How to Make Your TikTok Account Public or Private: The Ultimate 2022 Guide

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Hey there! Have you found yourself wondering whether to make your TikTok account public or private? As a social media marketing guru and tech expert, I totally get it. Configuring your privacy settings on TikTok can be confusing with all the options.

Not to worry – I‘ve got you covered! In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll explain everything you need to know about making your TikTok profile public or private. You‘ll learn:

  • The key differences between public and private TikTok accounts
  • The pros and cons of each account type
  • Step-by-step instructions for changing your settings
  • Expert tips to optimize both public and private accounts
  • Reasons why TikTok may change your privacy against your wishes
  • How to decide if you should be public or private

Let‘s dive in and get you set up with the ideal TikTok account privacy settings for your needs!

Public vs Private: What‘s the Difference?

First things first – what exactly is the difference between a public and private account on TikTok?

Public accounts are visible to every single user on TikTok. Your profile information, videos, likes, followers, and all activity will be open for the world to see.

Private accounts offer more control over your privacy. Only approved followers can view your videos, likes, and profile information. Users have to request to follow you, which you can approve or deny.

Here‘s a breakdown of the key distinctions:

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Public Account Private Account
– Videos visible to all users – Only approved followers can view videos
– Anyone can follow without approval – Followers must request to follow you
– Increased potential for views, likes, shares – You control who sees profile and activity
– Easier to connect with new viewers – Harder to connect with new viewers
– Profile info visible to all – Limited audience reach and engagement

As you can see, public accounts offer more potential to reach a wide audience, while private accounts give you more control over privacy. Neither one is fundamentally "better" – it depends on your goals and preferences!

Next, let‘s look at the specific pros and cons of each option…

Pros and Cons of Public TikTok Accounts


  • Increased opportunities for views, likes, comments and shares
  • Easier to connect and engage with new viewers and followers
  • Videos can be shared more widely (e.g. in Duets, Stitches)
  • Profile information remains public
  • Better for influencers, brands, creators focused on growth


  • Less control over who can view your videos and profile
  • Increased potential for harassment from strangers
  • No approval needed for new followers
  • Private conversations less feasible
  • Limited privacy for personal information

Use Case Examples: artists seeking fame, businesses attracting customers, content creators looking to go viral

Pros and Cons of Private TikTok Accounts


  • You control who can view your videos and profile information
  • Followers require approval to see your content
  • More security and privacy for personal accounts
  • Avoid unwanted attention from strangers
  • Private conversations easier through direct messaging


  • Harder to attract new followers organically
  • Less potential for viral videos and growth in followers
  • Unable to share content widely through Duets, Stitches
  • Smaller reach since only approved followers see your content

Use Case Examples: personal accounts, teens concerned about privacy, harassment risks

As you can see, both public and private accounts come with unique benefits and drawbacks. The choice depends on your specific goals and priorities with using TikTok.

Now let‘s get into the step-by-step process for how to change your privacy settings…

How to Make Your TikTok Account Private

Ready to make your TikTok account private? Here‘s exactly how to do it in just a few simple steps:

  1. Open the TikTok app on your mobile device and tap on your profile icon in the bottom right corner.

  2. Tap on the 3-dot menu button in the top right corner and select "Settings and privacy."

  3. Tap on "Privacy." Under the "Discoverability" heading, toggle the switch for "Private account" on.

  4. Confirm that you want to make your account private when prompted.

That‘s it! TikTok will instantly make your account private across the platform.

You can also switch to a private account by:

  • Going to your profile, tapping the 3-dot menu, and selecting “Privacy”
  • Using the “Switch to Private Account” option under account settings

It only takes seconds. Once your account is private, you‘ll be able to control exactly who sees your TikTok presence.

How to Make Your TikTok Account Public

What if you change your mind and want to switch back to having a public profile? Just as easy. Here‘s how to make your TikTok account public again:

  1. Open TikTok and go to your profile page.

  2. Tap on the 3-dot menu button and choose "Settings and privacy."

  3. Select "Privacy" from the menu.

  4. Under "Discoverability," toggle the "Private account" switch to the off position.

That‘s all there is to it! TikTok will instantly revert your account back to public. Your profile, videos, likes, and followers will once again be visible to all TikTok users.

You can also make your account public by:

  • Tapping “Switch to Public Account” in account settings
  • Turning off “Private Account” in your profile privacy settings

Simple as that. You can seamlessly switch between private and public on TikTok in just seconds.

