viewers or Collaborators

To delete any Viewer or Collaborator from your folder, you’ll want to head back into the Privacy & Sharing Settings modal from the Overview panel on the left, by clicking Permissions. Next to each user you’ll see a small X. Click the X, and make sure to hit the Save button.

Editing Permissions

To edit the permissions for any Collaborator on your folder, you’ll want to head back into Permissions from the Overview panel on the left. Next to each email address you can check and uncheck any permission box. Make sure to Save your new settings!

Using Groups

User groups are a way to share content privately with mutliple users at a time. Leveraging this feature is done via the Users page.

Channel Permissions

Just like with folders, the Account Owner and Managers in an account have access to create Channels. They can upload content, customize, turn on podcasting, and more! The Account Owner and all Managers can take any and all actions to create and customize a Channel. You can also add Users to a Channel by selecting Permissions.

Channel Permissions

Any Collaborator added to a Channel will have access to add new content, customize, download, and enable podcasting. They have full access to all of a Channel’s features.

The Account Owner, Managers, and Channel collaborators can set a Channel to be locked. Once locked, Channel collaborators and viewers must log in to access it.

For more information on Channels, as well as their permissions, head on over to the Channels page.

Private Sharing FAQ

Why don’t I set a password for my Viewers?

If you are looking to Password protect your media rather than sharing privately to users on your account, check out our require password feature. All your Viewers need to do is enter the password to the video’s password gate rather than be signed in as a User on the account.

Can I export Private Viewer Sessions?

At this point, no. If you’d like more stats around your Viewers' experience, we recommend embedding your video behind a paywall or login on a third-party site. This will give you access to all of Wistia’s core stats features, and keep your content private. Private User Sessions will only show Viewer and Collaborator heatmaps.

I need access to a folder, can Wistia help?

To maintain account security, we cannot add Viewers or Collaborators to Wistia accounts. You should contact whoever originally invited you to the Wistia account to request more access.

Can I entirely ignore my own stats?

Yep! We have IP Filtering functionality for that.

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