YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
In actuality, over 30 million people watch 5 billion videos every single day on YouTube.
If you want to save videos to watch later, you will need to understand how to download YouTube videos effectively. You can download YouTube videos to formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you just need audio, you can convert YouTube videos into MP3 files.
With all these ways to download and access videos on demand, I created this resource with the latest ways to download YouTube videos this year.
Disclaimer: Please note, I may get affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no cost to you. However, these are the best tools I’ve tested for downloading and converting YouTube videos to MP3 files.
Is Downloading YouTube Videos Legal?
YouTube has a fairly straightforward Terms of Service that delineates what a viewer can or can’t do on the stage.
Downloading videos without prior consent, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of the terms of service.
Whilst downloading YouTube videos is a criminal act, YouTube has made no desire to penalize users for downloading movies. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the correct licenses are legal to download. Plus, if you’re just using the video for personal 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 various licensors of the Content.”
In other words, you can watch Youtube videos, but only from Google applications.
However, third-party apps will continue to sprout up online and let people download YouTube Videos. It’s tough to enforce or prohibit users for exploiting them you can still watch YouTube videos when you are not signed in.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide if downloading videos from YouTube for personal use is something you should be doing.
What Are the Steps to Download Youtube Videos?
Downloading videos from YouTube is an easy and straightforward process.
The first way to download YouTube videos would be to use a video converter.
Download YouTube Videos Using a Video Downloading Tool.
Working with a YouTube downloader is the quickest way to download YouTube videos. Let us look at it step by step:
Choose 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 provides great features like batch downloading, saving playlists, and downloads in 720p, 1080p, and 4k. You may even extract YouTube subtitles and save them in over 50 languages.
Give 4K Download a try and find a 14-day money-back guarantee.
There are some other tools out there and even though there are some decent free tools, the paid versions provide way higher quality.
Features to Look for in A YouTube Downloading Tool.
Quality of The Video — The converted file should have standard video quality for excellent viewing. Ideally, you should be able to control the quality of the video. It might range between low, medium, or high. It’s even better if you can choose specific video resolution like 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos in various languages. In such situations, the use of subtitles is essential whilst playing it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those special videos along with the subtitles. If you like a specific band, you might want to download their entire discography. And if you like a film director, you might want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple File Format Compatibility — You may want to download and save videos in multiple formats within your file manager. Having various options to choose from, like MP3, MP4, FLAC, or AAC, allows you to be more flexible.
Built-In Video Editor — You may want to view a particular song in the midst of a video. Or you might want to edit out a specific part of a film. Video editing needs can appear at any point in time, which makes it an essential feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You can try out Any Video Converter (AVC) that includes a built-in editor.
Speed — The application should be able to download and convert videos fast. The download times ideally shouldn’t be highly affected by fluctuations in net and wi-fi connectivity.
Suppose you’re using an online video downloading tool. In this case, you need to visit YouTube and open the movie that you want to download.
You can just copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
You can open the application in a new tab on the same window. When it opens, it will show a text box for you to enter the URL.
Here’s 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.
Paste URL y2mate
in the event you’re using a downloadable tool, you want to download and install it on your computer first. Once you run it, it is going to supply you with the same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be careful about unnecessary software you may have to download also. Steer clear of 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 have to look into alternative YouTube apps that work in the Google Play Store or with different smartphones. And if you are downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, you will find a host of other options to select from.
Once you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you will find a host of choices. As an example, y2mate lets you decide on the video format you want to download, video quality, and also the file size.
Finally, pick the option you want and click on the”Download” option.
Some of these tools also allow you to download YouTube videos in formats like WMV, MPG, AVI, ASF, M2TS, 3GP, 3G2, FLV, MKV, SWF, WEBM, HTML5 WEBM, HTML5 OGG, HTML5, and much more.
If you’re searching for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to save all the videos that are downloaded. You may face some confusion if you’re using a VPN because tools usually highlight on your IP address over the video URL you input. So if you are a VPN user, you might want to change the place for proper downloads.
Once the video gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you want.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You do not always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s pretty simple to download YouTube videos straight from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Open YouTube on your browser and head into the movie that you want to download.
Add’ss’ From The URL.
Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’
After you have entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your keyboard.
Next, you get redirected to a free download website.
Proceed to the Download Website
Once redirected, there are plenty of free services to use that you don’t need 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 have to copy and paste any connection. Your video is also ready to receive downloaded — all you will need to do is click on the’Download’ button.
You also get to select the format and the quality of the video. Lastly, click on the”download” option, and you’ll have your video within a couple of seconds.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos with Browser Add-Ons?
You may not want to tinker around with the YouTube video URL. And some of you may not need to use any third party tool to download the videos.
In this instance, using add-ons in your browser is just the solution you need.
Choose An Add-on.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could need.
The fantastic news 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 is an example of a similar add-on known as’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
Opera Add-Ons YouTube Downloader
Download The Add-on.
The approach is easy in Opera. And it is 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 color. Moreover, be certain you download the correct add-on concerning the browser you are using. They won’t work otherwise.
After the add-on gets downloaded, install it. If the add-in doesn’t work after installation, then restart your computer.
Next, head into the YouTube video that you want to download. Once you’re there, you will notice an icon on the top right-hand (for Opera users).
When you install this add-in, you get some choices:
Next, click on the”quick download” option, and you will have the video installed in your system.
You won’t receive the direct download option from YouTube no matter what browser you use if you don’t use an add-on.
Choose Your File Format.
Most add-ons provide you with a variety of options to save the video. Choices range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Ordinarily, a pop-up floats up during the download option, asking for your preferences.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos using a Virtual Desktop?
Using a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another easy way to download YouTube videos.
Here is how you can do it.
Head to The YouTube Video.
First, take a look at the YouTube platform and type the title of the video that you want to see and download. As soon as you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the movie starts playing.
Add”vd” To The URL.
Now the practice 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 insert the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check out this:
Next, you get redirected to the Django site for the video you wish to download.
Choose the Video Format and Quality.
On the VDYouTube site, scroll down to Pick the quality and the arrangement of the YouTube video. Based on your requirements, you can proceed.
As soon as you click on the”download” option, it is simply a matter of seconds before it gets installed in your computer system.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos with a VLC Player? VLC Media player is secure and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Here is how:
Head To YouTube Video & Copy The URL.
Head to YouTube and open the movie that you want to download. Next, copy the URL of the video.
Open VLC Media Player.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this step to open the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar to your advantage.
Of course, this is true when you are using a Windows OS.
When you’re using Mac, the flow is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this stage, you’ll see a page with a text editor, no matter what OS you’re using. Here, paste the copied URL of the YouTube video that you want to download.
When you click on the’play’ option, the video starts playing on VLC.
Next, click on the ‘Tools’ option on the top right-hand corner.
There, you will find an option called’codec information.’ It is also possible to reach the’codec information’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
When you click on the’codec info,’ a new window opens up.
You want to copy the information of the video from the location text box in the bottom of the page. This measure is pretty straightforward for Windows users.
However, if you’re a Mac user, you want to right-click on the field and click on the’Open URL’ option.
If you’re on a Windows system, you copied the URL. Paste it on your web browser and click’Enter.’ The measure is redundant for Mac users.
At this point, the video should be playing your browser online. Right-click on the movie and select the’Save video as’ option.
The movie will now begin downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default title would be’videoplayback.’ Once it gets downloaded, save it with your other movies.
Although the process might seem lengthy at the moment, 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 best 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 storing them on your computer or telephone helps you never miss out on the movies you prefer.
Can you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use?