YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform on earth.
In fact, over 30 million people watch 5 billion videos every single day on YouTube.
If you want to save videos to watch later, you need to learn how to download YouTube videos effectively. You may download YouTube videos into formats such as 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 access videos on demand, I created this resource with the latest methods to download YouTube videos this year.
Let’s get started.
Disclaimer: Please be aware , I may receive 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 not do on the platform.
Downloading videos without prior permission, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of their terms of service.
While downloading YouTube videos is technically a criminal act, YouTube has made no desire to penalize users for downloading videos. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the right licenses are legal to download. Plus, if you are just using the video for personal use, it can be considered lawful.
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 consent of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content.”
Quite simply, you can watch Youtube videos, but just from Google applications.
Nevertheless, 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 that 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 is to use a video converter.
Download YouTube Videos With 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 view, the best tool on the market is 4K Download.
You can even extract YouTube subtitles and save them in over 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 decent free tools, the paid versions provide way higher quality.
Characteristics 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 may range between low, moderate, 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 in various languages. In such cases, the use of subtitles is essential while playing with it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you will prefer to download those special 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 particular band, you may want to download their entire discography. And if you like a movie director, you might want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple File Format Compatibility — You might choose to download and save videos in multiple formats within your file manager. Having various options to choose from, such as 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 may choose to edit out a specific portion of a film. Video editing needs can arise at any point in time, which makes it an important feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You can try any Video Converter (AVC) which 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 are using an online video downloading tool. In cases like this, you will need to head to YouTube and start the movie that you want to download.
You can just 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 the event you’re using a downloadable tool, you need to download and install it on your computer first. Once you run it, it is going to supply you with the very same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software you may have to download as well. Avoid those whenever possible. Some good options are Keepvid, which can help you download video files with Apple MacOS, iPad, iPhone, and Android devices.
You may also need to look into alternative YouTube apps that work in the Google Play Store or with unique smartphones. And if you’re downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, there are a host of different options to select from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
As soon as you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll get a host of alternatives. For instance, y2mate lets you choose the video format you want to download, video quality, and the file size.
Finally, select 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 more.
If you’re looking for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to store all of the videos that are downloaded. You may face some confusion if you’re using a VPN because tools usually highlight in your IP address over the movie URL you input. So if you’re a VPN user, you might want to change the location for proper downloads.
When the movie 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 rather simple to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Open YouTube in your browser and head into the movie you want to download.
Add’ss’ In The URL.
Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’
After you’ve entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your keyboard.
Go 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 site.
You will 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 prepared to get downloaded — all you need to do is click the’Download’ button.
You also get to choose the format and the quality of the video. Finally, click on the”download” option, and you will 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 videos.
In this instance, using add-ons in your browser is simply the solution you need.
Choose An Add-on.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The good thing is that there are a variety of choices available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited for Firefox and Chrome, while others 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
Download The Add-on.
The process is simple 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 colour. Moreover, be certain you download the correct add-on concerning the browser you are 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.
Head to YouTube.
Next, head into the YouTube video that you want to download. As soon as you’re there, you’ll notice an icon on the top right-hand side (for Opera users).
When you install this add-on, you get some options:
Next, click on the”fast download” option, and you will have the video set up on your system.
You won’t receive the direct download option from YouTube no matter what browser you use unless you use an add-on.
Pick Your File Format.
Most add-ons provide you with a variety of options to save the movie. Alternatives range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up floats up during the download option, asking for your tastes.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos using a Virtual Desktop?
Working with a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another easy way to download YouTube videos.
Here’s how you can do it.
First, take a look at the YouTube platform and type the title of the video you want to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the video starts playing.
Insert”vd” To The URL.
Now the process is similar to when you directly download videos by adding’ss’ to the URL. In cases like this, you need to edit the video address and add the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check this out:
After the edit, press the ‘Enter’ button.
Next, you get redirected to the Django website for the video you would like to download.
On the VDYouTube website, scroll down to Pick the quality and the arrangement of the YouTube video. Based on your requirements, you can go ahead.
Download the YouTube Video.
As soon as you click on the”download” option, it’s simply a matter of seconds before it gets installed in your computer system.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos with a VLC Player? VLC Media player is protected and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Head to YouTube and open the video that you want to download. Next, copy the URL of this video.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this step to open the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar to your benefit.
Next, select the ‘Open Network Stream’ option.
Of course, this is the case when you’re using a Windows OS.
When you are using Mac, the stream is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this stage, you’ll 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.
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.
The window looks something like this:
You need to copy the information of the video in the location text box in the bottom of the page. This measure is pretty straightforward for Windows users.
But if you are 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 already copied the URL. Paste it onto your web browser and click’Enter.’ The measure is redundant for Mac users.
At this stage, the movie should be playing your browser online. Right-click on the video and select the’Save video as’ option.
Download The Video.
The movie will now begin downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default name would be’videoplayback.’ Once it gets downloaded, save it with your other videos.
Although the process might seem lengthy right now, it’s pretty simple once you do it yourself.
In my opinion, 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 storing them onto your computer or phone can help you never lose out on the videos you like.
Do you download YouTube videos? Let me know in the comments below.