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 would like to save videos to watch later, you will need to learn how to download YouTube videos effectively. You can download YouTube videos to formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much more. Or if you only need music, 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 latest methods to download YouTube videos this year.
Let’s get started.
Disclaimer: Please be aware I may get affiliate reimbursement for some of the links below at no cost to you. However, these are the best tools I have 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’t do on the platform.
Downloading videos without prior consent, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of their terms of service.
While downloading YouTube videos is a criminal action, 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 private 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 consent of YouTube or the various licensors of the Content.”
In other words, it is possible to watch Youtube videos, but just from Google applications.
However, 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’re not signed in.
Ultimately, it is up to you to determine if downloading videos from YouTube for private use is something that you should be doing.
Downloading videos from YouTube is an easy and straightforward procedure.
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 fastest way to download YouTube videos.
Pick 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 also 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 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 transformed 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 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 will prefer to download those particular videos along with the subtitles. 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 Document 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 might want to view a specific song in the middle of a video. Or you might want to edit out a specific portion of a film. Video editing needs can arise at any point in time, which makes it an essential 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 should not be highly affected by fluctuations in net and wi-fi connectivity.
Copy The Video Address Bar URL From YouTube.
Suppose you’re using an internet video downloading tool. In this case, you will need to visit YouTube and open the video 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 exact same window. Once it opens, it will show 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 on the’Start’ option. Some websites may also have buttons saying’Go’ or’Download.’
Paste URL y2mate
in the event you’re using a downloadable tool, you want to download and install it on your computer first. As soon as you run it, it will supply you with the same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be careful about unnecessary software you may have to download as well. Steer clear of those whenever possible. Some good alternatives are Keepvid, which may 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, you will find a host of other options to select from.
Once you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you will get a host of choices. For instance, y2mate lets you choose 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.
If you’re looking for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to store all of the downloaded videos. You might face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually emphasize on your IP address over the movie URL you enter. So if you are a VPN user, you may want to change the place for proper downloads.
Once the video gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you want.
How Do 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.
Here are the steps:
Open YouTube in your browser and head into the movie 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 keyboard.
Go to the Download Website
Once redirected, there are loads 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 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 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 case, using add-ons in your browser is just the solution you want.
Choose An Add-on.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
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 some are standalone tools.
Here’s an example of a similar add-on called’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
Opera Add-Ons YouTube Downloader
The approach is easy 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 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 to the YouTube video that you need to download. Once you’re there, you’ll 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”fast download” option, and you will have the video set up on your system.
You won’t get the direct download option from YouTube regardless of what browser you use if you don’t use an add-on.
Pick Your File Format.
Most add-ons provide you with a variety of choices to save the movie. Alternatives range between multiple formats, as well as various video qualities. Ordinarily, a pop-up floats up during the download option, asking for your preferences.
How Do 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 that you need to see and download. As soon as you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the movie starts playing.
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 video address and insert the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check this out:
Next, you get redirected to the Django website for the video you wish to download.
On the VDYouTube site, scroll down to choose the quality and the arrangement of the YouTube video. Based on your requirements, you can proceed.
Download the YouTube Video.
Once you click on the”download” option, it’s 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 protected and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Here is how:
Head to YouTube and start the video that you want to download. Then copy the URL of this 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 benefit.
New Network Stream.
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 phase, 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 you want to download.
When you click on the’play’ option, the video begins playing on VLC.
Next, click on the ‘Tools’ option on the top right-hand corner.
There, you’ll 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 movie from the location text box at the bottom of the page. This measure is pretty simple for Windows users.
But if you’re a Mac user, you need 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 on’Enter.’ The step is redundant for Mac users.
Save the Video.
At this stage, the movie should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the movie and choose the’Save video as’ option.
Download The Video.
The movie will now start downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default title 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 when you do it yourself.
In my view, go with 4K Download — it’s 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 onto your computer or phone helps you never miss out on the movies you like.
Do you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use? Let me know in the comments below.