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How To Make a Private Tumblr Blog

Tumblr is a great service for sharing media and blog posts, but what if you don’t want to share your experiences with the world?  Here’s how to create a private, password-protected blog for your family or business.

By default, Tumblr blogs are available for all the world to see.  Your boss, the guy down the street, or a kid in Japan, all can see anything you post.  This is great for most blogs, as, after all, most of us blog to get our ideas out to the world.  We get excited when more people read our posts.  But there is still a time and place for privacy, especially in our hyperconnected world today where almost everything is public.  Luckily, Tumblr does have an option to create a private, password protected blog, so even if you only want to post pictures to share with Grandma, you can still use Tumblr to do it quickly, stylishly, and privately.

Create a Password Protected Tumblr

As strange as it may seem, if you only want a private Tumblr, you’ll first need to create a standard, public Tumblr.  They don’t allow your default blog to be password protected and private, but you can always add a second, password protected blog for free.  If you don’t already have a Tumblr blog, check out our article on how to quickly get a Tumblr blog setup.  If you only want a private blog, you can just leave the first, public site with the default theme and no content, or otherwise use it as you wish.

Now, to make your private Tumblr blog, click the down arrow beside your blog’s name on the right side and click Create a new blog.

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Enter a name and address for your new blog, and then check the box beside Password protect this blog and enter a password if you want to keep it secure.  Once you’re finished, click Create Private Blog.

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That’s all, folks!  As soon as you’ve created the new private blog, you’ll be presented with a new dashboard.  Now you can post pictures, text, quotes, links, and more, and they’re all hidden behind your password firewall.

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The only people that will be able to visit your site are those you give your password to.  When you browse to your_new_private_tumblr.tumblr.com, you’ll see a password box.  Enter the password you created, and click Confirm to see the content.  You can now give this password out to family, friends, coworkers, or whoever you want to see it.

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Your Tumblr dashboard, by default, will go to the first, public blog you setup.  To access your private blog’s dashboard, you’ll have to click the down arrow beside your blog’s name as before.  This time, select your new Tumblr from the list, and you’ll be presented with your private blog’s dashboard as above.

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Turn an Existing Second Tumblr Into a Private Blog

If you already have a second Tumblr blog on your account and would like to make it private, open your second blog’s dashboard as above.  Now click Customize under the second blog’s name.

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Now, on the Customize page, click the Advanced tab.  Check the Password protect this blog box, and enter the password of your choice.  You may also wish to uncheck the next two boxes, which will prevent search engines from seeing your blog and not let your blog get promoted by Tumblr.

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Once you’re done, click Save + Close.

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Now your blog will be hidden behind a password, too!

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Conclusion

No matter what you’re blogging about, sometimes you just might want to keep it a bit private.  Tumblr makes it slightly complicated to have a private blog, but once you have one, it works great.  Since your visitors will only have to enter a password, it’s much easier for them to use than many other systems that would require them to first have an account.  Now you can post away, and not worry about what other’s think!

If you don’t already have a Tumblr blog, check out our article on how to Create a Tumblr Blog.  Don’t forget; even though your new blog is private, you can still make it look as nice as you want!

Matthew digs up tasty bytes about Windows, Virtualization, and the cloud, and serves them up for all to enjoy!

  • Published 07/23/10

Comments (41)

  1. mindwork

    Thanx, Tumblr is nice blog service and I love it! )

  2. dan

    Hello! Thanks for the new knowledge.
    I have a question: In order that I can create a private blog, do I already need to have another public blog on Tumblr? Or can I directly create a private blog ( as my first Tumblr blog), following the details you have elucidated above?
    Thanks!

  3. Matthew Guay

    @Dan – No, sorry, it’s not possible to make your main Tumblr blog private. You’ll have to make a new one; just follow our steps above, though, and it’ll be easy to get one setup using your existing account!

  4. Madyy

    How do i post to my new pastword protected blog?

  5. Matthew Guay

    @Madyy – As mentioned above, you’ll need to select your new private blog’s name from the drop-down menu on the top right of Tumblr. Then you’ll see a new dashboard for your private blog, and you can post from here as normal.

  6. SandraM

    I have a public and a private tumblr blogs. My problem is: how to publish via e-mail to the second (private) blog if at the dashboard you get only one email adress and the message goes directly to the public one! Do you’ve any idea how to trick it?

  7. Anna

    Thanks for the info! :)

  8. Najim

    Making a tumblr blog private is definitely a good idea. But are there any free services that would help me to write and keep a personal online diary. I have heard of Penzu, but it doesnt work well for me as updating from mobile is supported only with a Pro account. Is there any other similar, better, free services available ???

  9. Kevin

    Actually, I am using a cavetor.com as my private blog site. I found this site few months ago, cause I need to share my personal content and photos to my family members and my best friends. It is perfect for me, I love to use it. It is amazing. Now, me and my parents and my sisters are using it to share our daily life. It is like the facebook wall, but private.

  10. Joyce

    I’ve made a private Tumblr, but search and tags don’t seem to work.
    When I go to the tag URL, it always says “The URL you requested could not be found”.
    And search doesn’t come up with any results.

    The popular Tag Cloud add-on seems to clash with the password capability.

    Any work arounds?

