By default the Pens, Projects, and Collections you create on CodePen are public. They show up in your public profile and live a public and social life — other users can heart them, find them in searches, and comment on them.

But you might not want that for every single thing you create. Perhaps you’re just testing something out quick. Perhaps your masterpiece is still a work-in-progress. Or perhaps you do want to share your work, but only with a select few. That’s where privacy is very useful!

PRO members can create private Pens, Projects, and Collections. Your private content is hidden from your CodePen profile and from search on CodePen.

How do I make something private?

Pens, Projects, and Collections all have a “Public” and “Private” toggle button. You can set your content to private when you first create it, or you can choose to make it private later.

You can also opt to make your content “Private by Default” in your account’s privacy and safety settings. After you set your account to private by default, any new content you create will save as private on the first save.

You can always switch a private piece of content to public later if you’d like to share it with the community.

Pens and Projects

When you create a new Pen or Project, you can make it private on the first save by clicking the “Save as Private” button in the editor header.

The “Save as Private” button in a Pen header


When you make a new collection, you can set it to private on the “Create a New Collection” screen. Slide the privacy toggle from “Public” to “Private”.

How do I change something from public to private?

To make a public Pen, Project, or Collection private later, slide the privacy toggle button from “Public” to “Private” and save your setting.

On Pens and Projects, the Privacy toggle is in the Settings menu.

On Collections, the privacy toggle is on the “Edit Collection” menu.

The Pen, Post, Project, or Collection “slug” changes from just a few characters (e.g. “aGkBr”) to many characters (e.g. cbcad1d82025fbc57a7d2620ae66d8e5). This is so random that it is impossible for anyone to guess. Keep in mind that any links to the content’s public URL will break when you change it to private. Anyone visiting the public URL will see our friendly 404 page.

You can make any private Pen, Project, or Collection public by sliding the privacy toggle from “Private” to “Public”.

The Private Icon

Your private content all gets a privacy “lock” icon to help you recognize them on any item. Only you can see this lock.

How do I enable the private by default setting?

Visit your account’s privacy and safety settings. Slide the toggle under “Private by Default” to “On”. When you enable this setting, any new content you create will save as private automatically. This setting does not change the privacy status of any content made before private by default is enabled.

Can I still share my private work?

Yes, you can! If you give a link to your private content to someone else, they can see it. Nobody will be able to find something you’ve set to private unless you give them the link. But once you do share it, anyone with that link can see the Pen.

If you share a link to a private Collection, anyone with that link can see all of the Pens in the Collection, including private Pens. This is a great way to share a group of private work with a client or employer.

Will my private work show up in Google Search Results?

We do our best to make sure that it doesn’t. There will be no links on CodePen to your private content anywhere. We also insert noindex meta tags to tell Google not to include these pages in search results. However, we don’t control Google. If a private URL is shared and linked to a lot, there is some possibility that it could be found in Google.

What happens if I downgrade my account?

When you downgrade your account, you lose the option to make private saves. If you make changes to any private content after downgrading to a free account, it will become public when you save it. Otherwise, it will remain private.

Are Private Pens and Projects licensed?

Public Pens and Projects on CodePen are MIT licensed, but Private Pens and Projects have no license at all. This is so you can apply your own license if you wish. For example, if you wish to send work-in-progress to a client, you can still be safe in that you retain full ownership and the code can’t be copied freely. Read More.

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