YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform on earth.
In actuality, over 30 million people watch 5 billion videos each and every day on YouTube.
If you want to save videos to watch later, you will need to understand how to download YouTube videos effectively. You may download YouTube videos into formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you just need music, 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 most recent ways to download YouTube videos this year.
Disclaimer: Please note, I may get 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 pretty straightforward Terms of Service that delineates what a viewer can or can not do on the stage.
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 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. Additionally, if you’re just using the video for personal use, it can be considered legal.
YouTube states,”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.”
Quite simply, it is possible to watch Youtube videos, but just from Google applications.
Nevertheless, third-party programs 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 determine if downloading videos from YouTube for private use is something you should be doing.
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 Using a Video Downloading Tool.
Using a YouTube downloader is the fastest way to download YouTube videos.
Pick a Downloading Tool/Converter.
First, select 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 can even extract YouTube subtitles and save them in more than 50 languages.
Give 4K Download a try and find a 14-day money-back guarantee.
There are various other programs 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 converted file should have regular 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 that are in various languages. In such cases, the use of subtitles is essential whilst playing with it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those special videos along 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 might 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 want to download and save videos in multiple formats in your file manager. Having various options to pick from, like MP3, MP4, FLAC, or AAC, allows you to be more flexible.
Built-In Video Editor — You may want to view a specific song in the midst of a video. Or you might want to edit out a particular part 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 may try out Any Video Converter (AVC) that comes with a built-in editor.
Speed — The tool should be able to convert and download videos fast. The download times ideally should not be highly affected by changes in internet and wi-fi connectivity.
Suppose you’re using an online video downloading tool. In cases like this, you need to head to YouTube and start the video you want to download.
You can just copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
You can start the tool in a new tab on the exact same window. When it opens, it will display a text box for you to enter the URL.
Here is a screenshot from y2mate where you can download the video. You simply need to 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. As soon as you run it, it will provide you with the same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be careful about unnecessary software you might need to download as well. 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 apps that work from the Google Play Store or with different 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 will get a host of alternatives. As an example, y2mate lets you decide on the video format you wish 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 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 store all the videos that are downloaded. You may face some confusion if you’re using a VPN because tools usually highlight in your IP address within the movie URL you input. So if you are a VPN user, you might want to change the place for appropriate downloads.
When 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 rather simple to download YouTube videos straight from YouTube.
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube in your browser and head into the movie you want to download.
Add’ss’ In 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 site.
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 website.
You will see that the text editor already has the video URL, so you don’t need to copy and paste any link. Your video is also ready to get downloaded — all you will need to do is click the’Download’ button.
You also get to select the format and the quality of the video. Lastly, click on the”download” option, and you will have your video in a few seconds.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos with Browser Add-Ons?
You may not want to tinker around with the YouTube video URL. And some of you might not need to use any third party tool to download the videos.
In this case, using add-ons in your browser is simply the solution you want.
Choose An Add-on.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could need.
The fantastic news is that there are an assortment of choices 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.
Download The Add-on.
The approach 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, 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 does not work after installation, then restart your computer.
Next, head into the YouTube video you want to download. As soon as you’re there, you will see an icon on the top right-hand (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 no matter what browser you use unless you use an add-on.
Pick Your File Format.
Most add-ons supply you with many different choices to save the movie. Choices range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Ordinarily, a pop-up pops 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 simple 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 want to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the video begins playing.
Add”vd” To The URL.
Now the practice is very similar to when you directly download videos by adding’ss’ to the URL. In this case, you want to edit the movie 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 website, scroll down to Pick the quality and the format of the YouTube video. Based on your requirements, you can go ahead.
Download the YouTube Video.
Once you click on the”download” option, it is simply a matter of seconds until it gets installed in your computer system.
How Do 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 protected and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Head to YouTube and open the video you want to download. Then copy the URL of this movie.
Open VLC Media Player.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this measure to open the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar for your advantage.
New Network Stream.
When you open the VLC media player, head over to the’Media’ option, and click on it.
Next, select the ‘Open Network Stream’ option.
Needless to say, this is true when you are 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.
When you click on the’play’ option, the video starts playing on VLC.
There, you’ll find an option called’codec information.’ You can also 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 video in the location text box in the bottom of the page. This measure is pretty simple 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 copied the URL. Paste it on your web browser and click on’Enter.’ The step is redundant for Mac users.
At this stage, the video should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the video and select the’Save video as’ option.
Download The Video.
The video will now start 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 might seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty simple when you do it yourself.
In my view, go with 4K Download — it is the best 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 saving them on your computer or phone can help you never miss out on the videos you prefer.
Do you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use? Let me know in the comments below.