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 understand how to download YouTube videos effectively. You may download YouTube videos to formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much more. Or if you only need music, you can convert YouTube videos to 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 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’t do on the stage.
Downloading videos without prior consent, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of their terms of service.
Whilst downloading YouTube videos is 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’re 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 approval of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content.”
Quite simply, it is possible to watch Youtube videos, but only 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 is up to you to determine if downloading videos from YouTube for personal use is something that you should be doing.
What Are the Steps to Download Youtube Videos?
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 Using a Video Downloading Tool.
Using a YouTube downloader is the fastest way to download YouTube videos.
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.
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 more than 50 languages.
Give 4K Download a try and get a 14-day money-back guarantee.
There are various 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 transformed file should have regular 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 various 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 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 may 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 might want to download and save videos in multiple formats in 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 specific song in the midst of a video. Or you might want to edit out a particular portion of a film. Video editing needs can appear at any point in time, making it an important feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You can try any Video Converter (AVC) that comes with a built-in editor.
Speed — The application should have the ability to download and convert videos fast. The download times ideally shouldn’t be highly affected by fluctuations in internet and wi-fi connectivity.
Copy The Video Address Bar URL From YouTube.
Suppose you’re using an online video downloading tool. In this case, you will need to visit YouTube and start the video you want to download.
You can simply copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
You can open the tool in a new tab on the same window. When it opens, it will show a text box for you to input the URL.
Here’s a screenshot from y2mate where you are able to download the video. You simply need to paste the URL in the text box above and click the’Start’ option.
Paste URL y2mate
In case you’re using a downloadable tool, you need to download and install it on your computer . Once you run it, it is going to supply you with the same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software you might have to download as well. Steer clear of 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 programs that work in the Google Play Store or with different smartphones. And if you are downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, there are a host of different options to choose from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
As soon as you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll get a host of choices. As an example, y2mate lets you choose the video format you want to download, video quality, and the file size.
If you’re searching for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to store all the downloaded videos. You might face some confusion if you’re using a VPN because tools usually highlight in your IP address within the video URL you enter. So if you’re a VPN user, you may want to change the location for appropriate downloads.
Once the movie gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you need.
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.
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube in your browser and head into the video that you want to download.
Add’ss’ From The URL.
Next, you want to edit the URL in the text editor provided by YouTube. Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’
After you’ve entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your computer.
Proceed to the Download Website
Once redirected, there are plenty of free services to use that you don’t need to install or download. The moment 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 have to copy and paste any link. 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. Finally, click on the”download” option, and you will have your video in a couple of 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 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.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could need.
The fantastic news is that there are an assortment of options available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited for Firefox and Chrome, while some are standalone tools.
Here’s an example of a similar add-on called’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
Download The Add-on.
The approach 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 are using. They won’t function otherwise.
Once the add-on gets downloaded, install it. If the add-in doesn’t work after installation, then restart your computer.
Next, head to the YouTube video you need to download. Once you’re there, you’ll see an icon on the top right-hand (for Opera users).
When you install this add-on, you get some options:
Next, click on the”quick download” option, and you will have the video set up on your system.
You won’t get 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 supply you with a variety of choices to save the movie. Choices range between multiple formats, as well as various video qualities. Ordinarily, a pop-up floats up during the download option, asking for your tastes.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos with a Virtual Desktop?
Working with 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, visit the YouTube platform and type the name of the video you want to view and download. As soon as you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the movie starts playing.
Now the practice is similar to when you directly download movies by adding’ss’ to the URL. In this case, you want to edit the video address and insert the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check out this:
After the edit, press the ‘Enter’ button.
Next, you get redirected to the Django website for the video you wish to download.
On the VDYouTube website, scroll down to choose the quality and the format of the YouTube video. Based on your requirements, you can proceed.
Once you click on the”download” option, it’s only a matter of seconds until it gets installed in 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 protected and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Here is how:
Head to YouTube and open the video you want to download. Next, 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 need to keep it open on the taskbar to your advantage.
Of course, 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 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 want to download.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
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’ll find an option called’codec info.’ 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.
The window looks something like this:
You need to copy the information of the video from the location text box in the bottom of the page. This step is pretty simple for Windows users.
However, if you’re a Mac user, you need to right-click on the field and click on the’Open URL’ option.
If you are 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 video should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the movie and choose 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 videos.
Even though the process might seem lengthy right now, it’s pretty easy once you do it yourself.
In my view, go with 4K Download — it is 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 phone helps you never miss out on the movies you like.
Can you download YouTube videos?