  11. Garry

    Can you set it up as another blog that’s not private?. so i have two tumblrs with different content? and als does the second one get sent to my face book like i have on my first one or does it have it’s own settings.
    I also wonder if people can tell that both are linked, if both are not protected with a password?

    Thanks for the info.

  12. michael

    Is there any way to turn a private blog into a separate primary blog?

  13. Matthew Guay

    @michael – No, sorry, there’s no way that I know of (other than copy/pasting all your old posts, moving your domain… ugh :) ).

  14. chris

    i just set up a public page and it was working fine, but then i hit something earlier tonight and now i’m getting The URL you requested could not be found on my page. My dashboard is fine. All my posts are there, but I cannot figure out what did to make it do this. Any ideas?

  15. jen

    Matthew,

    How can people invited to the private tumblr also post after they put in the password to access the private tumblr?

  16. Jenny

    Just wondering, I have a private blog but don’t know how to change the password? People have found out so I need to know soonish :/

  17. brittany

    I have a private blog on tumblr with multiple page members. Is there a way to send some kind of a notification out when one of us posts so that the others know automatically???

  18. Matt

    I understand how to make a second private blog,but if I give the password to a friend or family member,is there a way they can reblog what i have posted?
    a few friends have told me that they dont see a “follow” or a “reblog” button,is there some form of code or way in which i can allow them to reblog?

  19. Sam

    Thanks so much for the article. It helps a lot. Just one question: if you post something on your private blog, will people following your public blog be able to see it on their dashboard?

  20. Mae

    This was very helpful. I had a quick question though when it comes to private blogs. I have noticed that if I log out and go to my private blog page that I only have to enter the password once and then every time after that that I want to access that page, it is automatic, no password required. Is there a way to change this? I thought that maybe it was just because I have chrome and a password extension so I tried it on my husbands comp and it was the same there as well. Is there a way to make it so that every time you come to that URL you have to enter the password?

    Thank you!

  21. Feli

    i cant seem to find the password to protect this blog button…

  22. z

    how do you add you personal blog onto your pages on your main blog?

  23. Shannon

    is there anyway to post a link to your password protected blog onto your default one?

  24. Izrar.

    I havn’t been able to find anyway to customise my personal blog, how would I go about doing this? I can spiff up my normal one but I have two others I added after and I can’t seem to touch them.

  25. Damon

    Is there anyway to make just a page password protected on your blog? I don’t want to make another blog I just want to make one page on my public blog private, is this possible?

  26. Karen

    I am also having trouble getting a Tumblr Tag Cloud onto my private Tumblr site. Help!

  27. Jasmine

    Is it possible to customize your private blog?
    Like, change the theme and whatnot?
    Thank you very much.

  28. Patrick

    I created a blog this weekend but forgot to password protect it. Can I now change it and password protect it?

  29. JOe

    is it possible to get an email notification when someone logs onto your private tumblr blog?

  30. Cheng

    Reply to Patrick: yes you set up password in customize, however you’ll have to make sure it’s a secondary blog.

    Reply to Jasmine: Yes it is possible to customize the private blog.

  31. lara

    Does tumblr have a feature that only the followers could see the blog the person being followed. i hope they would make one someday. :(

  32. Alba

    Can I change the colors and/or add image to the page where people write down their password to enter my private blog?

  33. private

    I never used Tumblr so I am trying to follow your directions. Not working!
    1]there is not an arrow beside my name so I can not make a second blog
    2]there is not a ‘password protected’ slot under ‘customize’ and ‘advanced’
    did they change the format since these directions were made?
    so frustrating

  34. NM

    Hey! So I’ve made a private tumblr, I’m going to live abroad for 4 weeks and I would like to keep my family and friends updated with what’s going on. So tumblr is perfect for that, BUT I have one important question: my family and friends haven’t got tumblr. Can they leave me messages on my blog or not?

    THANKS!

  35. paula

    My private blog will ask me for the password. And when I enter it, I can enter my blog. BUT. It doesn’t stay private for some reason. when I log out, and type in my URL, It won’t ask me for my password. I don’t know why it does that. help?

  36. april

    My friend made her private account and what not, she shared her password with me. I don’t know how or where to enter this password to view the blog…?

  37. y

    is it possible to have another dashboard for a second public tumblr blog
    ?

  38. Rhyannon

    I’ve made a private Tumblr, but search and tags don’t seem to work.
    When I go to the tag URL, it always says “The URL you requested could not be found”.
    And search doesn’t come up with any results.

  39. Alysha

    Hey! So I have a password protected blog, but I was wondering is there any way to password protect it on my dash and from my own account? My best friend and I share a tumblr but I don’t want her to see and read the stuff on my personal blog.. But because she has access to the tumblr account password she can view it.. Help?

  40. Tom

    Thanks for the article. I’m trying to do something similar. I need to have my client’s blog only show up on the their website and not on Tumblr.com itself. Is that possible?

    The blog appearance has been customized to work only within the framework of their website. Viewing on Tumblr’s site makes no sense. I tried putting in a javascript re-direct but that created a loop and nearly crashed my computer.

    thank you

  41. Erin

    Informative, put you might want to update the pictures, as the tumblr layout has changed quite a bit since they were taken

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