Expert Tips for Private Accounts

If you‘ve chosen to make your TikTok account private, here are my top pro tips for maximizing your experience:

  • Review followers regularly – Periodically check your approved followers list to remove any suspicious or spam accounts.

  • Be selective approving requests – Only approve follow requests from people you know and trust to maintain privacy.

  • Use Friends feature – Share videos privately with specific followers using TikTok‘s Friends tool.

  • Enable extra security – Turn on two-factor authentication and login verification for added protection.

  • Keep handle private – Be selective about who you share your exact @ handle with offline.

  • Direct message followers – Have private conversations using TikTok‘s direct messaging feature.

  • Limit oversharing – Avoid sharing overly personal/revealing content since followers are limited.

  • Share account selectively – Only share your private account details with close friends.

By following these tips, you can optimize your private TikTok profile while maintaining the utmost privacy and security!

Pro Tips for Public Profiles

Here are my top expert recommendations for making the most of a public TikTok account:

  • Use relevant hashtags – Include trending and niche hashtags in your captions to get discovered.

  • Post consistently – Aim to post high-quality videos at least 2-3x per week to build a loyal audience.

  • Engage with your audience – Reply to comments, follow commenters, and post content based on feedback.

  • Analyze your metrics – Review analytics weekly to identify ways to improve engagement and followers.

  • Collaborate with others – Duet popular videos in your niche or engage with influencers to gain exposure.

  • Go Live frequently – Host livestreams to engage your audience in real time and get on the "For You" page.

  • Promote your profile – Share your TikTok videos and profile link across all social media platforms.

  • Optimize your bio – Include relevant keywords and links in your profile bio for maximum click-throughs.

Follow these pro tips and your public TikTok account will be primed for exponential growth and engagement!

Making Your Account Public or Private: What‘s Best?

So when deciding between private and public, how do you know which is right for your TikTok presence? Here are the key factors to consider:

Account Purpose

  • Personal – Private is best for personal accounts to limit unwanted attn.
  • Professional – Public helps build your brand and follower base.

Desired Audience Reach

  • Broad audience – Public accounts have higher potential to "go viral".
  • Limited audience – Private limits views to only approved followers.

Type of Content

  • Original/creative – Public accounts help get your content seen and shared.
  • Personal/revealing – Private lets you control who sees more sensitive content.

Level of Engagement

  • High engagement – Public profiles generate more likes, comments, shares.
  • Low engagement – Private limits engagement to smaller approved follower base.

Privacy Preferences

  • Maximum privacy – Private accounts give you full control over profile/video visibility.
  • Public presence – Public means anyone can access your info and content.

Analyze these factors in the context of your goals, audience, content, and comfort level to decide if a public or private account is ideal for you. You can always change it later!

Why Does TikTok Keep Making My Account Private?

Have you suddenly noticed your TikTok account reverting back to private, even after you intentionally made it public? Frustrating, I know!

Here are the main reasons TikTok may be switching your account to private without your permission:

Age Restrictions – If you‘re under 16, TikTok automatically makes accounts private due to COPPA regulations. Even if you make it public, it will revert to private.

Violations – Breaking TikTok‘s community guidelines or terms of service can prompt the platform to temporarily force accounts to private.

Hacked Account – A hacked account may have been switched to private by the hacker. Reset your password as soon as possible.

Glitches – Bugs in the TikTok app occasionally cause accounts to change to private incorrectly. Try reinstalling the app or logging out and back in.

Shadowban – Accounts violating policies may get "shadowbanned", limiting visibility. TikTok sometimes does this by making accounts appear private.

If you‘re over 16 and TikTok keeps reverting your account to private, contact TikTok support. They can look into and resolve any platform bugs or issues on the backend causing the changes.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, whether to make your TikTok account public or private comes down to your specific goals and preferences on the platform.

The good news? You really can‘t make a "wrong" choice, since you can seamlessly switch between public and private at any time.

My advice is to start with whichever account type seems closest to your needs. Test it out for a few weeks. Check the analytics. See how it feels. Then make tweaks (or wholesale changes) to your privacy settings based on the experience.

The steps for changing your account privacy on TikTok are quick and easy. So don‘t be afraid to experiment and find your ideal fit!

I hope this guide gave you a full overview of the public vs private decision on TikTok. Ready to take control of your TikTok account settings like a pro? Let‘s do it! Feel free to reach out if you have any other TikTok tips or questions.


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.