YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
In fact, over 30 million visitors watch 5 billion videos each and every day on YouTube.
If you want to save videos to watch later, you will need to learn how to download YouTube videos efficiently. You may download YouTube videos to formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much more. Or if you only need audio, you can convert YouTube videos into MP3 files.
With so many ways to download and get videos on demand, I created this resource with the latest methods to download YouTube videos this year.
Disclaimer: Please note, I may get affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no charge to you. However, these are the best tools I’ve tested for downloading and converting YouTube videos into MP3 files.
YouTube has a pretty straightforward Terms of Service that delineates what a viewer can or can not do on the platform.
Downloading videos without prior consent, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of the terms of service.
Whilst downloading YouTube videos is technically a criminal action, YouTube has made no desire to penalize users for downloading movies. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the right licenses are legal to download. Plus, if you’re just using the video for private use, it can be considered legal.
YouTube says,”You will not copy, reproduce, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, or otherwise exploit any Content for any other purposes without the prior written approval of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content.”
In other words, you can watch Youtube videos, but just from Google applications.
However, third-party programs will continue to sprout up online and let people download YouTube Videos. It’s difficult to enforce or ban users for exploiting them you can still watch YouTube videos when you’re not signed in.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide if downloading videos from YouTube for private use is something that you should be doing.
Downloading videos from YouTube is a simple and straightforward process.
The first method to download YouTube videos would be to use a video converter.
Download YouTube Videos With a Video Downloading Tool.
Using a YouTube downloader is the fastest way to download YouTube videos. Let us look at it step by step:
Pick a Downloading Tool/Converter.
First, pick the best possible YouTube downloading tool.
In my opinion, the best tool on the market is 4K Download.
4K Video Downloader
4K Download works with Windows, Mac, and Linux and offers great features like batch downloading, saving playlists, and downloads in 720p, 1080p, and 4k. You may even extract YouTube subtitles and save them in more than 50 languages.
Give 4K Download a try and get a 14-day money-back guarantee.
There are some other programs out there and even though there are some good free tools, the paid versions provide way higher quality.
Features to Look for in A YouTube Downloading Tool.
Quality of The Video — The transformed file must have standard video quality for excellent viewing. Ideally, you should be able to control the quality of the video. It may range between low, medium, or high. It’s even better if you are able to choose specific video resolution such as 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos that are in different languages. In such situations, the use of subtitles is vital while playing with it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those particular videos together with the subtitles.
Batch Downloading — You can download the files individually or in bulk based on playlists from YouTube channels.
If you like a specific band, you might want to download their entire discography. And if you like a film director, you may want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple Document Format Compatibility — You might choose to download and save videos in multiple formats in your file manager. Having various options to choose from, such as MP3, MP4, FLAC, or AAC, allows you to be more flexible.
Built-In Video Editor — you might want to view a specific song in the midst of a video. Or you may choose to edit out a specific part of a film. Video editing needs can appear at any point in time, making it an essential feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You can try any Video Converter (AVC) which comes with a built-in editor.
Speed — The application should have the ability to convert and download videos fast. The download times ideally should not be highly affected by changes in internet and wi-fi connectivity.
Copy The Video Address Bar URL From YouTube.
Suppose you are using an internet video downloading tool. In this case, you need to head to YouTube and open the video you want to download.
You can simply copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
It is possible to open the application in a new tab on the same window. Once it opens, it will display a text box that you enter the URL.
Here is a screenshot from y2mate where you can download the video. You simply must paste the URL in the text box above and click on the’Start’ option.
Glue URL y2mate
In case you’re using a downloadable tool, you need to download and install it on your computer first. As soon as you run it, it is going to provide you with the same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software that you may need to download also. Avoid those whenever possible. Some good alternatives are Keepvid, which can help you download video files with Apple MacOS, iPad, iPhone, and Android devices.
You may also need to check into alternative YouTube programs that work from the Google Play Store or with different smartphones. And if you are downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, there are a host of other choices to choose from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
Once you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll get a host of choices. For instance, y2mate lets you decide on the video format you want to download, video quality, and also the file size.
If you’re searching for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to save all of the videos that are downloaded. You might face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually emphasize on your IP address within the video URL you enter. So if you are a VPN user, you may want to change the place for proper downloads.
