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 need to learn how to download YouTube videos effectively. You can download YouTube videos to formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you just 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.
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 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 not 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 act, YouTube has made no desire to penalize users for downloading movies. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the correct licenses are legal to download. Additionally, if you’re just using the video for private use, it can be considered legal.
YouTube says,”You shall 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 tough to enforce or ban 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 an easy and straightforward procedure.
The first method to download YouTube videos is to use a video converter.
Download YouTube Videos Using 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.
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 can 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 while there are some good free tools, the paid versions provide way higher quality.
Features to Look for in A YouTube Downloading Tool.
Quality of The Video — The converted file must have regular video quality for excellent viewing. Ideally, you should be able to control the quality of the video. It might 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 different languages. In such cases, the use of subtitles is essential whilst playing 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 may want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple Document Format Compatibility — You might want to download and save videos in multiple formats within your file manager. Having various options to pick 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 midst of a video. Or you might want to edit out a particular part of a film. Video editing needs can appear at any point in time, making it an essential feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You may try out Any Video Converter (AVC) which comes with a built-in editor.
Speed — The tool should have the ability to convert and download videos fast. The download times ideally shouldn’t be highly affected by fluctuations in internet and wi-fi connectivity.
Suppose you’re using an online video downloading tool. In cases like this, you will 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.
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 input the URL.
Here’s 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 on the’Start’ option. Some sites may also have buttons saying’Go’ or’Download.’
Glue URL y2mate
in the event you’re using a downloadable tool, you want to download and install it on your computer . Once you run it, it will provide you with the very same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be careful about unnecessary software that you may have to download as well. Steer clear of 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 have to check into alternative YouTube apps that work from the Google Play Store or with unique smartphones. And if you are downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, you will find a host of different options to choose from.
Once you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you will find a host of alternatives. As an example, 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 the downloaded videos. You might face some confusion if you’re using a VPN because tools usually emphasize on your IP address within the video URL you input. So if you’re a VPN user, you may want to change the location 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 don’t always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s pretty easy to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube on your browser and head to the video you want to download.
Add’ss’ In The URL.
Next, you need to edit the URL in the text editor provided by YouTube. Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’ but before ‘youtube.com.’
After you’ve entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your keyboard.
Proceed 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’ll see that the text editor already 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 will need to do is click on 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 within a couple of seconds.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos with Browser Add-Ons?
You might not want to tinker around with the YouTube video URL. And some of you may not need to use any third-party tool to download the videos.
In this case, using add-ons on your browser is simply 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 others are standalone tools.
Here is an example of a similar add-on known as’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
Opera Add-Ons YouTube Downloader
The process is easy in Opera. And it is more or less the exact 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 sure you download the correct add-on concerning the browser you’re using. They won’t work otherwise.
Once the add-on gets downloaded, install it. If the add-in doesn’t work after installation, then restart your PC.
Next, head to the YouTube video that you need to download. As soon as you’re there, you’ll notice an icon on the top right-hand (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 get the direct download option from YouTube no matter what browser you use unless you use an add-on.
Choose Your File Format.
Most add-ons supply you with a variety of options to save the video. Alternatives range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up floats up during the download choice, asking for your preferences.
How Do 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.
First, take a look at the YouTube platform and type the title of the video you need to see 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 movies by adding’ss’ to the URL. In cases like this, 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 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 proceed.
As soon as you click on the”download” option, it’s simply a matter of seconds before it gets installed on your computer system.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos using a VLC Player? VLC Media player is protected and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Here is how:
Head To YouTube Video & Copy The URL.
Head to YouTube and start the movie you want to download. Then copy the URL of the video.
Open VLC Media Player.
Ideally, you should not wait for this measure to start the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar to your advantage.
When you open the VLC media player, head over to the’Media’ option, and click on it.
Of course, this is the case when you’re using a Windows OS.
When you are using Mac, the flow is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this stage, 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 you need to download.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
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 will 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 information,’ a new window opens up.
You want to copy the information of the video in the location text box at the bottom of the page. This measure is pretty straightforward for Windows users.
But if you’re a Mac user, you want to right-click on the field and click on the’Open URL’ option.
Copy/Paste the URL.
If you’re on a Windows system, you copied the URL. Paste it onto your web browser and click’Enter.’ The step is redundant for Mac users.
Save the Video.
At this stage, the movie should be playing your browser online. Right-click on the movie and select the’Save video as’ option.
The video 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 may seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty easy when you do it yourself.
In my view, go with 4K Download — it’s 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 telephone can help you never miss out on the movies you like.
Do you download YouTube videos?