YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform on earth.
In fact, over 30 million visitors watch 5 billion videos each and every day on YouTube.
If you would like to save videos to watch later, you need to understand how to download YouTube videos efficiently. You can download YouTube videos to formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you just need music, you can convert YouTube videos to 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.
Let’s get started.
Disclaimer: Please note, I may receive affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no cost 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 the terms of service.
While downloading YouTube videos is technically a criminal act, YouTube has made no desire to punish users for downloading movies. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the right licenses are legal to download. Plus, if you are just using the video for private 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 consent of YouTube or the various licensors of the Content.”
Quite simply, it is possible to watch Youtube videos, but only from Google applications.
However, third-party programs will continue to sprout up online and let people download YouTube Videos. It’s difficult to enforce or ban 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 that you should be doing.
Downloading videos from YouTube is an easy and straightforward process.
The first way to download YouTube videos would be 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. Let us look at it step by step:
Pick a Downloading Tool/Converter.
First, select 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 even 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 various 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 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, moderate, or high. It’s even better if you are able to choose specific video resolution like 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos in different languages. In such cases, the use of subtitles is vital whilst playing 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 within your file manager. Having various options to pick from, such as MP3, MP4, FLAC, or AAC, allows you to be more flexible.
Built-In Video Editor — You may want to view a particular song in the midst of a video. Or you may choose to edit out a particular part of a film. Video editing needs can arise at any point in time, making it an important 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 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 cases like this, you need to visit 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 start the tool in a new tab on the exact same window. When 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 must paste the URL in the text box above and click the’Start’ option.
Glue URL y2mate
in the event 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 very same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be careful about unnecessary software that you may 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 have to check into alternative YouTube programs that work from the Google Play Store or with unique smartphones. And if you are downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, there are a host of different choices to choose from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
Once you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you will find a host of choices. For instance, y2mate lets you decide on the video format you wish to download, video quality, and also the file size.
If you’re searching for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to save all of the downloaded videos. You may face some confusion if you are 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.
Once the video 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 rather easy to download YouTube videos straight from YouTube.
Open YouTube on your browser and head to the video you want to download.
Add’ss’ From The URL.
Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’
After you have entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your keyboard.
Go to the Download Site
Once redirected, there are plenty of free services to use that you don’t need to download or install. As soon as you press the’Enter’ button, you get redirected to its site.
You’ll see that the text editor currently 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 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’ll have your video within a couple of seconds.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos with Browser Add-Ons?
You may not want to tinker around with the YouTube video URL. And some of you may not want to use any third-party tool to download the movies.
In this case, using add-ons on your browser is just the solution you want.
Choose An Add-on.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could need.
The good thing 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’s an example of a similar add-on known as’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
Opera Add-Ons YouTube Downloader
Download The Add-on.
The process 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 color. Moreover, be certain 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 to the YouTube video you want to download. Once you’re there, you’ll notice an icon on the top right-hand side (for Opera users).
When you install this add-in, you get some options:
Next, click on the”quick download” option, and you will have the video installed in 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.
Pick Your File Format.
Most add-ons provide you with many different choices to save the movie. Choices range between multiple formats, as well as various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up pops during the download choice, asking for your tastes.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos with a Virtual Desktop?
Working with 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 title of the video that you need to see and download. As soon as you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the movie begins playing.
Now the process is very similar to when you directly download videos by adding’ss’ to the URL. In this case, you need to edit the movie address and insert the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check this out:
Next, you get redirected to the Django site 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 needs, you can proceed.
Download the YouTube Video.
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?
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 start the video that you want to download. Next, copy the URL of this movie.
Open VLC Media Player.
Ideally, you should not wait for this measure to start the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar to 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 the case when you’re using a Windows OS.
When you’re 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 need to download.
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.
The window looks something like this:
You need to copy the information of the video from 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 are on a Windows system, you already copied the URL. Paste it on your web browser and click’Enter.’ The measure is redundant for Mac users.
At this point, the movie 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 start downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default title would be’videoplayback.’ When it gets downloaded, save it with your other videos.
Although the process may seem lengthy right now, it’s pretty simple when 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 saving them on your computer or phone helps you never lose out on the videos you prefer.
Can you download YouTube videos? Let me know in the comments below.