YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform on earth.
In actuality, over 30 million people watch 5 billion videos each and every day on YouTube.
If you would like to save videos to watch later, you will need to understand how to download YouTube videos efficiently. You can download YouTube videos to formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you only need audio, you can convert YouTube videos into MP3 files.
With all these ways to download and get videos on demand, I created this resource with the most recent ways to download YouTube videos this year.
Let’s get started.
Disclaimer: Please noteI may receive affiliate reimbursement for some of the links below at no charge to you. However, these are the best tools I’ve tested for downloading and converting YouTube videos into 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 stage.
Downloading videos without prior permission, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of the terms of service.
While downloading YouTube videos is a criminal action, YouTube has made no desire to punish users for downloading movies. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the correct licenses are legal to download. Plus, 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 approval 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 ban users for exploiting them — you can still watch YouTube videos when you’re not signed in.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide 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 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, select the best possible YouTube downloading tool.
In my view, the best tool on the market is 4K Download.
You may also 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 offer way higher quality.
Characteristics to Look for in A YouTube Downloading Tool.
Quality of The Video — The converted file must have standard 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 can choose specific video resolution such as 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos in various languages. In such cases, the use of subtitles is vital while playing it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you will prefer to download those particular videos together 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 might want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple Document Format Compatibility — You may want to download and save videos in multiple formats in 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 specific song in the middle of a video. Or you might choose to edit out a particular portion 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 convert and download videos fast. The download times ideally should not be highly affected by changes in internet and wi-fi connectivity.
Suppose you’re using an online video downloading tool. In cases like this, 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. 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 the’Start’ option.
Glue URL y2mate
In case you’re using a downloadable tool, you need to download and install it on your computer first. As soon as 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 may need to download also. 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 have 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, there are a host of other options to choose from.
As soon as you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you will find a host of choices. As an example, y2mate lets you choose the video format you want 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 the videos that are downloaded. You might face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually highlight in your IP address over the video URL you input. So if you’re a VPN user, you may want to change the location for proper downloads.
When the movie gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you want.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You don’t always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s rather simple to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube in your browser and head into the movie that 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 computer.
Go 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 prepared to get 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’ll have your video within a few seconds.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos with Browser Add-Ons?
You might not want to tinker around with the YouTube video URL. And some of you might not need to use any third-party tool to download the videos.
In this case, using add-ons in your browser is just the solution you want.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The good news is that there are an assortment of options 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 known as’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
Opera Add-Ons YouTube Downloader
Download The Add-on.
The approach is easy in Opera. And it’s 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 sure you download the right add-on concerning the browser you’re 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 PC.
Head to YouTube.
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 side (for Opera users).
When you install this add-in, 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 regardless of what browser you use if you don’t use an add-on.
Choose Your File Format.
Most add-ons supply 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 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.
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. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the video begins 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 add the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check this out:
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 site, scroll down to choose the quality and the format of the YouTube video. Based on your requirements, you can proceed.
Download the YouTube Video.
Once you click on the”download” option, it is only a matter of seconds before 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.
Head to YouTube and open the movie that you want to download. Next, copy the URL of this video.
Open VLC Media Player.
Ideally, you should not wait for this measure to open the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar for your advantage.
New Network Stream.
When you start the VLC media player, head over to the’Media’ option, and click on it.
Of course, this is true when you are using a Windows OS.
When you’re 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’re using. Here, paste the copied URL of the YouTube video that you want to download.
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.’ You can also reach the’codec information’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
When you click on the’codec information,’ a new window opens up.
You need to copy the information of the video in the location text box in the bottom of the page. This measure is pretty straightforward for Windows users.
However, if you are 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 onto your web browser and click’Enter.’ The measure is redundant for Mac users.
Save the Video.
At this point, the movie should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the video and select the’Save video as’ option.
The movie will now begin downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default name would be’videoplayback.’ When it gets downloaded, save it with your other movies.
Although the process might seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty simple once 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 saving them onto your computer or phone can help you never lose out on the videos you like.
Do you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use?