How to Private Stream on Twitch in 2021

This is a comprehensive guide on how to private stream on Twitch.

Do you want to test your audio and video quality before going live in a private Twitch stream? Or maybe you want to set up a private stream only your friends can watch? Or you’re wondering how you can set up a subscriber-only stream?

Great! Let’s answer these questions for you.

In this article you’ll learn:

🎬 This article is part of our Start Streaming on Twitch series.


How to set up a private Twitch stream

Setting up a private stream within Twitch, isn’t actually possible unless you use Inspector (which I will show you later).

There is a work-around though, and that is to simply create an ALT account.

This ALT account won’t have any followers or subscribers so no one will be alerted or aware that you’re streaming.

Here’s how you make your Twitch stream as private as possible:

  1. Create an ALT account with an inconspicuous name
  2. Start your private Twitch stream with no title, tag, or category
  3. Give the link to whoever your want to privately stream to

This may sound like a silly method to pull off a private stream, but it works! No one will find your private stream. Did you know there are 9 million+ streamers that go live every month? If you don’t put a title, tag, or category, your ‘private’ stream will be buried at the bottom of the Twitch directory, never to be found.


How to test your Twitch stream with Inspector.twitch.tv

Now if you’re looking to start a private stream for testing purposes, we have a better solution for you: Twitch Inspector!

Inspector.twitch.tv is an application that is created so you can test the bitrate quality of your Twitch stream, before going live.

This is a great way to test your internet connection before going live to ensure that you won’t run into any problems.

You can use this tool before starting your very first stream, whenever you stream from a different location, or simply to improve the quality of your stream.

This tool can also be used to find out why your internet connection feels laggy when streaming.

Using Inspector is completely free and easy to do, here’s how it works:

Step 1: Go to Inspector.twitch.tv

Log in using your Twitch credentials and authorize Inspector.

Don’t worry, you can revoke the authorization at any time from your Twitch dashboard.

how to private stream on Twitch using Inspector

Step 2: Run a stream test

test your internet connection on twitch using inspector

Once arrived at the Inspector dashboard, you’ll be able to run a stream test.

Hit the purple button that says ‘run a stream test’.

A popup window will then prompt you to fill in your Twitch Stream key.

[YOURSTREAMKEY]?bandwidthtest=true

You can find your Twitch stream key from your creator dashboard on Twitch.

how to run a stream test on inspector.twitch.tv
how to find your twitch stream key

Dashboard > Settings > Stream

The first option on this page should be your stream key, copy this.

Once you have copied your stream key, navigate to your OBS software.

Settings > Stream > Stream to custom Ingest

Paste your stream key into the bottom field.

AND add this line after: ?bandwidthtest=true

So your whole streamkey will look something like this: live_0000000_xxxxxxxxxxxx?bandwidthtest=true

(disregard the red message, you’ll be able to switch back to the recommended settings once you’re done testing)

how to copy/paste your streamkey in your OBS software

Step 3: GO LIVE

Once your OBS streamkey is replaced with your streamkey + the inspector key, you want to hit GO LIVE in your OBS software.

Inspector will now receive the data from your stream!

Don’t worry, you won’t actually go live on Twitch once you hit that button. This is a private stream and used to feed data to Inspector so it can test your connection quality.

Once you’re done testing your Twitch stream, switch back to the recommended settings in your OBS software by clicking the big red button that reads ‘use recommended settings’. When you navigate to Settings > Stream > Stream to custom Ingest.


Alternative ways to private stream

If you’re looking to set up a private stream for your significant other, friends, or family you can use other private platforms that aren’t Twitch.

After all, a private Twitch stream isn’t really private.

Here’s two hassle-free ways you can REALLY go private:

1. Private livestream on Discord

By sharing your screen in your very own discord server, you won’t have to worry about anyone uninvited ever showing up to the party.

Don’t worry, installing discord is quick and easy (I’m sure you already have it…), and setting up a discord server is a swift and straightforward process as well.

2. Private livestream on YouTube

Anyone with a YouTube channel can live stream to a private audience by changing the audience to ‘unlisted’. This way, only the people you send the link to will be able to watch your Livestream.

How to subscriber-only stream on Twitch

Another way to private stream on Twitch is to host a subscriber-only stream. This means that only your loyal subscribers (those that actually pay to see your content) will be able to watch and engage with this stream.

This can be a great way to reward some of your loyal followers with an exclusive stream.

Obviously, you’ll need to be a Twitch Partner or Affiliate in order to host these but that’s not the only requirement Twitch has set…

Subscriber-only stream requirements:

How to set your stream to subscriber-only

If you qualify for subscriber-only streams, you’ll have the option in your creator dashboard under Audience.

Once you’ve changed your audience to sub-only, you can go live.

Please note that VIPs and Moderators will be able to view the subscriber-only stream as well, regardless of whether or not they are subscribed. You’ll have to manually revoke their access if you don’t want them to view the stream.


Now it’s your turn

Well, that should cover all the ways you can privately stream on Twitch! You can use an ALT account (there is no other way to do this) or if you want to test the quality of your stream, you can use Twitch Inspector instead.

If you just want to stream privately to friends and family, you are much better off using discord or YouTube instead as those platforms actually allow you to go completely private.

I leave it up to you pick your preferred method to private stream.


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