A while ago, Twitch decided to remove password-protected private streams from its platform. Now your best bet is to use an alt (or 'testing') account or use a different platform altogether.
For a long time, I used to stream privately on Twitch using alt accounts. However, lately, I prefer using alternate platforms like Discord to host a private watch party or simply to test audio and video quality for live streaming my setup.
Keep reading if you want to learn how I do it, and why I made the shift.
If you're determined to use Twitch as your private streaming platform, the best option is to make a new Twitch account. Let's call this a "test account" or "alt account."
However, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, make sure to use random letters and numbers for your username. Also, don't link it to any of your social media accounts or anything else that may reveal your identity.
Tip: It's possible to create multiple Twitch accounts using the same phone number and email address. You just need to enable these in your security settings.
Once you've created the new account, start a public stream but this time, DON'T set any game, title, tags, or category. You can then share the direct link to this live stream with your friends or family.
If you stream privately using the above method on a brand new account, it's unlikely that anyone will find your live stream on Twitch. Also, it won't be easily picked up by the algorithm.
While not exactly a "private" stream, a subscriber-only stream can be a good option if you want to restrict access to your loyal fans.
But there's a catch here.
To host subscriber-only streams, you must have a Twitch Partner or Affiliate status. Both these have certain criteria which can be found here. In addition, you shouldn't be violating any community guidelines and terms of service.
The steps to host a subscriber stream on Twitch are mentioned below:
This will create a private stream on Twitch restricted to just your subscribers. (Your friends can use a free Twitch Prime subscription if they have an Amazon Prime account.)
Yes, this isn't exactly a private Twitch stream, but it's still a viable option to ensure that random folks don't watch your stream.
If you want to host a private stream on Twitch just for testing purposes (like checking audio, video, or connection), Twitch Inspector is the best option for you.
It's free and easy to use, although you can't share any link or invite your friends to watch this private stream. It also won't send any 'Go live' notifications to any of your followers.
Here's how to do it:
Twitch inspector will show you details regarding bitrate, live server charts, fps, and other technical information.
Once you finish testing, make sure to remove the "?bandwidthtest=true" flag from the streaming key so that the subsequent streams go live on your Twitch account like normal.
Twitch used to have a password-protected private stream feature long ago, but they got rid of it.
They didn't disclose the actual reason for this, but it's thought that some people used it to stream pirated or adult content, which was absolutely against the ToS.
Additionally, it also messed with their revenue model since private streams meant fewer viewers and wasted resources.
For now, this feature is not available and it's unlikely that these private streams will return to Twitch anytime soon.
Since the options to stream privately on Twitch are fairly limited, I suggest you take a look at some other platforms you can use. Four of the most popular alternatives are listed below:
YouTube Live is one of the best ways to privately stream to a select few people. Just log in to your Google or YouTube account and create a live stream with an "unlisted" audience setting.
Once you're live, you can share the streaming link with your loved ones. Remember that only people with this URL can access your YouTube Live stream.
On Discord, simply create a new Discord server and invite your friends to this server using the + icon in the left panel.
Once all your friends have joined the Discord server, ask everyone to join a voice channel (speaker icon). Now you can share your screen (or use streaming software) and only server members will have access to this stream.
Like Twitch, Facebook Gaming also doesn't have a private streaming option. However, there's a workaround for that.
All you need to do is create a private page on Facebook and invite the people you want to share the stream. You can simply hit the go live button to start streaming.
The best part is that Facebook provides specific settings to choose who is allowed to see posts, streams, and the links you publish.
In your Steam application, go to Settings > Broadcasting and find the Privacy Settings drop-down menu. Set this to Friends can request to watch my games.
This way, only the people in your "Friended" list will be able to watch the stream. You can also allow or deny specific viewers watching the stream.
That was it for this guide. I hope you learned all the possible methods to stream privately on Twitch. If you really want to host a fully-fledged private stream with your friends, the best thing to do is use a different platform.
Whatever you do, make sure that all the content you stream follows the community guidelines and terms of service of the platform. This will ensure that you don't get flagged or banned from the platforms.