When the video gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you want.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You don’t always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s pretty simple to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
Open YouTube in your browser and head into the video you want to download.
Add’ss’ From The URL.
Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’ but before ‘youtube.com.’
After you have entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your computer.
Next, you get redirected to a free download website.
Go to the Download Website
Once redirected, there are plenty of free services to use that you don’t have to download or install. The moment you press the’Enter’ button, you get redirected to its website.
You’ll see that the text editor already has the video URL, so you don’t need to copy and paste any connection. Your video is also ready to receive downloaded — all you need to do is click the’Download’ button.
You also get to choose the format and the quality of the video. Lastly, click on the”download” option, and you’ll have your video within a few seconds.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos with Browser Add-Ons?
You might not want to tinker around with the YouTube video URL. And some of you might not want to use any third-party tool to download the movies.
In this instance, using add-ons in your browser is just the solution you need.
Choose An Add-on.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The fantastic thing is that there are a variety of options available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited to Firefox and Chrome, while others are standalone tools.
Here’s an example of a similar add-on known as’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
The process is simple in Opera. And it’s more or less the same for other browsers too.
In Opera, you can just go ahead and click on the’Add to Opera’ option displayed in green colour. Moreover, make certain you download the correct add-on concerning the browser you’re using. They won’t function otherwise.
After the add-on gets downloaded, install it. If the add-in doesn’t work after installation, then restart your PC.
Next, head to the YouTube video you want to download. As soon as you’re there, you will see an icon on the top right-hand side (for Opera users).
When you install this add-on, you get some choices:
Next, click on the”fast download” option, and you’ll have the video installed in your system.
You won’t receive the direct download option from YouTube regardless of what browser you use unless you use an add-on.
Choose Your File Format.
Most add-ons supply you with many different options to save the movie. Alternatives range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Ordinarily, a pop-up pops during the download option, asking for your preferences.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos with a Virtual Desktop?
Working with a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another simple way to download YouTube videos.
Here is how you can do it.
First, visit the YouTube platform and type the name of the video that you need to see and download. As soon as you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the video begins playing.
Now the process is similar to when you directly download videos by adding’ss’ to the URL. In this case, you need to edit the video address and add the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check this out:
Next, you get redirected to the Django website for the video you would like to download.
On the VDYouTube website, scroll down to choose the quality and the arrangement of the YouTube video. Based on your needs, you can proceed.
Once you click on the”download” option, it is simply a matter of seconds until it gets installed on your computer system.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos using a VLC Player?
If you don’t have the VLC media player in your computer system, then you can download it. VLC Media player is secure and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Here is how:
Head to YouTube and start the movie you want to download. Then copy the URL of the movie.
Open VLC Media Player.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this step to start the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar to your advantage.
When you open the VLC media player, head over to the’Media’ option, and click on it.
Of course, this is true when you’re using a Windows OS.
When you’re using Mac, the stream is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this phase, you will see a page with a text editor, no matter what OS you are using. Here, paste the copied URL of the YouTube video that you need to download.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
Next, click on the ‘Tools’ option on the top right-hand corner.
There, you’ll find an option called’codec information.’ It is also possible to reach the’codec information’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
The window looks something like this:
You want to copy the information of the movie from the location text box at the bottom of the page. This step is pretty straightforward for Windows users.
But if you’re a Mac user, you need to right-click on the field and click on the’Open URL’ option.
Copy/Paste the URL.
If you’re on a Windows system, you copied the URL. Paste it onto your web browser and click on’Enter.’ The step is redundant for Mac users.
Save the Video.
At this stage, the video should be playing your browser online. Right-click on the video and select the’Save video as’ option.
The video will now begin downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default title would be’videoplayback.’ When it gets downloaded, save it with your other movies.
Even though the process may seem lengthy right now, it’s pretty simple once you do it yourself.
There you have it — some of the best ways to download YouTube videos.
In my view, go with 4K Download — it is the ideal tool for video quality and MP3 conversions.
This tool enables you to access your favorite YouTube videos anytime, even without an Internet connection. Downloading videos and saving them on your computer or phone helps you never lose out on the movies you like.
Can you download YouTube videos? Let me know in the comments below.