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 efficiently. You may download YouTube videos to formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you only need music, you can convert YouTube videos into MP3 files.
With all these 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 be aware I may get affiliate reimbursement for some of the links below at no charge to you. Nonetheless, 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 stage.
Downloading videos without prior permission, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of their terms of service.
Whilst 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 are just using the video for personal 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 respective licensors of the Content.”
In other words, it is possible to 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 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 an easy and straightforward procedure.
The first method to download YouTube videos would be to use a video converter.
Download YouTube Videos With a Video Downloading Tool.
Using 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 offers 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 get a 14-day money-back guarantee.
There are various other programs out there and while there are some decent free tools, the paid versions offer 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 manipulate the quality of the video. It may 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 in different languages. In such situations, the use of subtitles is essential whilst playing with it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those particular videos along with the subtitles. If you like a specific band, you might want to download their entire discography. And if you like a film director, you may want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple File Format Compatibility — You may 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 flexible.
Built-In Video Editor — you might want to view a particular song in the middle of a video. Or you may want to edit out a specific 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 can try any Video Converter (AVC) which includes a built-in editor.
Speed — The application should have the ability to convert and download videos fast. The download times ideally shouldn’t be highly affected by changes in internet and wi-fi connectivity.
Suppose you are using an online video downloading tool. In cases like this, you need to visit YouTube and start the movie you want to download.
You can simply copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
It is possible to start the application in a new tab on the same window. Once it opens, it will display a text box for you to enter the URL.
Here is 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.’
Paste URL y2mate
In case you’re using a downloadable tool, you need to download and install it on your computer . As soon as you run it, it is going to supply you with the same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be careful about unnecessary software you might have to download also. Avoid those whenever possible. Some good options are Keepvid, which may help you download video files with Apple MacOS, iPad, iPhone, and Android devices.
You may also have to look into alternative YouTube apps that work in the Google Play Store or with different smartphones. And if you’re downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, you will find a host of different choices to choose from.
Once 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 want to download, video quality, and also the file size.
If you’re looking for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to save 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 movie URL you enter. So if you’re a VPN user, you might want to change the location for proper downloads.
Once the video gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you need.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You do not always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s pretty 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’ In The URL.
Next, you want to edit the URL in the text editor provided by YouTube. Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’ but before ‘youtube.com.’
After you have entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your keyboard.
Proceed to the Download Website
Once redirected, there are plenty of free services to use that you don’t need to install or download. As soon as you press the’Enter’ button, you get redirected to its website.
You’ll 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 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 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 on your browser is simply the solution you need.
Choose An Add-on.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could need.
The good news is that there are a variety of choices available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited for Firefox and Chrome, while some 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
The process 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 color. Moreover, be sure you download the right 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 computer.
Next, head into the YouTube video you want to download. Once you’re there, you will notice 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 will have the video set up on your system.
You will not receive 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 supply 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 pops during the download choice, asking for your preferences.
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 is how you can do it.
First, visit the YouTube platform and type the name of the video you need to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the video starts playing.
Now the practice is very similar to when you directly download videos by adding’ss’ to the URL. In cases like this, you want to edit the video address and add 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 site for the video you would like to download.
Choose the Video Format and Quality.
On the VDYouTube site, scroll down to Pick the quality and the arrangement of the YouTube video. Based on your requirements, you can proceed.
Once you click on the”download” option, it’s simply a matter of seconds until it gets installed on your computer system.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos using a VLC Player? VLC Media player is secure and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Head to YouTube and open the video you want to download. Next, copy the URL of this video.
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 to your benefit.
New Network Stream.
When you start the VLC media player, head over to the’Media’ option, and click on it.
Needless to say, this is the case when you are using a Windows OS.
When you are using Mac, the flow is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this phase, 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 you need to download.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
When you click on the’play’ option, the video begins playing on VLC.
There, you’ll find an option called’codec information.’ It is also possible to reach the’codec data’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
You want to copy the information of the video 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.
Copy/Paste the URL.
If you are on a Windows system, you already copied the URL. Paste it on your web browser and click on’Enter.’ The step is redundant for Mac users.
At this point, the video should be playing your browser online. Right-click on the movie and select the’Save video as’ option.
Download The Video.
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.
Although the process may seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty simple once you do it yourself.
In my opinion, go with 4K Download — it is 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 can help you never lose out on the movies you like.
Can you download YouTube videos?