YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
In actuality, over 30 million people watch 5 billion videos each and every day on YouTube.
If you would like to save videos to watch later, you need to learn how to download YouTube videos efficiently. You can download YouTube videos to formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you only need audio, you can convert YouTube videos to MP3 files.
With all these ways to download and get videos on demand, I created this resource with the most recent ways to download YouTube videos this year.
Let’s get started.
Disclaimer: Please noteI may receive affiliate reimbursement 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 not do on the platform.
Downloading videos without prior permission, 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 punish users for downloading videos. 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 states,”You shall 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.”
Quite simply, 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 difficult to enforce or prohibit users for exploiting them — you can still watch YouTube videos when you’re not signed in.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine if downloading videos from YouTube for private use is something you should be doing.
What Are the Steps to Download Youtube Videos?
Downloading videos from YouTube is a simple and straightforward process.
The first way to download YouTube videos is 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.
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 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 while there are some good free tools, the paid versions offer way higher quality.
Characteristics 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 can choose specific video resolution such as 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos that are in various languages. In such situations, the use of subtitles is vital whilst playing it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those particular videos together 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 Document Format Compatibility — You may choose 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 elastic.
Built-In Video Editor — you might want to view a specific song in the middle of a video. Or you might choose to edit out a specific portion of a film. Video editing needs can arise at any point in time, making it an essential feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You can try any Video Converter (AVC) that includes a built-in editor.
Speed — The tool should have the ability to download and convert videos fast. The download times ideally shouldn’t be highly affected by changes in internet and wi-fi connectivity.
Suppose you’re using an internet video downloading tool. In this case, you will need to visit YouTube and open the movie you want to download.
You can simply copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
You can open the application in a new tab on the exact same window. Once it opens, it will display a text box for you to enter the URL.
Here is a screenshot from y2mate where you are able to download the video. You simply must paste the URL in the text box above and click 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. Once you run it, it will supply you with the same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software you might need to download also. Steer clear of those whenever possible. Some good options are Keepvid, which may help you download video files with Apple MacOS, iPad, iPhone, and Android devices.
You may also have to look into alternative YouTube programs that work in the Google Play Store or with unique smartphones. And if you’re downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, you will find a host of different options to select from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
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 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 such as WMV, MPG, AVI, ASF, M2TS, 3GP, 3G2, FLV, MKV, SWF, WEBM, HTML5 WEBM, HTML5 OGG, HTML5, and much more.
If you’re looking for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to save all the downloaded videos. You might face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually highlight on your IP address within the movie URL you enter. 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 need.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You don’t always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s pretty easy to download YouTube videos straight from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Open YouTube in your browser and head into the movie you want to download.
Add’ss’ From The URL.
Next, you want to edit the URL in the text editor provided by YouTube. but before ‘youtube.com.’
After you’ve entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your computer.
Next, you get redirected to a free download site.
Proceed to the Download Site
Once redirected, there are loads of free services to use that you don’t need to download or install. As soon as you press the’Enter’ button, you get redirected to its website.
You will see that the text editor currently has the video URL, so you don’t need to copy and paste any connection. Your video is also prepared 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 will have your video within a couple of 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 on your browser is just the solution you want.
Choose An Add-on.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The good news is that there are an assortment of choices available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited for Firefox and Chrome, while some are standalone tools.
Here is an example of a similar add-on called’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
Opera Add-Ons YouTube Downloader
The process is simple in Opera. And it is more or less the exact same for other browsers too.
In Opera, you can simply go ahead and click on the’Add to Opera’ option displayed in green colour. Moreover, make sure you download the correct add-on concerning the browser you’re using. They won’t function otherwise.
Once the add-on gets downloaded, install it. If the add-in does not work after installation, then restart your PC.
Next, head to the YouTube video you need to download. Once 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”quick download” option, and you’ll have the video installed in your system.
You will not get the direct download option from YouTube regardless of 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 choices to save the movie. Choices range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up pops during the download option, asking for your tastes.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos using a Virtual Desktop?
Using a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another easy way to download YouTube videos.
Here’s how you can do it.
Head to The YouTube Video.
First, take a look at the YouTube platform and type the name of the video you need to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the movie starts playing.
Add”vd” To The URL.
Now the process is similar to when you directly download movies by adding’ss’ to the URL. In cases like this, you need to edit the movie address and add 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.
On the VDYouTube site, scroll down to Pick the quality and the format of the YouTube video. Based on your needs, you can proceed.
Download the YouTube Video.
Once you click on the”download” option, it’s simply a matter of seconds until it gets installed on your computer system.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos with a VLC Player?
If you don’t have the VLC media player in your pc, then you can download it. VLC Media player is protected and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Head To YouTube Video & Copy The URL.
Head to YouTube and start the video that you want to download. Then copy the URL of this movie.
Open VLC Media Player.
Ideally, you should not wait for this measure to open the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar for your advantage.
When you open the VLC media player, head over to the’Media’ option, and click on it.
Next, select the ‘Open Network Stream’ option.
Of course, this is true when you are 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’re using. Here, paste the copied URL of the YouTube video that you need to download.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
When you click on the’play’ option, the video starts playing on VLC.
There, you’ll find an option called’codec info.’ You can also reach the’codec information’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
You need to copy the information of the movie in the location text box in the bottom of the page. This step is pretty straightforward for Windows users.
However, if you are a Mac user, you want to right-click on the field and click on the’Open URL’ option.
Copy/Paste the URL.
If you are on a Windows system, you already copied the URL. Paste it on your web browser and click on’Enter.’ The measure is redundant for Mac users.
Save the Video.
At this point, the video should be playing your browser online. Right-click on the movie and choose the’Save video as’ option.
The movie will now start downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default name would be’videoplayback.’ When it gets downloaded, save it with your other movies.
Although the process may seem lengthy right now, it’s pretty simple when you do it yourself.
In my opinion, go with 4K Download — it’s the ideal tool for video quality and MP3 conversions.
This tool lets you access your favorite YouTube videos anytime, even without an Internet connection. Downloading videos and storing them on your computer or telephone can help you never lose out on the videos you like.
Can you download YouTube videos?